Unpacking Identity Chapter in the Librarian Stereotype

A year and a half in the making, the first part of our on going research on the experiences and identity of Academic Librarians of Color has now been published!

Our chapter, “Unpacking Identity: Racial, Ethnic, and Professional Identity and Academic Librarians of Color” can be found in the recently published book The Librarian Stereotype: Deconstructing Presentations and Perceptions of Information Work edited by Nicole Pagowsky and Miriam Rigby, published by ACRL Publications.

ALA 2014 Vegas

ALA 2014 Vegas

In our chapter, we introduce and use identity theory to begin to unpack the question of why, in spite of evolving efforts, does racial and ethnic diversity among librarian remain virtually unchanged within academic libraries? We explore through the existing literature and draw upon identity theories from other disciplines how people, professionals, and librarians of color may develop their sense of self and what impact working in a predominately white profession may have on academic librarians of color.

We use quotes and anecdotes from academic librarians of color throughout the chapter to help illustrate the sometimes dense theoretical material.

We are excited to share this first part of our research with the profession and we welcome any feedback, comments, or questions.

Stay tuned for more research from Isabel Gonzalez-Smith, Azusa Tanaka, and myself, Juleah Swanson on exploration of identity, race, and experience among academic librarians.

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