Bridge Building, Intersectionality and Inclusion
This panel will discuss the the role of librarians and archivists in supporting Latinx communities, particularly under- and un-documented communities amidst increasing physical and administrative violence against immigrants and those perceived as immigrants. Panelists will discuss their findings from two research projects exploring the information needs within Latinx communities, particularly at times of uncertainty and crisis. Civil and human rights are also information issues, and this panel will demonstrate ways in which information workers are uniquely positioned to advocate for and partner with our most vulnerable populations, rather than simply delivering information to them.
Two central projects will form the basis for this discussion. We identify records literacy instruction as critical for information organizations to prevent misinformation and safeguard human rights during times of political turmoil. Sylmari Burgos-Ramirez will discuss a study exploring the impact of social, political, and economic changes on the information needs and information-seeking behavior of native Spanish-speaking adults in Worcester, MA. This project also examines the emergent needs and challenges of these communities while adapting to changing environments. Dr. Monica Colon-Aguirre will share research employing action-research methods to understand how members of Boston’s Latino community responded to President Trump’s Executive Order 13768, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States. Based on their findings, they identify three records literacy skills at the core of this community’s information needs and how to train library staff to support these specific areas. Desiree Alaniz will further contextualize these projects within a framework of information and records literacy as tools for community empowerment, and key points of intervention and resistance for information and memory workers engaged in social justice work.