Information Privilege 2.0

Information Privilege 2.0

Show Video

so we can go ahead and get started um so welcome  everybody to our information privilege 2.0   workshop. hopefully you watched our information  privilege workshop from last semester before   attending this session um but if you didn't have a  chance to do that, don't worry, i'm sure you will   still be able to get a lot of useful things  from our session that we have planned today   so if you want to go to the next slide  Brittany we'll go ahead and introduce ourselves okay so i am Brittany Norwood, i go  by the pronoun she, hers, and hers   i'm a commons librarian so you'll often  see me at the public services desk or i   might be helping you out on chat and  my email is norwoodbr [at] awesome and my name is Leah Valletta,  i use she/her pronouns as well and i am   the GTA in the teaching and  learning programs department   over in the Hodges library and my email is also  listed if you have any questions after today so today we will be covering um how information  privilege impacts scholarship and academia   and how it impacts your life as a  student um how information privilege   is tied to information poverty so kind  of the other side of the coin there   and then how you can address information privilege and so we're just gonna do a quick refresher  from last semester's session and i just wanted   to add to if anyone has anything that they want  to say any comments, questions, anything like   that feel free to throw it into the chat and  we would be happy to address it; we know that   information privilege has a lot of different  applications in people's lives so we're always   happy to hear people's thoughts um but today we're  going to just kind of quickly go over the concept   of privilege generally. so i know that in our  last session we went a bit deeper into this and  

we talked about intersectionality and sort of how  different aspects of your privilege come together   but we're just going to review with a couple of  quotes that we presented in the last session;   so the first one is about privilege. so  "privilege is the advantages, opportunities,   rights, and affordances granted by status and  positionality via class, gender, race, culture,   sexuality, occupation, institutional  affiliation, and political perspective"   and that's coming from Char Booth and she's  written extensively on information privilege   and then we've also got a quote from  the activist Janaya Khan who says   "privilege isn't about what you've gone through,  it's about what you haven't had to go through" if we want to go on to the next slide.   so how does that concept of privilege relate to  information privilege? so information privilege   is the idea that geography, social class,  and other parts of a person's unique identity   will impact their ability to access quality  information. all right so what does this mean for   you as a college student? so while all students at  UT are coming from various backgrounds and various   places of information privilege uh for example  some students might have grown up without access   to the internet so that would be a huge barrier;  some might have come from schools with huge,   extensive libraries within their high school...  so everyone's kind of coming to college from   different backgrounds and different levels of  privilege but all students at UT are granted   some degree of information privilege as students  at a big research institution. so before we get  

into what those privileges are i'm just going  to pose a question for you to think about - if   anyone wants to wager a guess you're welcome to  pop it in the chat um but i'm just going to pose   the question to you of how much money do you think  is spent at UT libraries - actually specifically   UTK - each year on information? so this would just  be books, database access, we're not including   building operations and salaries so we'll just  let everyone think about that for a couple seconds so we've got a guess of 2  million that's a good guess   we're gonna just have a drumroll for the grand  reveal if you want to click the next button   Brittany. so it is 12 million approximately; we've  got the full number here and a breakdown of how   of each type of information that  we spend money on. so 12 million   might go without saying is a lot of money and um  that is just providing access to this information   so um it is a huge privilege to be a college  student here at UT and to be able to access   these materials, to interact with them, to look  through them, all of that is really great um why   these materials cost so much money would take up  an entire workshop of its own so we're not gonna   get too into that; feel free to reach out to  anyone at the library though if you're curious   um but the basics of it is that this information  has a lot of value and we're paying a lot of money   to be able to provide access to it for  people who are part of our community um   and besides this huge amount of money that's  spent on materials, there are also a lot of other   elements at play so part of academic privilege is  also the fact that your professors are available   to answer questions for you, that you have sort of  um experts at your disposal on a variety of topics   also um your email address is part of your  academic privilege. being able to send an email  

