ellie <3 libraries

sooooo much!

ALA 2012 – Monday, June 25th, 2012 – Insert Catchy Label Here or the End of Gen Y, Digital Natives and the Millennial Student Myth July 12, 2012

Filed under: ALA 2012 — ellie @ 2:28 am

Insert Catchy Label Here or the End of Gen Y, Digital Natives and the Millennial Student Myth

The program will look at how changing demographics effects academic library user populations and how libraries prepare for the changes. Issues addressed may include, demographic projections, users in two-year, four-year and vocational and graduate institutions, economic issues, serving first generation students, the digital divide, race/class/gender/age, Latino students in higher education, information literacy, technology trends and lib 2.0, assessment and ethnographic approaches to understanding users.

Session URL: http://ala12.scheduler.ala.org/node/154

My notes:

I walked in to find out (much to my delight) that this session had a strong social justice theme

Part 1: Yago S. Cura

  • working in south LA
  • noticed primarily affluent students were using homework helper service.
  • In Bronx he realized he needed to bypass outreach to millennials and instead outreach to their parents
  • explained to parents that education is an industry and parents need to take a role
  • he had the benefit of having parents from Argentina and know how education works in the 3rd world
  • in this country we leave a lot of parenting to the teachers
  • it’s not that the schools don’t have best interest in mind, but they’re often understaffed, not enough resources
  • gave presentations to parents and the session numbers have increased
  • success came from speaking to parents in Spanish and embedding themselves in the school system
  • read in a pew report that 65% of Latinos don’t have broadband – pure economics
  • but they do use smartphones – so were sure to highlight mobile interface of tutoring

Part 2: Roberto C. Delgadillo

  • uc davis working with local cc
  • working with transfer students
  • many were coming unprepared
  • the cc had a new building but few books, only 1 librarian and 2 student workers – were supposed to have 4 staff
  • students at the cc weren’t aware of their electronic resources, nor that they were allowed to go to UC Davis library
  • having to do lots of remedial (library) courses
  • tying in social justice issues – like the issue of not thinking they’re allowed on Davis campus

Part 3: Virginia Eubanks

  • book – Digital Dead End? : Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age
  • myth #1 – if you build it, they’ll get jobs
  • 2/3 of the women she worked with already had high tech jobs – in call centers and datacenters
  • a woman working overnight as a systems something for $50/week
  • hours are often split shifts or swing shifts – very hard for people with children
  • negative health impacts
  • chances of carpal tunnel go way higher if you’re pregnant
  • level of monitoring and surveillance is incredibly high
  • story of woman who checked her bank account to see if she had $ for lunch and IT came over and docked her 5 minutes pay
  • myth #2 – the  high-tech economy lifts all boats
  • the high tech economy is 2 tier
  • the lower level is growing – typically underpaid and uninsured women
  • Myth #3 – info tech is a tool for political empowerment
  • in the social service system is where these women see computers the most
  • the back of the monitor
  • technology is the face of the system, the face of the state. There might be reasons to stay away from it
  • IT has been used to increase sanctions, obscure decisions, demobilize collective action
  • women in the Y community had copious experience with technology
  • the center developed an approach called popular technology (based on popular education)
  • started with the social justice goals and if appropriate added tech skills
  • 3 major projects:
    • community technology lab
    • women’s resource directory – an angies list – integrated a talk back section – lasted 9 month before getting them in too much trouble – united way 211 provides listing service but no talk back
    • tried to make a video game called Beat the System – beyond their tech skills – made a board game
      • had played the sims with these women – wait,you start the game with $10,000? you get a job and someone just shows up and drives you to work?
      • Wanted to make something that showed the double binds they were in
      • There’s a game called spent that does a bit of what they wanted
  • don’t assume what tech means to them, don’t assume they don’t have tech knowledge
  • it’s about creating space for all to become more critical
  • not about integrating or teaching skills to those deemed tech poor
  • think of tech not as an endpoint, but another site of struggle
  • shift understanding beyond access based – shift to models about ending oppression
  • technology is part of the struggle, but it’s not justice
  • book has 9 point equity agenda
    • protect workers and families
    • protect places (ecological impact and rejecting displacement)
    • democratize production of knowledge
    • support community institutions
  • virginiaeubanks.wordpress.com
  • digitaldeadend.com

Edited to add this write up from Minitex’s Reference Notes newsletter by Jennifer Hootman, because I loved her wording:

“Furthermore, Eubanks took the discussion a few steps further arguing that the idea of providing ubiquitous access to technology will uplift all members of society is flawed and is a result of “magical thinking.” Instead, she asserts that the realities of access and use of technology is far more complicated especially for poor and working-class women and families. Eubanks asked the audience how her message can be interpreted and applied to the library profession. She asks how we might include social justice in technology as a library initiative.”

Q & A

  • social capitol and lack of is an issue we don’t usually talk about
  • who feels like they have a right to what kinds of resources
  • audience member mentioned that academic institutions often more business oriented than social justice oriented – made me proud to be in a cc
  • interview question – how committed are you to social justice
  • in small academic libraries everything has to be tied to the curriculum
  • but the library has info lit goals outside of that – it is a library curriculum, and that often has a social justice component
  • and those privileged students need their awareness raised too
  • not so much that they don’t know tech, but their relation to tech and who uses it in their lives

Several people from this session (including myself) continued the conversation over coffee. I didn’t take notes, but it was a lively discussion and I ended up connecting with several local Minnesota colleagues.

So I missed:

Proving Our Relevance: A Comparison of European and American Assessment Practices

Increasingly academic libraries, along with their parent universities are required to assess their impact, determine their value, assess and evaluate their services and establish strategies for improvement. This session will provide a forum for European librarians to describe their assessment techniques and strategies, with a librarian from the United States providing a comparative analysis.

Session URL: http://ala12.scheduler.ala.org/node/1133

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