Events Calendar

Racialized Youth in the Public Library

Thursday, January 16, 2020
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
FIMS and Nursing Building (FNB)
Room: 4110

"Racialized Youth in the Public Library: Systemic Racism Through a Critical Theory Lens"

Presented by Amber Matthews, with responses from Melissa Adler and Lucia Cedeira Serantes.

Abstract: Public libraries are on the front line of serving racialized communities and help them to mitigate social inequities that can result in education gaps, underemployment and access to affordable housing. Yet, library programs and services are delivered from a race-blind perspective that does not account for the unique information needs and uses of racialized groups. In the case of youth, who are in formative stages of development and face consequential choices for their future, this has the potential for far-reaching impacts. This paper aims to reverse racial ambivalence in Canadian LIS scholarship and argues that race neutral approaches to program and service delivery inappropriately ignore the force of race in Canadian society and can undermine our work with racialized youth in our communities. Using a Critical Race Theory (CRT) framework, I call attention to the lack of anti-racist practices in public libraries and provide a framework to gather race-specific data under the recently implemented Anti-Racism Act (2017). The CRT framework and its privileging of counter storytelling to hear non-dominant perspectives also offers an opportunity to open dialogue on how libraries are experienced by racialized youth.

Presented as part of the Mediations Lecture Series. Everyone is invited.

Faculty of Information and Media Studies
FIMS Communications

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