food for thought: #BlizzardOf2015 edition

As those of us in the northeast dig out from under a few inches to several feet of snow gifted to us by winter storm Juno, here are a few links I accumulated in my inbox over the course of the week. Thank you P.G. & K.S. for emailing additional stories to the Amiable Archivists list this past week — I hope others will feel so moved to share what they’ve been reading as well.

Intern Labor Rights | Labor Rights of Interns to be Argued in Federal Appeals Court

On Friday, January 30, the movement towards eliminating exploitative unpaid internships will take another significant step forward. Lawyers representing interns, employers, and, possibly, other interested parties will appear before a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The court is considering interlocutory appeal questions stemming from two lawsuits brought by former unpaid interns who asserted that federal and state labor law obliged their employers to pay them at least the mandated minimum wage. The decision the court renders will undoubtedly have profound impact for interns, employers, colleges, the labor market, the economy, and the movement to improve the working conditions for interns across the country.

Given the dependence of many LIS programs and under-funded repositories on interns to supplement professional labor, I hope y’all are aware of these national discussions. I’d be interested to know — via comments or email — whether any discussion about intern labor has happened at your places of work, and of so what has come out of that conversation.

Quarts | Can You Discriminate Without Meaning To? The U.S. Supreme Court Will Decide

The Wall Street Journal has a great story this morning on a big civil rights case going before the US Supreme Court. At issue: A prominent legal strategy called “disparate impact” that’s used to prove discrimination even in the absence of intent.

In other words, America’s highest court is going to decide if companies and policies can be accidentally racist.

Inside Higher Ed | Workplace Bullies

We found the most common type was a chaos narrative. The stories were the most extreme cases and focused on isolation and loss. Targets felt shunned by the bully and witnessing co-workers. They shared how the experience negatively affected their health, job, relationships and dignity.

Interestingly, when a co-worker offered support targets had an easier time organizing their thoughts and constructing their story so it was less chaotic. The ability for a target to tell their story to supportive co-workers allowed them to tell more convincing narratives about their experiences. This made the story more believable and helped targets deal with the situation.

Ryan P. Randall | Freire and Critical Librarianship

Ultimately, my question is less about how we should foster Freire’s problem-posing pedagogy within individual classrooms and more about how we can reshape education to enable it throughout our campuses and society. To me, critical librarianship is one approach, as it helps students become capable lifelong learners. Although librarians like Emily Drabinski and Barbara Fister have advocated critical approaches to librarianship for years, posts such as Brian Mathews’ recent column for the Chronicle of Higher Education show that “#critlib” is receiving attention in venues beyond libraryland.

Please do share any additional stories you’ve found thought-provoking … and for those of you facing the aftermath of Juno, stay warm, stay safe, and good luck digging out!


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