Library COVID-19 Dashboard

Library COVID-19 Dashboard
Learn more about updates to library services

Disrupting Whiteness in Libraries and Librarianship: A Reading List

This guide is in progress.

Developed by Karla J. Strand, DPhil, MLIS
Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian
University of Wisconsin System

This bibliography is number 89 in the series “Bibliographies in Gender and Women’s Studies,” published by the University of Wisconsin System Office of the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian.


This bibliography contains citations and links (when available) to resources focused on race, racism, and disrupting whiteness and white supremacy in libraries. Particular emphasis is placed on the field of library and information science and librarianship as a profession. The resources are organized by topic; non-LIS-specific resources can be found at the bottom of the list. Updates to the list will be highlighted at the top with the date. “New” indicates a new addition to this guide, not necessarily a newly-published resource.

If you have suggestions of resources for this list, please contact Karla Strand, GWSL,

New to this list (updated September 2020)

  • Added category: Health Sciences Librarianshipsend me your suggestions!
  • Added category: Neutralitysend me your suggestions!
  • Added category: Publishing in Libraries for materials about whiteness or lack of POC voices in library publishing.
  • Added category: Statements for examples of statements from professional organizations in support of Black Lives Matter and other racial justice movements or condemnation of incidents, etc.
  • New resources:

Blogs, Orgs, and Periodicals

Core resources

Academic Libraries


  • Botnick, J. (2019). Archivists as Amici Curiae: Activating Critical Archival Theory to Confront Racialized Surveillance. Journal of Radical Librarianship, 5. Retrieved from
  • Caswell, M. (2017). Teaching to Dismantle White Supremacy in Archives. The Library Quarterly, 87(3), 222-235. Retrieved from
  • Caswell, M. (2014). Inventing New Archival Imaginaries: Theoretical Foundations for Identity-Based Community Archives. In Identity Palimpsests: Ethnic Archiving in the U.S. and Canada, edited by Dominique Daniel and Amalia Levi. Sacramento, CA: Litwin.
  • Caswell, M., Broman, G., Kirmer, J., Martin, L., & Sowry, N. (2012). Implementing a Social Justice Framework in an Introduction to Archives Course: Lessons from Both Sides of the Classroom. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 8(2).
  • Dunbar, A. (2006). Introducing critical race theory to archival discourse: Getting the conversation started. Archival Science 6, 109-129.
  • Eagle, J.H. (2019). “I Want Them to Know We Suffer Here”: Preserving Records of Migrant Detention in Opposition to Racialized Immigration Enforcement Structures. Journal of Radical Librarianship, 5. Retrieved from
  • Gilliland, A. (2011). Neutrality, Social Justice, and the Obligations of Archival Education and Educators in the Twenty-First Century. Archival Science 11(3–4), 193–209.
  • Hughes-Watkins, L. (2018). Moving Toward a Reparative Archive: A Roadmap for a Holistic Approach to Disrupting Homogenous Histories in Academic Repositories and Creating Inclusive Spaces for Marginalized Voices. Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies 5. Article 6. Retrieved from
  • Jules, B. (2016). Confronting Our Failure of Care Around the Legacies of Marginalized People in the Archives. Medium. Retrieved from
  • Kim, E. (2017). Appraising Newness: Whiteness, Neoliberalism & the Building of the Archive for New Poetry. Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, 1(2). Retrieved from
  • Ramirez, M.H. (2015). Being assumed not to be: A critique of whiteness as an archival imperative. The American Archivist, 78(2), 339-356. doi:10.17723/0360-9081.78.2.339
  • Sutherland, T. (2017). Archival Amnesty: In Search of Black American Transitional and Restorative Justice. Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, 1(2). Retrieved from
  • Williams, S. & Drake, J. (2017). Power to the People: Documenting Police Violence in Cleveland. Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, 1(2). Retrieved from

Attribution and Citation

Collection Development

Diversity/Multicultural Studies Librarianship

  • Harrell, M. & Menon, V. (nd). Serving diverse library users: The multicultural studies librarian at an urban research university. Retreived from
  • Ransom, C. (1994). The Diversity Librarian. In Cultural diversity in libraries edited by Riggs and Tarin. NY: Neal Schuman.

