Tag Archives: diversity

“The Online Life of Individuals Experiencing Socioeconomic Disadvantage: How Do They Experience Information?”

Article Authored By: Amanda Hencz, Megan Carbiener, Marisol Carrasquillo, Laura Downs, Kayla Jackson

Reviewed by: Amanda Hencz

Link to article: http://www.informationr.net/ir/22-3/paper768.html

Article synopsis and description of how this article represents an international perspective.
The Online Life of Individuals Experiencing Socioeconomic Disadvantage: How do They Experience Information, takes a look into how individuals experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage in Australia experience information. The authors reiterate that having access to information online and knowing how to understand what is available can increase the opportunities afforded them. Phenomenology was used to look at two participants through interviews and results show that there is a link between being socioeconomically disadvantaged and not having the proper skills to navigate the internet effectively, leaving them further disadvantaged. The authors also argue that this information could greatly benefit other organizations that work with this population. This small study was based in Australia, but the overall assertion is that for a person to benefit from online use, then there needs to be a higher level of digital literacy.
Core research question(s).
As homelessness is on the rise, we have to assume there is not a way for them to have open access to obtain information. Therefore we as information professionals would like to find ways to provide access. Our research question is:
How can library professionals assist individuals that are experiencing homelessness obtain information?
By providing the homeless population with access to the internet so they can submit resumes, go on job interviews, take online classes to better their education, or simply to find a shelter near them. We are offering them a better chance to overcome the situation they are in. Not only do we have to offer the devices we have to offer support for use on how to utilize it to their own. Since libraries are closed we could start by going to shelters and giving them access to computers or tablets for a short period of time. While we are there we can ask questions, such as: do you know how you can benefit from internet use? Then we can show them how to email and how to research job listings.
Methods used to answer the research question(s).
In our article, the researchers used the methodological approach of Phenomenology to study the lived experience of this phenomenon – those experiencing homelessness and a lack of online information access. I found that this method worked especially well when studying individual lifestyles because it can be difficult to fully empathize or understand the holistic experience of these individuals without evaluating a broader amount of the lived experience of the socially excluded. Through this phenomenological study, the researchers collected data from these individuals in order to try to piece together their experience. A series of interviews with multiple people allowed the researchers to gain personal insight into the lives of those experiencing homelessness while also experiencing a digital divide. Having access to the internet is much more than Googling or scrolling through social media. Online access allows people to stay connected with the world around them, build their identity, and discover news and information. Without consistent and reliable internet access, these people with housing challenges are unable to fully participate in our modern, digital age. Through this method and study, the researchers found that this group of individuals experiencing homelessness understand the essential yet inadequate amount of information space they have exposure to.
Findings and conclusions.
From their study, the authors present four themes: the endless information journey; uncontrolled information space; inadequate information space; essential information space. The participants likened finding information online to an “endless journey”, with both positive and negative aspects. The convenience and practical information that was available are the positives, while the “uncontrolled information space” is a negative. Concerns about “fake” and inappropriate information were brought up by the participants. The online information space was considered inadequate because of the complexity of information and the negative interaction with organizations online. Despite this, the internet (accessed via smartphones) is an essential information space, as it holds all their personal information, and provides access to anything they need to know. Through this study, the authors found that public libraries may not be connecting with this group of community members, as they did not consider it a trustworthy place, or a place that could help them with their information needs. The authors conclude that access to the internet and the information it holds is not enough to address this digital divide. An understanding of the holistic experience of people experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage and how community organizations interact with them will offer deeper insight into how effectively support this group.
What American libraries can learn from global practice about designing services for diverse populations.
American libraries can use research from countries around the world to help provide a better environment for their particular homeless community. There could be immigrants among their homelessness as well. Being able to communicate among these residents and having them feel included within the library setting is the goal. The research approach in the study was known as phenomenological which “brought a fresh perspective to the socioeconomic disadvantage by focusing on the information experience of those affected”(Smeaton, 2017). Using research provided from global studies could bring about better services designed for the diverse populations within a library’s community because this provides thought provoking ideas that might not have been considered prior.

Kathleen Smeaton, Christine S. Bruce. “The Online Life of Individuals Experiencing
Socioeconomic Disadvantage: How Do They Experience Information?” (202,Sept)Information Research: an International Electronic Journal. Information Science, Information Management, Information Systems, Information Retrieval, Digital Libraries, Information Seeking Behaviour, Information Seeking Behavior, World Wide Web, WWW, University of Borås, www.informationr.net/ir/22-3/paper768.html

Towards Indigenous Librarianship: Indian Perspective

Reviewed By: Jeannette Moore, Lorena Romero, Claudia Posadas, Stephanie Hiett, Kathrynn Solis, Elizabeth Ramirez Segura,

Link to article: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libphilprac/2868/


This article examines the importance of indigenous knowledge and librarianship. Information professionals have a responsibility to gather and make information accessible to the rural poor in India. The first libraries in India were for emperors, major capitalists and scholars (Hangshing, 2019). However, after India’s independence from the British, the first public library was established. The Delhi Public library opened in 1951. (Hangshing, 2019). It was the hope that the Delhi Public Library could provide “…modern technologies to Indian conditions and to serve as a model public library for Asia” (Hangshing, 2019, p. 9). By 1954, there were about 32,000 libraries in India which housed about 7.1 million books (Hangshing, 2019). Not only did the libraries offer an incredible collection of materials, but they had made significant progress in creating “…networks at local, regional and national levels to deploy information and communication technologies and to build electronic information sources” (Hangshing, 2019, p. 12).

However, with all this progress, there still were not indigenous libraries or access to that knowledge. Indigenous curriculum is hard to find in professional programs in India and most native knowledge is oral, not written, making it difficult to gather this specific type of information (Hangshing, 2019). Hangshing writes about the necessity for information professionals to go beyond the norm to “…incorporate the needs of indigenous culture and intellectual sovereignty” (Hangshing, 2019, p. 13). For example, hiring diverse staff that represents the clientele is one way to create library environments that recognize native people (Hangshing, 2019).

International Perspective

This article represents an international perspective with research done by Hangshing (2019), Wani (2008), Banerjee (1996), and Bhatt (1995), among others. Additional information in this article was provided by the Indian Library Association, the International Indigenous Librarians Forum, the University Grant Commision of Britain, and the Galiwin’ku Indigenous Knowledge Centre. Finally, the author compared the establishment and function of the public libraries in India with libraries in South Africa, Nigeria, Australia, and Canada.

Core Research Question(s)

This article begins with the question, “Who are the indigenous people?” Though this answer varies from country to country, in India, it is particularly important since there is not one specific group that is recognized as such. Another core research question is, “How does India, with an incredibly established preservation system, maintain and disseminate cultural information of indigenous people when in fact they do not widely acknowledge specific autochthonous groups?”

The article also brings to light the lack of preservation of relevant cultural information in India, especially for the indigenous communities there. However, one of the core responsibilities libraries have is collecting, preserving, and disseminating indigenous knowledge, as well as imparting the value, contribution, and importance of indigenous people and culture to all groups, indigenous or otherwise (Hangshing 2019, p. 3). The article then asks the question, “How do libraries successfully transmit cultural information to the next generation(s) and how can libraries continue to serve the indigenous communities’ interests first and foremost?”


