Cathleen LeGrand


I have experience as a librarian in multiple realms: law, medical, special, academic, and school. I have spent much of that time managing libraries in The Bahamas and Bhutan and working to transform even the smallest library with minimal resources into a meaningful hub of learning and scholarship. This work, to support teaching and learning and to build practical, effective research collections and services, shaped my understanding of often unrecognized barriers to information flows and the unique precarities of the Global South.  

I am a two-time winner of the Stanley Wilson Award for Excellence in Research from the University of The Bahamas. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (Kansas). My research interests include equity of information access in the Global South and art music of the Caribbean. 

Research interests

The matter of access to information in the Global South is situated at an intersection of historical and contemporary power structures: the legacies of imperialism, decolonization, and global exploitation, and the modern agenda of economic liberalization and globalization. Historical inequities are compounded by contemporary ones.

My research is interested in the forces that shape and sustain inequity of information flows in the Global South and in the practices that make inequity persist. I am also interested in looking at alternate mechanisms for information flow, ones that bypass commercial structures and systems when they fail to provide access, by making visible the local innovative practices created to overcome barriers to information access. These practices enable access in ways that challenge the established, top-down imaginings of information provision. These challenges can expand understanding of how control is exercised over information flows and information seekers. 

My research methods spring from my personal experience: I am examining questions of information access and matters of information practice through case studies of libraries in several locations in the Global South. Libraries are where multiple dimensions of the phenomenon of inequitable access to information are regularly made visible.

The library is the site of shared, communal access either for an institution or for individuals who may be unable to negotiate access on their own. Those looking for information in libraries have a diverse range of needs. Information flows in libraries involve a wide variety of content, carriage, and format types: popular, scholarly, or governmental; print, analog, or digital; text, audiovisual, or interactive. 

Among my goals for this research are to rupture neoliberal mythologies about the rectification of inequity by market-based interventions, to challenge the digital imaginary of the ideal information landscape, and to recommend initiatives for equitable information access that are effective and locally relevant. 


  • MLS (Emporia State University)
  • BA, Dramatic Literature, Theater and Cinema Studies (New York University)