1st Edition

Narrative Expansions Interpreting Decolonisation in Academic Libraries

Edited By Jess Crilly, Regina Everitt Copyright 2021
    224 Pages
    by Facet Publishing

    224 Pages
    by Facet Publishing

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    The demand to decolonise the curriculum has moved from a protest movement at the margins to the centre of many institutions, as reflected by its inclusion in policies and strategies and numerous initiatives in libraries and archives that have responded to the call, and are critically examining their own historic legacies and practices to support institutional and societal change.

    Narrative Expansions: Interpreting Decolonisation in Academic Libraries explores the ways in which academic libraries are working to address the historic legacies of colonialism, in the context of decolonising the curriculum and the university. It acknowledges and explores the tensions and complexities around the use of the term decolonisation, how it relates to other social justice aims and approaches, including critical librarianship, and what makes this work specific to decolonisation.

    The book is international in scope, and considers the contextual nature of decolonisation, with discussion of the impacts of settler colonialism, and post-colonial contexts with authors from Canada, the United States and Kenya, as well as universities and the British Library in the UK.

    Split into two sections, the book first addresses experiential contexts, discussing the environment in which the academic library is enmeshed: legacy knowledge systems, the neo-liberal university, the pervasive Whiteness of the higher education sector, the global publishing industry – how these structures are constitutive of coloniality and how they can be challenged. It then brings together theory and practice featuring case studies interpreting what it means to 'decolonise' in information literacy, collection management, inclusive spaces, LIS education, research methods and knowledge production through the lens of critical pedagogy, critical information literacy and Critical Race Theory (CRT). The book also addresses the impact and implications of the Whiteness of university library staffing.

    Bringing together the theory and practice of an area of critical concern to the academy, this book is an important reference for academic librarians, educators and researchers in LIS, education and sociology.

    Introduction: Decolonise or 'Decolonise'?

    Jess Crilly and Regina Everitt

    Part 1 Contexts and Experiences

    Decolonising the Library: From Personal Experience to Collective Action

    Hillary Gyebi-Ababio

    Intelligent Leaders, Intelligent Spaces

    Regina Everitt

    Decolonising Research Methodologies

    Sara Ewing

    Do Black Employees' Rights Matter? The Lived Experience of BAME Staff in UK Academic Libraries

    Mohammed Ishaq and Asifa Maaria Hussain

    Decolonising the Academic Library: Reservations, Fines and Renewals

    Lurraine Jones and Marcia Wilson

    Critical Information Literacy and Structural Oppression: Reflecting on Challenges and Looking Forward

    Angela Pashia

    Part 2 In Practice

    The Contribution of Library and Information Science Education to Decolonising

    Bryony Birdi

    Indigenising Canadian Academic Libraries: Two Librarians' Experiences

    Rachel Chong and Ashley Edwards

    Liberate the Library: What It Means to Decolonise and Why It Is Necessary

    Marilyn Clarke

    Opening Spaces for Creative and Critical Enquiry

    Alexandra Duncan, Vivienne Eades-Miller and Adam Ramejkis

    Towards Decolonising the British Library

    Decolonising the British Library Working Group

    Cataloguing, Classification and Critical Librarianship at Cambridge University Libraries

    Cambridge University Decolonising Through Critical Librarianship Group

    Re-membering Kenya: Building Library Infrastructures as Decolonial Practice

    Syokau Mutonga and Angela Okune

    Challenging Its Imperial Origins: Towards Decolonising the School of Oriental and African Studies Library

    Ludi Price

    Decolonising Library Collections: Contemporary Issues, Practical Steps and Examples from London School of Economics

    Kevin Wilson


    Jess Crilly is an independent author and has worked mainly in academic libraries, most recently as Associate Director for Content and Discovery, Library Services, University of the Arts London, up to September 2020. Jess's interests include critical librarianship, the meaning of and possibilities for the decolonisation of knowledge, and the multiple contexts and uses of archives.

    Regina Everitt is Assistant Chief Operating Officer (ACOO) and Director of Library, Archives and Learning Services at the University of East London. She began her professional career as a technical author/trainer working with computer companies that developed software for the manufacturing, pharmaceutical and financial sectors in the US and UK. After managing a small library at a university in West Africa as a volunteer with the United States Peace Corps, she transitioned into the HE sector, developing and managing libraries, social learning spaces and other learning resources. At University of East London, she is institution lead on excellence in customer service delivery.