Jose R. Martinez Cobo (1986) is credited in this piece with having one of the most widely cited definitions of indigenous peoples:
Indigenous communities, people and nations are those which, having historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them. They form at present non dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal system (Hangshing, p.3).

Hangshing acknowledges the categorizing of such peoples by the Indian government. While the United Nations estimates that there are more than 370 million indigenous people worldwide, India does not consider a specific section of that population as ‘indigenous people’ but the whole country and all its people as indigenous (Hangshing, p.8). The article describes India’s administrative category of “Scheduled Tribes” (STs) pointing out how the category is used to administer constitutional privileges, protect, and benefit specific sections of people “…historically considered disadvantaged and backward” (Hangshing, p.8).

The article draws on the examples of the State Library of Queensland, in Australia, which established and implemented Indigenous Knowledge Centers, and the USA National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) which examined library services on American Indian reservations. Though indigenous tribes have not been defined by the Indian government, Scheduled Tribe (ST) status is identified on the basis of primitive traits, distinctive culture, geographical isolation, shyness of contact with the community at large, and backwardness (Hangshing, p.8).
The article describes librarianship in India as going back to the sixth century A.D.. Hangshing examines India’s first university libraries at the Universities of Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras, after the colonization by the British. However, he marks the establishment of the Delhi Public Library as specifically significant to the country’s establishment of accessible librarianship and effective public library legislation development (Hangshing, p.10). In addition, the Madras Public Library Act of 1948, was the first library legislation in India that sparked the enactment of Public Libraries Acts throughout the country of India. This legislation raised library services standards, established professional development opportunities for librarians, and provided for better service conditions for librarians in India.
Hangshing also examines the efforts of people in rural areas of India which have contributed to the protection and preservation of traditional histories and languages, specifically the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL). Furthermore, staffing India’s libraries with diverse staff that represent the community, ensures diversity and equitable access to information for all of the scheduled tribes in India, including the rural areas that traditionally share knowledge verbally.

Findings and Conclusions

India has the largest population of indigenous persons on the planet. The author explains that the Indian government does not recognize indigenous tribes, but rather refers to them as “Scheduled Tribes.” The term “traditional knowledge” then becomes very relevant in India’s libraries with the need to “protect the ancient and traditional knowledge of the country from exploitation through biopiracy and unethical patents” (Hangshing, p. 13).
Hangshing provides extensive research on the history of libraries in India, which is a significant component in understanding the lack of current resources for indigenous cultures. The author claims that the lack of “focus on libraries relevant for rendering explicit services for the indigenous local communities’ remains neglected. There is little indigenous curriculum content within the professional programme” (Hangshing, p. 13). Most libraries in India include indigenous collections of songs, dances, and ways of living of various tribes. These collections, however, exist without “consent of the original stakeholders and consequently leads to misconception and misrepresentation” (Hangshing, p. 12).
Hangshing concludes the article by calling on Indian librarians and professionals to step out of their comfort zones and focus on the communities that need their services the most. The author demands Indian librarians disregard jurisdictional barriers and protect a community that is not being taken care of by their government. As public professionals, Hangshing declares, librarians hold the duty of extending knowledge and information to all local communities, and that does not omit indigeneous Indian populations.

What American Libraries can Learn

Librarians need to continue to create spaces that are hubs of communication, as well as be collectors and protectors of the cultures that are part of the communities they serve. From this article, American Libraries can learn that materials must be collected ethically. Additionally, it is important that what the library has, matches what the community wants, and reflects the community it is serving. Furthermore, American Libraries, like those in India and elsewhere, need to promote cultural awareness and identity within society. “Libraries can help in collecting, preserving, and disseminating indigenous knowledge and publicizing the value, contribution, and importance of indigenous culture to both non-indigenous and indigenous people” (Hangshing, p. 3). It is important that libraries use their influence to “raise awareness about indigenous knowledge, document indigenous knowledge, develop digital libraries based on indigenous knowledge, identify indigenous knowledge specialists, establish the value of indigenous knowledge, and build capacity to develop indigenous knowledge” (Hangshing, p. 4).

American libraries can further learn from the development of Knowledge Centers. This was done in Australia and it “raised the profile of indigenous people in libraries […] and increased indigenous employment and training opportunities” (Hangshing, p. 5). Another way to improve ways of serving indigenous people, is to include them in the programming and development of legislation related to the information services that are being planned for their own community. “Groups of indigenous people in countries around the world are developing their own library organizations for the purpose of sharing and supporting the development of libraries and library services that serve their particular interests” (Hangshing, p. 11).

Finally, American Libraries can learn that though there are challenges to incorporating the needs of indigenous cultures, even so, “professional[s need] to come out of their comfort zone and initiate new approach[es] to render services for indigenously developed knowledge” (Hangshing, p. 13). There are so many ways to better support this community of people so that they will have equitable access to resources, the development of culturally appropriate materials and services, and have the multilingual materials they need. American Libraries must make sure to break down the barriers so that they represent the patrons the library serves and in turn, those people can become leaders in their community and the LIS profession.


Banerjee, D. (1996). The Story of Libraries in India. Daedalus,125(4), 353-361. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20027402

Bhatt, R.K. (1995). History and Development of Libraries in India. New Delhi, Mittal Publications. (pp. 130-131).

Hangshing, J. (2019). “Towards Indigenous Librarianship: Indian Perspective”. Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal). Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libphilprac/2868

Wani, Z.A. (2008). Development of Public Libraries in India. Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal). (pp. 1-2) Retrieved from: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1168&context=libphilprac

Identifying the Visible Minority Librarians in Canada: A National Survey

Reviewed By: Sherrie Boyd and Cheryl Pugh

Link to article: https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/eblip/index.php/EBLIP/article/view/23294/18396

Article Synopsis and description of how it represents an international perspective

In December 2011, the visible minority librarians of Canada (ViMLoC)) was established through the Canadian Library Association (CLA). The term visible minorities is defined as “persons, other than Aboriginal people, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in color” (Statistics Canada, 2012a). In January 2013, ViMLoC participated in a panel presentation at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference. At the presentation, ViMLoC sought ideas from attendees on the future direction for ViMLoC. Two directions were identified and added to ViMLoC’s agenda, the first one was to gather statistical information on visible minority librarians working in Canadian institutions and the second one was to create a mentorship program. In December 2013, the authors distributed an online survey to gather statistical information on visible minority librarians at Canadian institutions. This survey was the first of its kind with this population in mind. The survey’s primary goal was to obtain data on the number of visible minority librarians working in Canadian institutions.
The information that was sought was in regards to which ethnic group the librarians belong to, are they first or second generation Canadians, education and experience, institution where they are currently employed, what is their position at their current job, and are they employed full-time or part-time. The information is useful to library administrators, librarians, and researchers working on multicultural issues, diversity, recruitment and retention, leadership, library management, and other related areas.

Core research question(s)

The article considered the following research questions:
Which ethnic group did visible minority librarians belong to?
What type of library do the visible minority librarians work in, and what is the number of visible minorities working in those institutions?
What were the professional needs of visible minorities?
What challenges do visible minorities face?

