Reading Lists

There’s a lot I could post right now and I’ll be honest, I’m struggling.

Yesterday, one thing that bothered me most was select people from my profession. As a librarian, I am against censorship. Libraries are very much part of social advocacy (see the film the public). Yet yesterday a person in my field posted the following:

I’m learning that there are library administrators who are not allowing their staff to post readings lists, recommend books, etc. about race, racism, or even Black family life.

If this is you, take a long look in the mirror. This is shameful, cowardly, and racist.

And, don’t @ me with neutrality. There is nothing neutral about this choice. @lisalibrarian

As awful as this is, am I surprised? No. I am fortunate to work in an inclusive environment but we are nowhere near perfect. Far from it. And we have our work cut out for us. But, at least we have regular ally training, have readings set out to us, and group discussions this week via zoom.

But, this isn’t what this post is for. As a librarian, I’m sharing reading lists. None of these are my creation. This is not my area of research (I am a medical librarian) and while I could create my own lists, I’d rather share lists created by others.

I’d also like to share some resources circulating in my institution:

And finally, I just want to share the Colored Conventions Project. Many of my colleagues have worked tirelessly with the project while it was housed at our institution (it’s moving to Penn State). Part of being able to fight for change in the future includes understanding how we got where we are today.

None of us are perfect and most of us (I’d venture to say all of us) can afford to make some changes. But we have to start somewhere. Recognition of shortcomings (intentional or not) and privilege is a start. Listening is another. And learning is another place. I hope that we can all take a step, even if they are small at first. If there are resources you would like me to include, let me know and I’m happy to add them.


8 thoughts on “Reading Lists

    • I salute my public library colleagues. Academia is a relatively safe space in terms of libraries, though we try our best (and I’m proud we try our best not to censor — unless the university firewall does something). Still, we can always and should always do better. Access to information is a step, open access journals and data are another step. Diverse and critical pedagogy and exhibitions are other steps. But we still have to do better…

    • I’m pretty horrified, but at the same time, not surprised. I mean, books are still banned across this country. Why would now be any different? The only change is that perhaps we are more aware. And if we are aware, we can acknowledge and learn and change? We all have our roles to play in change.

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