This study updates and extends Hand’s (2012) research on the transmission of Whiteness through public library youth collections in the early 1900s. Taking Hand’s study as a departure point, this case study of a southern, rural, public library asks whether and how Whiteness is still transmitted through the library’s youth collections. Analysis of Rural Branch Library’s (RBL) easy reader and juvenile biography collections confirms an overrepresentation of White authors and characters and storylines that privilege White racial frameworks. Analysis of RBL’s collection development policies and practices reveals that color-blind selection policies, lack of weeding, and constraints in resources and staffing create a structure that fosters the transmission of Whiteness in the youth collections over time. This study contributes to understandings of library collections as sites of social power and has implications for the collection development policies and practices of similarly situated small and rural public libraries.
Cite as: Wickham, M. E. & Sweeney, M. E. (2018). Are We Still Transmitting Whiteness? A Case Study of a Southern, Rural Library’s Youth Collections. Library Trends 67(1), 89-106. Johns Hopkins University Press.
I just returned from the 2018 annual meeting of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) in Montréal, Québec. I believe this was the largest AoIR conference yet, and it was exciting to see so many new faces join the ranks of folks researching the internet and the digital.
I'm pleased to announce that my latest publication with co-author Nicole Cooke, “You’re So Sensitive! How LIS Professionals Define and Discuss Microaggressions Online,” is now available in the October 2018 issue of The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy. Check out the abstract below!
This study analyzes a lengthy online discussion thread about racial microaggressions in a social media group for librarians to find out how library and information science (LIS) professionals define and discuss microaggressions through informal conversation. The findings reveal that there are multiple and conflicting understandings of microaggressions, along with significant gaps in knowledge regarding how microaggressions relate to larger systems of power and privilege. This research has implications for LIS educators and for the professional development of LIS practitioners, underscoring the further need to actively teach about microaggressions in the context of power and privilege in the LIS classroom and in continuing education settings.
Cite as: Sweeney, M.E & Cooke, N.A. (2018). You’re So Sensitive! How LIS Professionals Define and Discuss Microaggressions Online. The Library Quarterly Information, Community, Policy, 88(4), 375-390.