from a edu account kind of will allow you access  to certain things that you might miss if you   didn't have the same institutional credentials.  if you want to go on to the next slide Brittany. okay so why are we bringing this up? we  just want you to be aware of this privilege so you   can properly appreciate it and take advantage  of these resources that are available to you   while you're here um i definitely do not mean to  imply that you know this is some magically granted   um privilege that you have, it's not luck, you're  not somehow spoiled by these academic um access   you pay a lot of money to access these resources  and so i just think it's important that we have a   clear understanding of what you have access to and  what you're paying for as a student and kind of   the opportunities that you have while you're here  um and so we thought we'd add in that as a student   you have access to these materials but you  will lose access after graduation um six   months after graduation you will no longer be  able to use the online databases that you enjoy   while you're a student; you will have people who  don't go to the university do have limited access   while they're on campus but all of your off-campus  access and a lot of your database access will not   be available to you after graduation, so it's  just something we want to let students know.   another thing that we just wanted to  bring up is you might be thinking like,   what about google scholar? google scholar  provides tons of access to academic materials   for anybody who has an internet connection um  and it is a good way for access but a lot of   a lot of what you can find on google scholar is  just letting you know that an article exists and   won't necessarily provide you the full text  without connecting your google scholar account   to the library account at the university. i've  provided a link here just so that you can see  

we have like a little tutorial on how to do  that in case you haven't done that before but   that can be really helpful but it's still um only  granting you that access because you're a student;   you would hit paywalls otherwise and  so i will leave you with this question   um before Brittany goes into the flip side of  information privilege is and she's going to get   into this a little bit more but if you're given a  research assignment at your job after you've left   UTK i just ask you to think like where would you  go to find information for that research project,   where would you go to find quality information  for that research project or peer reviewed   information, and how would you know if it was  quality information? so on that note i will pass   it over to Brittany and she is going to tell  us a little bit more about information poverty thank you Leah that is an excellent  introduction so yeah now i'm going to   start talking about the other side of the coin,  so to speak, which is information poverty so   Britz defines information poverty "as that  situation in which individuals and communities   within a given context do not have the  requisite skills, abilities, or material   names to obtain efficient access to information,  interpret it, and apply it appropriately".   so i know that's a lot to throw at you at once  so let's break this down. now there are several   different aspects information poverty, several  different systematic and structural um issues   that tie into it um unfortunately we don't have  the time to go into as much stuff as that as i   would like so i'm focusing on three of the most  common tenets that work together and although   not all of these things have to be present for you  to be information poor, they often work together   in a type of system to keep people information  poor so first of all people who are in information   poverty are unable to access information  communication technologies or ICTs or they   don't understand how to use the ones available  to them. so an ICT in its most basic sense   is the technology that you use to communicate  with others, so it can be your laptop, your phone,   it could even be things like the tv or the  media or the newspaper. in the information   sciences literature though ICT also refers to  places where you can go to access information   or to share it, so this can also mean that  your public library would be considered an ICT. and inability to access that can be considered  contributed several factors can contribute to this   so not only is there maybe an economic standpoint  to it - everyone can afford a phone or a laptop um   there can be geographic barriers: where you live  you might not be able to get internet, even if you   could afford it; but there's also other potential  barriers in place so it might be the case that a   person only has two days off a week and those days  are days in which their local library is closed   so even though they technically have access to a  library in their area they aren't able to use it.  

