I’ve never subscribed to the notion of libraries as a “neutral zone”, for, as Chris Bourg of Stanford University notes on her blog the Feral Librarian,
“our traditional practices and technologies are not neutral, and without active intervention we end up with collections that lack diversity and we end up classifying and arranging our content in ways that further marginalizes works by and about people of color, queer people, indigenous peoples, and others who don’t fit neatly into a classification system that sets the default as the as western, white, straight, and male.”
Really sorry I missed her session on this theme at the Ontario Library Association Superconference, but look forward to following her work!
I want to acknowledge from the outset that this talk has been heavily influenced by a number of people who have shared their work and their thoughts with me over the years. I’ve been privileged to learn from them, in some cases formally through their publications and in some cases through conversations on twitter or even in person. These aren’t the only folks whose work and thinking influences me, but they are the key people I think of when I think of critical work on the intersections of libraries, technology, higher education and social justice. These are their names – a mix of students, librarians, scholars, and technologists. Again, this is not a comprehensive list of the people whose work inspires me, but they are my top 7 right now on these…
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