Critical Business Collections: Examining Key Issues Using a Social Justice Lens
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All academic librarians perform a balancing act between the needs of patrons, licensing restrictions, and the missions of our libraries. As part of the work to develop our campus collections, academic business librarians work with both schools and commercial vendors to provide resources that our business students and faculty require. Business publishers charge academic customers pennies on the dollar for access, but are likely to seek protections for their intellectual content by placing usage restrictions that run counter to what librarians would prefer. This can cause difficulties for librarians in serving their unique populations. This also can run counter to the central principles of “Critical Librarianship”, which is based on a foundation of social justice, the belief that everyone deserves equal opportunities and basic economic, political, and social rights. Balancing the needs of the publishers and business school communities with the principles of critical librarianship is a great challenge for everyone who serves these communities. Business librarians from across the US will explore ways in which collections and critical librarianship collide. Topics to be covered include critical cataloging, the effects of database licenses on the intersection of theoretical academic work and practical business activities, challenges faced by public institutions supporting community entrepreneurs, and how the integration of critical pedagogy with information and data literacies can bring awareness to problems within current collections such as access to information, issues in data collection, and information creation. Through discussion, we hope to provide insight to ways in which libraries, as intermediaries between patrons and vendors, can help address these difficult problems.
DescriptionPresentation at the Charleston Library Conference - November 8, 2017 (Charleston, South Carolina)
Howard, Heather; Macy, Katharine; Seeman, Corey; Vaaler, Alyson (2018). Critical Business Collections: Examining Key Issues Using a Social Justice Lens. Available electronically from