Reflections on the Public Library System in Canada: Inclusivity, Race and Power

Grace Bourret

Abstract


Public libraries as an institution are of the upmost importance to Canadian society as individuals from a variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds rely upon these spaces to gain access to information, education, and recreational activities. For this reason, these institutions strive to be inclusive and welcoming spaces. However, they are not always successful in these endeavours. The following paper highlights the ways in which Canadian libraries promote a homogenous culture of whiteness. Although this subject has been discussed in the American context, this paper situates Canada within this scholarship through investigating the makeup of Canadian libraries, the treatment of library patrons, and the documented experiences of racially marginalized staff. Based on these findings, this paper highlights scholarly and practitioner recommendations while also advocating for further research on this topic within the Canadian field of Library and Information Sciences (LIS).

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References


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