Skip to Main Content

RCL Blog

Online Readings about Library and Information Science

by Ana Hernandez on 2024-02-22T10:30:58-06:00 | 0 Comments

Books and Articles to Expand Your Understanding of Libraries/Librarianship: 

Ana Hernandez, Instruction Intern

As a graduate student in Dominican's Masters' in Library and Information Science program, I am happy to present this list of books that can broaden your perspective on the role of libraries! Whether you work in the library profession or not, understanding the expansive potential of libraries and the issues within the profession will improve your ability to critique, support, and engage with your academic and public libraries. Many of these titles are open access, meaning they are accessible to all online and do not require an institutional log-in. 

My favorite excerpt I read while creating this list was from the last article, which is an interview with systems architect and open-source developer Diego Pino Navarro. When asked about the future of digital librarianship, he stated that he wants us to "stop thinking about globalization as a solution." He elaborates, "I think globalization, normalization, huge discovery portals where everything is normalized and rolled together is an excellent way of obscuring smaller realities, important realities and identity." His remarks on localized and specialized cataloging led to his hope that we can acknowledge that "the cataloger is shaping data, the same as a journalist is telling a story. [...] Everything is a narrative and it's a personal narrative. Schemas sometimes hide that, they make everything feel very consistent and precise." The following resources primarily center on issues that arise when narratives around librarianship are unexamined. The work of selecting, organizing, and distributing knowledge requires ongoing reflection on which realities are obscured and which narratives have shaped our decisions. Happy reading!


Knowledge Justice: Disrupting Library and Information Studies through Critical Race Theory / Edited by Sofia Y. Leung and Jorge R. López-McKnight (2021): "In Knowledge Justice, Black, Indigenous, and Peoples of Color scholars use critical race theory (CRT) to challenge the foundational principles, values, and assumptions of Library and Information Science and Studies (LIS) in the United States. They propel CRT to center stage in LIS, to push the profession to understand and reckon with how white supremacy affects practices, services, curriculum, spaces, and policies." - Provided by publisher. 

Knowledge as a Feeling: How Neuroscience and Psychology Impact Human Information Behavior / Troy Swanson (2023):  "Knowledge as a Feeling offers new reflective and metacognitive tools that help meet this moment in the evolution of our information ecosystem. The book has significant implications for information science, challenging theoreticians and practitioners to reconsider how individuals process information" - Provided by publisher. Written by one of Dominican's own Library Science professors! 

The Greatest Films Never Seen: The Film Archive and the Copyright Smokescreen / Claudy Op den Kamp (2017):

"Orphan works, or artworks for which no copyright holder is traceable, pose a growing problem for museums, archives, and other heritage institutions. As they come under more and more pressure to digitize and share their archives, they are often hampered by the uncertain rights status of items in their collections. The Greatest Films Never Seen: The Film Archives and the Copyright Smokescreen uses the prism of copyright to reconsider human agency and the politics of the archives, and asks what the practical implications are for educational institutions, the creative industries, and the general public." - Provided by publisher. 

Urgent Archives / Michelle Caswell (2021): 

"Urgent Archives argues that archivists can and should do more to disrupt white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy beyond the standard liberal archival solutions of more diverse collecting and more inclusive description. Grounded in the emerging field of critical archival studies, this book uncovers how dominant Western archival theories and practices are oppressive by design, while looking toward the radical politics of community archives to envision new liberatory theories and practices. Based on more than a decade of ethnography at community archives sites including the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA), the book explores how members of minoritized communities activate records to build solidarities across and within communities, trouble linear progress narratives, and disrupt cycles of oppression. Caswell explores the temporal, representational, and material aspects of liberatory memory work, arguing that archival disruptions in time and space should be neither about the past nor the future, but about the liberatory affects and effects of memory work in the present." - Provided by publisher. 


Vocational Awe and Libraribrarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves / Fobazi Ettarh (2018):

"Vocational awe describes the set of ideas, values, and assumptions librarians have about themselves and the profession that result in notions that libraries as institutions are inherently good, sacred notions, and therefore beyond critique. I argue that the concept of vocational awe directly correlates to problems within librarianship like burnout and low salary. This article aims to describe the phenomenon and its effects on library philosophies and practices so that they may be recognized and deconstructed." - Ettarh. 

Archiving Black Movements: Shifting Power and Exploring a Community-Centered Approach / Tracy S. Drake, Aisha Conner-Gaten, and Steven D. Booth (2022): 

"This article outlines and reimagines archival work as community-based, highly collaborative, and iterative for professionals outside of Black social and political movements. With a focus on intentionality around the communities impacted, individuals involved, and the movements at large, we framed what archival materials are important to Black organizers of our time. With their insight, cultural heritage and archival professionals can create deliberate processes to get direct feedback from the creators themselves for the archives. Overall, this article aims to introduce ways of thinking to decentralize power in archival collections and provide agency to organizers through their own historical record." - Abstract, Drake et. al.

Toward Empathetic Digital Repositories: An Interview with Diego Pino Navarro / Sophia Ziegler (2021): 

"Sophia Ziegler talks to Diego Pino Navarro about his work with Archipelago, and specifically how he invokes the role of empathy in ongoing digital library software development. Diego talks about his efforts to build a digital library system that empowers local control of digital items and metadata, thereby maintaining unique characteristics represented in their digital collections, while simultaneously generalizing for various schemas. This empathetic approach requires resisting capitalistic impulses for continuous growth and prioritizing generosity and care." - Abstract, Ziegler. 

 Add a Comment



Enter your e-mail address to receive notifications of new posts by e-mail.


  Return to Blog
This post is closed for further discussion.