Methods used to answer the research question(s)

Kumaran and Cai used an online survey questionnaire and hoped to achieve two goals. The first was to provide a snapshot of the demographics of the visible minority librarians. The second was to highlight any needs, barriers or challenges that minority librarians face. The survey was nation-wide and sent via email to relevant library association lists such as the Canadian Library Association, Canadian Medical Libraries Interest Group, Special Libraries Association and also on ViMLoC’s website.
The qualitative and quantitative survey consisted of 12 questions (multiple choice, yes/no and open-ended). The survey started with a definition of visible minorities as defined by the Canadian Employment Equity Act (Government of Canada, 2014). Respondents were asked if they identified as a visible minority. If the response was “no,” the survey closed. These were excluded from the remainder of the survey. The rest of the survey was divided into personal and professional questions.
The first several questions focused on the background of the participants, which ethnic group they belonged to and if there were first- or second-generation Canadians. A space was provided for participants to elaborate on their answers. The next set asked about their educational and professional status to learn if they had a professional degree and from which institution. In addition they were asked to identify the type of library, they worked in to get an indication of where these librarians were located. Respondents were provided with a list of job categories from the American Library Association (ALA) website and asked to choose the closest job category and whether they worked part-time or full-time. The final question was open-ended where respondents were encouraged to add any information on anything, they considered relevant. This question garnered a variety of themes: jobs, mentorship, professional development courses, workplace issues, general barriers, networking and success stories.

Findings and conclusions
The survey received responses from 192 librarians who attempted to take the survey, however, only 120 librarians identified themselves as visible minorities. Out of the 120 librarians who completed the survey, 36% (43 librarians) identified themselves as Chinese, 20% (24 librarians) identified themselves as South Asian, 12% (15) identified as Black, 3% (4) as Filipino, 1% (1) as Latin American, 2% (3) as South East Asian, 2% (2) identified as Arab, 5% (6) identified as West Asian (which includes Afghan, Assyrian, and Iranian), 1% (1) identified as Korean, 6% (7) identified as Japanese, and 12% (14) identified as other.
Visible minority librarians replied that they were employed in various types of libraries. 46 librarians (38% of those who completed the survey) stated they worked in a public library. 45 librarians (38%) worked in an academic library. Only 1 librarian (1%) worked in a regional library. 18 librarians (15%) worked in a special library. 1 librarian (1%) worked in a school library. 2 librarians (2%) were currently in library school and 7 librarians (6%) stated they worked in other types of libraries.
Visible minority librarians were located throughout Canada and beyond with the majority in British Columbia and Ontario. These two provinces have the highest immigrant population.
Visible minority librarians were asked the type of jobs in which they were employed. They were to ask to choose the closest job category from the list of American Library Association categories. 38% identified themselves as reference/information services librarians, 18% as other and 15% as administration. Respondents were not required to elaborate on what “other” meant and what types of administrative positions they hold.
Final open-ended question asked visible minority librarians to include any topics/suggestions they deemed relevant to the survey. 50% responded to this question. Of those librarians that responded, they stated what their professional needs were and what challenges they faced while working as a librarian. Some needs that were identified included a need for programs that encouraged and assisted minority librarians in the area of library studies and there is a need for employers to recognize talent and potential and a willingness to take a chance on hiring minority librarians new to the field. Some challenges that the librarians identified were, a lack of networking and mentoring among minorities in the field, a lack of support and access to information on how to succeed as a visible minority librarian in Canada. In addition, there was a lack of diversity and inclusive practices in the workplace, especially at the leadership level. Other challenges were moving up the career ladder, and a lack of opportunities to gain library experience.
The authors believe the ViMLoC should continue to gather these statistics every 3-5 years. These next surveys should include more qualitative questions so the respondents have the opportunity to include other topics/suggestions. These responses can prove helpful in informing future strategic directions for the ViMLoC.
The ViMLoC will also need to consider that not all librarians are members of any of the library associations and look into other ways to advertise future surveys.

What American libraries can learn from global practice about designing services for diverse populations

Key takeaways:
The need to go directly to the target audience to seek their suggestions and guidance about programs and services. This has to be done on a regular basis since communities change over time.
Libraries must continue to recruit and retain minority librarians who can help to provide insight regarding minority communities and help libraries address shortcomings in their programs.
Libraries should be proactive in monitoring the demographic changes in their community. This knowledge can forecast what will be needed in the future and inform budgeting and staffing considerations.
The development of a mentorship network for minority librarians which could pair rookie librarians with veteran librarians from their ethnic group. This could be a virtual pairing so they can get support and advice from those who have successfully navigated their careers.


The Visible Minority Librarian experiences and survey results illustrated an exact mirror image of what American minority librarians face on the job. This article highlighted the need for deliberation and planning where diversity is concerned. Good intentions are not enough. There must be buy-in from administrators, staff and librarian colleagues for success. A change in organizational culture is not easy and not intuitive. On the contrary, it is both painful and personal. With this information in mind, American libraries need to see the importance of having a diverse staff in all libraries. It is not enough to simply have librarians who identify as visible minorities, but they need a network of other librarians who identify with them as well. By having more visible minority librarians, libraries benefit by having more diverse programming available for patrons, patrons who see librarians from various backgrounds. Minority librarians need to be a part of the planning of programs and services as tools and strategies are developed to guide everyone through the change process which supports the idea that libraries are a space for any and everyone.


Kumaran, M. Cai,H. (2015). Identifying the Visible Minority Librarians in Canada: A National Survey. Retrieved from https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/eblip/index.php/EBLIP/article/view/23294/18396

Access to and use of public library services in Nigeria

Reviewed By: Morgan Barker, Mary Calo, Michelle Reid, James Rice, Heather Waisanen, and Kaitlin Watkins

Link to article: https://sajlis.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1639/1474


This study examines the factors that hamper access to and use of public library services in Nigeria – both urban and rural (Salman, Mugwisi, & Mostert, 2017). Obasi (2015) noted low development of the country’s public libraries with limited branches, lack of information and communication technology (ICT), a shortage of human and information resources, and inadequate rural information networks. Nigeria’s public library system was originally established in 1952, during the colonial era. In 1953 public libraries were placed under the control of a state agency created by the Nigerian government. Initially they were seen as a tool for continuing education for children who exited school at an early age and for remedying educational system deficiencies (Obasi, 2015). However, after Nigeria’s independence in 1960, the unstable economy and political structure led to a decline in quality of service. Several challenges have hampered use of the services, including inappropriate reading materials, inadequately trained staff, high illiteracy rates, the lack of a reading culture, and irregular electricity supplies (Harris, 1970; Salman, 2006).

This case study seeks to establish levels of access to services and facilities offered in Nigeria’s public libraries, gauge the use, and satisfaction of services. Based on the data the authors extrapolate the lack of support for public libraries in the country and offer eight recommendations to address these issues with the overall goals of better serving all Nigerian libraries and fulfilling the roles designated by IFLA’s Public Library Service Guidelines (Koontz & Gubbin, 2010).

This article showcases an international perspective through a lense of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948), the IFLA Public Library Service Guidelines (Koontz & Gubbin, 2010), and the IFLA/UNESCO Public Library Manifesto (1994). The authors also compare their findings with studies from around Africa, Singapore, Kuwait, China and West Bengal (India).

