FIMS Publications

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Library Trends


Social responsibility and diversity are two principle tenets of the field of library and information science (LIS), as defined by the American Library Association’s Core Values of Librarianship document, yet often remain on the margins of LIS education, leading to limited student engagement with these concepts and to limited faculty modeling of socially responsible interventions. In this paper, we take up the need to increase the role of both in articulating the values of diversity and social responsibility in LIS education, and argue the field should broaden to put LIS students and faculty in dialog with contemporary social issues of social inequality and injustice whenever possible. We also examine two specific cases of socially responsible activism spearheaded by LIS faculty and how these experiences shape, and are shaped by, curricular commitments to addressing the values of social responsibility and diversity in LIS in the classroom and through research. The development of a social responsibility orientation and skillset, along with literacies of diversity, we argue, leads to better-prepared practitioners and an LIS community that is more actively engaged with its environment. The impetus for students to act can be empowered by faculty modeling a commitment to social responsibility and diversity in their own professional lives.