Call for Contributions: Decolonising the Academic Library

Keith Nockles

An invitation for contributions to a Mercian Collaboration Staff Development Group event organised jointly by De Montfort University, Leicester and Leicester University.

In Higher Education today the BAME attainment gap remains nationally around 13%, students are asking 'Why is my curriculum white?' and there are ever stronger calls to 'decolonise the curriculum'. What does this mean for academic libraries? Decolonising questions institutional assumptions of how the world is, it questions the impact of the relationship between the location and identity of the writer and brings to the fore issues of pedagogy and achievement for a more diverse body of students (Meera 2017).

At the heart of the University, an institutional collector, curator and enabler of knowledge and research, the academic library plays a pivotal role in student learning, development and academic research and thus decolonising. Whether you are liberating your library like Goldsmiths, broadening your bookshelf like Huddersfield or just thinking about what you can do, the call for decolonising the University is getting louder and Libraries need to act. If you have taken steps to decolonise any aspects of your library service and would like to share your practice, thoughts and experience the Decolonising the Academic Library event offers you that very opportunity. 

We are seeking contributors to deliver practical workshops (50 minutes) or lightning talks (7 minutes), to offer and enable reflections on current practice and possibilities. Contributors may wish to reflect on decolonising work with staff, student experience, library spaces, library collections, learning and teaching/curriculum.

How to Contribute

Interested? Please submit a title and short abstract of your proposed contribution (max 300 words). Please include Name, job role, Institution, e-mail and indicate type of format and theme desired. Deadline for proposals 11/3/20. To submit your proposal, or for more details contact Kaye Towlson (Academic Team Manager, De Montfort University, or Keith Nockels (Academic Librarian, College of Life Sciences, University of Leicester,


Meera (2017) Decolonising SOAS. SOAS blog, [Online] Available at