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Professional Organizations and Groups
"We Here™️ seeks to provide a safe and supportive community for Black and Indigenous folks, and People of Color (BIPOC) in library and information science professions and educational programs and to recognize, discuss, and intervene in systemic social issues that have plagued these professions both currently and historically."
BCALA's mission is:
"The Black Caucus of the American Library Association serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians."
"APALA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing leadership opportunities through informed dialogue that addresses the needs of Asian/Pacific American librarians and those who serve APA communities. "
"REFORMA is committed to the improvement of the full spectrum of library and information services for the approximately 56.2* million Spanish-speaking and Latino people in the United States."
"JCLC brings together a diverse group of librarians, library staff, library supporters, and community participants to explore issues of diversity in libraries and how they affect the ethnic communities who use our services."
- Critical Librarianship (also known as CritLit) "asks us to look more closely at the sociopolitical work both inside and out of our libraries" (McElroy, 2017). This approach emerged during the 1970s, with the popularity and study of critical pedagogy by Freire, Giroux, hooks, and other education scholars. Critical questions and acknowledges the structures of knowledge, organization, and power are linked (Drabinski, 2019). CritLit, as it has been referred to in social media discussions, tries to understand power structures and the practices within librarianship through a sociopolitical lens. Critical librarianship asks the following questions: "What counts as productive in our libraries? What value do we place in official knowledge imparted in the reference desk of information literacy sessions? What values do library collections and services embody? How can we surface and value what works beyond statistics? What does it mean to be a life-long learner, and how do we support this? (Drabinski, 2019). Other aspects included in critical librarianship and literacy are that it "aims to understand how libraries participate in systems of oppression" and find ways to disrupt it (Tewell, 2016).
- Critical Cultural Literacy falls under the spectrum of cultural competence. Both can be defines as:
[T]he ability to recognize the significance of culture in one's own life and the lives of others; and to come to know and respect diverse cultural backgrounds and characteristics through interaction with individuals from diverse linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic groups; and to fully integrate the culture of diverse groups into services, work, and institutions to enhance the lives of both those being served by the library profession and those engaged in service. (Overall, 2009, 189-90).
In the specific case of critical cultural literacy, LIS professionals apply critical race theory and critical pedagogy elements. These aim to study the power dynamics surrounding the conditions of library patrons from multicultural backgrounds, i.e., those that have been historically underrepresented or marginalized. According to Cooke (2017; 2021), critical cultural literacy incorporates the following concepts:
- Social Justice
- Racial Literacy
- Emotional Literacy
- Information Behavior
- Historical Literacy
These frameworks and concepts serve and promote better services, representation, and spaces for multicultural communities in library spaces.
- Critical Race Theory (CRT) emerged in the 1970s due to the civil rights era in the United States. Its early proponents were Drek Bell, Alan Freeman, and Richard Delgado. CRT is invested in "studying and transforming the relationship between race, racism, and power" (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017). Some of the questions that CRT poses are:
- "How does one select library materials using the neutral framework when the materials aren't neutral?" (Chui, Ettarth, & Ferretti, 2021).
- How do libraries deracialize classification systems and subject headings?
- How do library buildings address access to BIPOC students? Furthermore, how is whiteness as property addressed in HBCUs and HSI?
- How is knowledge disseminated and taught? Are BIPOC voices included and fairly represented?
The educational objectives that this guide aims to achieve are the following:
- Retain key aspects about diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice in higher education.
- Understand the experiences of historically marginalized and minoritized groups.
- Apply lessons and elements of DEI and social justice into everyday academic interactions.
- Examine critically how curricular practices reflect/do not reflect DEI and social justice praxis and values.
- Support DEI and social justice initiatives that are taking place at NECC.
- Develop lessons or initiatives that support DEI and social justice work being done by NECC.
Library and Information Science Literature on DEI
Information Services to Diverse Populations by Nicole A. Cooke
Call Number: Z711.8 .C66 2017
Publication Date: 2016-12-12
Available at NECC Lawrence.
