2020
Jan
22

Information Privilege and First-year Students: A Case Study from a First-year Seminar Course Using Access to Information as a Lens for Exploring Privilege

In Brief
This article explores the topic of information privilege and how this concept can be used with first-year students to teach about information literacy and privilege. It is building off the work of a credit-bearing first-year seminar that was taught on this topic and a survey that was conducted after the class was over. The purpose of this study was to identify what my students learned about information privilege and how they define this concept. This article makes recommendations for others wanting to incorporate a lens of information privilege to their library instruction.

By Charissa Powell

Introduction

This paper will share a case study of research data and best practices from my experience teaching a credit-bearing first-year seminar on the topic of information privilege. First described by Char Booth in 2014, the “concept of information privilege situates information literacy in a sociocultural context of justice and access” (Booth, 2014).

Prior to encountering this concept, I wrote my personal statement for graduate school on my belief that information should be freely available and that access to information is a human right. My undergraduate degree is in women’s studies, and bringing this lens with me to my library science classes helped meld the two worlds together. bell hooks’ Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center is a book that I come back to repeatedly because of its intersectional approach to feminist theory that centers the experiences of Black women, and it reminds me that even for large groups of people who are oppressed (for example, women), oppression is experienced differently based on intersectional characteristics (Crenshaw, 1989) like race, class, or religion (hooks, 1984).

An aspect of information privilege that particularly sparked my interest while in graduate school was the intersection of privileges that allow an individual to have internet access at home (Pew Research Center, 2019). In the first year of my library science program, I went on a two-week study abroad trip to Bangalore and Mysore, India, to study library and information organizations. On this trip in 2013, I found out that about 10% of India had access to the internet at that time, and this inspired me to look into internet access and digital divide issues in my own country. Now, as a teacher and a librarian, I carry that perspective with me into my classroom when I interact with students without expectations about what students know or don’t know how to search.

First-year students1 typically enter college or university and experience a new level of access to information through taking courses and what the university libraries offer. While academic libraries and universities pay for access to journals and databases, students are privileged in being able to use these resources. This is also a level of access to information most people don’t have outside of a higher academic setting, and that students will cease to have when they leave the higher education context. Investigating privilege through access to information helps students realize the myths they may have held depending on their background and perspective, such as thinking that everyone in the United States has access to the internet or that everyone has access to finding the health information they need. This article will go over how the class was taught, what topics were covered, and the assignments used. Topics included access to information in archives and museums, health and financial information, as well as open access in general. I will close with suggestions for incorporating information privilege into other aspects of library teaching.

Literature Review

Defining Information Privilege

Information privilege was first used in 2013, but later defined by Char Booth in 2014:

The concept of information privilege situates information literacy in a sociocultural context of justice and access. Information as the media and messages that underlie individual and collective awareness and knowledge building; privilege as the advantages, opportunities, rights, and affordances granted by status and positionality via class, race, gender, culture, sexuality, occupation, institutional affiliation, and political perspective (Booth, 2014).

This definition was the first one in the field of librarianship, and in naming it, Booth gave the impetus to further investigate information privilege. The definition is powerful because it talks about information literacy in connection with justice explicitly and how the two are connected. Talking about information access by itself ignores why individuals might not have access and why others might. The added lens of privilege is the key to furthering research and conversations about information access.

Sarah Hare and Cara Evanson have also observed information privilege as “a term that carries assumptions about who has power, who does not, and what types of information are valuable” in their article about this work with undergraduate students (Hare & Evanson, 2018).

In 2017, in writing about information literacy threshold concepts, Johnson and Smedley-López defined the concept another way with more examples:

One type of privilege is information privilege, or unequal access to information due to paywalls, and this is a prevalent and persistent issue and injustice in our society, with paywalls blocking the general public from accessing potentially life-changing information (Johnson & Smedley-López, 2017).

This third definition is different in the fact that it’s explicitly talking about information privilege in terms of open access to information and gives examples of this.

