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Accessibility in Physical and Digital Academic Library Spaces

Nadia Clifton, Whitney Hughes, and Evan Miles 

Libraries claim that they are welcoming to everyone, but this claim does not often reflect reality. It is easy and tempting to focus on accessible materials and programming, but those cannot be provided if patrons cannot access the library space itself. This panel will explore universal design in physical and digital library spaces, the challenges of making current spaces accessible, and creative physical and digital solutions to overcoming those challenges.


Capitalism and Storytelling: Profiting Off of the Other

Macy Ferguson, Meg Foster, and Sarah Sculnick

Cultural appropriation is as old as colonialism; but recent calls for diversity and“new voices” have blurred the line between inspiration and theft. In this panel, we will examine three areas of “representation” -literature, news, and intellectual property -and look not only at whatstories are being told, but by whom. Can a white manwrite a book with a Latinx protagonist? When do videos of police brutality become clickbait? Does a surge in “ethnic” food indicate consumption in the name of cultural appreciation or Western profit? How does capitalism turn counter-narratives through storytelling into a vehicle for further oppression.

Disability and Public Library Instructional Services: Assessing Community Needs, Designing Accessible Websites, and Creating Accessible Materials

Paul Khawaja, Nicole Pawelski, and Rachel~Anne Spencer

Public libraries exist to serve their communities and must consider patrons’ needs when designing and delivering library instruction and related materials. However, not all community members, particularly those with disabilities, can access instruction and materials in the same way. Therefore, it is critical to include disabled patrons in conversations about the usefulness of instructional content and the accessibility of programs and related materials, including technology. We will explore community outreach, digital presence, and instructional design and the creation of course materials, within the context of disability studies.

The Ethics Behind the Advancement and Economics of the E-Sports Industry

Peter Conlon and Mike McGinniss

E-sports can be defined as a multiplayer video game played competitively for spectators. E-sports are typically played at the highest level of competition by professional gamers. Due to the unforeseeable rapid growth of e-sports, there has been a disconnect between regulation of the industry and expectations for personal success. Players can be very driven and have a lot of expectations for their career, but most will not make it very far.This panel will address the current state of the e-sports community, women gamers within the e-sports industry, how the e-sports industry has affected family dynamics, the issues behind availability and access as well as the conflicting relationship between organization and player.

Going the Next Mile: How 21st Century Initiatives Like Mobile Makerspaces and Bookmobiles Can Break Down Barriers to Patrons’ Access to Information Services in Low-Income Communities

Catherine Gallagher, Margaret McGuire, Deane Rynerson, and Kristen Stockdale

Using a Critical Race Theory lens, we will explore how library staff can use initiatives such as Mobile Makerspaces and Bookmobiles to break down barriers between public libraries and patrons’ access to information.

Health and Data in the Digital Age: Who is Responsible?

Aleksandra Daws, Christina Getaz, Kathryn Konrad, and SophiLink

As technology becomes more and more entwined with our personal healthcare, a question comes to the fore: Who is responsible for making sure the effect of technology is positive? This presentation will dive into this ethical quandary, exploring such topics as: Should individuals share their personal health data? How can social media sites ensure a safe experience for the users? Who should be responsible for preventing the spread of health misinformation online? And how can fitness and other health-related apps best serve the informational and health needs of their users? Ethical responsibility of health data is a critical issue, one we hope to elucidate through this presentation.

Public Libraries in Times of Crisis

Genna Crites, Sharon Demorest, and Mariel MacGowan

A consideration of the role of the public library when faced with natural and man-made disasters.  We will examine public libraries in response to three conditions of crisis: natural disaster, social disaster (community unrest), and continuous crisis (daily stress). Examining the ways libraries react to these crisis conditions before, during and after the event should provide insight into the current role of libraries as community foundations and ways libraries could respond more effectively.

Reclaiming Privacy and Dignity in a Digital, Algorithmic World

Brian Lee, Nor Ortiz, Jessica Qiu, and Madeline Snipes

This panel will explore various aspects of privacy surrounding the digital collection of personal information. We will begin by looking at large-scale data collection aggregators and sellers, and how individuals can protect themselves and advocate privacy practices benefiting their communities. Then we will examine the responsibilities individuals have to help protect others’ privacy and how this facilitates individual control over reputation.

The Right to Happily Ever After: Representing People of Color and LGBTQ+ Populations in Adult Romance Sections of Public Libraries

Meg McMahon, Holly Roper, Faith Wahlers, and Kat Zimmerman

Romance is a genre where people of color (POC) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) populations have been historically excluded from mainstream library collections. We will first discuss critical race theory and counter-stories, and explain how POC and LGBTQ+ romance is a counter-narrative to the white, heternormative romance novel. We will then discuss how four local  libraries that serve demographically different communities represent counter-stories in their adult romance sections.

Working Toward a Radically Inclusive Historical Record Through Culturally Competent Archival Description

Brooke Csuka, Nicole Pawelski, and Tierra Thomas

Archivists hold tremendous power, shaping content and context in the historical record. But traditional archival description is embedded with institutionalized practices that favor white, Christian, upper class, heterosexual, and cisgendered cultural norms, and the archival field remains a majority white profession, keeping those norms in place. These imbalances have created an inaccurate archival record that has historically excluded marginalized voices. This panel will examine the issues inherent in traditional, white-centered description practices and how archivists can work toward a more inclusive, culturally competent practice.