It’s a marathon not a sprint. It took us centuries to get to where we are. Don’t expect change immediately but also don’t settle for less.
Our collections at EVERY LIBRARY are way out of proportion. The amount of materials written by and from the white male perspective greatly out number everything else. We should be striving to bring our collections into proportion with the racial and gender mix of our country. Our collections should represent us as a people. And as we shift and change, so too should our collections.
Why are people upset with a completely rational and well founded argument? Okay I know it is because white people feel threatened by the fact that POC are actively speaking up about injustice, injustice that they have known and fought their whole life, but often without bringing it up in the wider, public discourse. An injustice that white people haven't even noticed because we just made everything white as the standard and never considered how that affects those who don't fit our standard.
Now, imagine that you, as a white person [because let's face it, most you you are] had only ever been in libraries where the vast majority of scholarship and leisure reading was built on a non-white perspective. That is the issue every person who is not white, heteronormative, or abled deals with every single time the are in our libraries or use them for research. You would hate it. You would feel unwelcome. You would feel like the world was against you.
It is a deeper issue than any of us can imagine. Our entire amassed and cataloged knowledge as humanity is built off of one single viewpoint. And instead of trying to recalibrate this, we are getting upset and attacking the messenger.
As a profession we need to act. You should be angry that this imbalance has persisted for so long. You should use your energy to work to make our collections better. Start at home. Because while you may be located in one place, your patrons are citizens of this country and our world and they need to see its wonderful breadth reflected in our collections
Everyone needs to read books about everyone. We need to start recalibrating our collections. Stop being mad that people are calling attention to the problem and start being part of the solution. Period. End of Discussion.
So you are starting that process by having taken this class. A class that ends today, but don’t stop. COmpleting this class is the beginning of your journey. Read bullets after link.
Read, Suggest, Promote, Buy, Repeat and Repeat and Repeat,