Struggle against racial exclusion in public libraries: a fight for the rights of the people

This paper by Shiraz Durrani discusses racism in the UK, relating it to both social and economic exclusion, and to social class. Institutional racism is discussed, as is racism’s relation to wider global factors. The history of race relations in the UK and US, including the experience of US public libraries, is discussed. Manifestations of racism in the UK are described in relation to various institutions and legal provisions. The next section of the paper considers the employment of Black workers, both nationally and in the public libraries sector, with a need for cultural change being identified. This is followed by consideration of the Black community perspective, with reference to national issues and recent public libraries research. Various proposed solutions to tackle racism are discussed. It is concluded that whilst it is only Black communities and library workers that can eliminate racism, everyone, at all levels within public library authorities, has a responsibility to tackle racism.

Open to all? Working Papers no.13 (2000)

Struggle against racial exclusion in public libraries: a fight for the rights of the people