Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Reading and Writing the Wotrld : School Libraries as sponsors of Transliteracy

Here is another presentation from Computers inLibraries 2010. This time by Buffy Hamilton, whose work I have come across and applauded before. She says :

In this brief talk at Computers in Libraries (CIL) 2010 on Monday, April 12 2010 she discusses how librarians can use the frameworks of participatory librarianship and sponsors of literacy to conceptualize the ways we can integrate transliteracy seamlessly into our library programs.

I must admit being sceptical of another attempt at solving the tangle of literacies and would the idea of transliteracy be helpful? The first few slides included the idea of sponsors of literacy are the delivery systems for the economies of literacies. (?) But it's a really good slide show with some great images and begins with the work of Deborah Brandt defining literacy as a "valuable - and volatile property"which can potentially help individuals gain "power or pleasure,[accrue] information, civil rights, education, spirituality, status (and) money." Schools and libraries have a key role "inviting critical and active uses of media that strenthen democratic potential." Goes on to define transliteracy as "the ability to read and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, tv, radio and film, to digital social networks". As sponsors of transliteracy libraries can close the participation gap. Hey I wish I had been at that presentation. This begins to make sense. This is certainly the most interesting take on literacies I've yet seen and all school librarians should take a look - this may be a real way forward but I still worry about labels like "transliteracy". Does it sound tendentious?

1 comment:

the unquiet librarian said...

Hi Peter!

First, what a thrill it is for me to see my work highlighted on your blog!

I like to think of transliteracy as an umbrella term that covers that burgeoning categories of literacies that we are seeing discussed in many circles, including the information studies world and language/literacy studies.

I actually have a video of a larger talk I did on this talk Tuesday for the Alabama Library Association that might tie some of the threads together more coherently. I am hoping to post the video sometime tomorrow to my YouTube Channel and my blog, so hopefully, that might be another tool to help us all conceptualize and contextualize this term/concept.

By the way, even though Deborah Brandt is a professor of English, I think the ideas she discusses in her book, Literacy in American Lives, are a great framework that can be applied to other forms of literacy. I recently did an e-interview with her on my blog you might enjoy, and I would love to do my own ethnographic research project in which I explore how people acquire and use multiple forms of literacy outside the mainstream definition of literacy.

Thank you for taking time to browse my slideshow and to share your thoughts and questions about transliteracy!

Buffy Hamilton