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Defeating the Bullies and Trolls in the Library

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Skokie Public Library

5215 Oakton Street

Skokie, IL 60077

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Defeating the Bullies and Trolls in the Library: Developing Strategies to Protect our Rights and Personhood

The last several years have not only seen an uptick in exciting diversity and social justice work and scholarship in libraries and related organizations, but also in the negative comments and opposing opinions that have been registered as a result. Free speech is certainly something that we embrace, but harassment, bullying, trolling, doxxing, and other mentally and physically harmful behaviors go well beyond free speech and cannot be tolerated. Manifestations from the Internet’s “outrage machine” must be acknowledged and addressed.

There have been countless stories of scholars being harassed for their work,[1] and libraries are unfortunately not immune to such toxic behavior.[2] One of the things that has become evident is that our libraries, institutions, and membership organizations have been caught unawares and have not been able to support victims of abuse as they should. Now that the stories have begun to emerge, how can we move past discussion and outrage and reach the point where we as a field can definitively and collectively say that harassment in scholarship is unacceptable and requires action?

On March 8th, our morning sessions will consist of panels meant to situate the problems and raise awareness of the complicating factors. After lunch, the afternoon sessions will consist of interactive sessions designed to elicit solutions and strategies. Please join us for a day of challenging discussion and brainstorming as we attempt to move these phenomena to the next level – a level comprised of compassion, support, and smart and proactive action.

This event is being organized by Nicole Cooke and Amy Koester, and is being graciously sponsored by the Skokie Public Library, The School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois, ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, and In The Library With The Lead Pipe, an open access, open peer reviewed journal.

See the event website: http://defeatingbullies.weebly.com/

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Skokie Public Library

5215 Oakton Street

Skokie, IL 60077

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