Deconstruct the Library

“Deconstruct the Library” means to recognise the library space and the literature contained in it as an institution of power, which can shape our thoughts, actions, and attitudes both positively and negatively. And to restructure our idea of libraries and literature into one that is more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant.

When you enter the Hart House Library, you can ‘Deconstruct the Library’ by asking the following 10 questions:

  1. Why and how was the institution established? Who established it?
  2. Who was the intended audience of this institution?
  3. Who gets to hold space in this library?
  4. Who funds the library that you are studying in? What do they gain? What do they support?
  5. Does the library allow you to ignore certain marginalised histories, stories, and peoples?
  6. On what grounds are the books organised into collections? Does the architecture of the room highlight certain collections over others?
  7. Is a land acknowledgment seen within the institutional space?
  8. Does the library make value judgments on its books? When comparing the display of marginalised versus non-marginalised literatures, do the value judgments change?
  9. Is the library curatorial staff representative of its book collections?
  10. Are the writers and their history known?
Social Justice Reading List


Stories of Adventure and Meditation


Stories of Grief and Healing


Stories of Austerity and Indulgence

archived lists

Hip-hop education

Hip-Hop Education harnesses the power of hip-hop music, dance, and culture in order to transform traditional education into something more engaging and meaningful for all students and particularly those of Black, Indigenous, and Racialized backgrounds.

Learn more about the Hip-Education Program and Hip-Hop Cafe Programs at Hart House

Bookstores For Underrepresented Lit.

You can find a complete list of the bookstores for underrepresented literature and voices here.

Independent and used Bookstores

You can find a complete list of independent and used bookstores here.