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Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice

Special issue call for papers from Advances in Librarianship

Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice is an edited volume from the Advances in Librarianship book series devoted to the ideals, activities, and programs in libraries that protect human rights and promote social justice.

Human rights are based on the belief that all individuals deserve certain equal rights as members of society, while social justice is based in the social and societal structures that foster equality based on laws and policies. Institutions of human rights and social justice support equality in their communities, and an increasing number of roles embraced by libraries evidence their commitment to equality.

Guided by this commitment, libraries of all types, as well as the professionals who work in these institutions, engage in many practices and services to meet community needs. In the age of the Internet, the ability of public, school, academic and special libraries to meet community needs is dependent upon their ability to reach those communities and individuals who face barriers to information access created by literacy, technology, language and other factors.

Although not always described in this manner, libraries' efforts to support societal inclusion for a large number of individuals who rely on libraries for access and education can aptly be characterized as support for human rights and justice. Key topics at the intersection of information, human rights, social justice, and technology include information access, information literacy, digital inclusion, education, social services, intellectual freedom, and freedom of expression, among many others.

Academic, public, school, and special libraries all have important programs that seek to meet individual and community needs related to human rights and social justice, while the library profession has embraced many ethical principles and values based on rights and justice.

This book, edited by Ursula Gorham, Natalie Greene Taylor, and Paul T. Jaeger, will include contributions that will encompass:

  • Reports of current initiatives and activities in libraries to promote human rights and social justice
  • Discussions of the roles of human rights and social justice in conceptions of the field of librarianship, as well as in library and information science education
  • Examinations of partnerships between libraries and other organizations to support human rights and social justice
  • Historical and philosophical considerations
  • Explorations of related issues of law, policy, politics, and economics

Contributors will represent researchers, educators, and practitioners from a range of fields. The book is intended to serve as an important resource for library professionals in all types of libraries, a reference for researchers and educators about all types of libraries, and an introduction to those in other fields about the contributions of libraries to human rights and social justice.

Please direct inquiries and chapter ideas to Ursula Gorham via

Submission deadline is April 30, 2015.