These definitions are distinctive and bring different angles to understanding the term. Booth explicitly breaks down the two words (information and privilege) and defines each of them to show the understanding of the words together. Hare and Evanson (2018) speak more to the world we live in that interacts with information, a world that is riddled with systemic inequity and commodification of information. Johnson and Smedley-López (2017) give examples of how access to information can be cut off or limited.

Because my class was designed to help students explore their own personal identities and privileges, I am most drawn to Booth’s definition as it puts these two terms, information and privilege, in conjunction with each other. Later in this article, I’ll share the personal definitions my students provided for information privilege.

Related Concepts

A prior and related concept that influences information privilege is information poverty. Elfreda A. Chatman articulated a theory of information poverty that includes six propositional statements. Proposition two states class distinction correlates with information poverty and how “the condition of information poverty is influenced by outsiders who withhold privileged access to information” (Chatman, 1996). The concepts of insiders and outsiders come from the field of sociology of knowledge (Merton, 1972). If applying a lens of privilege, we can think about who are typically insiders (those with privilege) and who are outsiders (those who are marginalized) to information.

In terms of open access, Aaron Swartz’s “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto” in 2008 calls for those with privileged access to information to use their privilege to help others who do not have access to the same information:

Those with access to these resources – students, librarians, scientists – you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not indeed, morally, you cannot – keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world (Swartz, 2008).

The manifesto has influenced the concept of information privilege because it defines clearly who has access (students, librarians, scientists) to information and their responsibility to share it. Swartz also names those who are in the wrong in actively keeping information behind paywalls, such as large corporations and politicians (Swartz, 2008).

ACRL Framework for Information Literacy

It is important to note that while the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, published in 2016, mentions information privilege in the frame “Information has Value,” it is only mentioned once and gives no parameters about how to put this into practice in the field of information literacy, nor does it provide a definition. One of the opportunities that this gives the field is flexibility to set these parameters for ourselves.

The term “privilege” pops up in three other places within this document. The Frame “Authority Is Constructed and Contextual” reads:

Experts understand the need to determine the validity of the information created by different authorities and to acknowledge biases that privilege some sources of authority over others, especially in terms of others’ worldviews, gender, sexual orientation, and cultural orientations” (ACRL, 2016).

Under the Frame “Scholarship as Conversation,” privilege is mentioned twice:

While novice learners and experts at all levels can take part in the conversation, established power and authority structures may influence their ability to participate and can privilege certain voices and information” (ACRL, 2016).

Learners who are developing their information literate abilities…recognize that systems privilege authorities and that not having a fluency in the language and process of a discipline disempowers their ability to participate and engage” (ACRL, 2016).

The commonality in these examples is examining the ways privilege can affect both information literacy on a systematic level and also on an individual one. The lens of privilege can guide our field of librarianship in how we work with students by being cognizant of the power structures at play.

Laura Saunders explores social justice and information literacy by proposing another frame for the ACRL Framework called “Information Social Justice,” which more explicitly states different ways for information professionals to incorporate this lens into their information literacy practices (Saunders, 2017). I found this proposed frame to be a missing piece from the ACRL Framework, especially since the ACRL Framework mentions information privilege a few times.

Background

I work at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), a public university and the flagship campus in the University of Tennessee system. In Fall 2018, the semester I taught my class, there were 22,815 undergraduate students and 6,079 graduate students for a total enrollment of 28,894 (Garnder & Long, 2019). Looking at first-time first-year student data, there were 5,215 students, and of those, 76.5% of the Fall 2018 first-year students were Tennessee residents, and a mere 43 of them were international students (Gardner & Long, 2019). In terms of race, UTK is a predominantly white institution, with 78% of the Fall 2018 first-year student class self-identified as white (Garnder & Long, 2019). In January of 2018, Rankin & Associates, Consulting published their Campus Climate Assessment Project for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. They found that 51.3% of undergraduate students in the study considered leaving the university because of a “lack of a sense of belonging” and that 31.8% considered leaving because the “climate was not welcoming” (Rankin & Associates, 2018). The study also found that students in “minority” groups (for example, sexual orientation, race, disability, religion) considered leaving the university at higher rates than those in “majority groups” (Rankin & Associates, 2018). This led me to propose a first-year seminar titled “Information Privilege” because I wanted an opportunity to hold conversations about privilege with first-year students over the course of a semester.

