Finding “Diversity Levers” in the Core Library and Information Science Curriculum: A Social Justice Imperative
Abstract

Abstract:

In this exploratory study, the researchers examined the core library and information science (LIS) curriculum, looking for diversity levers, or conceptual access points, where transformative academic knowledge related to diversity and social justice could be meaningfully integrated. Multicultural curriculum reform, conceptualized as a social justice approach, was the guiding framework for the research design and analysis. The researchers began by establishing what constitutes the core curriculum and essential knowledge taught across thirty-six ALA-accredited master’s of library and information science degree programs. These data were then used to construct a survey that went to one hundred LIS faculty at ALA institutions who provided pedagogical knowledge, ideas, and resources for infusing diversity and social justice into the core curriculum. The findings suggest that there are certain core LIS courses that have explicit diversity levers, or areas where there are natural connections to diversity and social justice content, while others have emergent or implicit diversity levers. The differences among these types of diversity levers are explained, and some of the pedagogical resources that were shared by the survey respondents are included. The Information Technology core course shows the most promise for integrating diversity and social justice pedagogies.