also people might not understand how to use  the ICTs that are available to them so you   know this is the obvious example is you can have a  computer if you don't know how to use a computer,   how to connect it to the internet, and where  to go to start searching for your information   then you're not going to have much  luck getting the information you need   from that but there's also a different  definition of understanding how to use ICTs.   so most people understand that your public library  is a place where you can go to grab [indistinct]   reading materials. everyone knows though that  they can also have a lot of good information   to help you with your everyday life or problems  like how um books on how to fill out your taxes or   maybe some local city planning documents. if  you're wanting to put up solar panels and you're   needing to know about the codes. and if you don't  know that this is a feature that your ICTs have   then you don't fully understand how you  can apply them to your everyday life.   secondly information poverty can be defined  as having a scarcity to quality information   and that's combined with having a surplus of low  quality information. so if any of you have ever  

tried to access articles off campus or you've run  into across an article that we don't have here at   the library, you may have seen a screen that  looks like this so this is called a pay wall. and we can consider that a lot of money to  access an article. this is one of the cheaper   ones that i've seen and also the 24 hour  period to download the article after you've   bought it is a lot more than i've seen other  other journalists use so even though this one   i don't think that this is a fair price i also  know that there's a lot worse out there. now part   of your privilege of being a part of our library  system is if you weren't able to access this and   we didn't own it in our subscriptions, you could  go through our interlibrary services program   and request it from another library. more than  likely they would be able to get it, and send   to you and you would be fine, you could use this  article. if you need to in your project and if  

you got it, you realize that you didn't need it  then you didn't pay the 37.50 for it; however not   everyone has that privilege. a lot of people who  only have access to their local public libraries   might not be able to do this because the library  might not to interlibrary services program or the   libraries that they do share books with might not  have access to these journals, or might be in a   contract where they can't share or digitize these  sort of articles and send them to other places,   so that can make it significantly harder for  people to get access to the information they need,   especially if they can't pay the price.  and remember this is for one article; think  

about how many sources you use in your typical  research paper. that can add up really quickly and   that's also assuming that you're buying bare  minimum and you're able to use every single one.   think about how many articles you've downloaded  that after looking into them you realize oh this   doesn't fit with my project at all. if that  happens to somebody who's having to pay for   these articles, that can be a lot more painful  honestly for what they're needing to work toward so in addition to having um quality information  that's more difficult to access potentially   through a paywall or because people  don't know where to go to find it   or it could be written using jargon  that they're not familiar with,   people are also surrounded by a surplus of low  quality information. now this is what we pretty  

much deal with in our everyday life. you probably  have a few people on social media you know   who share whatever they found on whatever random  corner internet and they believe it to be true   um that is an example of low quality information;  it's free or cheap, it's easily accessible,   if you google something it's probably going to  come pretty close to one of the top of the list,   and often these are- they can they play on your  emotions, so they can be very upsetting or they   can make you enraged or scared and sometimes  these are clickbait articles or they don't   accurately depict the nuance of a topic so  while you can't access quality information   that you would need to be able to make decisions  you're also being inundated with misinformation   or disinformation and when you combine those  together that can create a really scary situation.   and a third concept tied into information poverty  is low information literacy so not only does this   mean that perhaps somebody doesn't know how to  assess the credibility of what they're looking at;   so you know they might not know to go through  the references or to check for references,   they might not know how to fact-check what  the article has said. they might not know   to look at other sources to see if there's a  consensus or at least a pattern of similarities   but it can also mean that people can read  something or access something and not know   how to apply it to their everyday life. so here  is a really overly simplified example of that:   think about a time that you've accessed an article  for a paper. you started reading it and you   realize the information is flying straight over  your head, it's not something that you understand since you're a student here at UTK  there's a pretty good chance that   that's not going to be too detrimental;  you can go forth, find other articles,   maybe they can help you build up your skills  enough so that you can read that one eventually that's not always the case that everybody else  obviously as i've talked before about paywalls   but this situation of having information and not  understanding how to apply it or not understanding   it um when it comes to low information literacy  and how that ties into information poverty,   that can mean that this is something that  is chronic and it happens systematically and here is kind of a real life example  that was sent to us when we were working   on this presentation. so as you may or may  not be aware a lot of articles about covid19  

