CFP: Edited Collection Liberatory Librarianship: Case Studies of Information Professionals Supporting Justice; due Sept. 1

CFP: Edited Collection Liberatory Librarianship: Case Studies of Information Professionals Supporting Justice


Dr. Laurie Taylor (University of Florida, USA)

Dr. Shamin Renwick (University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago)

Brian Keith (University of Florida, USA)


In this volume to be published by the American Library Association, we seek to explore what is “liberatory librarianship,” using liberatory to mean serving to liberate or set free and using “librarianship” capaciously, to include all information professionals, including archivists, museum professionals, and others who may or may not identify as librarians.

Liberatory librarianship involves the application of the skills, knowledge, abilities, professional ethics, and personal commitment to justice and the leveraging of the systems and resources of libraries to support the work of underrepresented, minoritized, and/or marginalized people to increase freedom, justice, community, and broader awareness.

Liberatory is beyond the important work of decolonizing, which remains the dominant Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) model for librarianship.

In this volume, we want to address questions like: How can librarianship be liberatory? How is library capacity and expertise used to increase freedom, justice, and community?

We seek stories of liberatory librarianship so that collectively we can learn from impactful luminaries, who too often are unknown and their work unspoken. In this volume, we seek to define, recognize, and foster liberatory librarianship by bringing together many voices sharing the stories of this work.

For what we hope is the first of many volumes, we seek:

  • Practical stories to inspire us to think about our work and inform it, not opinion pieces
  • Stories based on information professionals doing something
  • Stories of stalwarts and champions who have forged progress in this area
  • Autobiographical entries are welcomed
  • Stories from the Americas: Caribbean, Latin America, Indigenous Nations, Canada, US
  • Entries in English (the stories may depicted work undertaken in other languages)
  • Cases are expected to follow practices of reciprocity and community, and so are expected to engage and return to the community. Community members should be afforded the opportunity to review and comment. For example, if the story of liberatory librarianship includes work with a particular community, will a member of that community be a contributor to the piece?
  • For essays where the person is alive and available, the book process will include inviting the person to take part and incorporating their perspective to share their voice (incorporated into the entries). As with all of the essays, these will share stories of specific work and person working following liberatory librarianship.

The editors expect to include approximately:

  • 10 long-form profiles (3,000-4,000 words)
  • 15 short-form profiles (under 350 words)

We will select based on the importance of sharing hidden stories, representativeness of the stories, and the ability of each story in terms of how they can educate, inform, and inspire.

This volume will complement recent scholarship on liberatory archives and justice in libraries, known by many terms, as with Michelle Caswell’s Urgent Archives (Routledge 2021) and Sophia T. Leung and Jorge R. López-McKnight’s Knowledge Justice: Disrupting Library and Information Studies through Critical Race Theory (MIT 2021). This book will parallel the collection edited by Shameka Dalton, Yvonne J. Chandler, Vicente E. Garces, Dennis C. Kim-Prieto, Carol Avery Nicholson, and Michele A. L. Villagran, Celebrating Diversity: A Legacy of Minority Leadership in the American Association of Law Libraries, Second Edition (Hein 2018), which offers a thematic overview with specific stories of excellence and impact. This volume shares a methodology with grounded theory, narratology, and feminist practices, as with books like Sherry Turkle’s Evocative Objects (MIT 2011). In the telling of specific stories that speak to greater truths, the essays in this volume will illuminate complexity through accessible, readable, and engaging stories.

As a collected set of stories of the profession, this volume will be of interest to those working in librarianship, defined broadly, as well as to faculty and students in information science and museum studies programs.

Please send the following to by September 1, 2022:

  • Name(s)
  • Email(s) for all
  • 100-250 word bio of the author(s), which may include links
  • For a short form (under 350 words), please submit the full piece
  • For a longer form (3,000-4,000 words), please submit the full piece or a 250-500 word proposal

For submissions:

  • Please use Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition.
  • Photos, images, or artwork should be saved in separate electronic files (each photo, image, etc. as a separate file). Indicate their placement with an all-caps comment in the manuscript, immediately following the paragraph that includes the reference to the figure, table, or box, for example: INSERT FIGURE 6.3 APPROXIMATELY HERE.

The editors will respond by October 1, 2022.

For longer form, final submissions will be due December 1, 2022.