Library Trends 67 (1) Summer 2018: Race and Ethnicity in Library and Information Science: An Update [Restricted Access]

 

Library Trends 67 (1) Summer 2018: Race and Ethnicity in Library and Information Science: An Update. Edited by Nicole A. Cooke.

This issue of Library Trends—“Race and Ethnicity in Library and Information Science: An Update”—will revisit the conversations started in the Summer of 2000 by McCook and Balderamma, update several other seminal articles published around that time, assess the status of race and ethnicity in LIS some twenty years later, and hopefully incite readers to social justice advocacy and action.

Falling into three categories—diversity in the history of LIS and updates to seminal articles; current diversity issues in LIS; and, new voices in the ongoing conversation—the articles in this issue are honest, insightful, and necessary. Foster begins the issue with a discussion of the Green Book, an annual publication that guided black motorists to safe places to stay and eat from the 1930s through the 1960s. Now digitized as a valuable historical resource, the Green Book has stark relevance to currents times. Wheeler and Smith discuss the difficult and sparse path of African-Americans in LIS leadership, and emphasize why such leadership is important. Rounding out the first section of history and updates, Collins updates and pays homage to Lorna Peterson’s 1999 article “The Definition of Diversity: Two Views. A More Specific Definition.” Language was and is crucially important to discussions of diversity, race, power, and oppression, yet is often lost in an LIS void.

Issues related to diversity, race, and ethnicity permeate LIS, particularly our cataloging and metadata. Legacies of racist and oppressive subject headings still exist and prevent full and equitable access to collections. Adler and Harper discuss the entrenchment of race in our modern classification systems, and Howard and Knowlton continue the conversation by elucidating how these systems particularly inhibit African American and LGBTQIA studies. Wickham and Sweeney add to this discussion by highlighting how the legacies of racism and whiteness are transmitted through our collection development practices, particularly in children’s literature. The team of Arroyo-Ramirez, Chou, Freedman, Fujita, and Orozco introduce the concept of microaggressions, explain why they are so damaging to librarians of color, and elucidate how they creatively and radically combat microaggressions through the art of zine making.

The articles in the third section are calls-to-action and really give a sense of the current LIS landscape and provided solid suggestions and hopes for moving forward. Alabi furthers the discussion of microaggressions and contends that they are damaging to professionals of color in libraries. Alabi suggests that white librarians become allies and work toward creating inclusive, instead of hostile, environments. Espinal, Sutherland, and Roh provide an update to Espinal’s formative 2001 article and appeal to the profession to “love librarians of color” (Espinal 2001). Finally, Brown, Ferretti, Leung, and Méndez-Brady share their already challenging experiences as young librarians of color and detail how they began to support and mentor each other. The community they have created for themselves and others is a model for the entire profession.


Library Trends (ISSN 0024-2594) is an essential tool for librarians and educators alike. Each issue thoroughly explores a current topic of interest in professional librarianship and includes practical applications, thorough analyses, and literature reviews. The journal is published quarterly for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science by The Johns Hopkins University Press. For subscription information, call 800-548-1784 (410-516-6987 outside the U.S. and Canada), email jlorder [at] jhupress.jhu.edu, or visit www.press.jhu.edu/journals.


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