Research Questions:

The article considers the following core research questions:
What are the current levels of access to library services, and facilities in Nigeria?
What factors (if any) obstructed access to, and utilization of public library services in Nigeria?
Were library users aware of the depth, and breadth of services available to them?
Were there any patterns of library service utilization that could be identified?
Were library users satisfied with the library services they were aware of?
Secondary research focus:
Expanding the study to include the views of current librarians, to give the study a broader perspective.


The authors used a case study approach in order to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. The case study included questionnaires administered to 394 registered library users (out of a countrywide total of 29,277), and interviews conducted with 12 librarians. The library users were chosen using convenience sampling while the librarians were selected based on their positions as the highest qualified from each of the branches. Due to multiple limitations faced by the authors, nonprobability sampling was used throughout (Israel, 1992). The authors used a purposive sample of libraries, as a truly random sample was not feasible due to both large distances between locations and personal safety concerns. Using a purposive sample of extremes, they selected one State Board library and one rural library from each of the six regions in Nigeria. Because nonprobability sampling was used, it is not possible to generalize the results of the case study to the entire population of library users in Nigeria with a measurable degree of certainty. However, the consistency of results across the twelve libraries does provide a high level of confidence, particularly for male library users (who made up 85% of the convenience sample). Library non-users were excluded in this case study.

Findings and Conclusions:

The authors conclude by focusing on main service drivers – awareness and access. The study, however, excluded marketing elements used in Nigeria. The impact of marketing would have provided context for types of users being spoken to, what services were being advertised, etc. For example, the authors found that the majority of respondents were students, male, and highly educated. Marketing materials could provide a broader look at what the authors highlight as government responsibilities, in regards to library services. The author’s concluded that development and empowerment of the population is an especially critical goal. Those who are not male, students, or educated may not see any relevant means to access services – as awareness campaigns may not be structured to meet their needs. A needs analysis is a critical component mentioned by the authors, as a comprehensive respondent pool would add validity to these efforts in Nigeria.

Takeaway – American Libraries:

This study poignantly revealed several challenges to Nigerian libraries’ ability to successfully provide relevant services to the general population. Not surprisingly, rural libraries are impacted more than urban libraries. Barriers to access include an overarching lack of awareness from the public as well as irrelevant, outdated, and limited library materials. Usage and user satisfaction remains closely tied to access, and therefore these barriers significantly reduce libraries’ ability to impact the community. Though Nigeria may seem to exist worlds apart from the United States, many of these same barriers to access exist for marginalized communities served by public libraries found within this country. Similar to Nigeria, rural libraries in the United States are granted fewer resources resulting in less available, often outdated materials. Much like in Nigeria, U.S. libraries tend to direct services and materials towards the privileged populations and through a white lens. This practice overlooks the specific information needs of marginalized populations; increasing barriers to access and reducing overall usage and satisfaction from the general population served.

Libraries within the United States may benefit from careful consideration of the results found within this study. First, the recommendations call for community engagement, critical and specific community information needs assessments, and collaboration from community partners in program and service development. This call to action requires increased library outreach, partnership, and actively listening to the voice of the population served. Second, libraries need to be funded consistently across states and populations. Without financial aid, libraries are unable to provide the services and materials necessary to support their communities. Finally, library staff must engage in continuous education focusing on cultural competency, the specific needs of the population, and the most effective ways to reach that population in meeting identified needs. Though conducted in Nigeria, this study, once again, highlights the critical importance of a deep knowledge, respect, and collaboration with the community. Only then will libraries establish a culturally relevant practice and service to the population served.

Harris, J. (1970). Libraries and librarianship in Nigeria at mid-century. Paper delivered at the Nigerian Library Association Conference. Lagos. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED053768

IFLA/UNESCO. (1994). IFLA/UNESCO Public Library Manifesto. Retrieved from http://www.ifla.org/publications/iflaunesco-public-library-manifesto-1994

Israel, G.D. (1992). Sampling the evidence of extension program impact. University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences PEOD5. Retrieved from: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pd005

Obasi, N.F.K. (2015). Indices of access to information in nigerian public libraries and citizens’ political participation. Retrieved from: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Salman, A.A. (2016). Provision and utilisation of public library services in nigeria. [PhD thesis]. University of Zululand.

Salman, A.A., Mugwisi, T., & Mostert, B.J. (2017). Access to and use of public library services in Nigeria. South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science, 83(1), 26–38.

Roundtable: What is holding librarianship back from being more inclusive of visible minorities?

Reviewed By: Naomi Paven, Mary Jo O’Connor, & Mario Torres

Link to article: https://journal.lib.uoguelph.ca/index.php/perj/article/view/4887/4833

