Elon librarians and faculty present at The Innovative Library Classroom conference

Patrick Rudd, Lina Kuhn and Shannon Tennant discussed information access and privilege in first-year curriculum courses.

Patrick Rudd, Lina Kuhn, and Shannon Tennent presented at The Innovative Library Classroom conference.

Patrick Rudd, coordinator of library instruction and outreach services, Lina Kuhn, lecturer in English, and Shannon Tennant, coordinator of library collections, presented “Investigating Information Privilege and Accessibility with First-Year Students” at The Innovative Library Classroom conference at William & Mary on June 3.

The presentation shared Rudd, Kuhn and Tennant’s experiences connecting to pilot curricula that teaches first-year students about the structural inequalities in the production and accessing of information. Rudd and Kuhn, working on learning outcome revisions for ENG 1100, asked students to consider information privilege and accessibility in a series of library instruction sessions. Tennant worked with a COR 1100 course, teaching on inherent biases in search engines and databases. The presentation discussed their approaches, student responses, and next steps.

Rudd, Tennant and Kuhn, along with a group of English faculty, received a CATL Diversity and Inclusion Grant to support and continue this work. The grant will support research to investigate existing systems of information collection and dissemination, with the premise that such systems are often inequitable and potentially harmful. Four distinct aspects of information systems will be investigated within the context of ENG 1100 courses: how data algorithms play into information distribution, the publication and prevalence of misinformation, missing and marginalized perspectives in published research, and privilege in access to information.

After researching these areas, they aim to create a repository of materials including lesson plans, activities and writing assignments. The grant will also support workshops and outreach to the two other first-year foundation courses in the CORE curriculum: COR 1100 and STS 1100.