Jeanie Austin & Melissa Villa-Nicholas Win Eighth Annual Library Juice Paper Contest
October 9, 2020
Library Juice Press is happy to announce the winners of the Eighth Annual Library Juice Paper Contest. Jeanie Austin & Melissa Villa-Nicholas’ paper, titled, “Information Provision and the Carceral State: Race and Reference beyond the Idea of the ‘Underserved,'” published in the journal The Reference Librarian, was judged by the award jury to be the best paper submitted in this year’s contest. The award jury said about their paper:
“Austin & Villa-Nicholas provide a timely, insightful exploration of the liberatory possibilities in providing high quality reference services to incarcerated people through projects like Reference by Mail. Both the text of their paper and the design of the Reference by Mail program aim to humanize incarcerated people, working to undo some of the harms and dehumanization performed by the U.S. carceral system. They highlight the tie of whiteness and racial oppression as an organizing factor in carceral systems, and problematize LIS’s normalization of the prison industrial system and library services as an extension of that system. The paper encourages the application of critical race theory and an explicitly anti-racist approach to LIS education; lenses that encourage LIS students and other participants to challenge white normativity and see the full social potential of people incarcerated in a system disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous, POC, and/or LGBTQ+ communities.”
Jeanie Austin is a librarian at the San Francisco Public Library, Jail & Reentry Services, and Dr. Melissa Villa-Nicholas is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, University of Rhode Island.
The Library Juice Paper Contest winners receive an award of $1000. The intention of this contest is to encourage and reward good work in the field of library and information studies, humanistically understood, through a monetary award and public recognition. Papers submitted may be pending publication, or published (formally or informally) in the year of the award. Any type of paper may be entered as long as it is not a report of an empirical study. Examples of accepted forms would be literature review essays, analytical essays, historical research, and personal essays. The work may include some informal primary research, but may not essentially be the report of an empirical study.
The criteria for judgment are:
– Clarity of writing
– Originality of thought
– Sincerity of effort at reaching something true
– Soundness of argumentation (where applicable)
– Relevance to our time and situation
Entries in next year’s award are due August 1st, 2021.
Library Juice Press is an imprint of Litwin Books, LLC specializing in theoretical and practical issues in librarianship from a critical perspective, for an audience of professional librarians and students of library science.
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