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Anti-Oppressive Practice in Public Libraries
An Infopeople Online Learning Course
|Fee per learner
Instructor: Ozy Aloziem
Please note this course was previously offered in February 2022 as "Advancing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Public Libraries"
While many organizations have adopted the language of "diversity" and "inclusion", it has only been at the surface level while power imbalances remain the same. This course will introduce you to a framework for understanding different aspects of oppression, privilege, and power at a structural level. Anti-oppression goes beyond concepts of "diversity" and "inclusion." Anti-oppressive practice is a social justice approach that focuses on how larger systems create and protect the unearned privilege and power that some groups have while maintaining and upholding inequitable conditions for other groups. This course will draw upon frameworks like anti-racism, decolonization theory, feminism, queer theory and disability justice, among others, in order to deepen your understanding of the world and enable you to think more critically. This course will provide you with tools needed to better understand how power and privilege work and will support the development and facilitation of programs and practices that can shift organizational dynamics in ways that decrease and eliminate oppression.
By the end of the course learners will:
- Develop a shared understanding of the principles of anti-oppressive practice
- Examine their social location and how their various identities intersect to shape levels of access and how they make meaning of the world and the communities they interact with
- Understand the different forms and levels of oppression
- Explore strategies, theories, and practices for actively challenging systems of oppression in one's daily life and work
- Harness learnings to drive change in their organizations
Course Description: This 3-week course will include two 60-minute interactive online sessions:
- April 6 @ 10:00 a.m. (pacific time)
- April 20 @ 11:30 a.m. (pacific time)
Please make every effort to ensure that you are able to attend these two meetings before enrolling in the course. If this is not possible, archived recordings will be made available.
In addition to the scheduled sessions, the instructor will provide you with a foundation for developing an anti-racist practice and introduce you to strategies for applying the concepts learned to your own library and community. Participants will be provided resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques that can be applied immediately. Critical reflexivity will be encouraged and expected throughout this course with the use of intentional assignments and discussions. Participants will be challenged and encouraged to bring their full selves to this learning experience.
Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:
- Week 1: Introduction to Anti-Oppressive Practice
- Participants will learn helpful terms related to anti-oppressive practice
- Participants will explore key principles and develop a foundational understanding of anti-oppressive practice as both a theory and an approach
- Week 2: Anti-Oppressive Practice & Library Services
- Participants will examine why we should be using anti-oppressive practices in public libraries
- Participants will learn about a model for understanding anti-oppressive organizational change
- Week 3: Committing to Anti-Oppressive Practice
- Participants will explore strategies for harnessing learning to move from theory to action and drive change in our organizations
- Participants will receive recommendations for anti-oppressive practice assessment and evaluation
Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2½ hours per week, for a total of 7½ course hours. Each week's module contains various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.
Who Should Take This Course: This course is intended for any library staff member who would like to learn about anti-oppressive practice, both a theory and an approach for combating the impacts of power, inequality and oppression.
Do you work in a rural or tribal library? If so, you may be eligible for a course fee waiver for this course. This Infopeople course has up to five no-cost seats allocated for rural or tribal libraries. Fill out a fee waiver request, and if a no-cost seat is available you will be notified via email.
Keywords: edi, equity, diversity, inclusion, social justice, anti-racism