Digital Library Federation (DLF) (2015)

Opening plenary & keynote address Noble, Safiya Umoja; Grant, Larry; Kwasigroch, Louisa; Nowviskie, Bethany


The landscape of library and information fields is rapidly shifting, as new imperatives and demands push to the fore in support of increasing investments in digital technologies. Yet critical information scholars continue to demonstrate how digital technology and its narratives are shaped by and infused with values that are not impartial, disembodied, or lacking positionality. Technologies consist of a set of social practices, situated within the dynamics of race, gender, class, and politics and in the service of something -- a position, a profit motive, a means to an end. Recently, engagement with digital technologies has become an enticing way of giving voice to marginalization and oppression, and hashtag activism has gained prominence as a potential intervention in forms of organizing, while disrupting traditional notions of how activism and protest should take place. In this talk, Safiya Umoja Noble will discuss the importance of the digitally-enabled academic-activist library community to offer models of intervention and resistance through research, practice and teaching, and the importance of examining the consequences and affordances of LIS activist work in a digital paradigm. By illuminating linkages to power struggles over values, particularly in the context of the digital, we can re-examine information contexts that can engender greater responsibility and imperative to act.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada