Tipping the Scales: Technology & Social Justice

Wednesday, 7/22/2020
  • 1:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 12:00 PM (Central)
  • 11:00 AM (Mountain)
  • 10:00 AM (Pacific)

In our digital society, technology can both support and undermine social justice causes. On the one hand, technology can be used to automate, conduct surveillance, and censor, but on the other, it can help provide equal access to information, raise awareness of injustice, aid learning, and organize resistance. Libraries can deploy emerging technologies for activism and civic engagement. Technology can be used to build communities and organize around issues. It also offers solutions for greater transparency and accountability forming histories that can be alternative, decentralized and collaborative. This research can foster cross-disciplinary explorations, explore social implications, and give a sense of commonality with a commitment to a common good.

This webinar explores how emerging technologies can be used in libraries in the service of social justice. Presenters will describe an issue of concern and how the choice of technology helped address it. They will also discuss managing that technology or platform, including any surprises or lessons learned along the way. Participants will gain an awareness of local, regional, or national issues that librarians are working to address, as well as engage with ideas and best practices for technological solutions. Join the dialog on how libraries are using new tech to advocate for equality and autonomy and empower users and their community.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this webinar, the participant will be able to:

  • Explain how libraries can use emerging technology to create a more just society
  • Describe elements for incorporating social justice into their library's online presence
  • Examine ways of documenting, presenting, and interacting with technologies that support and value equity, diversity and inclusive practices 

Who Should Attend

The target audience for this program are professionals who believe in the social responsibility of libraries, and who are looking for ways to use technology to either redress inequities in their communities or engage their communities in thinking about social justice issues, 


Sally Rafson is the founder of Sharing Our Story. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and a Master's degree in International Development. She creates community collaborations that reflect the specific community concerns or needs.

Miranda Rectenwald is the Curator of Local History for the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections at Washington University in St. Louis. She holds a MA in History and Museum Studies and is a Certified Archivist. 



Registration rates are as follows:

  • RUSA members: $45
  • ALA members: $55
  • ALA student & retired members: $25
  • Non-members: $77

How to Register

Register Online

Tech Requirements

This webinar will be offered using Zoom. Please ensure that you have internet connection. Audio for these sessions will be streamed over computer speakers and via a teleconference line. You will be able to ask questions and interact with the presenter and other webinar participants via chat. 


Questions abut your registration should be directed to registration@ala.org

Technical questions about the webinar should be directed to Ninah Moore, RUSA Program Officer-Continuing Education, at nmoore@ala.org

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!