IS 540 Social Justice in the Information Professions

This course is intended to provide a historic and contemporary overview of social justice and advocacy work in librarianship. The course will be primarily focused on activities in the United States, though international movements and perspectives will be addressed. Topics include: desegregation of libraries and professional associations; recruitment and retention of library workers from traditionally underrepresented populations; library outreach; intellectual freedom; and emerging critical theories and issues in the field.

Learning objectives

  • Consider theoretical frameworks for examining the library as part of a larger network of cultural production, regulation, and ideology and the role that social responsibility plays therein.
  • Analyze how the library and information studies discourse on social responsibility interplays with other discourses such as cultural studies, education, philosophy, political science, gender and women's studies, race and ethnicity studies, reading research.
  • Contextualize the ethos of social responsibility in professional discourse in terms of when it emerged, how it evolved, and where it is heading.

Recent syllabus