Decentering Whiteness in LIS

Simmons SLIS LogoOver this academic year, our Simmons SLIS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee has been working collaboratively with input from faculty, students, and staff to develop a new course for our graduate curriculum that addresses many of the challenges that have been identified by scholars and practitioners of color in our field. For example, in their (2018) paper “A Holistic Approach for Inclusive Librarianship: Decentering Whiteness in Our Profession,” Isabel Espinal, Tonia Sutherland, and Charlotte Roh outline the current scholarship on whiteness in LIS, which highlights the harms to librarians of color that include racial “microagressions” and other negative impacts that result from whiteness, white privilege, and systemic white supremacy that have and continue to shape public libraries in the U.S. today.

In response, our DEI Committee, with support from our graduate students, introduced a new course for our graduate curriculum which we have titled “Decentering Whiteness in LIS.” I am proud to announce the course proposal received overwhelming support from our SLIS faculty and will join our graduate curriculum. Continue Reading

Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor

Yesterday, the Dean of my College and Provost of my University visited my office with a bottle of champagne, as is Simmons tradition, and informed me that I received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor. It’s been quite a ride in academia so far, and recognizing how grateful I am to a magnitude of people who helped me get to this point in my life, I decided to share 10 things on Twitter yesterday in celebration of this moment with many of those folks. Here’s a screen capture below of the first of ten, which can be found online here.

Community Informatics Lab @ SLIS

I am excited to announce the launch of the Community Informatics Lab in the Simmons University School of Library and Information Science. The lab will feature community informatics research and projects led by faculty, students, and affiliates of the lab, as well as become the new home for The Journal of Community Informatics over this year. I look forward to providing further updates both here and on the new Community Informatics Lab website, located here: http://comminformatics.net

MLBN Explainer Video

Here is a fantastic video, produced by Carson and Jessikha Block, that provides an overview of our Measuring Library Broadband Networks (MLBN) project. It’s a wonderful description of our research, which is funded by a two-year grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (award #LG-71-18-0110-18). to learn more about our research, please visit our project website at http://slis.simmons.edu/blogs/mlbn/

New Encyclopedia Entries

The International Encyclopedia of Media LiteracySince transitioning from being a community media and technology practitioner in the late 2000s to a community informatics scholar during the past decade, I have sought to both highlight and contribute to the existing community media and informatics scholarship during this time. As part of this work, I am excited to announce that I have new contributions on both topics in two encyclopedias. The first contribution on Community Media was published earlier this year in the The International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy edited by Renee Hobbs and Paul Mihailidis.

Here is the abstract:

“Media literacy scholars have identified five essential competencies that support digital and media literacy: these are the abilities to access, analyze, create, reflect, and act (Hobbs, 2011). While these core competencies are often advanced through community media practice, few studies have made explicit connections between media literacy education and the community media sector. Presented here is an overview of the ways in which community media support these essential competencies; attention will be paid to community media‚Äôs role in promoting access, participation, diversity, and empowerment as key drivers of media literacy education. This entry highlights youth media as a form of media literacy education within the community media sector. It includes a discussion of the social, cultural, and political contexts that are critical to understanding how community media support fundamental media literacy goals.”

The Blackwell Encyclopedia of SociologyThe second contribution on Community Informatics was just published in the 2nd edition of The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology edited by George Ritzer and Chris Rojek. This short entry provides a concise overview of the field including its origins and more recent developments, including across both physical and virtual spaces where community informatics researchers and practitioners have convened over the past 20 years. I am honored to have been invited to contribute on both topics as they have been core to my own research and practice for many years.