Libraries as Radical Places

In 2016 the Joint Chiefs of Storytime Underground, a collective of children’s librarians, stated “Librarianship is not a neutral profession, and libraries are not neutral spaces.” This was specifically in response to criticisms of book displays related to the Black Lives Matter movement, but it also highlighted the ongoing role libraries play as champions for social justice, inclusiveness, and equal access.

Libraries haven’t always been inclusive spaces (see here and here for examples), so groups like We Need Diverse Books, CritLib,  Radical Librarians Collective, and Que(e)ry Librarians bring awareness to social justice issues.  

A group of librarians created a #LibrariesResist resource list for information professionals and the public to promote “free, unbiased and accessible sharing of all types of information.”

Building a #LibrariesResist movement & resource. If #ParkRangers can do it, so can #librarians. Join us!

— LibrariesResist (@LibrariesResist) January 29, 2017

Recently, libraries, museums, and cultural and scientific organizations took part in the #DayofFacts Twitter campaign on February 17, to support the *shocking notion* that facts matter.

Are these radical actions? It shouldn’t be outrageous or controversial for libraries to be places of learning and provide access to all, regardless of race, age, gender identity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

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