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Book part
Publication date: 26 February 2016

Toni Samek

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a personal-professional reflection on Canadian author Toni Samek’s learning since publication of her 2007 book project entitled…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a personal-professional reflection on Canadian author Toni Samek’s learning since publication of her 2007 book project entitled Librarianship and human rights: A twenty-first century guide.

Methodology/approach

The reflection, written in first-person and accessible terms appealing to a broad readership, is structured by the following sections: introduction; privilege and position; sobering experiences; the risk factor; a common project; unease; expectation; and, closing thoughts.

Practical implications

This endeavor encourages contributors to the field of library and information studies to situate their work within micro (individuals), meso (institutions), and macro (society) level understandings of privilege and power, including respect for the compassion and conviction demonstrated by street-level library and information workers who may never be rewarded for their good fights, or worse, may suffer loss(es) because of them.

Originality/value

This reflective work affirms the book’s original dedication in Librarianship and human rights: A twenty-first century guide to the many courageous library and information workers throughout the world and through the generations who have taken personal and professional risk to push for social change, as well as the enduring value of librarianship and human rights as a common project and one that involves both learning and unlearning. Librarianship and human rights: A twenty-first century guide was used as an example, when in 2007, activist librarian proposed the subject heading “critical librarianship” to the Cataloging and Support Office of the Library of Congress. This reflection adds to that case.

Details

Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-057-2

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Book part
Publication date: 26 February 2015

Vivianne Fogarty

This chapter highlights how effective school and public libraries not only provide resources and information about human rights but also actually ensure people’s human…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter highlights how effective school and public libraries not only provide resources and information about human rights but also actually ensure people’s human rights are being met through their resources and programming.

Methodology/approach

In this chapter, both human rights documents and library policies are studied to see how effective libraries help children and adults reach their full potential as human beings. Findings by other researchers in this area are also discussed. Concrete examples of human rights projects through school and public libraries in Winnipeg, Canada are identified. The benefits of collaboration are also explored.

Findings

Knowledgeable and passionate librarians in schools and public libraries are essential in providing quality education and information rights to children and adults. Through effective collaboration with teachers, other libraries and relevant organizations, children and adults have more opportunities to reach their full potential. Canada’s newest school library document called Leading Learning is explored.

Originality/value

This chapter provides a current snapshot of how school and public libraries are collaborating together and with various organizations in Winnipeg, Canada, to promote and ensure human rights for children and adults. Libraries are consciously blending the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the Conventions on the Rights of the Child along with national and international library policy documents to ensure effective access to quality education and information rights for everyone. Dynamic and evolving libraries are also supporting human rights by incorporating innovative concepts, programs and resources such as Universal Design for Learning, Learning Commons, Makerspaces and prison libraries.

Details

Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-057-2

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Book part
Publication date: 12 June 2015

Mary Kandiuk and Harriet M. Sonne de Torrens

With a focus on Canada, but framed by similar and shared concerns emerging in the United States, this chapter examines the current status of what constitutes and defines…

Abstract

With a focus on Canada, but framed by similar and shared concerns emerging in the United States, this chapter examines the current status of what constitutes and defines academic freedom for academic librarians and the rights and the protections individual, professional academic librarians have with respect to the freedom of speech and expression of their views in speech and writing within and outside of their institutions. It reviews the historical background of academic freedom and librarianship in Canada, academic freedom language in collective agreements, rights legislation in Canada versus the United States as it pertains to academic librarianship, and rights statements supported by Canadian associations in the library field and associations representing members in postsecondary institutions. The implications of academic librarians using the new communication technologies and social media platforms, such as blogs and networking sites, with respect to academic freedom are examined, as well as, an overview of recent attacks on the academic freedom of academic librarians in the United States and Canada. Included in this analysis are the results of a survey of Canadian academic librarians, which examined attitudes about academic freedom, the external and internal factors which have an impact on academic freedom, and the professional use of new communication technologies and social media platforms.

Details

Current Issues in Libraries, Information Science and Related Fields
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-637-9

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2017

Johanna Rivano Eckerdal

The purpose of this paper is to advocate and contribute to a more nuanced and discerning argument when ascribing a democratic role to libraries and activities related to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advocate and contribute to a more nuanced and discerning argument when ascribing a democratic role to libraries and activities related to information literacy.

Design/methodology/approach

The connections between democracy and libraries as well as between citizenship and information literacy are analysed by using Mouffe’s agonistic pluralism. One example is provided by a recent legislative change (the new Swedish Library Act) and the documents preceding it. A second, more detailed example concerns how information literacy may be conceptualised when related to young women’s sexual and reproductive health. Crucial in both examples are the suggestions of routes to travel that support equality and inclusion for all.

Findings

Within an agonistic approach, democracy concerns equality and interest in making efforts to include the less privileged. The inclusion of a democratic aim, directed towards everyone, for libraries in the new Library Act can be argued to emphasise the political role of libraries. A liberal and a radical understanding of information literacy is elaborated, the latter is advocated. Information literacy is also analysed in a non-essentialist manner, as a description of a learning activity, therefore always value-laden.

