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, karla.strand@wisc.edu.

New to this list (updated 19 August 2019)

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 https://journal.radicallibrarianship.org/index.php/journal/article/view/35.
  • Caswell, M. (2017). Teaching to Dismantle White Supremacy in Archives. The Library Quarterly, 87(3), 222-235. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1086/692299
  • 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 https://journal.radicallibrarianship.org/index.php/journal/article/view/32
  • 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.
  • Jules, B. (2016). Confronting Our Failure of Care Around the Legacies of Marginalized People in the Archives. Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/on-archivy/confronting-our-failure-of-care-around-the-legacies-of-marginalized-people-in-the-archives-dc4180397280
  • 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 https://doi.org/10.24242/jclis.v1i2.38
  • 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 http://americanarchivist.org/doi/abs/10.17723/0360-9081.78.2.339?code=same-site
  • 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 https://doi.org/10.24242/jclis.v1i2.42
  • 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 https://doi.org/10.24242/jclis.v1i2.33

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 www.lib.uiowa.edu/wwwarchive/cicdiversity/harrell.doc
  • Ransom, C. (1994). The Diversity Librarian. In Cultural diversity in libraries edited by Riggs and Tarin. NY: Neal Schuman.


  • 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 https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/libraries.1.1.0046
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

  • Chou, R.L. & Pho, A., eds. (2018). Pushing the Margins: Women of Color and Intersectionality in LIS. Library Juice Press.
  • de la Peña McCook, K., ed. (1998). Women of color in librarianship: An oral history. Chicago: American Library Association.
  • Gonzalez-Smith, I., Swanson, J., & Tanaka, A. (2014). Unpacking identity: Racial, ethnic, and professional identity and academic librarians of color. In N. Pagowsky & M. Rigby, eds., The librarian stereotype: Deconstructing perceptions and presentations of information work (pp. 149-173). Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries.
  • Hankins, R. & Juarez, M. eds. (2016). Where are all the librarians of color? The experiences of people of color in academia. Library Juice Press.
  • Jackson, P., Jefferson, Jr., J.C., & Nosakhere, A.S., eds. (2012). The 21st-century black librarian in America. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
  • Kendrick, K. & Damasco, I.T. (2019). The Low-Morale Experience of Minority Academic Librarians: A Review. Presentation delivered at IDEAL 2019. Retrieved from https://prezi.com/pqawnmki_foy/the-low-morale-experience-of-minority-academic-librarians-a-review/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy
  • McLaughlin, M. (2005). The need for American Indian librarians. Native American Times. Reprinted in Versed: the Bulletin of the Office for Diversity American Library Association.

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.
  • Pawley, C. (2006). Unequal legacies: Race and multiculturalism in the LIS curriculum. The Library Quarterly, 76(2). Retrieved from https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/506955
  • 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 https://muse.jhu.edu/article/613921


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

Other Whiteness, etc. (not LIS-specific)