Smash all the Gates, Part 2: Professional Silenc*

A thought provoking post from Lauren Wallis – another former Jackson Library intern doing really cool things. Her 2014 TILC presentation was hot fire too.

Do-It-Yourself Library Instruction


Like the zero in mathematics, silence is an absence with a function.
-Cheryl Glenn, The Rhetoric of Silence

Silence always has meaning. That’s the main idea behind Cheryl Glenn’s rhetoric of silence, which I want to explore here in terms of the culture of library instruction–how do we choose and use silence, how are we silenced, and how can we resist silencing?

[Two Caveats]

  1. I am going to address the unequal power dynamics between subject faculty and librarians in this post, and some of my characterizations of subject faculty are negative. That said, I have worked with subject faculty who have been collaborative, supportive mentors and co-teachers–but I find that this is the exception, rather than the rule.
  2. While this post might sound super negative, I actually feel excited and hopeful about the future of library instruction and information literacy. I just think we have some work to do.

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