New Librarianship Symposia Series: Fall 2021

New Librarianship Symposia Series: Fall 2021


This four-part virtual symposia series explored community-centric approaches to librarianship that push practitioners and scholars into innovative directions. Much has occurred in the last decade that has highlighted the importance of recognizing how institutional oppression and systems of power, global pandemics, and international perspectives inform librarianship. We sought contributions of ideas and approaches that can guide the field over the next decade.

Symposia sessions were streamed live on YouTube, free of charge, with live captioning and accessibility accommodations provided by the Library of Congress.

Symposium 1: Post-Neutrality Librarianship (October 28, 2021): Librarians cannot be unbiased neutral information professionals and passionate advocates for better communities. To seek an improved society calls for a vision of what “improved” means. How can librarians reconcile the reality of making service decisions in a context of limited resources with a mandate to serve the whole community?

Symposium 2: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (November 4, 2021): The vital need for diversity in librarianship stems from twin beliefs in the inherent value and dignity of all people and in the fact that the best knowledge is derived from the richest variety of sources. How can this be expressed as a core value of librarianship and what are its implications for the institutions librarians build and maintain? How can we address institutional racism, biases, discrimination, and inaccessibility in library institutions, education, and practice internationally? How might we integrate principles of inclusion and universal design?

Symposium 3: International Influences (November 11, 2021): Concepts of diversity, of service, and of librarianship itself are strongly influenced by local contexts. The idea that the work of librarians looks the same in Kenya, Norway, China, and the United States is founded on the strained concept that universal structures serve all. What in librarianship transcends national boundaries, what varies, and what is the process that connects the two?

Symposium 4: A New Normal Agenda in a COVID-Affected World (November 18, 2021): The COVID pandemic has put in sharp contrast the role of libraries in communities, and made clear how what was once considered normal, must never be normalized again. Librarians must fight for universal broadband, better workforce development, and expand democratic conversations, to ensure the wellbeing of communities and understand their roles in a crisis. What does the new normal agenda for librarianship look like?

The New Librarianship Symposium Series was sponsored by the University of South Carolina, MIT Press, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the U.S. Library of Congress, the British Library, KB National Library of the Netherlands, OCLC, URFIST de Bordeaux, Enssib, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, the American Indian Library Association, the University of Texas at Austin Bowden Folio, and Gigabit Libraries Network.

Symposium 1: Post-Neutrality Librarianship Symposium Recording

Symposium 2: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Symposium Recording

Symposium 3: International Influences Symposium Recording

Symposium 4: A New Normal Agenda in a COVID-Affected World Symposium Recording


ADA accommodations requested five business days in advance from (202) 707-6362 or were provided.

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Fall 2021