This year (2017) marked the tenth anniversary of my entry into the library science / archives field as a graduate student and worker. It also coincided with the end of my three-year term as Inclusion and Diversity Coordinator for our regional professional association, New England Archivists, and the inception of the loose affiliation of resistance archivists we have come to call the Concerned Archivists Alliance.

While I have neither the opportunity nor inclination to return to formal graduate study, I have decided to make 2018 a year of study and reflection as I think about the core values that inform my work as a librarian through the lens of scholarly and activist literatures that critically consider how library and archival spaces are shaping and shaped by social (in)justice.

I am grateful, as I prepare to undertake this year of work, that many scholars have made syllabi and other tools for this exploration readily available to those outside the academy.

LAST UPDATED 4/25/2018

My core resources will be:

I am excited to be enrolled in the Library Juice Academy course Exploring and Applying Critical Theory: An Introduction for Librarians taught by Jessica Critten (April 2018).

#critlib readings and discussion.

Design for Diversity’s Foundational Readings and ongoing engagement with their work.

Adrienne Keene’s Introduction to Critical Race Theory syllabus (Fall 2017).

Raul Pacheco-Vega’s “How to undertake a literature review.”

Laura Saunders‘ Radical Librarianship: Radical Theory & Praxis syllabus (Spring 2016).


In addition, this post will become a living bibliography of the additional books, articles, and online resources that have informed this critical reflection already (*) or that are on my “to read” list for 2018:

*Adler, Melissa. Cruising in the Library: Perversities in the Organization of Knowledge (Fordham, 2017).

Ahmed, Sara. Living a Feminist Life (Duke Univ. Press, 2017).

*Ahmed, Sara. On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (Duke Univ. Press, 2012).

*Beilin, Ian. “Student Success and the Neoliberal Academic Library.” Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship 1:1 (2016): 10-23.

Bly, Lyz and Kelly Wooten. Make Your Own History: Documenting Feminist and Queer Activism in the 21st Century (Litwin Books, 2012).

Bradbury, Alexandra, Mark Brenner, and Jane Slaughter. Secrets of a Successful Organizer (Labor Education and Research Project, 2016).

Brilmyer, Gracen. “Archival assemblages: applying disability studies’ political/relational model to archival description.” Archival Science (2018): 1-24.

*Bourg, Chris. “Debating y/our humanity, or Are Libraries Neutral?” (11 February 2018).

Caldera, Mary and Kathryn M. Neal. Through the Archival Looking Glass: A Reader on Diversity and Inclusion (SAA, 2014).

Cottom, Tracy McMillan. Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy (The New Press, 2017).

*de jesus, nina. “Locating the Library in Institutional Oppression.” In the Library with a Lead Pipe (24 September 2014).

*Delgado, Richard and Jean Stefancic. Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (New York Univ. Press, 2001).

*DiAngelo, Robin. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Race (Beacon Press, 2018).

*Drabinski, Emily. “Toward a Kairos of Library Instruction.” Brooklyn Library Faculty Publications, Paper 16 (2014).

*Drabinski, Emily. “Are libraries neutral?” (12 February 2018).

*Drake, Jarrett M. “I’m Leaving the Archival Profession: It’s Better This Way” (Medium, 26 June 2017).

*Galvan, Angela. “Soliciting Performance, Hiding Bias: Whiteness and Librarianship.” In the Library with a Lead Pipe (3 June 2015).

*Geismer, Lily. Don’t Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of the Democratic Party (Princeton Univ. Press, 2014).

*Hathcock, April. “White Librarianship in Blackface: Diversity Initiatives in LIS.” In the Library with a Lead Pipe (7 October 2015).

Lankes, R. David. The New Librarianship Field Guide (MIT Press, 2016).

Lew, Shirley and Baharak Yousefi, eds. Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership (Library Juice Press, 2017).

McAlevey, Jane F. No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age (Oxford U. P., 2016).

Michaels, Walter Benn. The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality (Metropolitan Books, 2007).

Mehra, Bharat and Kevin Rioux, eds. Progressive Community Action: Critical Theory and Social Justice in Library and Information Science (Library Juice Press, 2016).

Nicholson, Karen P. and Maura Seale, eds. The Politics of Theory and the Practice of Critical Librarianship (Library Juice Press, 2018).

Noble, Safiya Umoha. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (NYU Press, 2018).

Oluo, Ijeoma. So You Want to Talk About Race (Seal Press, 2018).

Picca, Leslie and Joe Feagin. Two-Faced Racism: Whites in the Backstage and Frontstage (Routledge, 2007).

Popowich, Sam. ” ‘Ruthless Criticism of All that Exists’: Marxism, Technology, and Library Work,” The Politics of Theory and the Practice of Critical Librarianship, Karen P. Nicholson and Maura Seale, eds. (Library Juice Press, 2018).

Punzalan, Ricardo and Michelle Caswell, “Critical Directions for Archival Approaches to Social Justice,” The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy vol. 86, no. 1 (January 2016).

Rinn, Meghan R. “Nineteenth-Century Depictions of Disabilities and Modern Metadata: A Consideration of Material in the P. T. Barnum Digital Collection,” Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies vol. 5 (2018).

Samek, Toni. Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility in American Librarianship, 1967-1974 (McFarland, 2001).

*Seale, Maura. “Enlightenment, Neoliberalism, and Information Literacy.” Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship 1:1 (2016): 80-91.

Schlesselman-Tarango, Gina, ed. Topographies of Whiteness: Mapping Whiteness in Library and Information Science (Library Juice Press, 2017).

Schomberg, Jessica. “Disability at Work: Libraries, Built to Exclude,” The Politics of Theory and the Practice of Critical Librarianship, Karen P. Nicholson and Maura Seale, eds. (Library Juice Press, 2018): 111-123.

*Shirazi, Roxanne. “Reproducing the Academy: Librarians and the Question of Service in the Digital Humanities” (15 July 2014).

Sullivan, Susanne. Good White People: The Problem with White Middle Class Anti-racism (SUNY Press, 2014).

Tewell, Eamon. “Putting Critical Information Literacy into Context: How and Why Librarians Adopt Critical Practices in Their Teaching.” In the Library with a Lead Pipe (12 October 2016).

*Tyson, Amy.  The Wages of History: Emotional Labor on Public History’s Front Lines (Univ. of Mass. Press, 2013).

*Wakimoto, Diana, Christine Bruce, and Helen Partridge. “Archivist as Activist: Lessons from Three Queer Community Archives in California,” Archival Science 13, 4 (December 2013): 293-316.

Ward, Jane. Respectably Queer: Diversity Culture in LGBT Activist Organizations (Vanderbilt Univ. Press, 2008).