Library Trends : Disabled Adults in Libraries : Call for Proposals
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We are preparing to edit a special issue of Library Trends on the topic of Disabled adults in libraries, which is scheduled to be published May 2019.
The nature and scope of this issue:
Though scholarship about disabilities has been robust in various social science and humanities disciplines for decades, libraries have been slow to theorize or systematically examine the experiences of dis/ability in libraries. This special issue will be geared toward the experience of being a Disabled adult in libraries, as user or worker. Through a mixture of empirical research, case studies, interviews, and theoretical papers, this issue will capture perspectives of Disabled members of our broad library community.
There are many possible approaches one can take to examine disabilities and disability theory. The approach guiding this issue is taken from an in-press work by one of the editors.
There is no universally accepted definition of disabilities or single approach to disability theory. Legalistic definitions, including those presented in the Americans with Disabilities Act and the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities tend to be exclusionary and restrictive in their ideations about humanity. By this, I mean that in their construction of disability and disabled people, they work from a deficit model in which disabled humans are treated as corporeal abnormalities. However, if one out of every seven human beings could be considered disabled, as research demonstrates, disability is a common part of human existence. For many of us, when we talk about in/accessibility in libraries, we’re not just talking about things that others experience; we’re talking about ourselves.
Critical disability studies (CDS) is one approach that offers a way of including disabled people in academic discourse. In this approach, disabled people are participants and researchers who can engage in self-reflexive critiques, not just objects of study. While some theoretical models focus on binary categories that are presented in contrast to each other, such as contrasting social and medical models or disability and impairment, CDS scholars focus on the entire lived experiences of disabled people. This allows for more complicated modes of analysis, such as acknowledging that disabilities may include both social and medical aspects.
We are intentionally seeking out reviewers and authors who have diverse experiences and backgrounds, including library workers of color, library workers who have LGBTQIA+ identities, and those who have Disabled identities. Because we anticipate that several authors will have experience both as Disabled library workers and as Disabled library users, we want to allow either or both perspectives to be incorporated into their research. However, to provide some limits on the scope of this issue, we are focusing on the library experiences of Disabled adults.
January 1, 2018 - article proposals are due
February 1, 2018 - editors will notify people if proposals are accepted
June 1, 2018 - article drafts are due
August 1, 2018 - reviewer feedback will be sent
September/October, 2018 - final edits
November 1, 2018 - final manuscripts are due to the publisher
The writing style follows Chicago rules. Complete articles are expected to be in the 4,000-10,000 word range. More information about the style rules can be found here: (PDF) https://www.press.jhu.edu/sites/default/files/Author%20Instructions%20for%20Library%20Trends%202017.pdf
A complete proposal will include the following:
- article title
- abstract of proposed article (200-300 words is preferred)
- a short author biography -- it doesn't have to be formal at this point; we welcome casual explanations of how your background and experience influences your desire to write in this area
Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need help with your abstract or framing your article (I always want to include too much! - Jessica), the Article Framework Questions used by In the Library with the Lead Pipe are very helpful:
If you plan to include statistical analysis, please let us know how you will ensure that your methodology and analysis are solid.
Please contact us if you have any questions!
Jessica Schomberg, co-editor
Shanna Hollich - co-editor