Dr. Christine D’Arpa discusses issues of diversity and inclusion in LIS fields at Atla annual conference
School of Information Sciences Assistant Professor Christine D'Arpa was an invited speaker at the American Theological Library Association’s (Atla) annual conference in June. Atla is an international association with more than 800 members – individual librarians and libraries – representing and serving a wide diversity of religious traditions.
In her talk, “Open doors and good intentions are not enough: Cultivating cultural competencies in LIS education and practice,” D’Arpa discussed the historical context of these issues. “Libraries are not immune from perpetuating and reinforcing the inequities caused by systemic racism; but neither have librarians and library educators been silent,” D’Arpa said. “It is important that we recognize and understand current efforts to address bias and privilege as part of an evolving and ongoing struggle within our profession.”
D’Arpa joined the SIS faculty in 2017 after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include the history of libraries and the role of the federal government in information provision. She is a co-principal investigator on a 3-year grant awarded by the Institute for Library and Museum Services last year to study community health and wellness programming at small and rural public libraries.
"We’re thrilled Dr. D'Arpa was invited to participate at the Atla conference,” said Tom Walker, associate dean for the School of Information Sciences at Wayne State University. “It is evidence of her scholarly reputation and an apt illustration of how interdisciplinary the field of information studies is. And her timely topic underscores how important our field is to social and racial justice."