Newbie Dispatches (Ep. VI)- Critical Instruction Theory with Dr. Alana Kumbier

Alana Kumbier

The Newbie Dispatches are a series of podcasts recorded exclusively by the Residency Interest Group on a variety of topics of interest to current and former library residents, current library science students, new graduates, and early career librarians.

In Episode VI of this series, we are discussing critical instruction theory with Dr. Alana Kumbier, Research and Instruction Librarian at Wellesley College.  She is co-editor, with Maria T. Accardi and Emily Drabinski, of a recently released book Critical Library Instruction: Theories & Methods (Library Juice Press 2010), a collection that aims to “support librarian-instructors interested in integrating critical and anti-oppressive approaches and strategies into their teaching practice.”

Dr. Kumbier earned her M.L.I.S. from Kent State University, and holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies from The Ohio State University, with emphases in critical archival studies, cultural studies of science and technology, visual cultural studies, and disability studies. She describes her dissertation, Ephemeral Material: Developing a Critical Archival Practice, as “articulating and enacting a reflexive approach to archival logics and practices as they manifest inside and outside of traditional archives.”  Alana is also a contributor to Arcades Collaborative, Library Praxis, and co-producer of the podcast Champs Not Chumps.

In this cast we discuss a variety of topics including the meaning of critical instruction and why it is relevant to library instruction, what it looks like in practice, and how we learn to teach as new librarians.

For more information about Dr. Kumbier’s education and work experience, you can review her CV or, if you have follow up questions, you can contact her directly at akumbier[@]

Dr. Alana Kumbier’s CV

In the meantime, Dr. Kumbier has provided us with the following list of recommended readings for those of you who are interested in learning more.

Suggested reading:

Accardi, M. T., Drabinski, E. and Kumbier, A. (2010). Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods. Duluth, Minn: Library Juice Press.

Darder, A., Baltodano, M. P., & Torres, R. D. (2008). The Critical Pedagogy Reader: Second Edition (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Elmborg, J. (2006). Critical information literacy: Implications for institutional practice. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 32(2), 192-199.

Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the Oppressed (30th ed.). New York: Continuum.

hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge.

Luke, A., & Kapitzke, C. (1999). Literacies and libraries — Archives and cybraries. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 7(3), 467-491.

Radical Teacher: A Socialist, Feminist, and Anti-Racist Journal on the Theory and Practice of Teaching.  Shapiro, J., & Hughes, S. (1996). Information literacy as a liberal art. Educom Review, 31(2).

Shor, I. (1996). When Students Have Power: Negotiating Authority in a Critical Pedagogy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Simmons, M. H. (2005). Librarians as disciplinary discourse mediators. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 5(3), 297-311.

Be sure to check back regularly for future casts on conference updates, research in progress, and professional development workshops.

We hope you find it useful. —Megan and Kiyomi

Don’t forget: suggestions for podcast topics are accepted and most welcome. Feel free to use the comment page to send us your request.

One thought on “Newbie Dispatches (Ep. VI)- Critical Instruction Theory with Dr. Alana Kumbier

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.