“Teaching the Radical Catalog”

Emily Drabinski’s, “Teaching the Radical Catalog,” illuminates the inadequacies of the already in place catalog and other classified retrieval tools and systems. In order to break the cycle of “perpetuating the dominance of story “told” by the classification,” Drabinski (2008) posits for the implementation of “problem-posing education” when teaching the catalog in the library classroom. She (2008) writes, “Instead of passively teaching classifications, a critical library instruction program might instead teach students to engage critically with the classification as text, encouraging critical thought in relation to the tools” (p.204). Now, while I believe it is important for library students to have an understanding of the catalog and other classification tools and systems, I agree with Drabinski (2008) that students should be taught to “engage with the classification as text” (p.204). I also believe that “problem-posing education” and critical thinking (Drabinski, 2008) should be extended beyond a classification class to other library courses.

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