Stigmatizing disability: Library classifications and the marking and marginalization of books about people with disabilities

Melissa Adler, Jeffrey T. Huber, A. Tyler Nix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Libraries have historically organized materials about people with disabilities according to conventions created by medical and social scientific communities, thereby reproducing dominant, often pathologizing and marginalizing discourses about disabilities. This paper focuses on libraries’ treatment of subjects related to physical disabilities by analyzing the National Library of Medicine’s Medical Subject Headings, Library of Congress Subject Headings, the Library of Congress Classification, and the Dewey Decimal Classification. We use the lens of stigma as first theorized by Erving Goffman to reveal some of the processes and practices by which materials are relegated to the margins on the shelves and in the catalog.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-135
Number of pages19
JournalLibrary Quarterly
Volume87
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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