ILA Social Justice Committee, Equity, and Libraries

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Hello!

I'm Ryan Randall, from the College of Western Idaho!



Today I'll be talking about the ILA Social Justice Committee, plus some thoughts on social justice, equity, & libraries more broadly.

"In a world in which social justice prevailed, there would be no barriers to the elementary rights to which we are all entitled."

— Michael Gorman, Our Enduring Values Revisited, p. 159.

"…'social justice' is a concept that encompasses more than representation and diversity, and is generally understood to refer to the ability of all people to fully benefit from social and economic progress and to participate equally in democratic societies. […]"

— Myrna Morales, Em Claire Knowles, and Chris Bourg,
"Diversity, Social Justice, and the Future of Libraries", p. 440.

"…In other words, social justice addresses power and privilege on a structural level, as well as at the level of mere representation."

— Myrna Morales, Em Claire Knowles, and Chris Bourg,
"Diversity, Social Justice, and the Future of Libraries", p. 440.

ILA's Social Justice Committee

  • Housing insecurity
  • Food insecurity
  • New Americans/Refugees
  • Transgender issues
  • LGBTQ+ issues
  • Veteran's affairs
  • Disability
  • Poverty
  • Anti-racism
  • Intersectional approaches to these
  • Whatever you want to work on!

Injustice? Libraries?

Accountability logic

bell hooks, "Race and Feminism: The Issue of Accountability"

"A logic of accountability tries to interrupt our excuses of not being personally accountable at present for existing cultural situations that originated in the past (e.g. personal excuses such as "I never denied a woman a promotion" or "My family never owned slaves")."

— Krista Ratcliffe, Rhetorical Listening: Identification, Gender, Whiteness, p. 32

"A logic of accountability invites us to consider how all of us are, at present, culturally implicated in effects of the past (via our resulting privileges and/or their lack) and, thus, accountable for what we do about situations now, even if we are not responsible for their origins."

— Krista Ratcliffe, Rhetorical Listening: Identification, Gender, Whiteness, p. 32

Equality and Equity

Image: Interaction Institute for Social Change | Artist: Angus Maguire

"Equity does not mean equality, but it does mean fairness. It is a key element in the concept of social justice—the idea that every person in society is entitled to a fair shake."

— Michael Gorman, Our Enduring Values Revisited, p. 159.

Familiar Library Examples of Equitable Access

  • Braille copies
  • Talking Books program
  • Bookmobiles

Cautious Optimism

Microaggressions certainly happen, even in libraries…

Cynthia Mari Orozco's LIS Microaggressions blog


Could focusing on social justice, accountability & equity also make libraries spaces for

… micro-liberations?

Madison, WI's Approach

2016 PLA Conference Presentation by Sarah Lawton (Madison Public Library) and Tariq Saqqaf (Office of the Mayor)

PLA's "FYI" Podcast episode: Engaged and Inclusive: Institutional Approaches to Racial Equity and Social Justice

Refugees / New Americans

Works Cited/Referenced

Other Resources

Thank you!