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Developing Death Literacy in LIS

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  • Having an open discussion about ‘death’ and ‘dying’ is often considered to be too morbid or taboo in our Canadian culture. This attitude can impact the ways that we think about mortality and grieving. Unfortunately, it also means that those conversations are often avoided completely. In my presentation, I will introduce the primary concepts behind ‘Death Education’ and discuss what it currently looks like in North America. By highlighting some of the foundations and trends in the burgeoning field of Death Education, I will argue how it can be used for LIS students and current Library and Archive professionals. The development of ‘death literacy’ skills is a core principle of Death Education. It is my hope that attendees will embrace this new literacy with the same enthusiasm and willingness that our field has shown when adopting other literacies. We are in a profession that allows us to interact with the public on a daily basis. By adding death literacy to our skill-set we can be more prepared and comfortable with answering questions relating to the dreaded ‘D’ words (death, dying and dead). Learning about death education can also be a way that we, as individuals and as a field, can participate in questioning and dismantling the stigma associated with having open discussions about death.

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  • Type of Item
    Conference/Workshop Presentation
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International