SILC Antiracist Workshop Part 1: The Spread of Disinformation and Implicit Bias

Did you miss our first antiracist workshop? SILC has got you covered! Recording of our first workshop along with resources can be found below. Our next antiracist workshop will be on Thursday April 15th at 2PM, please contact us for the Zoom link.

Click HERE for additional resources.


Proposed SUNY General Education Framework Survey

“The SUNY Office of the Provost has designed this cross-sectional survey to gather feedback from university stakeholders regarding the proposed SUNY General Education Framework developed by the General Education Advisory Committee (GEAC). The results of the survey will help to inform final recommendations for revising SUNY General Education policy.”

Please click HERE to read through the propsoed General Education framework:  (Please note, page 19 addresses Information Literacy)

We encourage you to share your feedback via the SUNY General Education Framework Survey by clicking HERE

Call for Posters: SUNYLA 2021

SUNYLA 2021: From Seeds to Services: Growing the New Academic Library will be held virtually hosted by SUNY Delhi from June 16-18, 2021. Deadline to submit: Friday, April 23, 2021

The Planning Committee for the SUNY Librarians Association annual conference is accepting proposals for pre-conference workshops, lightning talks, and breakout session presentations in the following tracks:

        • Accessibility
        • Archives and Special Collections
        • Cataloging and Technical Services
        • Collection Development
        • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
        • Leadership and Management
        • Open Educational Resources or Other Textbook Affordability Efforts
        • Outreach and Marketing
        • Professional Development
        • Public Services and Interlibrary Loan
        • Reference and Instruction
        • Scholarly Communication
        • Systems and Technology

The proposal form will allow you to assign more than one track to your presentation. If you are not sure which track your presentation fits into, there is an option to suggest a track.

All sessions will be presented virtually via Zoom. Presenters will be responsible for ensuring they have adequate technology to support presenting online (e.g., internet connection, device, webcam, microphone).

If proposing multiple sessions, submit a separate form for each one. A separate call for poster session proposals will be sent in March.

Please submit your proposals here: Call for Poster Session Proposals

Poster proposals are welcome from librarians or library staff from both SUNY and non-SUNY affiliated institutions. Library students are also encouraged to submit poster proposals.

Call for Proposals: South Carolina Conference on Information Literacy

The South Carolina Conference on Instruction Literacy is seeking proposals for their online 2021 conference, Reshaping the Future of Instruction, which will be held from August 4 -6. Proposals must be submitted by April 9, 2021. 

They are seeking proposals for:

    • Engagement & Outreach
    • Critical Information Literacy
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Instructional Services
    • Assessment
    • Pedagogy/Andragogy
    • Hiring (writing job descriptions), Onboarding, and Management in Instructional Services
    • Professional Tips for New Instruction Librarians
    • Reflective Practice, Morale, & Self Care
    • Technology tools for creating instruction
    • Active learning in an online environment
    • Tutorials/Asynchronous Instruction

For additional information about the conference, please visit:

To submit a proposal, click here

Supporting the Transgender Community in Libraries

This post was submitted by Laurel Scheinfeld, Health Sciences Librarian at Stony Brook University Libraries.

As the mother of a transgender teenager, I was drawn to the webinar titled “Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Inclusion in Libraries”. Krista McCracken, an archivist at Algoma University’s Arthur A. Wishart Library in Canada offered many useful and practical solutions for making all kinds of libraries more gender inclusive, but it was two particular ideas that especially struck me as I watched the recorded webinar that I’d like to share here.

One of Krista’s initial slides listed reasons why gender inclusion matters. The first reason listed was “Trans people are everywhere”. That’s a simple and true statement. Many of us know transgender library patrons and some of us have transgender colleagues. I hope that we would agree it’s vitally important to welcome them and make sure they are valued. In addition to the people you know, there are likely many more that you are not aware of. Some may have transitioned before you met them and choose not to disclose the information. There are also people struggling with their gender identity who may not have come out yet. A welcoming space benefits more people than meets the eye. Our efforts at gender inclusivity also have effects beyond the patrons and coworkers within our walls who are transgender. Library staff and patrons have family members and friends who are transgender. You wouldn’t know by looking at me that I have a transgender son, and yet working in a gender inclusive environment is supportive to me as well. I’m more at ease and more productive in an environment where I know my son would be comfortable and safe, even though he doesn’t spend time at my workplace. I’m sure many of our patrons and colleagues have a transgender child, grandchild, parent, spouse, sibling, cousin, or neighbor, and feel better in inclusive spaces. We have the opportunity to support many more people than we may realize by celebrating gender diversity in our libraries.

Krista also discussed the use of preferred pronouns. I’ve attended many library meetings and webinars in recent years where all participants are asked to state their pronouns as part of their introduction, either verbally or written on name tags. I thought this was considered a best practice. Krista explained that although this is a well-meaning gesture towards inclusivity, there are people who may be struggling with their gender identity and this requirement could cause them discomfort if they are not ready to disclose or not completely sure yet. It could lead to people avoiding participation, which is the opposite of what was intended. This hadn’t occurred to me, and I think it’s important to share. A solution the speaker suggested is to suggest that people provide their pronouns “if desired”. Another possible solution is for the meeting host to announce their pronouns while introducing themselves, which would signal to participants that they are also welcome to provide their pronouns, without the verbal instruction that everyone is expected to do this. With one of these slightly more nuanced approaches, someone’s journey may be made a little easier.