Soliciting input from three librarians and one MLIS candidate, “Roundtable: What is holding librarianship back from being more inclusive of visible minorities?” initiates a long-overdue conversation about the lack of visible minority representation within the field in Canada. As addressed in this article, the important discrepancy between Canadian demographics and the makeup of librarianship in Canada cannot be pinned on a single factor or event. Hiring and promotional structures within library systems, recruitment initiatives by information schools, and collection development are listed as areas where potential bias and barriers exist. Beyond the stacks, however, there is an emphasis for the consideration of race, racism, and white supremacy in Canadian society. Librarians, library systems, and information schools must examine their contributions to unfair and unequal practices with a critical eye, and question to what extent their workplaces are a reflection and perpetuation of a biased society.
Although geographically close and sharing powerful economic and political ties, Canada is not a sparsely populated carbon copy of its southern neighbour. With one tenth the population of the United States and governed by a parliamentary system, this officially bilingual nation struggles to define its cultural identity. However, like the US, Canada has also experienced a recent spike in social tension—initiatives to address the wrongs of colonialism, a surge in race-based violence, and a heated federal election scheduled for October 2019 elicit opinions from pundits to laypersons. This article scratches the surface of where diversity and inclusion, Canadian society, and Canadian librarianship intersect.
The article seeks to address the disparity between the great variety of ethnicities in the Canadian population and their lack of representation in librarianship. Bell, Chan, Liu, & Ramos are tasked with answering “What is holding librarianship back from being more inclusive of visible minorities?”. This is a particularly important question in Canada since the 2016 Canadian Census reported that over 250 different ethnicities and ancestries can be found in the Canadian population, with 40% of census respondents identifying more than one ethnic ancestry. The majority of Canadians identify as European descendants, with Chinese, East Indian, and Filipino being among the most common non-European ancestries.
The province with the greatest number of librarians identifying as a visible minority is British Columbia at 15%. Ontario, the country’s most populated province comes in third with only 9%, and all three Territories, as well as the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island, recorded no librarians who are visible minorities. These discrepancies could be due to hiring practices within institutions, or also through inherently racist or biased recruitment of MLIS candidates, or several issues within the profession and society. It is also possible that the current library demographics reflect the cultural, economic, and political dominance of white people in culture in Canada and, more broadly, North America. This article raises potential obstacles to the effective recruitment of visible minorities into the library profession and addresses how Canadian Librarianship can overcome these challenges.
While the article does not adhere strictly to the standards of a research paper, it does use a format backed by academic precedent. In this instance, a written roundtable where multiple individuals in the profession respond to the same question. Tamara Noor, the compiler of the responses that form the article, does not necessarily state that these responses are meant to be representative or authoritative regarding diversity in librarianship. Rather, the responses are presented merely as four opinions from those who have had, by virtue of working in or towards a career in the LIS professions, opportunities to confront this question. This is appropriate as this article appeared in the “Features” section of an otherwise research focused journal.
In a sense, this method attempts to likely capture the voice of their reading and target audience, Canadian, and more broadly North American, library and information researchers, professionals, and students. Despite not outlining a specific methodology for this article, there was clearly editorial thought put into the selection of opinions as they are well chosen by representing a diverse range of positions within information professions. Respectively, an associate librarian, a collections librarian, a systems administrator/manager and an MLIS candidate were consulted. While the subjective nature of the question would make it difficult to address through quantitative analysis, this short article provides an interesting look into some of the likely more common opinions regarding this topic.
Given the nature of the article, the findings are likewise diverse. Norda Bell, an associate librarian, points to larger systemic issues with western cultural itself, claiming that these underlying forms of bias and cultural hegemony perpetuate inequality and lack of diversity in the profession itself. In short, that problems of diversity and retention of diversity in MLIS field will not be solved by internal solutions alone, but by addressing “racism, exclusion, and structural barriers”. While Bell writes with strong sentiment and valid arguments, she doesn’t offer many ideas or methods for broaching this intensely sensitive question, or what happens thereafter, how these ideas are merged into MLIS practice effectively and efficiently.
Mary P. Chan, a collections librarian, gives a similar opinion, but grounds it in facts and possible solutions—she notes that librarians need to worry less about whether there is a lack of diversity in the profession as research, data, and experience will prove to most individuals, the problem is there. Chan claims that action is more important at this stage and offers a list of ideas for possible solutions. She addresses the issue from an institutional standpoint and highlights three core areas of the profession which can create change: administrators and managerial level librarians, professional associations, and MLIS schools/programs.
Of all the respondents, Guoying Liu, Head of a Systems Department, presents her argument most like a research paper. Liu first addresses the demographics in Canada and points out need for improvements in CAPAL data. She then systematically discusses several issues relating to diversity in Canadian librarianship. In Liu’s estimation, the most salient issues affecting the roundtable question are: the issue of proper environment to encourage diverse libraries, and the perceptions of librarians on this topic; lack of diversity recruitment and retention; and deficit of visible minority voices in the MLIS field. Finally, Astrid Ramos is a MLIS candidate and thus has the least first-hand experience on the topic, but also has studied it in her program. She focuses on the idea of recruiting students at all academic levels to increase interest and knowledge of opportunities for people of diverse background to join and strengthen profession.
While well intentioned, diversity initiatives have often proved to be unsuccessful, and are frequently met with opposition in both Canadian and American institutions. The argument is that that the most qualified person, regardless of circumstance, will be hired. This perspective is a result of the unconscious bias that fails to recognize the systematic forces which leave people of color with less access to resources than their white peers. This lack of access has a direct impact on who could be considered the most qualified person for the job. Libraries are not exempt from this bias. This article states that in order for diversity initiatives within Canadian organizations to be successful, there must be an accompanying discussion which confronts inequalities within institutions.
American libraries face a similar issue. In order to make the career path more welcoming to visible minorities, there must be an institutional effort to “[a]cknowledge that past grievances like systematic discrimination and lack of properly funded educational opportunities will deter potential students” (Bell, Chan, Liu, & Ramos, 2018, p.3). American libraries can do as this article suggests and make diversity an institutional priority. Doing so will require addressing those previous grievances and providing alternative opportunities that will ease the way for visible minorities who wish to gain employment within an information institution. A diversity initiative that does not acknowledge the harmful structures in place and work to remove barriers is destined to be unsuccessful. In order to truly bridge the gap within American libraries, this article suggests incorporating feedback from visible minority librarians into strategies and action plans that seek to improve institutional inclusivity.

References –
Canadian Association of Professional Academic Libraries. (2017). 2016 Census of Canadian academic librarians cross tables. Retrieved from https://capalibrarians.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Cross_Tab-Report_June_16_2017_FINAL.pdf

Bell, N., Chan, May P., Liu, Guoying., & Ramos, Astrid. (2018). Roundtable: What is holding librarianship back from being more inclusive of visible minorities?. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 13(2) DOI: http://doi.org/10.21083/partnership.v13i2.4887

Statistics Canada. (2017, October 25). Ethnic and cultural origins of Canadians: Portrait of a rich heritage [webpage]. Retrieved from https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/as-sa/98-200-x/2016016/98-200-x2016016-eng.cfm

Socio-cultural innovation through and by public libraries in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Denmark: concepts and practices.

Reviewed By: Heather Bailey, Sim Castro, Erik Fredrickson, Ryan Jenkins

Link to article: http://www.informationr.net/ir/18-3/colis/paperC14.html

Delica, K., & Elbeshausen, H. (2013). Socio-cultural innovation through and by public libraries in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Denmark: Concepts and practices. Information Research, 18(3), C14. Retrieved from http://www.informationr.net/ir/18-3/colis/paperC14.html

Delica and Ebleshausen (2013) focus on several case studies to explore how public library use has shifted to address the needs of Denmark’s ethnic communities and the methodologies used to foster community empowerment and social inclusion. The needs of at-risk neighborhood communities have caused a shift in library programming and services from more traditional uses to a greater focus on the social needs of the community. This article discusses the different local configurations of three separate libraries that have transformed their spaces into community learning centers and provides an analysis of how those institutions have shaped the traditional library setting to meet the needs of their communities. In addition, Delica and Ebleshausen address how the work of these local innovation groups have helped to change the public library landscape into a collection of institutions with stronger social engagement and a focus on the wider communal needs. Their work includes marketing campaigns that have helped rebrand the library space as a “living room” making it a more community-focused information center. In addition, library sites have also offered cultural competency courses for staff to assist with immigration integration, bottom-linked innovation which encourages communal participation in program planning and decision making and outreach approaches that provide direct access to library services in the home. These efforts help to build local partnerships, empower the community and demonstrate that the library can serve a greater social purpose and bridge a cultural divide. The examples used in this case study also demonstrate that a shift in programming focus can foster inclusion and create a sense of place for underrepresented or disadvantaged communities.

Core Research Question
As an exploratory qualitative study, this article doesn’t so much answer a specific question as explore the factors that contribute to recasting libraries as community centers, and the methods used to make this shift possible within their at-risk communities and with limited resources. Framing their discussion of this refocusing of library-community engagement, the authors apply established theory in Integrated Area Development to observed practices and a rethinking of previous innovation community theory to the factors that precipitated them.

Research Method
In order to perform this investigation, qualitative methods of data gathering and analysis were applied to information gathered from three case studies chosen for their exemplary nature with regards to forming community centers within existing libraries to focus on different methods to address evolving community needs. At each institution, interviews, field observations and theme workshops were performed to gather data from both staff and patrons, in addition to evaluating previous and ongoing projects and analyzing data collected in bi-annual status reports to the Danish Agency of Culture. This data was used to support the proposed alternative framework for innovation communities and Integrated Area Development as well as discover and provide examples of how this innovation might be adopted by libraries in similar positions.

