Poster proposal for Congrès des milieux documentaires du Québec (November 2010):
Author's biographical notes:
Radical Reference is a collective that supports activist communities, progressive organizations, and independent journalists by providing experienced research support, education, and access to information. We work in a collaborative setting and are dedicated to information activism to foster a more egalitarian society. The Montreal chapter of Radical Reference focuses on social justice and equality in our own community. Services include online reference, workshops and training, and street reference.
Title of the poster:
Radical Reference: answering questions from those who question authority
Abstract for the poster proposal:
Access to information is a human right, and information literacy is a basic skill needed to survive in society. This poster presents the initiatives of the Montreal chapter of Radical Reference, an international group that supports activist communities, progressive organizations, independent journalists, and underserved members of the public by providing experienced research support, education, and access to information.
Radical Reference is staffed by librarians and other interested volunteers. Our goal is to provide reference service and information literacy training to those whose access to information is limited or are looking for answers that they don’t readily find in mainstream media. We work in a collaborative setting and are dedicated to information activism to foster a more egalitarian society.
Our activities currently include:
Information retrieval and fact-checking workshops for organizations that wish to strengthen the media and web literacy of their members or communities
“Street reference” for demonstrations and other activist events
Virtual reference and research services
Online guides to information of interest to our target groups, particularly emphasizing free and open source resources
Information packages for demonstrations and protests
Support for students and professionals who are interested in social responsibility and radicalism
By highlighting our current initiatives and partnerships, the poster will demonstrate how librarians can use their expertise in information literacy and information retrieval to reach out to underserved populations in Montreal and further the goal of social justice.