First-Year Studies (FYS) 129 – Information Privilege – Fall 2018

UTK has an office of First-Year Studies, which has an optional course, “First-Year Studies (FYS) 129” which is a one-credit, pass/fail course (First-Year Studies, n.d.) The goal of offering these courses is to better allow for connections between first-year students and faculty members in a smaller class setting. This course can be taught by any tenure-track or tenured faculty member at UTK. As a tenure-track faculty librarian, I saw this as an excellent opportunity to spend sixteen weeks with a group of first-year students talking about a topic that I find important: information privilege. My course proposal was approved, and by the time Fall 2018 rolled around, I had the minimum amount of students for the course to take place: twelve students.

Course Description and Format

My course description read as follows, and was used by students to determine whether or not to sign up for the course:

Information Privilege: Have you ever searched on Google and hit a paywall for an article? Have you ever been frustrated while searching for a particular piece of information? This seminar will explore the valuable impact access to information has on your quality of life and in your community. By the end of this class, you’ll be a more savvy and conscious searcher.

Reflecting on the description now, the course itself became much more than this, but I was struggling to think about how to write a course description that would entice students to sign up but not scare them away. The description doesn’t even mention the word privilege; it is only in the title. Thinking back now, I was nervous as an instructor that no first-year student would want to sign up for a class that had them think and reflect on their own privilege. In so doing, I made certain assumptions about what kind of classes a first-year student might want to take. In further iterations of this class I plan on being more direct about the content of the course and not assuming what type of classes students do or don’t want to take.

My course was discussion-based and built in time for reflection on both my and the student’s parts. We explored topics with the intersection of information privilege and internet access, archives, museums, open access, financial information, and health information.

Every week we either read an article or watched a video before coming to class and would then discuss it in class (Appendix A). As this was a pass/no pass one-credit course, I wanted to select readings or videos that would not take as much time to read or watch and would promote discussion in class.2 My students seemed surprised, but also enjoyed the fact that I would assign Wikipedia entries for them to skim before certain weeks. In preparing for a future iteration of this class, I would cut down on the broad topics to about four. I found that by the time we moved on to a new topic, there were always a few students who still weren’t sure about the prior concept, which showed up in terms of continued questions from the students and in a mid-semester evaluation. There were certain readings that were not entry-level enough for my students and would require in-class time, or an extra class period, to fully delve into that concept. One example of this was the topic of access to archival information. I discovered that none of my students had visited a physical archive before, but only after we had spent a whole class period talking about archives. This was a good reminder to me, as a teacher, to check in with students about their prior knowledge of course concepts and content so that students had a better idea of what we were talking about in class before moving on to larger concepts.

Students responded to weekly reflective discussion prompts about the reading or video before coming to class. Reflection papers were private and only read by me, in hopes that students would be more forthcoming in their reflections than they might be on a discussion board read by the whole class. Reflections were due before the in-person discussion of that week’s topic so that students could have time to read or watch the material for that week and have time to react to it on paper. Because all topics included reflecting on a different aspect of privilege, this format gave students time to reflect and process information and feelings before coming to class. It also gave me a heads-up as to where the in-class discussion might go. For example, if I read that multiple students were having a difficult time processing that not everyone has access to the internet in the United States (Pew Research Center, 2019) it allowed me to better facilitate a conversation on that topic.

