The Library Subject Librarians Hope Williard and Oonagh Monaghan have been active in researching decolonising initiatives at other Higher Education libraries. Attendance at conferences and liaison with librarians across the sector has enabled us to produce our own University of Lincoln decolonising guide for academic staff and students. The next step is to make the work we are already doing more visible. The aim is to embed decoloniality into the physical space of the library. The prospective projects have been grouped into the following four areas:
Revealing coloniality of existing collections
Embracing and extending decoloniality
In addition to new resources, sinage and use of the winning design in the recent competition, a permanent space in the Library has been allocated and we are now at the stage where we have the plans in place and materials ordered or arrived and we hope that the space will develop over the first term of 2022.
We want to reveal coloniality with the aim to share with our students, staff, and library community the ways that our practices of organising, displaying, and sharing information are shaped by colonial worldviews and outlooks.
We want to challenge coloniality by drawing on existing resources and highlightingnew developments in the library, this strand aimsto spotlight information and resources which challenge the colonial worldviews, allowing those who interact with it to broaden their knowledge and perspectives.
We want to research coloniality and collaborate, support, and promote research within the university relating to decolonisation. A particular focus of this area is the emerging project on zines, and efforts to actively engage with the university’s student as producer initiatives and internal funding schemes.
In the final strand we want to embrace and extend decolonialityand propose initiatives which would allow library staff and the wider university community to extend their knowledge of decoloniality and apply this knowledge in the workplace and beyond.
Part of this work is about developing awareness in the physical space of the Library and developing a dedicated Decolonisation and EDI area for display and promotion. Oonagh Monaghan has collaborated with two Interior Architecture academics, Raymund Konigk and Zakkiya Khan on the design of the area to showcase:
resources in the Library that show the diverse range of voices already in the collection.
Reveal and raise awareness of historical and colonial injustices which are embedded in the Library systems
Provide a space for materials that highlight issues of social justice and underrepresented voices.
showcase the new zines collection
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(The Reimagining Lincolnshire Project who have a blog Reimagining Lincolnshire – Discovering and sharing untold stories has been engaging with local people and organisations to uncover and celebrate the marginalised and forgotten stories of our city’s past with the hope that we can imagine an inclusive future. Public space can become a bridge between past and present, a site where differences are celebrated by breaking down barriers and starting conversations. It also sits alongside the decolonising agenda at the University of Lincoln which aims to challenge the language we use and the ways in which we teach and learn. The project aims to tell the marginalised stories in new and creative radical ways, challenging existing hierarchies and oppressions that are the result of colonial legacy.
In collaboration with Librarians Hope Williard and Oonagh Monaghan, there are two projects for 2022/23.
For Black History Month, the team have partnered with Wikimedia UK to run an online Wikimedia Heritage Project ‘Wikithon’.
Secondly, Librarian, Oonagh Monaghan has teamed up with Dr Victoria Araj and College of Arts Technician, Jantze Holmes on a ‘Reimagining Zine Project’.