Summary: "Filling a gap in the existing library and information science literature, this book consolidates recent research and best practices to address the need for diversity and social justice in the training and education of LIS professionals. The development of cultural competency skills and social awareness benefits LIS students, their future employers, and the library profession at large--not to mention library customers and society as a whole. This textbook and comprehensive resource introduces students to the contexts and situations that promote the development of empathy and build cultural competence, examines the research in the areas of diversity and social justice in librarianship, explains how social responsibility is a foundational value of librarianship, and identifies potential employment and networking opportunities related to diversity and social justice in librarianship. A valuable book for students in graduate library and information science programs as well as LIS practitioners and researchers interested in knowing more about the topic of diversity in the profession, Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals addresses the political, social, economic, and technological divides among library patrons, covers transformative library services, and discusses outreach and services to diverse populations as well as how to evaluate such services, among many other topics. Appendices containing suggestions for exercises and assignments as well as lists of related library organizations and readings in related literature provide readers with additional resources. Addresses perennially important and emerging hot topics in librarianship, such as diversity, cultural competence, and social responsibility Updates the ongoing discussion on cultural competence and diversity with new concepts, such as critical race theory Authored by an expert who actively teaches and conducts research in the subject areas of library instruction and information literacy as well as diversity and social justice in librarianship."
Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Umoja Noble
Call Number: ZA4230 .N63 2018
Publication Date: 2018-02-20
Available at NECC Lawrence.
Summary: "A revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms Run a Google search for "black girls"--what will you find? "Big Booty" and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in "white girls," the results are radically different. The suggested porn sites and un-moderated discussions about "why black women are so sassy" or "why black women are so angry" presents a disturbing portrait of black womanhood in modern society. In Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem; Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, specifically women of color. Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. As search engines and their related companies grow in importance--operating as a source for email, a major vehicle for primary and secondary school learning, and beyond--understanding and reversing these disquieting trends and discriminatory practices is of utmost importance. An original, surprising and, at times, disturbing account of bias on the internet, Algorithms of Oppression contributes to our understanding of how racism is created, maintained, and disseminated in the 21st century."
Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O'Neil
Call Number: QA76.9 .B45 O64 2016
Publication Date: 2016-09-06
Available at NECC Lawrence.
Summary: "Longlisted for the National Book Award | New York Times Bestseller A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life and threaten to rip apart our social fabric. We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives--where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance--are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated. But as Cathy O'Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they're wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: If a poor student can't get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his zip code), he's then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Models are propping up the lucky and punishing the downtrodden, creating a "toxic cocktail for democracy." Welcome to the dark side of Big Data. Tracing the arc of a person's life, O'Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These "weapons of math destruction" score teachers and students, sort résumés, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health. O'Neil calls on modelers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it's up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change."
Automating Inequality by Virginia Eubanks
Call Number: HC79.P6 E89 2018
Publication Date: 2018-01-23
Available at NECC Lawrence.
Summary: "WINNER:The2018 McGannon Center Book Prize and shortlisted for the Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice The New York Times Book Review:"Riveting." Naomi Klein: "This book is downright scary." Ethan Zuckerman, MIT: "Should be required reading." Dorothy Roberts, author ofKilling the Black Body: "A must-read." Astra Taylor, author ofThe People's Platform:"The single most important book about technology you will read this year." Cory Doctorow: "Indispensable." A powerful investigative look at data-based discrimination--and how technology affects civil and human rights and economic equity The State of Indiana denies one million applications for healthcare, foodstamps and cash benefits in three years--because a new computer system interprets any mistake as "failure to cooperate." In Los Angeles, an algorithm calculates the comparative vulnerability of tens of thousands of homeless people in order to prioritize them for an inadequate pool of housing resources. In Pittsburgh, a child welfare agency uses a statistical model to try to predict which children might be future victims of abuse or neglect. Since the dawn of the digital age, decision-making in finance, employment, politics, health and human services has undergone revolutionary change. Today, automated systems--rather than humans--control which neighborhoods get policed, which families attain needed resources, and who is investigated for fraud. While we all live under this new regime of data, the most invasive and punitive systems are aimed at the poor. InAutomating Inequality,Virginia Eubanks systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America. The book is full of heart-wrenching and eye-opening stories, from a woman in Indiana whose benefits are literally cut off as she lays dying to a family in Pennsylvania in daily fear of losing their daughter because they fit a certain statistical profile. The U.S. has always used its most cutting-edge science and technology to contain, investigate, discipline and punish the destitute. Like the county poorhouse and scientific charity before them, digital tracking and automated decision-making hide poverty from the middle-class public and give the nation the ethical distance it needs to make inhumane choices: which families get food and which starve, who has housing and who remains homeless, and which families are broken up by the state. In theprocess, they weaken democracy and betray our most cherished national values. This deeply researched and passionate book could not be more timely."
Intellectual Freedom Manual by Trina Magi (Editor); Martin Garnar (Associate Editor)
Call Number: Z711.4 .I57 2015
Publication Date: 2015-04-20
Available at NECC Haverhill.
