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Laura L. Carpenter
Librarian and Activist

          To ensure that libraries (academic, public, private, school, and otherwise) are genuinely acting as centers of equity to their patrons, the voices of the libraries' staff, administration, policy makers, MLIS professors, course materials, library collections, and programming must all be examined under a microscope. To embrace diverse peoples, these voices must be comprised of diverse peoples.

          There are so many important facets to the goal of diversifying the library sciences. They start with acknowledging that government, and many other, historical institutions in the U.S. operate within and perpetuate oppressive policies, histories, and mindsets. Not only do policies and practices need to be revisited under the lens of working to dismantle oppressive systems internally, the people holding the lens need to have diverse voices and identities. Examining the content, collections, and portrayals of materials and services under this same lens is imperative. An excellent article that illustrates many of the concepts discussed here is How A Museum’s Human Skull Collection Sparked A Racial Reckoning.

Creating safe, welcoming, and accepting spaces for all peoples, not just peoples viewing the world from a white perspective, is of paramount importance.

Guardian Images. (2019, July 5). We shouldn't have to hide [Video]. YouTube.

Singer, B. (Director). (2003). X2 [Film]. Twentieth Century Fox.


Resident Librarian
at the University of Virginia Library,
through the Association of College and Research Libraries
Diversity Alliance

(Posted in 2017)
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