Case Studies in Critical Pedagogy (The METRO Reference & Instruction Special Interest Group)

Monday November 16, 2020

Introduction and Case Study Presentations – 12:30pm-1:30pm

Optional Follow-up Discussion of Concepts and Ideas – 1:30pm-2:00pm

Register in advance for this event

Whether critical pedagogy has been the focus of your reference/instruction practice and scholarship for years or you are wholly new to the subject, we invite you to join us as we begin the ongoing discussion within the METRO Reference & Instruction SIG community.

We will start by thinking together about how critical pedagogy practices may function in a remote environment, so often structured by corporate educational technologies and taking place at a time when the fault lines of inequality, access, and vulnerability are so pronounced. We invite you to consider how we can integrate critical considerations of these circumstances within our approaches to remote teaching practice. How are some of us engaging the complexities of the time while still supporting ourselves, faculty, students, patrons, and the public?

Critical Pedagogy and Libraries: A Primer – Eamon Tewell

Head of Research Support and Outreach for Columbia University’s Science, Engineering, & Social Science Libraries

What is critical pedagogy in libraries? How have librarians used this approach to address injustices in libraries and information systems, and how do our current situations complicate and create new possibilities for its practice? This presentation will introduce the essentials of critical pedagogy, consider how librarians have applied this theory and practice to instruction, and reflect on what critical library instruction means in our time of remote learning and intensified inequalities.

Case Study Presentations:

What Even Is The Internet?: A Pilot Program in Critical Digital Literacy – Julie Jones

Performing Arts Librarian, Cornish College of the Arts

The Cornish College of the Arts Library created a pilot program for first year students on the topic of critical digital literacy. This program consisted of two “one-shot” sessions within the first year seminar covering topics such as algorithmic and data literacy, the materiality of Internet infrastructure, and mindfulness in the attention economy. These sessions gave space for students to interrogate the digital status quo and reimagine a more just digital future. All sessions were administered synchronously and remote.

The Atlanta Compromise Game – Iris Finkel

Assistant Professor, Web and Digital Initiatives Librarian, Hunter College

The Atlanta Compromise Game is being played in a one credit semester long Library Information Research class at Hunter College. Students are playing an online version of a game with the same subject that follows the Reacting to the Past pedagogy. The online version, on CUNY Academic Commons, uses the Ivanhoe theme developed by scholars at University of Virginia. The backdrop for the game is based on two momentous events around which moves are made:  Booker T. Washington gives his speech at the Cotton States and International Exposition, and eight months later, after the Plessy v Ferguson ruling.

Critical Information Literacy in Reference: Virtual Reference with Critical Instruction – Debbie Krahmer

Associate Professor, Accessible Technology & Government Documents Librarian, Colgate University

The move to online classes during the pandemic has underlined the importance of critical information literacy, particularly around how information is produced, organized, and made available to researchers. Debbie will give an overview on incorporating aspects of critical information literacy into every interaction with students, including discussions on publishing, indexing, and bias in subject headings. D combines years of reference experience with intergroup dialogue training to facilitate an appropriate discussion during reference interviews.

Register in advance for this event

This event is part of a series leading up to A Working Symposium: Critical Practices in Reference and Instruction in the Remote Environment, which will take place virtually in May of 2021. This event is being produced as a collaboration between the METRO Reference & Instruction SIG, the Library and Information Literacy Committee of CUNY (LILAC), and ACRL/NY’s Information Literacy/Instruction Discussion Group.

For more information, please contact any of us at the email addresses listed below.

Co-conveners of the METRO Reference & Instruction SIG:

  • Kate Adler (Metropolitan College of New York) –
  • Linda Miles (Hostos Community College, CUNY) –
  • Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz (New York University) –

Register in advance for this event