On the Importance of ‘Spaciousness’ in LIS
Meditations on the Pandemic, Place, and a Post-Eurocentric Future
Keywords:Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, library as place, spaciousness, contemplative studies, vastu
More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that we consider how this context has affected the field of library and information science (LIS). While the pandemic’s effects can seem endless, I focus specifically on the existential fear the pandemic has generated and its implications for our field. I link this existential fear particularly with our ability to share physical space together. To this end, we must reinvigorate concepts such as library as place. This paper shows how a contemplative focus in our profession can help in this regard. However, this contemplative focus needs to move beyond Eurocentrism to truly expand the narrative in our field. As such, I show how vāstu and its focus on inner ‘spaciousness’ can highlight new approaches to not just repair the damage wrought by neoliberalism and the pandemic, but to also find new ways to thrive both individually and collectively.
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