This group of three libraries exhibits how a library is a public institution that builds the community where it resides. The three libraries, chosen based on their socioeconomic characteristics, are located in immigrant and disadvantaged communities. The three case studies show how libraries can become cultural bridges that bring neighborhoods together.

Examples of how the discussed libraries engaged in Integrated Area Development are shown in how the libraries expand from the traditional model, demonstrating in three different ways how to become network builders, providing a source of social and economic guidance. Additional findings show how the use of local organizations in a project-based manner helps the community groups, as well as discussing how the issue of funding was significant in the success of these projects.

There are a few things that can be learned from Delicia and Ebleshausen’s article that libraries in the United States can use. Based upon how the article set up the issue of procuring funding for the projects and programs that the institutions wished to implement, structuring such programming as projects rather than as simply requests more funding would work out for US libraries. Another aspect that domestic libraries can take from this article are how the case studies carried out their results and their methods. Nørrebro’s detailed needs assessment of their community could best be implemented in low-income, racially-diverse populations to get an idea for how the libraries in those communities can best become community centers much like those within Denmark. Building programs around those needs as well as educating the population on how best they may be able express their needs and desires to a library so that when the library conducts a needs assessment survey as well as begins to build up its collections it can best know what the community really wants as opposed to what the library staff believes the community truly wants. While this is not new to libraries in the United States, conducting a needs assessment at the level that was done in Nørrebro to get a true idea of what the community needs and wants, working with the community and its leaders like how was done in Gellerup to understand the people who are in your community better, and promoting self-education of the community like in Vollsmose should become common practice elsewhere so that the needs of the communities are truly met.

Demographic Variables and Academic Discipline as Determinates of Undergraduates’ Use of Electronic Library Resources in Federal Universities in Southwest, Nigeria

Reviewed By: Nhu-y Tran, Cheryl Pavliv, Rachel Fiege , Kathryn Wallace

Link to article: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libphilprac/2164/

Synopsis and description of how the article represents an international perspective
The article “Demographic Variables and Academic Discipline as Determinates of Undergraduates’ Use of Electronic Library Resources in Federal Universities in Southwest, Nigeria” discusses the importance of providing electronic materials to university students. It was conducted at six different universities in Nigeria. ELR’s consists of a wide variety of resources including: e-journals, e-books, online public access catalogues, CD-ROM databases, and E-theses. The objective was to find demographic variables in the usage of ELRs, academic purposes for ELRs, frequency of use, the demographic variables within different disciplines, as well as comparing the different disciplines.
This article represents an international perspective because academic libraries should have ELRs that are used widely across all campuses regardless of what university or country a student is studying. Campuses allow a broader perspective from a wide range of studies when students have electronic library resources. ELRs also allow students to read the most up to date research occuring in their field of study. Due to the importance of ELRs, librarians need to make sure students use these valuable sources. Research is important in this field because it allows academic libraries to see where their shortcomings are to fill the gap that is needed for students.

Core research question(s)

What are the relationships between undergraduates’ demographic variables such as age and gender and academic discipline on the use of electronic library resources in federal universities in South-west, Nigeria?

Methods used to answer the research question(s)

This study is a descriptive survey research design. Adefunke Sarah Ebijuwa and Iyabo Mabawonku used a multi-stage sampling technique in two stages. The first stage was to select the facilities and the second stage was to select the departments in which to recruit students from. In total, 1,526 undergraduates from four faculties and three departments in the six federal universities in South-west were recruited for their study. A questionnaire was utilized to collect data. The authors also employed descriptive statistics of frequency counts, percentages, mean, standard deviation, correlation, and regression methods to obtain the results.

Findings and conclusions
The study found that undergraduates were using ELRs for a variety of reasons such as updating their knowledge on areas of interest, working on class assignments, and using electronic sources for school projects. In short, students are using the full range of ELRs for academic purposes. The findings showed that most students use ELRs on a weekly basis. The only demographic that showed a variation in usage of ELRs was age- not gender or discipline. The types of ELRs varied among colleges and disciplines, but students were actively using the electronic resources that their universities have.
What can American libraries learn from global practice about designing services for diverse populations?
American libraries can learn about designing services for diverse populations through this global study. Academic library staff need to help all students optimize their use of electronic library resources. Staff should check whatever biases they may have at the door and encourage their students to make use of all ELRs available to them. There should be no influence based on age or gender regarding the suggestions for these resources; likewise, students should use all resources equally and not favor one over the others. Motivation strategies can be introduced and should appeal to all. This is especially pertinent to diverse populations that encompass more than age and gender.
College professors should provide assignments to their students that address their classes’ diverse needs, which will require the use of ELRs for research and learning. In turn, academic libraries need to ensure that the ELRs they provide meet these needs and represent cultural competence and relevance. These resources should be marketed by the academic library staff to both faculty and students as relevant; students will be able to find their comfort level while researching, and faculty will remain assured that they can, in fact, send students to the library for the right information. Periodic assessments should be conducted to determine whether or not the ELRs are being used effectively.
Finally, universities should provide wider access of ELRs to their students and make these resources available outside of the library. When students are able to access their resources campus-wide through their wireless Internet connections, they can work remotely at a time and place that is convenient for them.

Indigenous Initiatives and Information Studies: Unlearning in the Classroom

Reviewed By: Natalie Daily, Britten Kuckelman, and Hollie Locke

Link to article: https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/ijidi/article/view/32212

