Deconstructing Service in Libraries
Intersections of Identities and Expectations
Editors: Veronica Arellano Douglas and Joanna Gadsby
Expected: Winter 2019-20
Forthcoming in the Litwin Books Series on Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies, Emily Drabinski, Series Editor
Research into the construction of librarians’ professional identities indicates a strong emphasis on our work as service providers, from both within the profession and the larger communities in which we exist. This collection of work by practicing librarians offers a historical-cultural context for the ethos of service in libraries and critically examines this professional value as it intersects with gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, class, and (dis)ability. Deconstructing Service in Libraries: Intersections of Identities and Expectations explores the ways in which an ethic of service creates, stagnates, and destructs librarians’ professional identities and sense of self; analyze the power structures, values, and contexts that influence our personal, professional, and institutional conceptions of service in libraries; and deconstruct the the costs and consequences of negotiating personal identity with professional values. Inspired by Roma Harris’ Librarianship: The Erosion of a Woman’s Profession (1992), this collection seeks to rework the idea of service in libraries into a more feminist, empowering foundation and suggest alternative theories and values in which to ground our professional practice.
Veronica Arellano Douglas is Instruction Coordinator at the University of Houston Libraries. She received an MLS from the University of North Texas and a BA in English from Rice University. Veronica is an ALA Spectrum Scholar. Her research interests include gendered labor in libraries, relational-cultural theory, and critical information literacy and librarianship.
Joanna Gadsby works as the Instruction Coordinator and a Reference & Instruction Librarian at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She holds a BA in Human Development from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University, and an MLIS from University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests include constructivist pedagogy, librarian and teacher identity, and gendered labor in librarianship.