Critical Library Instruction: Challenging the Ways Things Work
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Eastern
Patron Instruction
Event Description
What is critical library instruction? How do librarians use it to address injustices in libraries and information systems, and how do our current situations complicate and create new possibilities for its practice? By striving to recognize education's potential for social change and emboldening the learner's agency, critical library instruction has much to offer librarians interested in reevaluating their teaching practices. This session will illustrate some of the many ways that librarians incorporate this vital approach to teaching the complexities of information. Attendees will learn what critical approaches to instruction can look like, and consider issues involved in this demanding but important approach to teaching in libraries. This presentation will introduce the essentials of critical librarianship, consider how librarians have applied this theory and practice to instruction, and reflect on what critical library instruction means in our times of hybrid learning and intensified inequalities.
Learning Objectives:
  • Identify foundational principles of critical librarianship 
  • Describe ways that academic librarians can practice critical library instruction 
  • Articulate challenges and possibilities in making your own library instruction sessions more critical and meaningful to learners

Eamon Tewell (he/him/his) is Head of Research Support and Outreach for Columbia University’s Science, Engineering, & Social Science Libraries, where he supervises a team of subject librarians and identifies ways to support the research and learning needs of students and faculty through reference and instruction. Eamon has published and presented on the topics of critical information literacy, library instruction, critical reference practice, and questioning narratives of grit and resilience in libraries, and is a recipient of the Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Research. He received his MS in Library & Information Science from Drexel University and his MA in Media Studies from Long Island University.
Online via Zoom
Contact Person
Who Should Attend:  Anyone interested in critical library instruction
Competency:  Patron Instruction

Non-Member Cost:      $40
NEO-RLS Bronze Member Cost:  $24
NEO-RLS Silver Member Cost:   FREE
NEO-RLS Gold Member Cost:    FREE
NEO-RLS Individual Member Cost:  $20

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