Guest Speakers

In the Fall 2018 iteration of this course, I brought in three guest speakers over the course of the semester, and we went on one field trip. For weeks that a guest speaker was coming to class, I would reach out to my guest and ask them what they would like students to read or watch as homework for that week. I also asked my guests if they had reflective prompts for my students to do before their week. This was a class full of brand new students to the university, and I wanted to introduce them to other experts on campus. Lizeth Zepeda, my colleague at the time, came in to talk about archives and who gets to “see themselves” in an archive (Zepeda has a background in archives and is now a Research Instruction Librarian at California State University, Monterey Bay). Rachel Caldwell gave a historical overview of how we came to have the publishing industry we have today. Melanie Allen came to speak about accessing health information. The museum on campus had a fantastic temporary exhibit during that semester, titled “For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” and we visited as a class with Academic Programs GA, Sadie Counts (McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture, n.d.). This enhanced the class by giving different voices and perspectives on this topic.

In-Class Assessment

Assessment is an integral part of my teaching process, so there were weekly, informal, reflective assessments. At the end of every class period, I set aside two-three minutes for students to write down one thing that went well during that class, and one thing that was still confusing. This allowed me to check in on the pulse of the class and see where students were with the material after every class. If there were big pressing things that were still confusing, I would write a response in the learning management system to answer it for everyone. If it could wait until the next class period, I would make announcements at the beginning of class.

Methods

At the end of the semester, I realized that I wanted to know more about what students got out of the class, the impact the class had on them, and what they thought about the term “information privilege.” Since it was my first time teaching this class, and I wasn’t familiar with any other credit-bearing information privilege classes, I wanted to take this opportunity to capture and give voice to my students’ experiences with the class. I planned on teaching this class again and wanted to make evidence-based decisions in any changes I made to the course.

To gather this data, I created a survey (Appendix B). The survey consisted of five multiple-choice questions and two open-text questions. After approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB), I emailed the survey to students after the semester was over and after final grades had been turned in so that students were not pressured or influenced to take the survey. Before starting the survey, students were provided with an informed consent statement that explained why this research was being done and that participating was optional. The survey was hosted in Qualtrics through my campus’s office of information technology. Survey responses were collected anonymously, and students were not asked to supply any identifying information, including demographic data. Multiple-choice survey questions were analyzed for areas where many students answered similarly on questions to look for themes. Narrative questions were coded for similarities, as well. I allowed answers to the survey for one month, and after the survey was closed, I downloaded the data from Qualtrics and put it in Google Sheets.

I had a few expectations going into this survey. I was expecting maybe half of my class to fill the survey out, especially since the semester was over, and it was winter break. I also made all of the questions optional and wasn’t sure that students would take the time to fill out the two open-text questions.

Limitations

The study population is limited to the students who took FYS 129: Information Privilege in the Fall 2018 semester. Because there were only twelve students in my class, there is a small sample size. Eleven students started the survey, and ten students completed the survey. All the students were over eighteen. No demographic data was collected due to the small sample size and wanting to protect the anonymity of students.

Discussion and Analysis

Multiple Choice Questions

The five multiple choice questions gave the respondents a statement and asked them to choose either “Strongly agree,” “Agree,” “Disagree,” or “Strongly disagree” to say how they felt about each of those statements.

line graph full text equivalent linked below
Figure 1. A bar chart visualizing the distribution of students who did not know about information privilege before taking this class.
Full text equivalent of this chart as a list.

Question one asks students to “Strongly agree” “Agree,” “Disagree,” or “Strongly disagree” to the statement: “I had little or no prior knowledge of information privilege before taking this class.” 90% of students “Strongly agree” with this statement, 10% of students “Agree” with this statement, and 0% of the students “Disagree” or “Strongly disagree” with this statement. These answers reveal that none of the students had any prior understanding or knowledge of the term “information privilege” before taking the class, which surprised me. I had originally thought that students signed up thinking maybe that they knew a little bit about the topic or were interested in it, but this revealed that it was truly a new topic to the students. This is understandable, as it’s a term in the field of library science. The response provides a context for the rest of the survey questions by giving the lens that this was new information to students.

line graph full text equivalent linked below
Figure 2. A bar chart visualizing the distribution of students who have or do not have a working knowledge of information privilege.
Full text equivalent of this chart as a list.

