Call for Proposals – Building Our Own: Critiques, Narratives, and Practices from BIPOC Community College Workers in LIS 

Book Title

Building Our Own: Critiques, Narratives, and Practices from BIPOC Community College Workers in LIS

Book Description 

Where and who are all the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community college librarians? BIPOC community college librarians provide unequaled and increasingly necessary support to their institutions. The BIPOC community college librarian is often disembodied and our work runs the spectrum between the visible and invisible. The added labor of being the “only” adds an extra layer of emotional, physical, and cognitive work that often goes unrecognized. The relationship between the library and student success has been thoroughly researched and assessed, however, the role of the community college librarian is often excluded. There is even more exclusion, forced invisibility, and censorship for the BIPOC LIS (library information services) worker.

Librarians, library workers, and libraries are part of the student success pathway. Library departments (services) provide distinct face-to-face and online access points for the campus community. Community colleges have long been the setting of fundamental education, workplace development, and life skills across the country for working class communities. Having been seen as a gateway to economic mobility, community college is an equalizer, unifier, and launching pad for student excellence and innovation. However, the student diversity of our campuses is not always representative of staff and faculty. Interestingly, student services / academic affairs units make up more BIPOC workers than instructional units within the institution. Some of the failures in the community college landscape today are the lack of BIPOC workers in the library department, emotional taxation, extra labor, structural racism, and tokenistic legacies. BIPOC librarian faculty have cultural taxation not captured in our tenure or acknowledged institutionally. BIPOC librarians’ work and labor in community colleges deserves to be amplified, documented, and valued. Our unity is our shared community of practice now and into the future.

Building Our Own provides perspectives in the form of critiques, reflections, narratives, frameworks, and pedagogies from a BIPOC lens. Editors are inspired to gather and curate a collection of work to reveal the realities of BIPOC library workers’ contributions, critical insights, and lived experiences in the community college setting. Building Our Own is part of the Series of Critical Race Studies and Multiculturalism in LIS with Litwin Books and Library Juice Press under the series editors, Rose L. Chou and Annie Pho. For more information on how to contribute, read and review the submission guidelines.

About the Editors 

Amanda M. Leftwich, Student Success Librarian at Montgomery County Community College. aleftwich@mc3.edu

Eva M.L. Rios-Alvarado, Student Equity & Outreach Librarian at Mt. San Antonio Community College. eriosalvarado@mtsac.edu

Submission deadline of final manuscript + timeline 

All BIPOC authors are welcome, especially new BIPOC authors. Anyone from the BIPOC, LIS community college setting can submit a manuscript or proposal. This book is a great opportunity for authors from community colleges to share their stories, practices, and work.

Join this scholarly conversation to reveal the realities of BIPOC library workers’ contributions, critical insights, and lived experiences in the community college setting. Perspectives in the form of critiques, reflections, narratives, frameworks, pedagogies, and creative works are encouraged. Community college LIS workers have unique insights to share. We look forward to receiving yours. Review the requirements and email all questions to buildingcclis@gmail.com.

The editors are aware that authors are writing during the global pandemic. Editors are here to support potential authors and we will be as flexible and supportive as possible. We encourage all authors to be communicative and open with us throughout the writing process.

Deadline Submission for proposals: Sunday, April 18, 2021

Submission requirements 

  • 300-500 words chapter proposal (including title) or full manuscript 2000-5000 words in .doc or .docx format.
  • Include in the same document author name(s), pronoun(s), and preferred contact information.
  • Submit all proposals to buildingcclis@gmail.com.

Important Dates 

Deadline Submission for proposals: Sunday, April 18, 2021

Notification of Acceptance: Monday, May 10, 2021

First Draft Submission Deadline: Monday, August 16, 2021

  • 2,000 – 5,000 words in .doc or .docx format.
  • Submit all manuscripts to buildingcclis@gmail.com.

Revisions/Editing: Monday, August 16, 2021 – October 2021

  • Submit all revised manuscripts to buildingcclis@gmail.com.

Final Manuscript Submission: November 2021

  • Extra revision time and possible need for more edits.

Publication Date: Fall 2022

Example Chapter Topics

Chapters can include a variety of topics related to BIPOC community college librarians, library workers, and employees building communities of practices in their institutions. Contributors are encouraged to include any of the following, or suggest another subject in mind that uplifts the book’s goals:

  • College Building, Organizing Community in LIS: Practice and Theory
    • Communities of practice.
    • Mindful and reflective practice in LIS.
  • BIPOC Community College Librarian Narratives, Frameworks, and Identity
    • Narratives and reflections on being a community college worker in LIS.
    • Teaching-focused versus research-focused (what does service look like in CCs, how does this change how we “support” and are “supported”?).
  • Labor and Othering in LIS and Academia 
    • Emotional labor, invisible labor, and/or tokenism.
    • Cultural taxation in community colleges.
    • Emotional self in academia.
    • Racial fatigue.
    • Vocational awe.
    • Critical Race Theory (CRT).
  • I Am a Librarian Because; What My Labor Means; It’s Not F**ing Easy
    • In relation to community, society, care, harm reduction in our spaces.
    • Why are you a LIS worker? Service and identity. Many librarians have social motivations to be part of service to our communities and we need to get deeper to connecting our why.
    • Connecting to the campus community.
    • Connecting to the community-at-large.
    • Community college bias / community college shame / #endccstigma.
  • LIS Pedagogy and the Institution, Community, and Department
    • Non-western epistemologies & LIS.
    • Decolonizing methods and practices.
    • Exploring frameworks and pedagogies used in your teaching and/or outreach to the campus community.
    • Going beyond the framework.
  • Joy, Futuring, Beyond Racism & Oppression 
    • Exploring rest as resistance.
    • Liberation.
    • Queer and LGBTQIA+ joy and expression.
    • Moving towards justice in your own practices and work.
  • Creative submissions 
    • Prose.
    • Images and artwork.
    • Zine renderings.