Bridge Building, Intersectionality and Inclusion
Academic library practices that are inclusive to Indigenous communities are grounded in the recognition that Indigenous cultures feature unique experiences and knowledges. This work cannot be fully supported without a commitment to decolonizing libraries, including through changes to leadership, management and organizational practices. In response to this, 35 academic librarians at 11 research teams from 12 academic libraries are currently conducting a collaborative qualitative study on how to support Indigenous Studies scholars utilizing Indigenous methodologies with Ithaka S+R, a not-for-profit organization focusing on higher education. Each team is engaging in interviews and ongoing dialogue with Indigenous Studies scholars at their institutions about their research practices and support needs. The project will culminate with local reports from each team in conjunction with a capstone report from Ithaka S+R, all of which will be made publicly available.
This roundtable is facilitated by researchers on the project to discuss the possibilities for incorporating Indigenous methodologies into academic library research. The roundtable will begin with a fifteen-minute presentation about Indigenous methodologies in library research practice and how this informs their current research project. Following the presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to introduce themselves, including their relationship to the land that they grew up on and currently reside on and their interest in and experiences with Indigenous methodologies. The facilitators will then lead a discussion that explores the possibilities for library research and practice informed by Indigenous methodologies including: fostering good relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in academic library contexts (such as by engaging in respectful and ongoing communication between the researchers and participants), developing locally responsive research as part of a decolonial library practice, and navigating one’s own positionality when undertaking this work.
During the discussion the facilitators will create a visual display of themes based on input from the attendees (e.g. on chart paper or whiteboard). Following the session, all interested attendees will have the opportunity to sign up to receive a digital copy of the themes and to receive further updates about the project.