Question two asks students to “Strongly agree” “Agree,” “Disagree,” or “Strongly disagree” to the statement: “After taking this class, I have the working knowledge of information privilege to explain the concept to someone else.” Answers to question two show that 90% of the students agree or strongly agree that they could explain information privilege to someone else and that only 10% strongly disagree with this statement. I phrased the question this way because I was interested in how much of a grasp students felt they had of this concept at the end of the course. This shows that the course gave students more confidence in being able to dialogue about information privilege.

line graph full text equivalent linked below
Figure 3. A bar chart visualizing visualizing the distribution of students agreeing or disagreeing with how this class helped them reflect on their own privilege.
Full text equivalent of this chart as a list.

Question three asks students to “Strongly agree” “Agree,” “Disagree,” or “Strongly disagree” to the statement: “This class helped me reflect on my own privilege.” Answers to question three demonstrate that 90% of students agree or strongly agree that this class helped them reflect on their own privilege. 10% of students disagreed and did not think that this class helped them reflect on their own privilege. I was interested in the answers to this question in particular since it was such a motivating factor for wanting to propose and teach the course.

line graph full text equivalent linked below
Figure 4. A bar chart visualizing the distribution of students who agreed or disagreed that they have a better understanding of how information privilege impacts their own lives.
Full text equivalent of this chart as a list.

Question four asks students to “Strongly agree” “Agree,” “Disagree,” or “Strongly disagree” to the statement: “After taking this class, I have a better understanding of how information privilege impacts my life.” 80% of students “Strongly agree” with this statement and 20% of students “Agree” with this statement. All of the students who took the survey found that the course helped them to have a better understanding of how information privilege impacts their own lives, which tells me that even for the one respondent in the above questions who did not believe that this course helped them reflect on their own privilege, they are aware of how access to information impacts their life.

line graph full text equivalent linked below
Figure 5. A bar chart visualizing the distribution of students who agreed or disagreed that learning about information privilege was valuable to their lives.
Full text equivalent of this chart as a list.

Question five asks students to “Strongly agree” “Agree,” “Disagree,” or “Strongly disagree” to the statement: “Learning about information privilege was valuable to my life.” 80% of students thought that learning about information privilege was valuable to their lives, while 20% of students did not find this information valuable. I was a little surprised by the answers to this question in comparison to the above questions. While all students knew how information privilege impacted their lives, 20% of students did not find this information to be valuable. This could be for several different reasons, such as that the 20% of students who did not find this information valuable did not feel the negative impact of information privilege on their own lives.

Narrative responses

There were two optional open-text questions for students to respond to, which were the questions I was most excited to delve into and read. I was interested to see how my students framed things in their own words. The first open-text questions asked students to define “information privilege.” After coding their definitions, I identified the following themes: access to information, status, individuals, groups, and inequity. This question was optional, and only eight of the ten students filled it out. Because of the small sample size, some of these themes have as few as two respondents in that theme.

Access to information

The theme of access to information is in 100% of the definitions.

    “A person’s access and understanding to information.”
    “The access to information i have on a daily basis”
    “The access you are born with or are given to information you need in your own life.”

Status

    “Your access to information based on location, status, or technology.”
    “information privilege is idea that access to information is based on an individual’s status, affiliation, or power.”

Inequity

    “Individuals’ ablities [sic] to access to information are not equal, and some have advantages over others”

Individuals vs Groups

    “Individuals’ ablities [sic] to access to information are not equal, and some have advantages over others”

    “information privilege is idea that access to information is based on an individual’s status, affiliation, or power.”

