Ethnic and Racial Diversity in Libraries
How White Allies Can Support Arguments for Decolonization
Keywords:institutionalized oppression, librarianship, diversity, civil rights, social justice
Despite the claim to neutrality, a woeful lack of diversity has had, and continues to have, latent consequences within librarianship and the services we provide. Historically, libraries as a product of white (heterosexual, capitalist, middle-class) librarianship have unwittingly upheld dominant oppressive cultural values by adhering to the tenet of neutrality. Instead, librarians must radically begin supporting our communities by pushing for the removal of institutionalized barriers to entering the information science profession, and divorce ourselves from the notion of neutrality by supporting social justice and civil rights issues. Using discursive analysis as a way to highlight the major scholarly arguments regarding the state of diversity in LIS, I will highlight the ways in which white librarians can better cement ourselves as allies while remaining cognizant of our position as colonizers.
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