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Social Justice and Libraries: What Your Library Can Do

This resource guide includes social justice resources for libraries.

How Public Libraries Can Support Social Justice:

  • Learn about social justice issues.

  • Design outreach programs that meet the needs of underserved groups

  • Develop digital collections with awareness of who wins and who loses.

  • Recruit and develop a staff that represents the diversity of the community.

  • Examine our policies.

  • Listen to our users and develop responsive services.

  • Provide authoritative and reliable information.

  • Teach media literacy.

  • Serve as a safe community space during times of civil unrest.

Sources:  

Hashemi Scott, Sarah.  Social Justice and the Public Library.  Public Libraries Online, December 11, 2012.

 Cotrell, Megan.  Baltimore's Library Stays Open During Unrest.  American Libraries, May 1, 2015.

Lankes, David.  Social Justice Issues.  

How Academic Libraries Can Support Social Justice:

 

  • Learn about social justice issues.
  • Be microactivists.

  • Use diversity topics to demonstrate databases during instructional sessions.

  • Provide authoritative and reliable information.

  • Teach media literacy.

  • Provide meeting space for LGBT groups.

  • Design diversity displays.

  • Purchase materials on diverse topics and from alternative publishers.

  • Recruit and develop a staff that represents the diversity of the community.

 

Source:  Lockman, Rachel.  Academic Librarians and Social Justice.  A call to microactivism.  College & Research Libraries News,  April 2015.  

Creating a Social Justice Mindset:  Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice in teh Collections Directorate of the MIT Libraries, 2/9/2017

Baldon, Michelle. Extending the Social Justice Mindset:  Implications for Scholarly Communication, College & Research Libraries News, 2018.

ACRL Instruction Section Virtual Program:  Incorporating Social Justice and the Framework in Information Literacy Instruction, May 20, 2019.

 

How School Libraries Can Support Social Justice

  • Examine school policies using a social justice lens.
  • Create opportunities for students and families to take action.
  • Create and support a Diversity and Justice Alliance.
  • Host book discussions on social justice issues.
  • Explore social justice issues at every grade level.
  • Host a CARE program (Campaign for Acceptance, Respect, and Empathy)
  • Provide authoritative and reliable information.
  • Teach media literacy.
  • Use diversity topics in information literacy training.
  • Recruit and develop a staff that represents the diversity of the community.

Source:  Harmon, Jeanine.  Social Justice:  A Whole-School Approach.  Edutopia.  February 18, 2015.

For more ideas:  YALSA,  Supporting Youth in the Post-2016 Election Climate