Information for Social Change (2021-03-01)

Looking to decolonize your public library? Address Aporophobia First

  • John Pateman,
  • Margaret Demillo

Journal volume & issue
no. 39
pp. 11 – 28


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This article will examine some of the deeper conversations that need to happen before a public library can fully institute a decolonization and reconciliation plan. Using mass observation as evidence, the authors argue that acts of discrimination are often mistaken as racism, when in many cases the ‘us versus them’ mentality is rooted in a perverse and often unconscious fear of poverty and of the poor. A decolonization plan cannot be fully implemented until aporophobia and to a greater extent, the confines of capitalistic society are fully understood by library staff.