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Title:In pursuit of antiracist social justice: denaturalizing whiteness in the academic library
Author(s):Brook, Freeda; Ellenwood, Dave; Eannace Lozzaro, Althea
Subject(s):Social Justice in LIS
Academic libraries
Abstract:This article examines racism and the culture of Whiteness in academic libraries in three major areas of public services: space, staffing, and reference service delivery. The authors perform a critical discourse analysis, drawing on critical race theory, critical geography, critical education, and social psychology to examine foundational library scholarship and professional standards. Academic libraries as products and representations of their parent institutions, are situated within the well-documented systemic and institutional racism of higher education in the United States. This is reflected in the monocultural geography and spaces of academic libraries. It is seen in the organizational culture and hiring practices of libraries, which are overwhelmingly staffed by White workers, while serving an increasingly diverse student body. Finally, it is reflected in the traditional tenets of reference service delivery, including approachability, responsiveness, and objectivity. The authors argue that racism is embedded in academic libraries through a culture of Whiteness. Consistent with social justice traditions in librarianship, they offer tools and suggestions to realign the profession with antiracist values and practices that will enable libraries to better serve their communities.
Issue Date:2015
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In Library Trends 64 (2) Fall 2015: 246-284.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2008 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-04-01

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