FIMS Profile

Amber Matthews

  • About Me

  • Research

  • Service

  • Awards

I am a Library and Information Science (LIS) doctoral candidate and hold a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral). 

My research examines systemic racism in public libraries and its impacts on racialized youth in Canada. I suggest that failing to account for race and redress systemic power relationships denies historical imbalances of power and further entrenches systemic racism.  Through a variety of professional and scholarly mediums, I challenge institutional and systemic barriers to engagement and aim to create anti-oppressive spaces and practices that support all youth. 

Prior to returning to scholarly research, I had a nine year career in fundraising and community engagement. I worked for several large charities including hospital foundations, children’s and youth rehabilitation and treatment centres, and a shelter for abused women and children. With increasingly senior roles and responsibilities, I worked collaboratively with communities to help raise over $70 million in program and capital funding and made tangible improvements to non-profit organizations, healthcare, and community services in Canada and abroad. As a complement to my scholarly work, I have also facilitated education and literacy programs for vulnerable children and youth through a community-led partnership with various community agencies in the London area. 

To date, my work has appeared in Directions Journal published by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, Canadian Journal for Information and Library Science, Partnership Journal, Education for Information, and Open Shelf Magazine. My work has received awards from the Canadian Association for Information Science (Best Paper and Best Student Paper - 2021) and funding from the Ontario Library Association. Read more about my research here

Refereed Research 

Matthews, A. (2021).Reversing the gaze on race, social justice, and inclusion in public librarianshipEducation for Information37(2), 187–202.

Mongeon, P., Brown, A., Dhaliwal, R., Hill, J., & Matthews, A. (2021). A bibliometric analysis of race-related research in LIS. Education for Information, 37(2), 231–246. 

Matthews, A. (2021). Reading the silence: Canadian library responses to racial injustice. Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 44(1), 83-104. 
 
Matthews, A. (2020). Racialized youth in the public library: Systemic racism through a critical theory lensPartnership15(1), 1–17. (This article was invited for republication in the September 2020 issue of Directions Journal published by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.) 
 
 Matthews, A., Bennett, G., Joian, M., & Brancatella, J. (2019). Indigenous young adult literatureEmerging Library & Information Perspectives2(1), 165-179. (Lead author).

 

Other Refereed Contributions

Matthews, A. (2021, June). Reading the silence: Canadian library responses to racial injusticePaper presented at the 2021 Canadian Association for Information Science Conference. Virtual Conference. (Awarded Student to CAIS/ACSI Award for Best Student Paper)

Mongeon, P., Brown, A., Dhaliwal, R., Hill, J., & Matthews, A. (2021). A bibliometric analysis of race-related research in LISPaper presented at the 2021 Canadian Association for Information Science Conference. Virtual Conference. (Awarded Best Paper).

Matthews, A. (2020, September). Diversity is not the answer: towards anti-racist praxis in LISPaper presented at the 2020 Canadian Association for Information Science Conference. Virtual Conference. 

Matthews, A. (2020, June). Surveillance in the Non-Profit Sector: The Case for Information as Property Law. Paper presented at the Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research Conference. Virtual Conference. 

Invited Talks 

Matthews, A. (2020). Advancing anti-racism in public libraries. Invited talk at the "Make Good Trouble" Now; Teach-In for Racial Equity. University of Buffalo. Buffalo, NY. 

Editorials 

Matthews, A. (2020, September 9). Part III: Antiracism in practice. Theory in practice: Moving from systemic racism to anti-racism in Ontario public libraries. Open Shelf: Magazine of the Ontario Library Association (OLA)

Matthews, A. (2020, June 4). Part II: Addressing systemic racism. Theory in practice: Moving from systemic racism to anti-racism in Ontario public libraries. Open Shelf: Magazine of the OLA.   

Matthews, A. (2020, April 6). Part I: Systemic racism in public libraries: Theory in practice: Moving from systemic racism to anti-racism in Ontario public libraries. Open Shelf: Magazine of the OLA. 

Other Contributions 

Matthews, A. (2020, January). Critical Approaches to Engagement with Racialized Youth in the Public Library. Paper presented in Mediations Lecture Series. Western University. London, ON. 

Matthews, A. (2019, September). Racialized Youth and the Public Library: Towards Equity in Public Library Practice. Public Lecture. September 25, 2019. Western University. London, ON. 

Matthews, A. (2019, March). Racialized Youth and the Public Library: A Critical Race Theory Approach to Program Utilization and Effectiveness. Poster presented at FIMULAW Interdisciplinary Conference. Western University. London, ON.

 

2021/2022 Academic Year 

  • President, LIS Doctoral Students Association 
  • Student Member, FIMS Faculty Council 
  • Alternate Member, LIS Doctoral Program Committee 

 

Community Service 

  • Youth Mentor, Community Living Ontario 
  • Breakfast Club Volunteer, Neighbourhood Resource Association of Westminster Park
  • Community Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Working Group, City of London (Priority 2)
  • Event Volunteer, Emancipation Day Celebration

 

Past Academic Years

  • President, LIS Doctoral Students Association (2020/2021) 
  • Student Member, FIMS Faculty Council (2020/2021)
  • Member, LIS Doctoral Program Committee (2020/2021)
  • Co-Chair, FIMS Doctoral Research Forum (2020)

External Awards and Funding

  • SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, 2021-2024, $105,000
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2021-2022, $15,000 (declined for SSHRC)
  • Research and Continuing Education Fund, Ontario Library Association, 2021, $2,000
  •  Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2020-2021, $15,000
  • Dr. Janette Baker Scholarship, Ontario Library Association, 2018-2019, $2,500


Internal Awards

  • Christopher Mathew Dixon LIS Memorial Scholarship, FIMS, 2020, $1,400
  • Dean's Entrance Award, FIMS, 2019, $4,000


Conference Awards

  • Student to CAIS/ACSI Award, Canadian Association for Information Science, 2021, $1,000
  • Best Paper Award (jointly awarded with Philippe Mongeon, Alison Brown, Ratna Dhaliwal, and Jessie Hill), Canadian Association for Information Science, 2021