Reading Group Hosts Online Panel

Kansas City Public Library, photo by Tracy Drake

On November 8th, 2012, the Inclusions and Exclusions Reading Group hosted an online panel presentation that was originally presented at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) in September 2012. JCLC was sponsored by the five ethnic caucuses of the American Library Association. This conference brings together librarians, library staff, library supporters, and community partners to discuss issues of diversity in libraries and seeks to understand how this relates to the ethnic communities that utilize our services. This year’s conference theme was “Gathering at the Waters: Celebrating Stories, Embracing Communities,” and was held in Kansas City, Missouri.

The panel was titled White Screen/White Noise: Racism on the Internet and included:

Heather McCann, Urban Studies & Planning and GIS Librarian, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Myrna E. Morales, Technology Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region

Rebecca Martin, Library Coordinator, Yvonne Pappenheim Library on Anti-Racism at Community Change, Inc.

Stacie Williams, Reference & Instruction Assistant, Francis Countway Library, Harvard Medical School.

The panelists will explore the Internet as a critical tool for disseminating information but also a socially constructed space where issues of race and racism are manifested through social networking sites, mainstream media, comment sections, and community organizing and networking forums. They also seek to answer the question, “What can librarians and other information workers do to acknowledge and counteract this problem?”

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