LIS 541: LIS in Culturally Diverse Society
Instructor: Moyra Lang
Office hours: By email appointment
Examines the central concepts of diversity and inclusion and a range of related issues and contributions with respect to specific populations and traditionally underrepresented groups, and their support systems, in library and information settings.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Understand basic concepts and terminology relating to diversity and inclusion in the context of library and information settings in culturally diverse society.
- Identify and analyze multiple meanings of diversity and inclusion and discuss them in relation to a range of themes (e.g., multiculturalism, global citizenship, universal access to information).
- Have awareness of advocacy and leadership perspectives supporting a place for specific populations and traditionally underrepresented groups in library and information settings and discourses.
- Appreciate both theoretical and practical service-oriented issues and concerns regarding library and information use by a range of specific populations and traditionally underrepresented groups.
- Recognize how an acceptance of differences can place individual and collective values in conflict.
- Communicate through both oral and written means library and information professionals’ roles in promoting and advocating diversity and inclusion, tolerance and understanding, and the value of people accessing and enjoying library and information services free from any attempt by others to impose values, customs or beliefs.
- Appreciate collaborative work, in pairs or small groups, and develop skills through sharing project work that formulates and delivers a concise, in-depth analysis of diversity and inclusion in the context of library and information settings.
Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):
- Through the experience of course contribution (e.g., participation in online discussions, informal resource reporting, interaction with other students and the instructor, and reading all of the readings), students will articulate basic concepts and terminology relating to diversity and inclusion in the context of library and information settings in culturally diverse society.
- Through exposure to advocacy and leadership perspectives supporting a place for specific populations and traditionally underrepresented groups in library and information settings and discourses, students will appreciate both theoretical and practical service-oriented issues and concerns, including evaluation of policies, collections, programs, and services.
- After critical examination of library and information studies (and related) theory and practice, students will identify and analyze major issues and emergent trends with respect to LIS services in culturally diverse society through a major oral presentation, a series of short papers, discussions, and a final book report.
- Through a paired project, individual assignments, and online discussions students will increase communication and problem-solving skills and will gain a greater understanding of the challenges and benefits of collaborative work.
- Through a final book report paper, students will demonstrate awareness of both opportunities and threats to the development of a diverse and inclusive profession and discipline, and will articulate an increased knowledge about diversity in multiple contexts relating to library and information settings.
The course examines the central concepts of diversity and inclusion and a range of related issues and contributions with respect to specific populations and traditionally underrepresented groups, and their support systems, in library and information settings in culturally diverse society. Attention is given to the library and information professions’ history; philosophy, research practices, policies, and practices within a framework of fundamental questions about professional library and information institutional roles therein. The course encourages critical exploration and critique of the concept ‘universal access to information’.
Lectures, guest lectures, participation and course contribution, readings, group/paired work, media presentations, student presentations and reporting.
Pre-requisite: LIS 501 (or permission of instructor)
Required Texts: Aboriginal and Visible Minority Librarians: Oral Histories from Canada. Edited by Deborah Lee and Mahalakshmi Kumaran. Lanham, Maryland, USA: R&L Publishers. 2014.
Assignments and Weighting:
30% Participation & Discussions
5% Relevant Resource Report (Individual)
20% Presentation & Course Objective Papers (Individual)
20% Major Presentation (Paired)
25% Book Report (Individual)
School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:
Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade. Grades are calculated in accordance with the SLIS Grading Procedure.
The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at http://www.governance.ualberta.ca/) and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.
Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy.
Inclusive Language and Equity:
The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff, and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Specialized Support and Disability Services.
Recording of Lectures:
Recording of lectures is permitted only with the prior written consent of the professor or if recording is part of an approved accommodation plan.
Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2)
of the University Calendar.