Perpetuating Whiteness:

Disrupting the Dominant Narrative in Academic Library Collections


  • Erica England


Academic Library Collections, Inclusive Collections, Collection Diversity, Systematic Racism, Authentic Authorship


This exploratory study addresses both the lack of collection diversity and inclusion in a large, state university, and the need for more awareness of whiteness within library collections. The initial study found that 78% of recently acquired monographs were grounded in a eurocentric perspective and that the represented authors were predominantly white and/or male. Even though professional library organizations recognize the critical need and responsibility to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion, academic libraries reproduce the inequities and hegemonic states of their parent institutions in their acquisitions, perpetuating a white-embedded structure of knowledge. When viewed through a lens of critical race theory (CRT), it is apparent that although academic libraries tout missions to ensure diversity and inclusive practices, there is lack of oversight in assuring collections are capturing under-represented and culturally appreciative works of thought, ideologies, and perspectives that are not based in white epistemological “truths". 






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