Book edited by Cooke and Sweeney looks at teaching social justice in the LIS classroom

Posted: February 16, 2017

A book edited by Assistant Professor Nicole A. Cooke and Miriam E. Sweeney (PhD '13) has been published by Litwin Books/Library Juice Press. Teaching for Justice: Implementing Social Justice in the LIS Classroom is the first in the publisher’s series on critical race studies and multiculturalism in library and information science. Chapter contributors include iSchool alumni Bharat Mehra (PhD '04), Vandana Singh (PhD '08), and Sarah Park Dahlen (PhD '09). The book is based on a workshop organized by Cooke and Sweeney for the 2015 ALISE annual conference.

Publisher's Description: Teaching for Justice highlights the commitment and efforts of LIS faculty and instructors who feature social justice theory and strategies in their courses and classroom practices. This book is geared towards LIS instructors who have begun to incorporate social justice into their course content, as well as those who are interested in learning more about how to address social justice in their classrooms.

teaching-for-justicebook.jpgChapters provide a pedagogical foundation and motivation for teaching social justice in LIS as a stand-alone course or as a theme integrated within topical courses that seemingly "have no relationship" to such issues. The experiences and reflections of chapter contributors will prepare readers with strong arguments for the inclusion of social justice in their LIS classroom, curriculum, and school policies; provide an array of practical techniques intended to secure such inclusion; and instill a sense of confidence for advocating for the incorporation of social justice as a mainstay of LIS education.

"I'm so pleased that this book has been published! Not only has it been a wonderful opportunity to showcase the commitment to diversity and social justice demonstrated by some of our iSchool alumni, but this book addresses a significant need in the literature and in the profession. We look forward to continuing this conversation with our colleagues," said Cooke.

Cooke is the author of the new book, Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2016). She is the 2017 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award and the 2016 recipient of the ALA Equality Award and the Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Teaching and Mentoring in Diversity. Her research and teaching interests include human information behavior, particularly in the online context; critical cultural information studies; and diversity and social justice in librarianship with an emphasis on infusing them into LIS education and pedagogy. She holds an MEd in adult education from Penn State, and a Master of Library Science and PhD in communication, information, and library studies from Rutgers University. 

Sweeney is an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama. Sweeney’s teaching and research interests include investigation into how cultural values around gender and race inform the design, use, and meaning of information and communication technologies and associated practices; and issues of social justice and inclusion in LIS education and professional practice. She holds a master's degree in library and information science from the University of Iowa and a PhD in library and information science from the University of Illinois.

Filed Under: Diversity and Social Justice, Education of Information Professionals, Libraries and Librarianship, faculty news, publications