Originality/value

The agonistic reading of two central concepts in library and information studies, namely, libraries and information literacy is fruitful and shows how the discipline may contribute to strengthen democracy in society both within institutions as libraries and in other settings.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 73 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Book part
Publication date: 26 February 2016

Abstract

Details

Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-057-2

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Abstract

Details

Library Review, vol. 50 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2020

E.E. Lawrence

Contemporary adult readers' advisory aims to adhere to (what I term) a pure preference satisfaction model in which librarians provide nonjudgmental book recommendations…

Abstract

Purpose

Contemporary adult readers' advisory aims to adhere to (what I term) a pure preference satisfaction model in which librarians provide nonjudgmental book recommendations that satisfy their patrons' aesthetic tastes rather than improve upon them. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether readers' advisors really ought to treat all such tastes as essentially benign, even when doing so may conflict with core commitments to diversity and social responsibility.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper utilizes a thought experiment to interrogate our intuitions regarding the practice of recommending recreational materials featuring marginalized protagonists. The author also draws on theoretical insights from feminist aesthetician A.W. Eaton's innovative work on taste in bodies to formulate argumentation addressing the ethical dilemma presented here.

Findings

Our reading tastes can, in fact, be oppressive, working to maintain unjust power relations that are often thought to be the product merely of bad beliefs. On the view advanced here, oppressive tastes function as real obstacles to collective self-governance because they systematically distort our judgments of the credibility, empathic accessibility, and fundamental worth of our fellow democratic citizens. Librarians' obligation to protect and promote democracy, therefore, provides practitioners with a crucial justification for recommending diverse books to all readers, even (and perhaps especially) those who actively disprefer them.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates how contemporary work in analytic (and specifically feminist) aesthetics can furnish LIS scholars with the intellectual resources to resolve political problems in the library. The author's analysis also lays the groundwork for further consideration of alternative ideals for readers' advisory that will capitalize on the service's educative and emancipatory potential.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 76 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 31 January 2020

Louise Lutéine Ngo Kobhio Balôck

This paper aims to investigate how public libraries in Cameroon contribute to the achievement of goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which is “peace, justice and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how public libraries in Cameroon contribute to the achievement of goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which is “peace, justice and strong institutions”.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology used is observation, talks with the librarians of public libraries from different regions of the country. Authorities in charge of this domain in Cameroon, that is the Ministry of Arts and Culture. Statistics from these different actors have been collected and used for the study, as well as those available through the National Institute of statistics.

Findings

The participation of public libraries in the implementation of goal 16 in Cameroon is remarkable, even if they lack substantial budgets for the achievement of their goals and rely partly on donations. The increasingly widespread use of information and communication technologies, as well as certain paying activities, partly compensates for this lack. Democracy, living together, access to employment and self-employment through the dissemination of information and animation are effective tools that public libraries implement. Users from different origins can gather and discuss freely on national issues. Public libraries are sometimes involved as mediators in the resolution of some social conflicts.

Practical implications

In a period were seeking peace, justice and strong institutions is one of the main national issues discussed in Cameroon, the study provides more visibility to both the authorities and the potential users on the important role played by public libraries in the resolution of national issues.

Originality/value

The study determines the different actors of a national policy in the framework of the creation, and the promotion of the public libraries and their respective roles for a more concerted and better-oriented action.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 69 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2020

Emily A. B. Swanson

Using a critical librarianship framework, this chapter argues that library administrators ought to advocate for comprehensive family leave policies and support employees…

Abstract

Using a critical librarianship framework, this chapter argues that library administrators ought to advocate for comprehensive family leave policies and support employees more fully as they return from maternity leave. Improved policies support and enhance working conditions for all employees. Drawing on a diverse body of literature to illustrate that the significant life transition of becoming a mother is a unique opportunity for the library profession to improve the professional experience of its employees. Finally, practical action steps for supervisors are provided so they can structure a support plan for mothers transitioning back to work.

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2020

Merinda McLure and Caroline Sinkinson

This paper aims to examine librarians’ professional motivations and theoretical perspectives to attend to care and student voice, as they pursue open educational resource…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine librarians’ professional motivations and theoretical perspectives to attend to care and student voice, as they pursue open educational resource (OER) initiatives in higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine OER initiatives that serve as models for their work at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), describe how they have attended to care and student voice in their work to date and reflect on how they hope to continue to do so in their future OER initiatives.

Findings

The authors find connections between theoretical perspectives for care in education and the values and ethics of both the open education movement and librarianship. They propose that these connections provide a foundation for librarians to align their professional motivations and practices in support of learning. The authors provide examples of OER programming that attend to care and student voice and offer related strategies for practitioners to consider.

Originality/value

Librarians at many post-secondary institutions provide critical advocacy and support the adoption, adaptation and creation of OER in higher education. Theories of care, values and ethics in the open education movement and librarianship provide a foundation for librarians to attend to care and elevate student voice as they undertake OER advocacy and initiatives.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 48 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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