Health Sciences Librarianship


  • Cooke, N. A. (2017). The GSLS Carnegie Scholars: Guests in Someone Else’s House. Libraries: Culture, History, and Society, 1(1), 46-71. DOI: 10.5325/libraries.1.1.0046. Retrieved from
  • Hanbury, D. (2018). “It is simply out of the question to eliminate the colorline”: The Development of Black Library Service in Atlanta and the Integration of the Atlanta Public Library. Libraries: Culture, History, and Society, 2(1), 24-47. DOI: 10.5325/libraries.2.1.0024
  • Hand, S. (2012). Transmitting Whiteness: Librarians, children, and race, 1900-1930s. Progressive Librarian, (38/39), 34-63.
  • Josey, E. J. (1972). Libraries, reading, and the liberation of black people. The Library Scene, 1(1), 4-7.
  • Knowlton, S.A. (2017). The “Negro Branch” Library in Memphis: A Case Study of Public Services in a Segregated Southern City. Libraries: Culture, History, and Society, 1(1), 23-45. DOI: 10.5325/libraries.1.1.0023
  • Macias, M. (2016, October 23). Whiteness in libraries. Lowrider Librarian. Retrieved from
  • Stauffer, S.M. (2017). Libraries Are the Homes of Books: Whiteness in the Construction of School Libraries. Libraries: Culture, History, and Society, 1(2), 194-212. DOI: 10.5325/libraries.1.2.0194
  • Wiegand, W. (2017). “Any Ideas?”: The American Library Association and the Desegregation of Public Libraries in the American South. Libraries: Culture, History, and Society, 1(1), 1-22. DOI:10.5325/libraries.1.1.0001

Information Literacy

Knowledge Organization, Classification, and Cataloging

Librarians of Color

Library Initiatives

LIS Programs

  • Cooke, N.A. & Sweeney, M.E., eds. (2017). Teaching for justice: Implementing social justice in the LIS classroom. Library Juice Press.
  • Cooke, N., Sweeney, M., & Noble, S.U. (2016). Social Justice as Topic and Tool: An Attempt to Transform an LIS Curriculum and Culture. Library Quarterly 86(1), 107–24.
  • Gabiola, J. (2016). Instruction for Inclusion: Addressing Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the LIS Curriculum. Paper presented at the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) conference, Boston, MA.
  • Greiner, Tony. (2008, May). Diversity and the MLS. Library Journal, 133(8), 36. Retrieved from 
  • Pawley, C. (2006). Unequal legacies: Race and multiculturalism in the LIS curriculum. The Library Quarterly, 76(2). Retrieved from
  • Peterson, L. (1996). Alternative perspectives in library and information science: Issues of race. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 37(2), 163–174.
  • Roberts, S.T. & Noble, S.U. (2016). Empowered to name, inspired to act: Social responsibility and diversity as calls to action in the LIS context. Library Trends, 64(3). Retrieved from


  • Alabi, J. (2015). Racial microaggressions in academic libraries: Results of a survey of minority and non-minority librarians. Journal of Academic Librarianship 41(1): 57-53.
  • Alabi, J. (2015). “This actually happened:” An analysis of librarians’ responses to a survey about racial microaggressions. Journal of Library Administration, 55(3): 179-191.
  • Tonin, M. (2018). Do librarians discriminate? Library Journal. Retrieved from

Neutrality in LIS

  • Schlesselman-Tarango, G. (2017). How cute! Race, gender, and neutrality in libraries. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 12(1). Retrieved from
  • Stoffle, C.J. & Tarin, P.A. (1994). No place for neutrality: The case for multiculturalism. Library Journal 119(12). Retrieved from

Publishing in Libraries

  • Roh, C. & Gabler, V. (2020). Systemic barriers and allyship in library publishing: A case study reminder that no one is safe from racism. College & Research Libraries News 81(3), 141. doi:

Recruitment, Staffing, and Hiring

Reference Services

  • Hall, T. D. (2012). The black body at the reference desk: Critical race theory and black librarianship. In A. P. Jackson, J. C. Jefferson, Jr., & A. S. Nosakhere (Eds.), The 21st-century black librarian in America (pp. 197-202). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

School Libraries


Other LIS

  • Berry, J. D. (2004). White privilege in library land. Library Journal. 129 (11), 50.
  • Lance, K.C. (2005, May). Racial and ethnic diversity of US library workers. American Libraries, 41-45. Retrieved from
  • Lipsitz, G. (2008). Libraries & memories: Beyond white privilege 101. Progressive Librarian, (32), 3-9.
  • Morehart, P. (2018). Battling racism below the surface: Interactive session sheds light on bias in the workplace. American Libraries. Retrieved from
  • Neely, T.Y. & Abif, K.K. (1996). In our own voices: The changing face of librarianship. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow.
  • Neely, T.Y. & Lopez-McKnight, J.R. (2018). In our own voices, redux: The faces of librarianship today. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Pho, A., & Masland, T. (2014). The revolution will not be stereotyped: Changing perceptions through diversity. In N. Pagowsky & M. Rigby (Eds.), The librarian stereotype: Deconstructing perceptions & presentations of information work (pp. 257-282). Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries. Retrieved from
  • Riggs & Tarin, eds. (1994). Cultural Diversity in Libraries. NY: Neal Schuman.
  • St. Lifer, E. & Nelson, C. (1997). Unequal opportunities: Race does matter. Library Journal, 42–46.

Other Whiteness, etc. (not LIS-specific)