Your Name and Title: Frieda Afary, Librarian
Library, School, or Organization Name: Recently retired from the Los Angeles Public Library after 20 years of service.
Co-Presenter Name(s): Wonda Powell
Area of the World from Which You Will Present: United States
Language in Which You Will Present: English
Target Audience(s): Urban Librarians, especially public librarians.
Short Session Description (one line): How can librarians help the public to recognize and confront disinformation, read and think deeply and critically, develop empathy with people of other races, cultures, nationalities, and struggles against racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia.
Full Session Description (as long as you would like): At a time when the U.S. general public is being bombarded with disinformation, misinformation, prejudice, fallacious reasoning or rejection of reason, how can librarians help the public to read and think deeply and critically? How can libraries develop programs and collections that help patrons gain a deep understanding of U.S. and world history, and forge empathy with other human beings, a respect for truth and struggles against racism and sexism? We will draw on the work of Zora Neale Hurston, Audre Lorde, W.E.B. DuBois, Derrick Bell, Kimberle Crenshaw, Maryanne Wolf, and Nikole Hannah-Jones among others.
Wonda Powell is a Professor Emeritus of history at Los Angeles Southwest College, poet and author of Girl, Find Me a Safety Pin.
Frieda Afary, philosophy M.A. and M.L.I.S., is an Iranian American librarian, translator and writer in Los Angeles. She is the author of Socialist Feminism: A New Approach (Pluto Press, October 2022).