Land in Libraries
Toward a Materialist Conception of Education
Editors: Lydia Zvyagintseva and Mary Greenshields
Expected: Summer 2023
Bless us, these lands, said the rememberer. These lands aren’t our lands. These lands aren’t your lands. We are this land. – Joy Harjo, Poet Laureate of the United States, An American Sunrise: Poems, W.W. Norton, 2019, p.108.
The question of land is largely absent in libraries. Deeply committed to the neoliberal project as a guiding ideology of the profession, libraries exist at once as ahistorical, atheoretical, and landless institutions in their understanding of themselves, their work, and their impact on people. This edited volume seeks to contribute to the growing body of work on libraries and the anthropocene, decolonization, and climate change through writing in theory and practice. We are interested in both non-metaphorical (actual, material) as well as conceptual perspectives on land. We are interested in centering land as a foundational category underpinning social relations, as a necessity for the function and reproduction of capitalism, and as a place where we work and learn together. Fundamentally, we live on the land and how we live in relation to the land matters to how we understand ourselves as individuals and a society.
Lydia Zvyagintseva ( www.lydiazv.com) is a librarian with the University of Alberta Library, the traditional home of the Nêhiyawak, where she is responsible for the operations and service design of the Digital Scholarship Centre. She holds degrees in French Language and Literature, Digital Humanities, and Library and Information Studies. Her publications include studies on design and usability of large-scale interactive displays and open data in learning environments. Having worked in both public and academic settings for the past 18 years, Lydia’s interests include digital pedagogy, critical making, land-based learning, and community engagement.
Mary Greenshields (www.marygreenshields.com) is a settler-librarian at the University of Lethbridge Library in the traditional home of the Niitsitapi. She is the subject specialist for the university’s Indigenous programs, a teaching librarian, and co-manages the library’s special collections. Mary holds degrees in French Language and Literature, English Literature, and Library and Information Studies. Her research interests exist at the intersections of feminism, love studies, critical pedagogy and librarianship, and settler-Indigenous relations.