POST: Libraries, Technology, and Social Justice

Chris Bourg (MIT Libraries) has posted the text of her Access 2016 talk, “Libraries, Technology, and Social Justice,” in which she takes on the notion of library neutrality and imagines what a social justice agenda would look like in academic libraries.

Drawing on the work of scholars such as Safiya Noble and Sapna Cheryan as well as her own earlier collaborations in this area, Bourg discusses the non-neutrality of technology as well as ways to help make technology work more inclusive in libraries. She closes by inviting ideas on how to “build library technology for social justice”:

I think we need to consciously think about social justice principles and try to build them into every step of our work. For me social justice principles are feminist principles – transparency, participation, agency, embodiment. We should also ask who is missing from our work, or from the personas we develop. And if the answer is women; then we need to dig deeper and ask which women? Too often we think adding white women fixes our diversity problem.

Video of the talk is also available.

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This post was produced through a cooperation between​ Gayle Fischer, Stephen Lingrell, Anna Newman, Kelley Rowan, Chelcie Rowell​, and Ashley Zengerski ​(Editors-at-large for the week), Roxanne Shirazi (Editor for the week), Sarah Potvin (Site Editor), and Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Caro Pinto and Patrick Williams (dh+lib Review Editors).