The Black Librarian in America: Reflections, Resistance, and Reawakening is the latest in the powerful line of The Black Librarian in America volumes.
While previous editions we organized around library types, this edition is organized in four thematic sections”:
Issues pertaining to Black librarians’ intersectional identities, capacities, and contributions take center stage.
The Black Librarian in America: Reflections, Resistance, and Reawakening is not only the first edition to be edited entirely by Black women, but it is officially produced by BCALA members in commemoration of the organization’s 50th anniversary. Dr. Carla Hayden (14th Librarian of Congress) and Julius Jefferson, Jr. (president of the American Library Association for the 2020-2021 term) contribute moving foreword and afterword segments.
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) serves as an advocate for the improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community. It also provides leadership for recruiting and fostering African American or Black librarians. BCALA is the oldest of the national ethnic groups affiliated with the American Library Association. Throughout its 50-year history, it has served as a conscience for the library profession, speaking out on issues that affect librarians and communities of color. BCALA continues to be a thriving organization of more than 700 members across all 50 states. The organization remains steadfast and unwavering in its commitment to social justice and has been instrumental in decrying recent police brutality, xenophobia, and political disenfranchisement.
Shauntee Burns-Simpson (MLIS) currently serves as the 2020-2022 president of BCALA. She is the associate director of School Support & Outreach for the New York Public Library. An ambassador for libraries and youth librarian, Mrs. Simpson enjoys connecting people to the public library and its resources. She works closely with at-risk teens and fosters a love of reading & learning with her innovative programs. In addition to leading BCALA, she chairs ALA’s Committee on Diversity of the American Library Association.
Nichelle Hayes (MPA, MLS) is the BCALA president-elect (2022-2024) and current vice-president. She leads the Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC) at the Indianapolis Public Library. Hayes graduated from Indiana University’s School of Library & Information Science (SLIS) with her MLS. She began her library career as a library media specialist at an Elementary School in Indianapolis. Later she worked as an adult reference librarian specializing in business. She serves on a number of community boards throughout the state of Indiana. A few are the Indiana Black Librarians Network (IBLN) as treasurer, NAACP, Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. A public service organization (Lifetime Member PIF). She is a blogger at https://thetiesthatbind.blog/ where she discusses genealogy and keeping families connected.
Ana Ndumu (MLIS, Ph.D.) is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland College Park’s College of Information Studies who primarily researches and teaches on library services to immigrants—particularly, Black diasporic immigrants—along with methods for promoting representation and inclusion in LIS. A former HBCU (historically Black colleges and universities) librarian for over a decade, she is interested in the cross between Black identity, information access, and social inclusion. Ana is a BCALA executive board member and co-chair of the Professional Development & Recruitment Committee.
Shaundra Walker (MSLS, Ph.D.) is interim library director at Georgia College. She holds a B.A. in history from Spelman College, a Masters in library and information studies from Clark Atlanta University, and Ph.D. in educational leadership with a concentration in higher education administration from Mercer University. Shaundra has over 15 years of experience working in libraries and higher education. Her work and research in libraries and education are deeply influenced by her experience attending and working in HBCUs. Her research interests include the recruitment and retention of diverse librarians and organizational development within the library.
Table of Contents
Foreword - Dr. Carla D. Hayden, 14th Librarian of Congress
Introduction – Editors
II. Celebrating Collective and Individual Identity
III. Black Librarians across Settings
IV. Moving Forward: Anti-racism, Activism, and Allyship
Afterword - Julius C. Jefferson, Jr.
About the Editors and Contributors
This is a wonderful timely compendium of works that amplify Black voices in the library and information science profession. What's most impressive is how each author's effective synthesis of literature draws readers into their narrative. Given how rare it is to see scholarship on the Black librarianship, this is a significant contribution to the field.
The Black Librarian in America: Reflections, Resistance, and Reawakening is timely and relevant. It's about the groundwork of and for inclusivity. Black librarians in American demonstrate our resilience every day by navigating through social issues, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
This rich volume celebrates the voices and important work of Black librarians in the profession. It is truly an inspiring collection that highlights critical activities, issues, and accomplishments, and will greatly contribute to the LIS field and scholarship.