Black Lives Matter in Information Literacy

How to Cite

Pashia, A. (2016). Black Lives Matter in Information Literacy. Radical Teacher, 106.


The institutional racism addressed by the Black Lives Matter movement is encoded in many of the structures of academia, including academic libraries. As a librarian who teaches information literacy, I ask students to think about which voices are represented in the scholarly literature, make explicit the implicit biases of the way scholarly materials are organized in the library and research databases, and examine the way their own biases affect their evaluations of information. In this article, I examine some of the ways racism is build into the structure of the library and describe ways I teach students to recognize inequities in the sources they rely on for college level research.


Adler, M. (2016, May 20). The case for reparative taxonomies: Undoing master narratives in the stacks. Presented at the 2016 LACUNY Institute, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY.

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). (2015). Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Retrieved from

Beilin, I. (2015). Beyond the threshold: Conformity, resistance, and the ACRL Information Literacy Framework for HIgher Education. In the Library with the Lead Pipe. Retrieved from

Black Lives Matter Network. (n.d.). About the Black Lives Matter Network. Retrieved from

Brookfield, S.D. (2012). Teaching for critical thinking: Tools and techniques to help students question their assumptions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Bourg, C. (2014, March 3). The unbearable whiteness of librarianship [Blog post]. Retrieved from:

Elzie, J. [@Nettaaaaaaaa]. (2014). The news crews left the peaceful protests yesterday morning, the vigil last night.. No news outlets came until chaos started [Tweet]. Retrieved from

Green, A. (2016, April 25). College faculty are least diverse in Ivy League. The Dartmouth. Retrieved from

Library of Congress. (2016). Library of Congress Authorities. Retrieved from

Library of Congress. (n.d.). Library of Congress classification outline: Class L - Education [pdf document]. Retrieved from

NCES: National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). Fast facts: Race/ethnicity of college faculty. Retrieved from

Pariser, E. (2011). Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles" [Video file]. Retrieved from

Sweeney, L. (2013). Discrimination in online ad delivery: Google ads, black names and white names, racial discrimination, and click advertising. ACM Queue 11(3). Retrieved from

Taylor, O., Apprey, C.B., Hill, G., McGrann, L., & Wang, J. (2010). Diversifying the faculty. Peer Review 12(3). Retrieved from

UCLTV. (2014). Why is my curriculum white? [Video file]. Retrieved from