    “The idea that certain groups of people have access to more information than others and that this difference in access to information makes it difficult for those who don’t have access to move up in the world”

Two themes that stood out boldly are access and information. The two words appeared in all eight responses of the respondents who chose to define the term. The term “status” in two of these definitions is not a term we used in class, and it would be interesting to ask follow up questions about what students mean by “status.” While this question was not mandatory, I was impressed that eight of the ten students were able to create their own definition of a term that was unfamiliar to them sixteen weeks prior.

This survey data informs how I will teach the course in the future: I need to spend more time defining the term in the first or second class period. The way students defined terms made me think about what I emphasized throughout the semester. I think that I personally relied on “access to information” as a way to describe information privilege, and this survey made me want to include terms like “inequity” more in my course readings and assignments.

The second open text question was, “Is there anything else you want to share?” and was a place for students to say anything else that might be on their minds. This question was not required, and only two students put down other comments:

    “I enjoyed the class and thought it was useful”

    “This class was very helpful as it related to my English classes and Businesses class. It gave me a better understanding of how information barriers effect people.”

I am glad I put this question in, because I did not ask any questions about how the class helped students think or relate to their other classes, but was valuable information to have from this student.

Moving Forward

I plan on doing a follow-up focus group study with this same group of students. I want to ask a question about what they thought the class was going to be about, or what they thought the term meant when signing up for the class. I want to explore further how first-year students interacted with the topic and find out how this class interacted with other classes that they took. In the survey, a question asked students if there was anything else they wanted to share. Only two students used this form in the survey, but one student noted: “This class was very helpful as it related to my English classes and Businesses class.” I am interested to know more about how what students learned in this class helped them in other classes.

Recommendations

While the class was a credit-bearing, semester-long class, there are takeaways and implications for different instruction settings. Using the lens of information privilege and privilege when teaching about information literacy allows for a deeper and more meaningful way of learning about these topics.

Information Privilege and Primary Sources / Archives

There are opportunities to talk about information privilege if teaching a library instruction session where students are looking for primary or archival information. Merely asking questions such as: “Why do you think it is important to have access to archival materials?” or “What intersections of privilege would allow you to see or not see yourself reflected in an archive?” or “Whose materials are often collected in archives?” can allow for discussion about privilege on this topic. I was lucky to have Lizeth Zepeda visit my classroom to talk about this subject and would recommend her article (Zepeda, 2018).

Information Privilege and Open Access

Using the Open Access model to talk about information privilege is an excellent way to incorporate this topic into a class in a small or large way. Based on teaching my class, this is a topic students were engaged in discussing. A great example of how to include it in a session is Jessea Young’s assignment on ProjectCORA titled, “Open Access: Strategies and Tools for Life after College” (Young, 2018).

Appendix A

Fall 2018 Syllabus

Appendix B

Informed Consent
Survey Questions

Appendix C

Figure 1. A bar chart visualizing the distribution of students who did not know about information privilege before taking this class.

Participants responded to the question: “I had little or no prior knowledge of information privilege before taking this class.”

  • Strongly agree: 9
  • Agree: 1
  • Disagree: 0
  • Strongly disagree: 0

Return to Figure 1 caption.

Figure 2. A bar chart visualizing the distribution of students who have or do not have a working knowledge of information privilege.

Participants responded to the question: “After taking this class, I have the working knowledge of information privilege to explain the concept to someone else.”

  • Strongly agree: 8
  • Agree: 1
  • Disagree: 0
  • Strongly disagree: 1

Return to Figure 2 caption.

Figure 3. A bar chart visualizing the distribution of students agreeing or disagreeing with how this class helped them reflect on their own privilege.

Participants were asked to respond to the question: “This class helped me reflect on my own privilege.”

  • Strongly agree: 7
  • Agree: 2
  • Disagree: 1
  • Strongly disagree: 0

Return to Figure 3 caption.

