The spring of 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the turbulent spring of 1968 where social and political movements resulted in protests and strikes across many Western democracies. In France in May of 1968, where unrest was most pointed, some declared the month to be the “début d’une lutte prolongée” or “beginning of a prolonged struggle.” While the protests and strikes seemed to indicate a progressive momentum in the waning period of the so-called ‘golden era’ of the Fordist social contract, the response to the social protests of 1968 (and political radicalism that followed) was the emergence of economic and political neoliberalism. Looking back on 50 years since 1968, we aim to question not what failed in the spring of 1968 nor how a new political and economic order arose, but what is the state of the politics of libraries in 2018? What struggles continue and what new ones must be undertaken?
Reflecting on this 50th anniversary, an interested group of librarians, information professionals, students, and academics is hosting a conference questioning the politics of libraries in 2018, discussed over one day in April 2018 at the University of Alberta. In the spirit of 1968, we invite practitioners, scholars, activists, students, and other members of the general public interested in library allied information services to submit proposals on the issue of the politics of libraries in 2018. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- Neutrality in libraries
- Hegemonic and counter-hegemonic roles of libraries
- Resistance in library services and work
- Neoliberalism and its relationship to libraries
- Precarity in library work
Please submit proposals (not to exceed 400 words) for individual (20 minute presentations) and group/panel contributions using this form by midnight January 30, 2018.
All submissions will undergo a double-blind peer review process undertaken by the conference organizers. Notification on the status of submissions will be made by mid-February, 2018.