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sociology or environmental science

Social justice, for me, is about power and having an awareness of how nexuses of power inform our organizational work, our collections, and our activities within scholarly communications. It is being aware of commercial interests within a scholarly communications environment. If we are purchasing content that has licensing terms or is gated in ways that we find divergent from our commitment to open access and democratized access to information, then we need to be aware that our spending is actually incentivizing models that are at odds with our values. Having a social justice mind-set is bringing awareness of our values of democratizing access to information, democratizing access to knowledge on a global scale, and really bringing that awareness to all of our activities. For instance, we recently submitted a letter to the Library of Congress asking for a subject heading for a catalog change. One of the subject headings was for “illegal aliens.” We stated that we wanted to change that terminology. We found that terminology to be problematic, possibly offensive, and we worried about the message such terminology sends to users about our values. That social justice, diversity, and inclusion perspective informs what we buy, how we catalog and make available items, and really bringing awareness to all of our work.