The Reasons for these Ramblings

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2020. Whoa. 

As an academic librarian, I desperately want to understand how universities can develop antiracist, mindful humans with high levels of critical thinking and information literacy skills. I have seen the information literacy skills of traditional college-age students diminish since I began my career in the late 1990s and yet it has never been more essential to have these skills. Maybe its naïve but I feel hopeful. I think there is a way out of the insanity that is our current information ecosystem or the "toxic hellscape" so perfectly described by Whitney Phillips in "The Internet Is a Toxic Hellscape" in Wired (2/3/2020).  

I have many questions and will use this blog to explore them:

  1. What can I do to make my library and my university a better place?

  2. Is there one best model or framework that my university (and others) can use to guide us in teaching our students to survive and thrive in this complex and changing information ecosystem? Is "metaliteracy" the holy grail I have been looking for? 

  3. How can mindfulness and information literacy (or metaliteracy) help us all?

  4. What can I do in the fight for racial justice?

  5. How are 74+ million people living in a completely different reality than I am?

My father, a retired "library school" professor, often says, "you can't polish a turd." While that is wise and true, you can flush a turd. We have choices here. What I mean is that as educators we can DO something and positively impact our university community if not the world! Cheers to exploring our options in 2021 and beyond!


Anne Pemberton