Norms; sometimes you need to break them to be able to fix them

Are you looking for a critical perspective for your essay? Are you curious to see how you can add another dimension to your assignment or your research? Are you working beyond the binary?

At the KI University Library, we embrace questions concerning equality and human rights, and we want to encourage discussions and debates on those topics: on both campuses, irl as well as online. We’re fast approaching The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) which occurs on May 17th and we’d like to pay these questions some much needed extra attention. The KI University Library is part of the Swedish library system and are therefore bound by law to contribute to the dissemination of information to enable people to form informed opinions (SFS2013:801). This is a crucial point for any democratic library and one that we at the KI University Library love to pursue.

In our Intersectionality Collection, we have a lot of literature with a critical perspective, literature that seeks to uncover hidden structures and hierarchies. Some of it is fiction, some of it is academic in nature, almost all of it is norm-critical literature that seeks to empower the oppressed and improve life for all of us.

Earlier this spring, Karin Niklasson Gråd at the library wrote a wonderful blog-post where she describes the Intersectionality Collection in broad strokes and in finer detail the critically acclaimed “Swede Hollow” (Larsmo, 2016). It is in Swedish so if you’re not a speaker/reader now you have another excellent reason to brush up on those language skills. The Intersectionality collection contains hundreds of interesting and critical titles, critical in more than one sense of the word. The literature is relevant for all levels; from the novice lay-person to the more advanced reader.

Speaking of books; reading is certainly a great way to learn about the world and acquire new knowledge. But books tend to age, and some withstand the test of time better than others. A book may become obsolete at the turn of a page. To keep up with the latest in any given area of research we turn to scientific journals. At the Library, we provide access to plenty of journals that in one way or another look to deal with questions concerning equality and health. Here you’ll be able to explore the Journal of LGBT youth, NORA – Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, Violence and gender, Journal of Aging and health, Ethnic and racial studies, Journal of disability and religion and Transgender health, to mention a few. Together they cover a wide range of issues.

Furthermore, many of the journals are so called open access-journals, something that means increased accessibility and availability. Seen from a democratic point of view this is almost a rhetorical if not a poetic point.

If you are interested in learning more about what goes on at KI, be sure to visit the website regarding equal treatment and read about how you can get involved. If you’re curious to know what KI can do for you as a student you can read more at the KI website.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, if you have discovered a blind spot in our collections or a voice that needs to be heard, please let us know! As long as you’re affiliated with KI you’re always welcome to suggest a book, journal or database for us to acquire. This way we can all come together and help keep the collections vital and vibrant, the stream of information alive and provide a voice for the voiceless.

Erik Svallingson

Librarian with a background in both nursing and graphic design and a keen interest in scientific visualization.