Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. --Albert Einstein

This Library Takes an Indigenous Approach to Categorizing Books

This Library Takes an Indigenous Approach to Categorizing Books

Apr 19, 2019-- For over a century, the traditional Dewey Decimal classification system has dictated how libraries organize their collections. Yet the way information is sorted conveys a lot about what's prioritized and what's left out. Xwi7xwa Library (pronounced whei-wha) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada is working to change the way materials on indigenous cultures are sorted in an effort to challenge Western, colonial bias and better represent the knowledge of Indigenous peoples. Books on indigenous communities often get sorted into the history section, failing to recognize their present-day roots, and are organized alphabetically, a system which typically excludes Native American languages that use non-Roman characters in the spelling of certain words. Read more to learn how Xwi7xwa is creating a welcoming environment for its indigenous students and expanding the knowledge and understanding of the larger community. (3096 reads)

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Take ActionAs you go about your week, pay attention to how your environment is tailored to cultural ideals. What stands out to you? Reflect on what it might be like to navigate a world dominated by a culture different from your own.

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