Five Things I Learned at … LOEX 2017

Last week I returned from Lexington, KY, where I attended the 2017 LOEX Annual Conference. This is the third time I have presented at LOEX, and it’s always a great conference that focuses on instruction and pedagogy. My talk was on “Teaching Power and Authority in Library Discovery Systems” (slides available here). Here’s a list of things I gathered.

    1. My own talk was about ways in which the academy reifies and circulates authority, so I’m sad that I missed Alex Watkins’s talk on inclusive authority. Watkins suggests that many faculty “have restrictive source requirements that mirror and perpetuate the systematic exclusion of indigenous knowledge from academia.” The “Authority is Constructed and Contextual” Frame provides many opportunities to discuss this in practice with students. What do students (and faculty) stand to gain or lose by questioning this economy?
    2. As per my NYU colleagues, Nicole Brown and Marybeth McCartin, social learning exercises are important strategies for creating a community of practice that focuses of pedagogical development. Nicole and Marybeth modeled several activities, including Librarian Cards Against Humanity. I would argue it’s a more effective assessment mechanism of organizational culture than ClimateQUAL (just kidding).
    3. The conference was held at the Lexington Convention Center, which affords this luxury:

      Since I lived in Lexington for six years, I told people about some of the scandalous backstory of how the convention center came to be.

    4. Lane Wilkinson gave a great talk about ways to teach evaluation of sources in an era where we are saturated with rhetoric of fake news, confirmation bias, and “alternative facts.” One of the best takeaways from this talk is that this viral graphic is utter garbage. It makes me mad every time I see it.
    5. The #critlib conversation is expanding more than ever, and many librarians are drawing from Michelle Alexander and Angela Y. Davis to form their approach to teaching.

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