Libraries and Social Justice

Libraries and Social Justice

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Libraries Foster Safe Environments For Social Justice Education

According to John Vincent, social justice is “every one of us having the chances and opportunities to make the most of our lives and use our talents to the full.” Libraries work with this concept in a variety of ways like service to patrons, contributing to research, and educating the public on new topics. There are a number of ways that libraries have worked to create environments conducive to learning and promoting social justice.

  • Recruiting diverse staff.
  • Re-examining library policies that may lead to inequity in access.
  • Training staff on social justice topics and emerging news.
  • Offering safe spaces for community discussion.
  • Listening to library patrons and developing responsive services.

Developing Social Justice Competent Staff

There are also a number of library organizations that are ensuring that social justice training and education are incorporated. The Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association, hosts conferences and continuing education at libraries across the country to help spread information about social justice. These regional symposiums cover topics of equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

Social Justice Education At Local Public Libraries

Local public libraries have also done the work to make sure social justice education is something that is accessible to their communities. Many have realized the importance in pursuing an active role in empowering the voices of minority communities. Outreach programs can be found at libraries across the country. These programs help patrons explore current social justice issues and invite civil rights leaders in for discussions.