and the different vaccines that are being  developed are being placed behind pay walls   so that's obviously a significant barrier to  access for the average person. they if it comes   between having to pay for your rent or  food or learning about the COVID vaccine,   there are other needs that are more  pressing than paying for this article on top of that there is so much low quality  information including straight up disinformation   out there about these vaccines and if you can't  pay for the higher quality, trustworthy, reliable   information and you only have access to stuff  that is really heavily skewed one way or another   then you're not going to be able to  make educated, informed decisions   about what's going to be best for you and  in fact you may be deceived into making a   decision that could be extremely detrimental  to your health. so that is one of the big,   real life consequences of information poverty. so  now that i've probably depressed you a little bit   we're going to talk about what you can do to  help address information privilege and poverty first of all remember to be  aware of your own privilege.   right now you have access to a ton of information  and people who are willing to help understand it.   this doesn't mean that you're going to  be able to know how to do everything,   it doesn't mean that you have to work hard to  understand it, but it does mean that you already   have a leg up on a lot of other people.  you already have privilege and the more  

you become aware of this and the more that you  understand that you are in a situation that is   completely abnormal for a lot of other people then  the more likely you are going to be aware when   you notice some you more likely are to be aware  that there are some policies and procedures out   there that do keep people in information poverty  while they also keep you an information privilege.   something you can do first of all is to  be mindful of your publishing, so consider   where you're publishing, does this journal  charge exorbitant rates for articles? is it at least partially open access, will  let you keep the ownership of your work,   are you going to be allowed to deposit in a  repository. on top of that, consider publishing   in an open access journal if that's a possibility  for you at all because these journals still   are often committed to providing high quality,  reliable information that can be peer reviewed.   they're trying to do so without pay  walls which means that people who   are able to access the internet in some  way should be able to read them for free and there are some negatives of course to open  access um you can read about those yourself but   it's right now a really great opportunity for  you, it's a really great option to help mitigate   some of this inequity. and lastly work towards  raising awareness and advocating for change   if you notice that there is a  policy in place or a system that is   keeping important information away from people,  talk about it, ask other people if they know. it  

it could be the case that this is something  that in your organization has always been done   and when you bring it up the light bulb might  click and the person who's in charge of the   situation and they say oh you're right, let's  work on changing this. if that doesn't happen,   keep talking to more people. see if  you can get enough people on board   to start addressing the issue because the  more people that you have on your side   the more likely you are to be able to come up with  actionable plans where you can legitimately change   things and address these systems. so i want to  talk to you now about a real life example of this  

in Baltimore um during the pandemic a lot  of students had to start taking classes   completely at home over zoom and many of these  students who were from low-income families   were using the Comcast internet assembly plan  and although this plan claimed that it provided   students with the internet access they  needed to be able to do their classes,   students often found that this was not  the case for doing zoom or video calls   and um they also found out that if there is more  than one person in the household who is having to   use the internet, so maybe you have a couple of  brothers and sisters who are needing to do their   classes at the same time as you then none of you  might have been able to attend your school work   or attend school, do your work. so these  students started talking to each other   and they raised the issue with  other people in their school   and the administrators and this eventually  started to get the um the attention   of some high profile people in their community  including local politicians and public figures   who were even more prestigious and with all of  this um all of this imp all of this together   they were able to impact Comcast and [net base]  Comcast significantly raised the bandwidth without   increasing the price and while it's still  not a perfect solution, the students   still believe that they needed more, it ended up  making things significantly better for people. so   by first of all talking with each other,  making other people aware of the issue and   then working together to try and plan things  out you can actually make these changes so here we have quite a few potential  recommended readings, we wanted to give you   plenty of choices that way if  you started reading something   and it didn't work for you then maybe  you could have a couple other options and yeah feel free if you want to look in  more into this topic to go through this list and this is the link to our survey if you want to  go ahead and fill that out feel free and join us   next Monday on March 22nd for algorithmic bias 2.0  and then there is the link to our full schedule now do we have any questions

2021-03-23 20:24

Show Video

Other news