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How to be a #critlib : reflections on implementing critical theory in practice Vangeest, Jacob; Hawkins, Blake 2016

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How to be a #critlibJacob Vangeest & Blake Hawkins School of Library, Archival and Information Studies; blake.hawkins@alumni.ubc.caCaption for the imageReflections on Implementing Critical Theory in PracticeTWITTER The largest easy to access audience associated with critlib exists on twitter. The hashtag #Critlib has a large and active following, with biweekly discussions alternating on Monday and Tuesday. The first of these discussions looked at critical pedagogy, and the methods in which librarians could define incorporate critical pedagogy into the various aspects of librarianship Since then, these discussions have evolved to cover a number of diverse topics ranging from maker spaces to serving users who are experiencing homelessness and from cataloguing to interrogating whiteness in library and information studies. these are not topics that are easy to talk about professionally, especially for those without job security in the neoliberalized academy. The twitter discussions open up a space to allow librarians to support others with similar convictions which sometimes str ike against and trouble inst itut ional normativity.Five Tips on Critilib For Beginners 1. Think Critically • Never allow anything to go unquestioned 2. Participate • Twitter conversations – #critlib • At #critlib Unconferences and Colloquia 3. Promote Empowerment and Transformation • Envision the library as a discursive space which allows for growth  4. Strive for inclusion • Critique those parts of the library which are intentionally or unintentionally barriers to certain groups of people 5. Listen • Listen to voices other than your own • Other peoples experiences and feelings can be completely different then yours • By listening we open ourselves to different discourses, different possibilities. 
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in groups of librarians regarding the use and implementation of critical theories in librarianship similar to archival studies and other disciplines. As a result of these discourses, there has been a growth in engagement with topics such as social justice, race, gender and sexuality which previously had been perceived as taboo or outside of the scope of the field. Social media, such as Twitter, has been integral in mobilizing knowledge and transnational heurism associated with this scholarly movement. For instance, there is an extremely active Twitter hashtag #critlib where weekly discussions occur regarding different topics of critical librarianship. We are excited for this embrace of critical theories within librarianship, but are troubled that many librarians do not have the foreknowledge necessary to properly engage in these scholarly and professional dialogues. In our personal and professional experiences we have been privy to anecdotal stories regarding some librarians find this scholarly subgroup intimidating and not  welcoming for librarians that are novices to critical theory due to their undergraduate background. Our hope is that by exposing more librarians and library students to the world of critical librarianship we can encourage current and future professionals to be, to differing extents, critical in information workplace practices. In order to do this, we have presented our answers to a variety of questions that can serve as an introduction to critical librarianship.WHAT IS #CRITLIB?


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