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Student trauma experiences, library instruction and existence under the 45th

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Purpose

By historicizing the broader system of education contextualized under the 45th presidential administration, this paper aims to provide a nuanced discussion regarding the condition of information literacy and librarianship as capitalist institutions in service to the state. In response, tools to oppose systemic racism and minimize harm in the classroom as well as recommendations for change and resistance are addressed.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper focuses on historical analysis of libraries as institutions within larger educational systems and draws heavily on critical theories as a method of critique.

Findings

This paper demonstrates that the 45th presidential administration is a logical progression of neoliberalism and institutionalized discrimination, which has had adverse effects on the health and safety of (primarily marginalized) students, library workers and library practice, but that critical reflection and information seeking on part of librarians may provide solutions.

Practical implications

This paper can be used as a guide for librarians seeking to contextualize the educational environment and apply a critical praxis to information literacy programs.

Social implications

The reflection presented in this paper can aid in expanding awareness in LIS surrounding issues of equity and justice, and impart urgency and need for institutional change.

Originality/value

Given the lack of diversity in library and information science, this paper provides critical interventions for information literacy practice. The authors’ unique practical and theoretical backgrounds allow for nuanced discussion and pedagogical creation which directly impacts and addresses key issues of justice and equity in the classroom.
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Keywords: Academic libraries; Critical theory; Critical thinking; Diversity; Educational reform; Equity; Inclusion; Information literacy; Libraries; Library instruction; Neoliberalism; Pedagogy; Social justice; Trauma-informed pedagogies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA 2: Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication date: February 10, 2020

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