British Columbia Library Association

The Library Barriers Issue: A letter from the Editors

By BCLA Perspectives Editors

We all know that barriers exist in and around libraries. Although it is a topic commonly discussed, our conception of what barriers look like is always changing. There is value in continuing to identify these barriers, how they are perpetuated, and what we can do to overcome them or alleviate their impacts. We are continually more aware of what library patrons face when approaching and using our institutions, but also how our systems are creating barriers for library workers, too.

This issue features just a sliver of barriers found in public and academic libraries, in-person and online. These stories include barriers imposed by institutions, felt by patrons, and experienced by library workers. They offer some examples of what BC libraries are doing to overcome obstacles or better serve their patrons in regards to barriers. In addition, many of these stories address the professional barriers experienced by library workers, from precarious employment to educational requirements and non-inclusive gender policies.

We’re also pleased to welcome a new editor, Alison Griffin, this issue. Alison has been at BCIT for the past 4 years, serving as the Liaison Librarian for most of the Sustainability programs on campus. She is also currently the Library’s Collections Coordinator.  Prior to her library career, she has worked in Publishing, Public Relations and Copy Editing, so is very happy to find a way to add writing to back into her library working-life.

Our final issue of 2019 will be an open forum instead of a specific theme. Maybe you’ve been wanting to submit an article for a while but were waiting for that perfect topic. Or maybe one of the themes from a previous issue inspired a great story after the fact. We want to encourage a wide variety of stories that relate to the information professions. What have you been working on this year? What’s on your mind? Tell us!  Email perspectives@bcla.bc.ca with story ideas for the next issue, and look for our call for submissions in October. 

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