CFP: Turning It Off and Back On Again: Speculative Digital Librarianship

The Journal of Critical Digital Librarianship seeks proposals for a special issue “Turning It Off and Back On Again: Speculative Digital Librarianship.”

From the call:

Digital Librarianship is a thriving subfield of LIS, concerned with the tools, technologies, theory and practice of creating, managing, sharing, and exploring digitized and born-digital material held by cultural heritage institutions. 

Critical digital librarianship interrogates the practice of the subfield using queer, feminist, anti-racist, and other theoretical frameworks. 

Critiques of digital librarianship regularly expose historical inequities and cultural expectations inherited from the larger field of LIS. For example: harmful descriptive practices are based on harmful processing and cataloging practices more broadly, and problematic digitization selection and (the lack of) representation in digital projects are directly related to long-standing biases in archival science and collection development.. 

Moving beyond the shortcomings of the past requires us to imagine a new future. To this end, the editors of the Journal of Critical Digital Librarianship invite submissions to the special issue “Turning it Off and Turning it Back On: Speculative Digital Librarianship.”

List of anticipated themes

Specifically (but not exclusively) we invite contributions exploring:

  • Speculative digital libraries: 
    • What could we do if we dreamed big?
    • …if we weren’t tied to the technology and infrastructure we happen to have? 
    • …if we weren’t limited by insufficient resources?
    • …if we weren’t pressured to chase the latest trends?
  • How we, as people, would rather interact with digital libraries: 
    • How could our work be more rewarding, both personally and professionally? 
    • What would a joyous experience with digital librarianship look like?
    • How could we better celebrate the complexities and messiness of digital libraries? 

Formats and Styles

We understand that new thoughts might require new modes of expression. In an effort to explore a fuller range of such creative expression , we welcome proposals for traditional academic papers as well as: 

  • Case studies of attempted reimaginings or speculative futures
  • Short fiction
  • Poetry
  • Visual art 
  • Recorded audio and video 

Open Peer Review

Following the peer review structure of the JCDL, the special issue will be open peer reviewed. Please see more about the review process here: 

Informational Sessions

The editors invite all interested authors to attend an information session to learn more about the goals of the issue and to participate in collaborative brainstorming. 

  • Session One: March 15, 10am, Central
  • Session Two: April 3, 10am, Central

Registration Link: 

Code of Conduct

The Journal of Critical Digital Librarianship is committed to creating and supporting an inclusive, diverse, and equitable community of practice. Please see our full Code of Conduct here:


Source: CFP: Turning It Off and Back On Again: Speculative Digital Librarianship

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Ruth Carpenter, Mimosa Shah, Soni Wadhwa, Kayla Abner, Michael Cummings (Editors-at-large for the week), Pamella Lach and Hillary Richardson (Editors for the week), Claudia Berger, Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, Linsey Ford, John Russell, and Rachel Starry (dh+lib Review Editors).