The Library and Information Science (LIS) field has historically operated from a colonial position with regard to Indigenous communities, which has often lead to overlooking Indigenous ways of knowledge (pg. 67-68). The origins of many LIS practices can be traced to Medieval Europe and are incompatible to Indigenous knowledge practices (pg. 69). Additionally, merely using the hiring process to address diversity in the LIS field is not enough if practices regarding how services are offered to diverse communities aren’t driven by cultural transformation (pg. 69). In order to encourage more effective LIS services for Canadian Indigenous communities, the authors of this paper designed a course to lead LIS students through the practice of unlearning that which is yoked to the colonial mindset. The authors detailed their goals for the course, the methods they utilized to achieve these goals, and in-depth reflection to analyze the success of their efforts. Ultimately, adopting a posture of humility allowed students to learn from their classmates and prepare themselves for working in service to diverse target communities.
Canada has an Indigenous community that makes up close to 5% of the total population of the country (Statistics Canada 2017). Recently, the country has been having a public reckoning over Indigenous issues through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and recent efforts by the government to acknowledge the “occupation of unceded land” and recognize the rights of Indigenous people to control their own records (pg. 81). The course described in this paper offers a guideline for how to embed cultural competency in LIS coursework in a country that is demonstrating how to take the lead in integrating the Indigenous experience into society.
According to the authors, the purpose of the course was to cultivate a responsive learning environment where students could develop skills that are critical for work after graduation by providing strategies for support of Indigenous information needs. The primarily aim of this research was to determine the effectiveness of the pedagogical approaches, learning tools, and course materials that were utilized for this course (p. 72). Was this course successful in achieving its goal to prepare students to work with Indigenous peoples in support of ongoing developments in Indigenous culture, languages, governance, legislation, and litigation?
In order to assess how successful this course was in achieving its goals, the authors decided to draw from their own reflections on the design and teaching of the class rather than from the students’ input. According to the authors, the analytic process was “iterative” with both their “insights” and “humility” as educators developing throughout the course (p. 72). The authors followed a pedagogical practice that included developing an iterative planning and reflection process each week with face-to-face meetings where assignments and activities were discussed. Major themes of the course included Positionality & Awareness, Prior Knowledge & Unlearning, Reflective Practice, and Cultivating Humility (p. 73). Throughout the course, students were assigned weekly, non-graded reflective writing prompts, group work, and anonymous surveys (p. 74). In order to develop personal awareness and positionality within the framework of the course, the authors found, through trial and error, that utilizing collaborative tools that allowed the students to respond to the material with anonymity provided students with the opportunity to voice their concerns about making mistakes or offending classmates. For each of the major topics, the authors provided a lesson to the students and an activity that supported the advancement of the skills discussed. For example, during the unit of Prior Knowledge & Unlearning, the authors focused on Indigenous history and contemporary issues and encouraged students to question and potentially “unlearn” professional assumptions and biases towards Indigenous peoples (p. 76). Students were then assigned a reading activity about past federal policies that impacted Indigenous communities, which corresponded with the lesson (p. 76).
The authors struggled with the theme of prior knowledge and unlearning throughout the course. They found that students lacked basic knowledge of the history of settler initiatives in Canada and struggled with how much of it to teach during a masters level course (p. 76). On top of these knowledge gaps, they struggled to challenge students to unlearn the very core skills the students were taught in their professional programs. “The helping narrative, that part of being a professional is knowing what help is needed, bumps up against some of the ideas we wanted to critically engage with, and in some ways is counterintuitive to the concept of professional and intellectual humility” (p. 77). While the authors did not indicate any successful class activities, they identified a new way to frame this theme earlier on in the course for future classes.
Through multiple iterations of the coursework, the authors designed activities to provide students with the opportunity to critically reflect on and question normal practices in their profession. To this end, the authors provided the students with real life scenarios and asked students to strategize solutions. The authors then provided students with a framework for addressing dilemmas to teach students how to engage with challenging situations. This activity allowed students to challenge what is considered normal ethical practices (p. 78). To introduce the final theme of humility to the students, the authors assigned course readings and videos and then gathered reflection on questions about humility within the profession. “Overwhelmingly the reflections identified intellectual, professional, and cultural humility as key things that students learned about and will carry forward with them” (p.79).
Canada is not alone in having a history that is shaped by its relationship with its Indigenous groups, and making a concerted effort to “unlearn” cultural constructs and implicit bias is a concept that has implications for societies with their own Indigenous groups. Additionally, many societies have other diversity issues related to their colonial pasts that tend to shape the way that certain groups are treated. Incorporating “unlearning” into formalized coursework for LIS students is a way to give credibility to the knowledge of oppressed and/or disenfranchised groups and how to best serve them. This coursework should focus on unlearning biases resulting from settler, colonial, or Western culture that can be harmful to Indigenous peoples’ and other minority groups’ ability to gain appropriate access to information resources and materials.

Nathan, L. P., & Perreault, A. (2018). Indigenous initiatives and information studies: Unlearning in the classroom. The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion, 2(1-2). 67-85.

Statistics Canada. (2017, October 25). Aboriginal peoples in Canada: Key results from the 2016 Census. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/171025/dq171025a-eng.htm

Sex differences in attitudes towards online privacy and anonymity among Israeli students with different technical backgrounds

Reviewed By: Sarah Potter, Esther Kim, Erin Oakden, Mariah Ramsour, Keshia Nash-Johnson

Link to article: http://informationr.net/ir/22-4/paper777.html

1. Article Synopsis
This article investigates the differences in online anonymity and privacy behavior between men and women among Israeli students with varying technical backgrounds. The purpose is to comparatively model men and women’s online privacy attitudes, and to assess the online privacy gender gap. To understand the inter-influence of different factors, assessment of men and women’s awareness of two types of threats against their online anonymity and privacy level are addressed: the technological threat such as technology that enables surveillances, detection of a user’s identity and personal details on the Web and the social threat such as exposure of a user’s identity and personal details on the Web.

The study also examines the male and female differences regarding protection of personal information on the Web, especially on social networks as well as lack of online privacy self-efficacy. Each user was measured on their familiarity level and actual usage of anonymity tools available on the Web. The study conducted considered both online privacy literacy tools and privacy literacy skills used by social users.

Male and female differences in user tendency to engage in privacy paradox behavior was also examined. For example, if a user preferred to utilize the malleability of the Internet at the expense of information security, despite concern for their online privacy.

The literature review examines the digital gap between the sexes. For example, sex differences in computer and Internet literacy, self-efficacy, and online seeking behavior, as well as previous studies related to online privacy, anonymity, and self-disclosure. The subsequent literature conclusively notes a disparity, a term some call the knowledge gap hypothesis, where behavior and attitudes do not coincide.

This study is helpful in determining a comprehensive framework for research pertaining to sex differences across a variety of factors related to privacy behavior and online anonymity. It is also the first study to investigate these issues among Israeli students who are from different academic backgrounds. The research found has important implications in regards to Internet education and reducing the digital divide among the sexes. The social and technological dimensions explored in the study also give insight into the wider contexts of cyber security, protection of personal data, and online information literacy—all of which are important topics that can relate to the international experience.

2. Core Research Questions
This study addressed five research questions relating to gender, technological safety, and privacy:
1. Are there differences in men’s and women’s awareness of technological and social anonymity threats on the Web?
2. Are there differences in men’s and women’s concern for the protection of personal information on social and non-social Websites?
3. Are there differences in men’s and women’s online privacy self-efficacy and technological and social online privacy literacy?
4. Are there differences in men’s and women’s tendency to engage in privacy paradox behavior?
5. Does higher technological online privacy literacy decrease users’ tendency to engage in privacy paradox behavior?

3. Methods
To answer the research questions, this study conducted a questionnaire with 169 Israeli college students from two colleges, Bar-Ilan University and Jerusalem College of Technology, and three departments: accounting and business management studies, information science studies, and computer science and engineering. Seventy-one men and ninety-eight women answered a forty-question survey on online privacy. The survey was broken down into six sections asking questions relating to: participant demographics, awareness of threats to technological and social anonymity, concerns for safeguarding personal information online, effectiveness of ability to protect online privacy, knowledge on technological and social online privacy, and tendencies to engage in “privacy paradox behavior.”

4. Findings and Conclusions
A comparative model was used to summarize users’ attitudes towards online anonymity and privacy and it was found that women have more social awareness online, while men have more technical awareness. Despite the closing of this gap in technological knowledge, men still have an advantage over women in relation to technology, as they have an awareness of the technological threat that resides online and have a higher online privacy literacy level.
There were four aspects of online privacy and anonymity that were analyzed:
1. Sex differences with regard to the general awareness of limited anonymity on the Web using several measures of technological and social threat awareness
2. Sex differences with regard to the level of concern for protecting personal information on both general and social networks
3. Sex differences in users’ levels of online privacy self-efficacy and online privacy literacy (technical and social)
4. Sex differences with regard to privacy paradox behavior

Women’s ability to effectively manage their online privacy in the digital age is integral to their ability to protect private information such as health information, educational information, financial information, political views, and consumption patterns. Further research is needed that generalizes the proposed methodology in this study and uses a more diverse subject group (age, education level, occupation types, cultural backgrounds, and countries of origin). The authors also suggested that further steps be taken in the future such as implementing policy intervention and educational programs on online privacy, anonymity awareness, and digital literacy so that we can eventually eliminate the inter-sex technological gap.