Figure 4. A bar chart visualizing the distribution of students who agreed or disagreed that they have a better understanding of how information privilege impacts their own lives.

Participants were asked to respond to the question: “After taking this class, I have a better understanding of how information privilege impacts my life.”

  • Strongly agree: 8
  • Agree: 2
  • Disagree: 0
  • Strongly disagree: 0

Return to Figure 4 caption.

Figure 5. A bar chart visualizing the distribution of students who agreed or disagreed that learning about information privilege was valuable to their lives.

Participants were asked to respond to the following question: “Learning about information privilege was valuable to my life.”

  • Strongly agree: 5
  • Agree: 3
  • Disagree: 0
  • Strongly disagree: 2

Return to Figure 5 caption.


Acknowledgements

I am thankful for the time, energy, and expertise of Char Booth, external reviewer, Amy Koester, internal reviewer, and Ian Beilin, publishing editor. Thank you also to Hailley Fargo and Suzy Wilson, who read very rough first drafts of this article to help me work through the initial writing process. Thank you to Regina Mays, who read over and gave me feedback on my survey questions before they went out to my students. Lastly, I am deeply grateful to my students who came to class every day with an open mind for this topic.


References

ACRL (2016). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework.

Booth, C. (2014). on information privilege. info-mational. Retrieved from https://infomational.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/on-information-privilege/

Chatman, E. A. (1996). The Impoverished Life-World of Outsiders. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 47(3), 193–206.

Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the Intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum 1989:139-167.

First-Year Studies. (n.d.). FYS 129: Special topics seminar. Retrieved from https://fys.utk.edu/fys129/.

Gardner, D., Long, B. (2019). UTK fact book 2018-19. Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. https://oira.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/66/2019/10/2018-2019-Fact-Book.pdf

Hare, S., & C. Evanson. (2018). Information privilege outreach for undergraduate students. College & Research Libraries, 79(6), 726. https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.79.6.726

hooks, b. (1984). Feminist theory: From margin to center. Boston, MA: South End Press.

Johnson, H. R., & Smedley- López, A. C. (2017). Information privilege in the context of community engagement in sociology. In Godbey, S., Wainscott, Susan Beth, & Goodman, Xan (Eds.), Disciplinary Applications of Information Literacy Threshold Concepts (pp 123-134).

McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture. (n.d.). For all the world to see: Visual culture and the struggle for civil rights. Retrieved from https://mcclungmuseum.utk.edu/exhibitions/for-all-the-world-to-see/.

Merton, R. (1972). Insiders and Outsiders: A Chapter in the Sociology of Knowledge. American Journal of Sociology, 78(1), 9–47. https://doi.org/10.1086/225294

Pew Research Center. (2019, June 12). Internet/broadband fact sheet. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/.

Rankin & Associates, Consulting (2018). Campus Climate Assessment Project. University of Tennessee – Knoxville Report. Retrieved from: http://mycampus.tennessee.edu .

Saunders, L. (2017). Connecting information literacy and social justice: Why and how. Communications in Information Literacy, 11(1), 55. doi:https://doi.org/10.15760/comminfolit.2017.11.1.47

Young, J. (2018, October 18). Open Access: Strategies and Tools for Life after College. Retrieved from https://www.projectcora.org/assignment/open-access-strategies-and-tools-life-after-college.

Zepeda, L. (2018). Queering the archive: Transforming the archival process. disClosure: A Journal of Social Theory, 27, 17. doi: https://doi.org/10.13023/disclosure.27.14

  1. I use “first-year students” as a term for first-year, first-time students at a university or college. The author does not use this term interchangeably to indicate the age or experience of the student. []
  2. I did ask my students halfway through the semester if they preferred readings or videos, and it was evenly split amongst the class. []

2 Responses

  1. Shaune Young

    Your findings were very interesting, and I am going to try and incorporate the concept of information privilege in my instruction sessions. Thank you for doing this work!

  2. Pingback : Sunday Reads - misc-joy

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