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Human Rights, Social Justice, and the Activist Future of Libraries

Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice

ISBN: 978-1-78635-058-9, eISBN: 978-1-78635-057-2

ISSN: 0065-2830

Publication date: 26 February 2016

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter summarizes the core human rights and social justice functions of libraries.

Methodology/approach

After reviewing how each chapter of this edited volume offers evidence of libraries’ clear contributions in the area of human rights and social justice, this chapter explores in greater detail how the current environment in which libraries operate impacts their ability to promote human rights and social justice.

Findings

In many communities, libraries are the only institution capable of fulfilling a wide array of social justice and human rights roles. As they seek to fulfill these roles, however, libraries face significant challenges related to the lack of emphasis on considerations of human rights and social justice within the pedagogy, research, and practice of our field.

Originality/value

This chapter serves as a call to action for library practitioners, educators, and researchers to better articulate the social justice and human rights roles of libraries to policy-makers, funders, politicians, and community members.

Keywords

Citation

Gorham, U., Taylor, N.G. and Jaeger, P.T. (2016), "Human Rights, Social Justice, and the Activist Future of Libraries", Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice (Advances in Librarianship, Vol. 41), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 419-427. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0065-283020160000041017

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited