Uncovering Implicit Bias: A Journey Towards Inclusive Collection Development and Censorship Mitigation

This presentation addresses the critical issue of implicit bias in library collection development and censorship. Implicit bias, often unrecognized and unintended, can significantly impact the content and access to information in libraries. This submission offers insights, strategies, and best practices for recognizing and mitigating these biases, ultimately working towards more inclusive and equitable library services.

Understanding Implicit Bias: We delve into the psychology behind implicit bias and its influence on decision-making in libraries. Implicit Bias in Collection Development: we will explore how implicit bias affects the selection of library materials, with real-world examples illustrating its consequences on diversity and inclusion. Censorship and Implicit Bias: We will investigate the connection between implicit bias and content censorship, shedding light on ethical concerns and impacts on information access.

Identifying and Addressing Implicit Bias: We will share practical strategies for recognizing and mitigating bias in collection development and censorship decisions.

Inclusivity: Highlight the importance of diversifying library collections and showcase initiatives to counter implicit bias.

Future Directions: Explore emerging technologies and collaborative efforts to tackle bias in library services.

Stephen Harris

Information Services Librarian, Bundaberg Regional Libraries

Author Bio

Stephen Harris is an accomplished Information Services Librarian with a passion for digital literacy, ethical collections, and social justice. With over a decade of experience in information services, Stephen has become a dedicated advocate for equitable access to information in the digital age. Stephen’s journey in librarianship began with a profound belief in the power of knowledge to transform lives. He earned her Master of Information Studies from Charles Sturt University where is also a sessional lecturer. As an Information Services Librarian, Stephen has made significant contributions to his community. He has curated innovative programs that bridge the digital divide, empowering individuals of all ages to harness the full potential of the digital realm. Stephen’s workshops on digital literacy have helped countless patrons develop crucial skills for navigating the internet, using digital tools, and critically evaluating online information. Stephen’s dedication to intellectual freedom and his unwavering stance against censorship have set him apart as a fearless champion of free expression. He has played a pivotal role in advocating for open access to information and has been involved in initiatives to combat censorship in public spaces. In his role, Stephen is not only a provider of resources but also a trusted mentor. His ability to connect with patrons on a personal level, regardless of their background or technological expertise, has made him an indispensable asset to Bundaberg Library. He firmly believes that libraries should be inclusive spaces where all voices are heard and respected. Stephen is a lifelong learner, constantly staying abreast of emerging trends in technology, information science, and social justice. He is an active participant in professional organizations, contributing insights and experiences to advance the field of library and information science.

Ren Stevens

Library Trainee, Bundaberg Regional Libraries

Author Bio

Ren is a passionate library trainee with a unique blend of interests in censorship, inclusion, and gaming. With a strong commitment to fostering diversity and equity within the library community, Ren is on a mission to make libraries more inclusive and welcoming spaces for all. Currently studying Library and Information Services, Ren has developed an interest in the history of banned books and the suppression of free expression. This exploration ignited a fervent dedication to intellectual freedom and the fight against censorship in all its forms. Ren is a staunch advocate for maintaining diverse perspectives and ideas, firmly believing that libraries should be bastions of free thought. Inclusion is at the heart of Ren’s library philosophy. They are dedicated to creating spaces where every individual, regardless of background or identity, feels valued and heard. They are known for championing diverse collections, supporting LGBTQ+ literature, and advocating for accessible services that cater to all library users. Gaming and art are part of Ren’s great passions, and they see them as powerful tools for building community and engaging patrons of all ages. Ren is an integral team member of the library’s Gamers Group and has pioneered initiatives such as Comic Book Club and digital art workshops that not only provide entertainment but also foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills. As a library trainee, Ren approaches their work with enthusiasm and a thirst for knowledge. They actively seek mentorship and guidance from experienced librarians to refine their skills and expand their understanding of library operations. Ren’s eagerness to learn and their open-minded approach make them a valuable asset to Bundaberg Regional Libraries.