Summary: "Since it was established in 1967, ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has championed the rights of library users to seek and receive information on all subjects from all points of view without restriction and without having the subject of one's interest examined or scrutinized by others. The new edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual is more than just an invaluable compendium of guiding principles and policies. It's also an indispensable resource for day-to-day guidance on maintaining free and equal access to information for all people. Fortifying and emboldening professionals and students from across the library spectrum, this manual includes 34 ALA policy statements and documents, 17 new or updated for this edition, addressing patron behavior, internet use, copyright, exhibits, use of meeting spaces, and other common concerns At-a-glance lists summarizing key issues such as access, challenges and censorship, access by minors to controversial materials, and advocacy Explanations of legal points in clear, easy-to-understand language, alongside case citations Numerous checklists to help readers stay organized A glossary and selected bibliographyThis must-have tool will help librarians ensure that institutions of all kinds remain beacons of intellectual freedom."
Latinos in Libraries, Museums, and Archives by Patricia Montiel-Overall; Annabelle Villaescusa Nuñez; Verónica Reyes-Escudero
Call Number: Z711.92 .H56 M66 2016
Publication Date: 2015-12-18
Available at NECC Haverhill.
Summary: "Written by three experienced LIS professionals, Latinos in Libraries, Museums, and Archives demonstrates the meaning of cultural competence in the everyday work in libraries, archives, museums, and special collections with Latino populations. The authors focus on their areas of expertise including academic, school, public libraries, health sciences, archives, and special collections to show the importance of understanding how cultural competence effects the day-to-day communication, relationship building, and information provision with Latinos. They acknowledge the role of both tacit and explicit knowledge in their work, and discuss ways in which cultural competence is integral to successful delivery of services to, communication with, and relationship building with Latino communities."
Critical Information Literacy by Annie Downey
Call Number: ZA3075 .D69 2016
Publication Date: 2016-01-01
Available at NECC Haverhill.
Summary: "Academic librarians are exploring critical information literacy (CIL) in ever increasing numbers. While a smattering of journal articles and a small number of books have been published on the topic, the conversation around CIL has mostly taken place online, at conferences, in individual libraries, and in personal dialogues. This book explores that conversation and provides a snapshot of the current state of CIL as it is enacted and understood by academic librarians. It introduces the ideas and concepts behind CIL and helps librarians make more informed decisions about how to design, teach, and implement programs. It also informs library science scholars and policy makers in terms of knowing how CIL is being taught and supported at the institutional level."
Information Literacy and Social Justice by Lua Gregory (Editor); Shana Higgins (Editor)
Call Number: ZA3075.I5328 2013eb
Publication Date: 2015-02-15
Available at NECC Online.
Summary: "Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis extends the discussion of information literacy and its social justice aspects begun by James Elmborg, Heidi L.M. Jacobs, Cushla Kapitzke, Maria T. Accardi, Emily Drabinski, and Alana Kumbier, and Maura Seale. Chapters address the democratizing values implicit in librarianship's professional ethics, such as intellectual freedom, social responsibility, and democracy, in relation to the sociopolitical context of information literacy. Contributors, ranging from practicing librarians to scholars of related disciplines, demonstrate how they construct intentional connections between theoretical perspectives and professional advocacy to curriculum and pedagogy. The book contributes to professional discourse on libraries in their social context, through a re-activation of the library neutrality debate, as well as through an investigation of what it means for a global citizen to be information literate in late capitalism."
Informed Agitation by Melissa Morrone (Editor)
Call Number: Z716.4 .I55 2014eb
Publication Date: 2015-02-15
Available at NECC Online.
Summary: "In librarianship today, we encourage voices from our field to join conversations in other disciplines as well as in the broader culture. People who work in libraries and are sympathetic to, or directly involved in, social justice struggles have long embodied this idea, as they make use of their skills in the service of those causes. From movement archives to zine collections, international solidarity to public library programming, oral histories to email lists, prisons to protests - and beyond - this book is a look into the projects and pursuits of activist librarianship in the early 21st century."
Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the Inclusive Future of Libraries by Brian Wentz (Volume Editor); Paul T. Jaeger (Volume Editor); John Carlo Bertot (Volume Editor)
Call Number: Z711.92.H3 A23 2015
Publication Date: 2015-12-14
Available at NECC Online.
