CARLI Instruction Committee- "Teaching Information Privilege: A Discussion"

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Are you interested in teaching students about access to information as a privilege? Read the short article below, then join the Instruction Committee for an article and brainstorming discussion. Powell’s case study article overviews her first-year seminar, Information Privilege. It details the format of the class, the activities and curriculum, and also what students gained by the end of the class.

We ask that all participants please read the article prior to joining the discussion so we can delve into the ways that we can teach this vitally important concept.

When: Tuesday, November 30th, 2021, 1-2pm CDT

Article: Information Privilege and First-Year Students: A case study from a first-year seminar course using access to information as a lens for exploring privilege
By: Charissa Powell, Student Success Librarian for Information Literacy at University of Tennessee

To register: Select the Register link above.

This session will NOT be recorded to foster a more open conversation.

Questions that can be used to prompt discussion around this article:
1) Was the concept of information privilege familiar before starting the article? What was your entry point to this concept?             
2) Powell shares a few main themes coded from open responses to the survey (access to information, status, individuals, groups, and inequity) - do you focus on any of these themes in your instruction currently in a way that isn’t phrased as information privilege?
3) If you do use the idea of information privilege in your sessions, how do students respond?  Do you use this exact term? Do you integrate the idea of information privilege into every course, or a select few?
4) If you integrate the concept of information privilege into your sessions, how do the teaching faculty you are working with respond?

5) In the introduction, Powell asserts that “Investigating privilege through access to information helps students realize the myths they may have held depending on their background and perspective”. I’m curious about how these conversations might shift focus depending on the type of institution where the conversation is taking place and how student experiences might further shape that conversation.
6) Should this concept have a place in mostly minority institutions, and if so, in what way and from what perspective?

7) (Optional) The author offers examples of how info privilege could intersect with issues of primary sources/archives and with open access. What other issues come to mind that could also be used to teach info privilege in the context of a library instruction session?    
8) (Optional) Did anyone explore either works cited by Powell or items in the Fall 2018 Syllabus (linked in Appendix A)? If so, do you want to share any further insights you took away beyond this article?  
9) Did this article (or conversation) spark new ideas for integrating information privilege into your lessons you want to share or workshop in this space?

Please send any questions to