Educating for Social Justice: Perspectives from Library and Information Science and Collaboration with K-12 Social Studies Educators
Library and Information Science (LIS) as a discipline is guided by core values that emphasize equal access to information, freedom of expression, democracy, and education. Importantly, diversity and social responsibility are specifically called out as foundations of the profession (American Library Association, 2004). Following from this, there has been a focus in LIS on educating librarians from a social justice perspective. In this essay we will discuss some of the strategies we use for training librarians to practice librarianship using a social justice framework as a way to help social studies teachers and other educators critically think through their role in educating for social justice in their classrooms. Some areas of particular transference from LIS to K-12 educators that we focus on include locating classroom technologies as sites of power and privilege, prioritizing print and digital materials representative of culturally diverse populations and relevant contexts, and expanding the notion of literacy to include multiple literacies. These strategies lay a foundation for a critically-oriented classroom as a step towards teaching for social justice, and provide opportunities for collaboration between social studies educators and librarians.