5. Informing American Library Program Design from Global Practices
The literature, relative research, and results of this study indicate a need for educational programming on digital literacy with an emphasis on security and privacy. The study established that the participants had varying levels of concern about what is being disclosed through their online activity. Although the focus group of this study consisted of Israeli male and female students, it is likely that these concerns are not limited to this population. Therefore, American libraries should not only provide secured online access, but libraries should also provide education about what that means. All internet users should feel confident in their knowledge of what information is at risk and how to protect themselves from inadvertent disclosures of personal information. This program could be very successful at both public and academic libraries, but could be appropriate for all environments that emphasize the importance of information literacy.

Transformative Praxis – Building Spaces for Indigenous Self-determination in Libraries and Archives

Reviewed By: Myla Perrelli, Jennifer Robertson, Josephine Trott, & Jessica Walker

Link to article: http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2019/transformative-praxis/

This article looks at the ways in which libraries and archives in Australia can decolonize and indiginize simultaneously in order to provide cultural safety to their communities. The author Kirsten Thorpe believes that much importance lies in the praxis, or combination of reflection and action within the context of theory and practice, as it relates to the work that needs to be done with regards to Indigenous peoples. A stronger and more direct dialogue is needed on the subject of Indigenous people and decolonization within the library community in addition to more direct action. The importance of cultural interface, or the different awareness and knowledge that people have on a subject, is discussed. The article thoroughly delves into important areas where work needs to be done in institutions and research with the goal to provide solutions. These areas include utilizing Indigenous research methodologies, working locally with Indigenous peoples, and resourcing the decolonization and indigenization with time and money. Additionally, the author is an Indigenous archivist from Australia who has 20+ years of experience working in the field. Her family on her mother’s side are Worimi people from a coastal region of Australia.

Core Research Questions
For this article, the core questions are explicitly written in the text. They are:
“ How can libraries and archives engage with indigenous peoples and communities to build mutual partnerships within current frameworks?” (Thorpe, 2019, p.1, para. 3)
Can libraries and archives build spaces with respect to indigenous people, or will they continue to ignore their role of “perpetuating colonial system and structures”? (Thorpe, 2019, p.1, para. 3)

Historically, the organization of information in Australian libraries and archives have continually ignored input or voice from the Indigenous peoples and communities. The author stresses throughout the article that ignoring the Indigenous people’s perspectives, will continue to harm the community and possibly traumatize the multiple generations with colonial centric histories. Practices cannot merely change overnight without community partnerships and engagement. The author questions how we can create mutual partnerships, given the current organization in current libraries and archives.

In the past, there has been an effort in creating library and archive spaces for Indigenous communities; however, “many projects and services were being designed without Indigenous community input or perspective” (Thorpe, 2019, p.1 para. 9). Problematically, Indigenous peoples were asked to approve of new projects only after they have been designed and created. These finished projects had little to no input or collaboration from the communities in which they were for. If Australian libraries and archives want to build and design spaces with respect to the Indigenous communities that exist in Australia, the author argues that there needs to be an effort to collaborate with Indigenous people and decolonize the classification, description, and organization of the existing system.

Thorpe uses a qualitative examination of personal experiences, or autoethnography, according to the guidelines laid out by Houston (2007) to consider the core questions. The data for this self-study is acquired through Indigenous Standpoint Theory (IST) and evaluated using Cultural Interface as detailed by Nakata (2007). Standpoint theory is an individual’s ability to understand how their perspectives have been shaped by the dominant, usually conflicting, culture. IST specifically looks at how the dominant culture has erased, misrepresented, and suppressed ancestral cultures and languages to perpetuate assimilation. This provides context for identifying the instances of suppression that arise in the everyday life of Indigenous people. These instances are also the root of much distrust with the institutions in question. Cultural interface uses the intersection of Indigenous people’s ancestral identity and colonizer culture to witness systematic conflicts. Using the cultural interface, instances identified with IST can be evaluated based on how much personal harm and trauma is inflicted. Thorpe (2019) considers both the “experiential and intellectual” impact of these instances (Thorpe, p.1, para. 5). This qualitative information is used to inform ways they can be used in praxis to decolonize libraries and archives. In doing so, the oppressive power systems can be eliminated to create supportive spaces and systems for Indigenous people.

The main finding of the study is that in order to make archives and libraries more supportive of indigenous populations, various goals must be achieved. The first of which is that “indigenous research methodologies” must be utilized (Thorpe, 2019, p.1, para 20). For example, the Kaupapa Maori Theory provides great framework for challenging the “dominant systems of power”, or in other words, the library and archival structures that oppress indigenous populations (Thorpe, 2019, p.1, para. 6). The next component is to use the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to guide library and archive practices. Another idea is to consult leaders in the indigenous community for their advice, work with them to prioritize goals and adopt protocols that are applicable to these groups. Additionally, collaborative members could create plans that will put these protocols into action. Librarians and archivists need to respect indigenous groups’ values and build a relationship of mutual benefit. It is also important to increase representation of indigenous peoples in leadership positions such as on library boards. Leaders need to understand that the process of creating a supportive environment requires changes that must be made to work, with time and resource division. Lastly, advocate for studies of indigenous populations as a core component of curriculum in library and archive courses.

What can American libraries learn from this?
American Libraries can learn from the international perspectives that the populations the library is looking to serve should be leaders for developing services. Key groups in the community must be consulted and power structures of the library must be examined. Libraries need to be willing to look at the underlying structural components of their organizations that may marginalize groups in their community and be willing to change them.

White librarians in particular have a lot of work to do. Indigenous peoples and other marginalized communities should not have to bring this work forth alone. It needs to be an effort that takes into account the trauma and emotional/cultural safety of the community that the librarian works and resides within.

Librarians and archivists also need to understand that there are different cultural practices and beliefs between multiple Indigenous communities. If they want to design spaces for them, then collaboration needs to happen before, during, and after the process. Librarians must recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all in creating these information spaces, so the process will need to be revisited several times, with each distinctive Indigenous group.

Essentially, Americans libraries were designed in a colonized system which has been shown to be oppositional and harmful to Native Peoples. This article draws attention to the ways in which American libraries may be similarly hostile to Indigenous Americans. To consider the actionable ways to decolonize the system, as laid out in the article, provides a starting point for local research and understanding of the methods for measuring and collecting community input.


Houston, J. (2007). Indigenous autoethnography: Formulating our knowledge, our way. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 36(S1), 45-50.

Nakata, M. (2007). Disciplining the savages: Savaging the disciplines. Canberra, A.C.T.: Aboriginal Studies Press.

Thorpe, K (2019). Transformative praxis: Building spaces for Indigenous self-determination in libraries and archives. Retrieved from http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2019/transformative-praxis/