Dr. Donna Lanclos, an anthropologist who has done (and continues to do) amazing work in LIS, gave a talk at the University of London’s Goldsmith Library.
She summarizes her talk here; her discussion centers on the (un-)usefulness of the term “diversity” in LIS-related initiatives and how such initiatives are subsumed or crippled by Whiteness, vocational awe, and hegemony. She dovetails these concerns into low morale, particularly issues of emotional, verbal, and system abuse (e.g., microaggressions, hiring practices, labor violations, and the like).
Title: Resilience, grit, and other lies: Academic libraries and the myth of resiliency.
Authors: Angela Galvan, Jacob Berg, and Eamon Tewell.
Supporting their 2018 research on resilience narratives, the authors share activities and then posit “resilience” and “grit” narratives and perspectives as tools that normalize employee oppression, reduction, and mistreatment in contemporary academic library workplace environments.
Here’s the presentation.
[This content was originally published on June 5, 2018 at The Ink On The Page.]
Earlier this year, I penned a post focusing on nascent data in my PoC Low Morale study. The data seemed to indicate another phenomenon I call deauthentication, and I crafted a working definition:
“deauthentication is a cognitive process that People of Color (PoC) traverse to prepare for or navigate predominantly White workplace environments, resulting in decisions that hide or reduce aspects of
- the influence of their ethnic, racial, or cultural identity, and
- the presentation of their natural personality, language, physical and mental self-images/representations, interests, relationships, values, traditions, and more,
to avoid macro- or microaggressions, shaming, incivility, punishment or retaliation, and which results in barriers to sharing their whole selves with their colleagues and/or clients.” (Kendrick, 2018)
At the end of the survey, I invited readers to participate in a short survey about their own deauthentication experiences. The survey remains open if you would like to participate; this post reflects results as press time (67 responses).
- 29% African-American; 23% Multi-racial; 21% Caucasian; 18% Asian
- 82% female
- 72% have engaged in deauthentication
- 69% have reduced/avoided discussions about religion, politics, or social viewpoints
- 65% have reduced/avoided discussions about personal or family relationships
- 62% have reduced/avoided discussions about cultural or ethnic (formal or informal) traditions
- 56% have reduced/avoided discussions about non-work related activities, hobbies, or interests
- 53% have changed or (re)considered food choices (e.g., what you bring to work to eat or to a workplace social event for general consumption)
- 52% have changed or reconsidered clothing presentation; and
- 46% have (reconsidered) body movements or non-verbal behaviors
In late May, I shared some results during my presentation hosted by North Carolina Library Association’s Racial and Ethnic Minority Concerns Roundtable (NCLA REMCo). When made available, I will share the link to that presentation.
Periodically, I will share more updates or thoughts as more responses come in.
UPDATE: You may view the presentation here.
Kendrick, K.D. (2018, Feb. 5). Considering: Deauthenticity in the workplace. Retrieved from https://theinkonthepageblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/considering-deauthenticity-in-the-workplace/
Title: Less is not more: Rejecting resilience narratives for library workers.
Author: Meredith Farkas.
LEAD: I teach a course for San José (Calif.) State University’s School of Information on embedded librarianship in academic libraries. Some of the service models we explore in the class are very high-touch, and I was pleased this term that quite a few students expressed concerns about the labor implications of adding much more to a librarian’s already full workload….
Read the full article.