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We Can't Get There Without Trying: Social Justice, Collection Diversity, and Practicing Allyship

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Presented at
Charleston Library Conference 2020

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Abstract

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important elements of collection development. This has been made clearer in the last few months as we see an increase in interest in books on anti-racism and equity from many library patrons. While a lot of research and work has been done in antiracism and collection development, it has not been treated as an imperative for all collection development librarians, and in some cases has been treated as niche or assumed as the work of librarians of color. An important practice of allyship for white librarians is to incorporate diversifying their collections and increasing the perspective of authors of color into their day-to-day work. This is particularly true in academic libraries where this imperative has not taken as much of a hold as in public librarianship and the collection of fiction works. This call to action includes not just the typical social science areas that these topics have long been boxed into but all disciplines, as none are immune from systemic racism, sexism, and homophobia. Focusing on academic library collection development, this poster will make the case for DEI in collection and provide practical tips on creating retrospective and forward-looking author lists. This poster will also reframe the work many collection development librarians do regularly such as book lists and book reviews through a social justice lens.

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© Copyright 2021 Morressier GmbH.
All rights reserved.