Equitable Information Access and Librarianship Praxis: Let’s Get Critical

Today’s Read:
Lauren Smith & Michael Hanson
Communities of Praxis: Transforming Access to Information for Equity
The Serials Librarian, v. 76, nos. 1-4, pp. 42-49
DOI: 10.1080/0361526X.2019.1593015

I recently submitted a proposal to write a chapter on Critical Legal Studies for a new library science textbook, and it was accepted.

In the proposal, I used the Critical Legal Studies research guide I created for our library to create a framework for the future book chapter. Basically, I want to get the content of this guide into some kind of written form, since library research guides have a bit of an ephemeral quality.

While the chapter will be primarily about critical studies in law, it will also include some basic information about critical librarianship. I want to encourage future law librarians consider issues of disproportionate representation and information access in their own professional practice. Or, put another way, I hope that they will choose to incorporate praxis into their practice of librarianship.

For this reason, this recent article from The Serials Librarian caught my eye, and I decided to blog about it. The article is based on a presentation given by Lauren Smith at the 2018 NASIG (formerly the North American Serials Interest Group) conference. In her talk, Smith discussed three themes that are necessary to “democratize” information, which means making sure that all people are empowered to exercise their right to access it: power, praxis, and privilege.

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Diving into Legal Pragmatism

Michael Sullivan, Legal Pragmatism: Community, Rights, and Democracy (2007), introduction and chapter 4, https://www.worldcat.org/title/legal-pragmatism-community-rights-and-democracy/oclc/219688202&referer=brief_results

It is likely that we have arrived at my final blog entry for this year. I am travelling the next few weeks and cannot promise that I will read and blog something scholarly while I am away. I have not had a vacation in a very long time and hope to enjoy some downtime reading for fun.

I finished several research guides this past year, and I am especially pleased at how two of them in particular turned out:

These two guides were definitely a bit of a stretch for me. I do not have a lot of experience in the social sciences aside from my time in library school, and both of these guides turned out to be, by necessity, very multi-disciplinary.

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