She has published and presented widely on topics related to critical information literacy, queer theory and knowledge organization, and the importance of organized labor and collective struggle.
Drabinski edits Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies, a book series from Library Juice Press/Litwin Books.
Critical Information Literacy and the Paradox of Power
Libraries are about power: we select and acquire, catalog and classify, circulate and preserve, determining along the way what is worth accumulating, sharing, and keeping forever, and what is not. Libraries are also about knowledge: consuming it and creating it. As information literacy librarians, we practice at the hyphen that connects these two, making systems legible for our students while teaching the skills necessary to challenge them. Critical librarians take this task as essential to our practice, seeing social transformation and justice as the heart of our work. Is such a focus appropriate in the supposedly neutral terrain of the library and the classroom and, if so, what strategies and techniques can get us there?
Elizabeth has worked in the higher education sector and in Library and information for more than 20 years. Her areas of interest are digital learning, digital/information literacy and widening participation; where these are employed in her current post as Assistant Director of Library Services (E-Services, Systems and Collections) at Birkbeck, University of London. She has been involved with the Association for Learning Technology since 2013 and became a Trustee in 2017.
Elizabeth is actively involved in TEL developments in her institution, working with academics and the Bloomsbury Learning Exchange consortium. One of her current areas of interest is working with an academic research centre on the 'Decolonising the Curriculum' at Birkbeck, alongside undertaking a proof of concept project in the Library and has recently had published an article on “Decolonizing the curriculum” as well as co-organising a one-day event “Decolonising the curriculum – the Library’s role” at Goldsmiths University, 29 November 2019.
Elizabeth's talk will be on decolonising the curriculum and how this affords information specialists the chance to critically evaluate their work practice in libraries and the opportunities and challenges this poses. From finding ways to highlight the absence of othered voices and narratives to navigating the power dynamics inherent in academia and forming partnerships, collaborations and ally. These activities enable the information specialist to ensure information literacy sessions are inclusive and diverse and as well as meeting the learning objectives of a session, models how ‘knowledge’ is arrived at and built on as an iterative process and the skills needed to process information and make new connections.
LILAC is great opportunity for our fellow professionals to present their ideas, share best practice and show case new thinking in our sector. If you have an idea then we'd love to hear about it. We have many options for the types of sessions you might run from a symposium to a workshop. Visit our Call for Presentations page to find out how to apply.
Places at this year's conference are likely to be in demand more than ever before. Each year our conference grows increasingly popular and this year promises to be no different. Don't miss out and book your place now for this year's conference.
We look forward to seeing you there!
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