We have deliberately chosen to call the conference ‘Critical Approaches to Libraries’ to express that it encompasses all library workers, their users and interested parties and all elements of library work and research. Whilst we hope that the conference includes presentations from those identifying as librarians and those who practice critical pedagogy, we didn’t want to exclude anyone by using those terms.
Strict definitions of what constitutes critical theory and practice in libraries can be problematic as they inevitably mean different things to different people; what is challenging hegemony for one person is standard practice for another. Our aim in this conference is to provide a space to share and range of ideas and practices in all areas of critical library practice, including (but not limited to) decolonisation, critical information literacy and critical pedagogy, equality, diversity and inclusion library work and services and representation of marginalised groups in society, academia and collections. Similarly we are interested in sharing experiences and practices from all areas (collections, liaison, teaching and learning etc.) and sectors of library work (HE, FE, health, public, school and special libraries and special collections). If you work in or with the library sector and are interested in challenging the dominant “historical, cultural, social, economic, political and other forces that affect information” (Gregory and Higgins 2013) then we would love you to attend this conference.
It is our intention however to avoid spending the precious time we have at this conference defining terms or providing introductions to topics that could read elsewhere in advance of the conference. To that end you can find here a list of suggested reading.
Gregory, L. and Higgins, S. (2013). Information literacy and social justice: Radical professional praxis. Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press.