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ISU Librarian Cited in Research about Racist Children’s Literature

August 19, 2021

ISU professor Philip Homan’s work in information ethics has been cited in recent research about racist Indigenous Canadian children’s literature.

The peer-reviewed article, by University of British Columbia librarians, “Repurposing Problematic Books into Critical Literacy Kits,” was published this year by Routledge in the information science journal Collection Management. According to the study, racist books “perpetuate harm by exposing … historically oppressed and colonized groups to … stereotypical depictions of their communities and cultures,” but removing them from library collections “takes away opportunities to promote critical literacy … in library instruction.”

The authors cite Homan’s research in support of repurposing racist books from the UBC Library’s Indigenous children’s literature collections into Critical Literacy Kits. The UBC uses the kits in information literacy instruction to teach students to examine privilege and power in the creation, collection, organization, and use of information, according to the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2016), which is the current information literacy standard for colleges and universities.

Homan’s article “Library Catalog Notes for ‘Bad Books’” was published in 2012 in Knowledge Organization, the peer-reviewed journal of the International Society for Knowledge Organization.

Homan is instruction librarian at the ISU Libraries and teaches information literacy in ISU’s general education program.


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