Library Journal is taking a beating over a tweet from Monday arguing that library collections are promoting and proliferating whiteness, so much so that the whiteness is taking up most of the physical space.

The thing is, that tweet doesn’t even begin to encapsulate the argument by Sofia Leung — not by a long shot:

If you look at any United States library’s collection, especially those in higher education institutions, most of the collections (books, journals, archival papers, other media, etc.) are written by white dudes writing about white ideas, white things, or ideas, people, and things they stole from POC and then claimed as white property with all of the “rights to use and enjoyment of” that [Cheryl I.] Harris describes in her article.

Library collections continue to promote and proliferate whiteness with their very existence and the fact that they are physically taking up space in our libraries. They are paid for using money that was usually ill-gotten and at the cost of black and brown lives via the prison industrial complex, the spoils of war, etc. Libraries filled with mostly white collections indicates that we don’t care about what POC think, we don’t care to hear from POC themselves, we don’t consider POC to be scholars, we don’t think POC are as valuable, knowledgeable, or as important as white people.

Hey, don’t look at us — we’re not librarians. Blame yourselves.

Unfortunately, Sofia Leung is not a parodist, but Titania McGrath is:

Exactly.

We’ve been told that maybe two is OK. In the name of the planet.


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