You will also find practical ideas and advice in this webinar on displays, collections, programs, signage, and using preferred names, which will help you improve your library’s inclusiveness toward people who are transgender and gender non-conforming. The presenter encouraged participants to reach out any time with questions. The contact information of this knowledgeable librarian is another wonderful resource to put in your toolkit as well. Thank you to SILC for providing the 2020 Recap Resource List. I’m looking forward to diving into more of these webinars.

Fact checking is activism: Using the ACT UP method of source evaluation

This post was submitted by Megan Margino Marchese, Reference and Instruction Librarian at Farmingdale State College. 

Academic librarians are well-versed in teaching students the importance of credible sources. Imparting research skills, fostering a critical perspective, and equipping students with a discerning eye when searching for information are roles that are very familiar to librarians. In a pre-pandemic world, these abilities would be explained as vital for assignments throughout students’ college careers. Now, however, being information literate is more crucial than ever. Not only important for assignments, evaluating information is necessary for everyday life, particularly in a pandemic. Dawn Stahura’s (2020) LibGuide, “ACT UP: Evaluating Sources,” explains the ACT UP method of evaluating sources as a social justice action.

An acronym representing the importance of assessing resources’ authors, currency, truth, bias, and privilege, ACT UP presents familiar strategies while adding an additional perspective on equality and acting against privilege. Stahura (2020) writes that “source evaluation is social justice work” and “fact checking is activism.” ACT UP represents moving away from passive media consumption and becoming “informed cultural producers of information” when sharing on social media. This idea extends beyond the content of many information literacy classes and connects students to issues in their lives outside of college, instead of only relating to a class assignment. 

The ACT UP guide features sections on pushing against privilege, evaluating news, filter bubbles, and COVID-19. Stahura (2020) explains privilege in publishing, journal gatekeeping, and offers resources to connect with academics and experts from diverse backgrounds. This research guide extends beyond the usual evaluation of authors’ qualifications to consider their diversity. It is important to research works from a range of voices and perspectives. Stahura (2020) highlights the drawbacks of “reproducing sameness” by exclusively citing white male authors as they bring forth a limited set of experiences. Following the ACT UP method of resource evaluation encourages the inclusion of diverse perspectives in research.

Further, the ACT UP guide also explains how algorithms affect searching on sites such as Google and Facebook to show results based on search history. Known as the filter bubble, these algorithms reduce the likelihood of finding new information or contrasting viewpoints. Stahura (2020) recommends “bursting your filter bubble” by choosing a variety of news sources and reading contrasting positions in order to not participate in confirmation bias.

This guide also features useful tips for evaluating news, including researching claims and author credentials. Consuming credible sources has always been important for research, but is now critical in a pandemic. It is necessary to “think before you share” on social media in order to limit the spread of misinformation as false claims can affect people’s lives. Holding your breath to test for the coronavirus was one example of a viral false claim near the start of the pandemic that was believed and shared by many (O’Rourke, 2020). ACT UP encourages readers to investigate if an article’s claims are supported by research and provides a list of fact-checking tools. Readers are also enabled to use research skills not only for coursework, but in their real lives, such as searching for COVID-19 information. This resource also features guidance on how to read scientific studies on the coronavirus, equipping readers with the tools needed to parse technical papers despite a non-technical background.

The LibGuide, ACT UP: Evaluating Sources presents an alternative to other source evaluation acronyms with a social justice focus. Its activism and pandemic-centered perspective highlights the connections between research for coursework and research needed in everyday life. 

Call for Proposals: ENYACRL Spring 2021 Conference

The Eastern New York Chapter of ACRL (ENY/ACRL) is calling for proposals for their upcoming virtual 2021 Spring Conference “2021 Vision for the future: Open and Accessible” on May 19th, 2021.

There will be four different session formats, please see the information below for each session format:
Poster Sessions: Poster sessions are an excellent opportunity to share your ideas, research findings, projects, solutions to problems, or best practices.
Lightning Rounds: Presentations for the lightning round are limited to 5 minutes. There will be time for a general question and answer period after all presenters have finished. The time frame is very strict, and presenters will be asked to keep within the five minutes.
Short Sessions: The conference is looking to hold at least one round of short sessions this year. Short sessions are composed of three twenty-minute sessions. The presenters will have the twenty minutes to present and answer questions, so how the time is spent is up to them. The time frame is very strict, and presenters will be asked to keep within the twenty minutes.
Breakout Sessions: In addition to lightning rounds and poster sessions, this year we are also offering ENY/ACRL members a chance to submit proposals to lead breakout sessions.  Breakout session proposals should cover 45 minutes, can include 1-3 presenters, and should incorporate a combination of introduction/presentation and the facilitation of an interactive group discussion or activity. Topics that address an aspect of the conference theme will be given preference in the selection process. A limited number of breakout session proposals will be accepted due to time and tech constraints of the conference.

Submission Guidelines: Please use the following link to submit your proposal:

Deadline for all proposals is March 20th, 2021. Presenters will be notified of acceptance by April 2nd, 2021.