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Librarians have been urged to emphasize social justice and human rights issues in their library mission, but they may find themselves challenged to provide additional…
Librarians have been urged to emphasize social justice and human rights issues in their library mission, but they may find themselves challenged to provide additional services, such as access to legal information for those who cannot afford an attorney. Social justice services in libraries are seldom adequately funded and providing services in this area is labor intensive. In addition, there is an emotional intensity in library services for social justice that is often not considered in the initial enthusiasm of providing services in this area. Yet there seems to be no limit to the need. An interesting and useful perspective on how a public agency such as a library responds in circumstances of limited resources and unlimited demand can be found in the book Street-Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Service, by Michael Lipsky. In this perspective, lower level civil servants who interact directly with members of the general public exercise a level of discretion in the amount of services provided and how those services are administered. This chapter explores how this can generate tensions between more traditional library bureaucracy and social justice services, such as providing public access to justice resources in law libraries. However, the “street-level” response is evolving into a sustainability perspective as librarians embrace a more social justice–oriented outlook in library service planning.
Oriented to ongoing student and university momentums for decolonial futures, the purpose of this paper is to interrogate the role and status of mainstream international…
Oriented to ongoing student and university momentums for decolonial futures, the purpose of this paper is to interrogate the role and status of mainstream international development curricula and pedagogies by critiquing two absences in the sub-discipline’s teaching formulae: appropriations and assassinations.
The author draws from a decade of research on oil extraction in Central Africa, including ethnographic work with two communities in Cameroon along the Chad–Cameroon Oil Pipeline; four years of research (interview-based and unofficial or grey materials) on the 1983 August Revolution in Burkina Faso and assassination of Thomas Sankara; and five years of experience teaching international development in North America, Western Europe and North and Eastern Africa.
Through a critical synthesis of political and rhetorical practices that are often considered in isolation (i.e. political assassinations and corporate appropriation of Indigenous knowledges), the author makes the case for what the author calls pedagogical disobedience: an anticipatory decolonial development curricula and praxis that is attentive to the simultaneity of violence and misappropriation within colonial operations of power (i.e. “coloniality of power” or “coloniality”).
This paper contributes to debates within international development about the future of the discipline given its neo-colonial and colonial constitutions and functions with a grounded attention to how this opens up possibilities for teaching praxis and scholarship in action.