Summary: "All libraries have patrons and staff members with disabilities, making equitable service a priority for these organizations as they provide diverse services to their entire communities. Although rapid technological changes in recent years have offered challenges to libraries, these same technologies provide opportunities to embrace the concept of accessible library services and create innovative new services for patrons with disabilities. Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the Inclusive Future of Libraries, edited by Brian Wentz, Paul T. Jaeger, and John Carlo Bertot, focuses on the issues at the intersection of disability, accessibility, inclusion and libraries. The chapters in this volume provide best practices and innovative ideas to share amongst libraries, explore the roles that internet and communication technologies play in the context of inclusive libraries, illuminate the important contributions of libraries in promoting social inclusion of and social justice for people with disabilities, and help libraries to better articulate their contributions in these areas as they engage with disability groups, funders, policymakers, and other parts of their communities."
Underserved Patrons in University Libraries: Assisting Students Facing Trauma, Abuse, and Discrimination by Julia C. Skinner (Editor); Melissa Gross (Editor); Nicole A. Cooke (Foreword by)
Call Number: Z675.U5
Publication Date: 2021-01-12
Available at NECC Online.
Summary: "This practical and research-based volume focuses on how libraries can meet the needs of underserved patrons in college and university libraries, with an emphasis on those facing trauma, abuse, and discrimination. While university libraries strive to meet the needs of all students, some groups have traditionally been overlooked. This volume engages with those underserved populations on college campuses, with an emphasis on those facing trauma, abuse, and discrimination. It brings a variety of authorial voices to discuss different aspects of that service and to share current research related to underserved populations in libraries. This combination supports research in LIS and beyond while offering concrete ways for service providers to make a difference in the lives of their patrons. Editors Skinner and Gross have both conducted extensive research in ethically meeting patron needs. They and their contributors are keenly aware of the complex and interwoven considerations that inform such service, such as patron desire for confidentiality accompanied by an urgent need for assistance. This volume is committed to sharing diverse voices in the field and to exploring the interrelationship between theoretical findings and practical applications--all in the service of underserved patrons. Readers will gain a deep understanding of these underserved populations and how to respond by providing meaningful services Readers will learn strategies for outreach and the development of community service programs Readers will become aware of the wide variety of user populations whose information behavior may be limited by an experience or life circumstance that they may not want to divulge."
Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts This link opens in a new window
Indexes hundreds of journals, books, research reports and proceedings on various subjects having to do with librarianship.
ERIC – Educational Resource Information Center This link opens in a new window
Provides bibliographic citations from over 600 education journals from 1966 to the present. Many are available in full-text.
Information Science This link opens in a new window
Covering all aspects of managing and maintaining information and technology, including usability, cataloging, circulation, business information, and more.
21-Day Racial Equity Challenge syllabus
University of Noth Carolina, Chappel Hill released a syllabus about racial equity, anti-racism, and bias.
"Libraries and library workers interested in examining racism, bias and inequity have a new tool to do so. The University Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has released the syllabus of its recent 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge focused on libraries and archives.
The syllabus is the work of the University Libraries’ IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility) Council. It is part of the Library’s Reckoning Initiative, which commits to using equity, inclusion and social justice as a lens for its work.
In spring 2021, Library employees were invited to follow the daily syllabus in a shared experience of discovery and reflection. Participants in the voluntary program also had opportunities to come together for discussions and caucus meetings.
“We received a great deal of positive feedback from participants, who found themselves looking at their work in new ways,” said Monica Figueroa, interim librarian for inclusive excellence. “We hope that sharing our roadmap will encourage other institutions to use, adapt and expand it.”
Figueroa said that the IDEA Council modeled the syllabus on similar challenge exercises for general audiences and for other professions. The focus on library and archival work and workers distinguishes UNC-Chapel Hill’s syllabus from others.
The syllabus is available as an online accessible document and a downloadable interactive PDF under a Creative Commons license."
Agusta Baker Lectures
The Libraries and Literacy Initiative of USC’s School of Library and Information Science, the chair honors Augusta Braxton Baker. These lectures, organized by Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, discuss the legacy of Baker.
MLS - Social Justice and Libraries: What Your Library Can Do
"This guide provides professional development for libraries to promote social justice in our communities. There are many ways that libraries can support and promote social justice. Explore this guide to expand your library's role in contributing to social justice."
Simmons University Anti-Oppression
"This guide is intended to provide some general information about anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion as well as information and resources for the social justice issues key to the Simmons University community.
This guide is by no means exhaustive, but rather serves as a starting place for finding information from a variety of sources. It will continue to develop in response to evolving anti-oppression issues and community needs."
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