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BC Library Conference 2020

T07 - Collections in Social Movements: Grassroots libraries in marginalized communities.

Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 11:00 AM–12:15 PM EDT
Meeting Room #2
Session Description

Generously sponsored by: BCGEU

This discussion panel brings together three librarians who represent joss paper library, Queer Reads Library, and Out On The Shelves Library in a conversation around how grassroots collections can help and enable marginalized communities to understand social movements and their relationships to these events.
joss paper library (JPL) is a research collective focusing on self- and independently-published works centering around the Asian diaspora, and works to build capacity to re-centre marginalized voices. Queer Reads Library (QRL) is a mobile collection of books and independently published zines centered around queer subjectivity. Out On The Shelves Library (OOTS) is a non-profit, community-led, and volunteer-run library committed to anti-oppressive social justice work.
Together, this session seeks to discuss how libraries, through material and digital collections and public programming, can strengthen community relationships and push the boundaries for librarianship and library work. What is professional librarianship, and who qualifies and gets to do this work? Additionally, who is a professional and how does professionalization hinder or enable community-led work? What is the accessibility of conversations around democracy and action? How can we centre marginalized voices and communities with intention and care around issues of democracy and action? This discussion panel seeks to explore how grassroots movements and collections are an integral part of enabling social and political change and empowerment.


Curated by Yik Wan Karen Ng, UBC & West Vancouver Memorial Library

Karen Ng is a 1.5 generation Cantonese settler and a graduate student in the Master of Archival Studies and Master of Library and Information Studies program at UBC. She cares about public service, participatory practices in archival description, reading room spaces, transnational histories of the book, and identity formations in special collections. She works as the Library and Reference Assistant at Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC, and as the Customer and Community Experience Student Librarian at West Vancouver Memorial Library.

Y Vy Truong, joss paper library

Y Vy Truong (she/her) is a second generation Vietnamese settler whose work takes place on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples, including the three title holding nations, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), skx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səlílwətaʔ/sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and Qiqéyt (Qayqyat) First Nations. She is the librarian of joss paper library, which is a research collective and community led library located in Vancouver’s Chinatown, collecting self- and independently-published works that centre the Asian diaspora. Focusing on creating avenues for equitable research practices, her primary interests are in information studies, digital stewardship, and community-led archival preservation projects.

Rachel Lau , Queer Reads Library

Rachel Lau is a Han Chinese settler artist, writer, zinester, and audio storyteller based in what’s colonially known as Vancouver. They are currently pursuing a degree in the Bachelor of Media Studies program at UBC, with a minor in Asian Canadian & Asian Migration Studies. They are a co-librarian of Queer Reads Library 流動閱酷, a mobile library of queer books and zines started in Hong Kong, along with friends and collaborators Beatrix Pang and Kaitlin Chan. Most days they can be found daydreaming on public transit about the Cantonese diaspora and queer futurisms.

Avi Grundner

Avi Grundner (they/them/theirs) is a queer Jewish-American settler living, studying, and working on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm land. They are a TS student librarian with Xwi7xwa Library, and volunteer co-coordinator with Out on the Shelves, a community LGBT2QIA+ library. Avi’s interests include the intersection of pop culture and political resistance, crip theory, restorative justice, and the exploration of gender, sexuality, and cultural identity through D&D. Nearing the completion of UBC’s Dual MAS/MLIS program, Avi is focusing on the creation, adaptation, and use of equitable knowledge organization systems, and searching for avenues to develop their practice of advocacy and allyship.