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Academic librarians have often been hesitant to foreground real-time engagement with social justice in our public facing library guides. The guides, more often than not, serve merely to provide access points to “academic” materials and traditional news sources. Perhaps there is a different path. This chapter suggests that engagement with Twitter can point patrons toward the real conversations happening outside (and sometimes inside) academia that are missed when we rely on traditional sources. The critical engagement with social justice issues such as race and technology, or migrant justice, is happening right in front of our eyes on Twitter. This chapter discusses how adding Twitter feeds to library guides can engage libraries (and our students) in critical conversations around racism and the foregrounding of traditionally marginalized voices. A problem with traditional library guides is that they center the voice and opinion of the librarian curating the guide. Adding in Twitter feeds can complicate this. Adding Twitter feeds from traditionally marginalized voices centers those voices in real time as opposed to centering the voice and authority of the, often white, librarian initially creating the guide. This centering occurs because while the librarian initially chooses which feeds to feature, the feeds are continuously updating in real time. This chapter reflects on why this centering of non-white voices is important, how it engages the counterpublic discourse on Twitter, and how doing so can push us all to be a little more critical, a little more subversive, in our work.


Antiracist Library and Information Science: Racial Justice and Community is volume 52 of the Advances in Librarianship book series.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License