Deconstructing Service in Libraries

Intersections of Identities and Expectations

Editors: Veronica Arellano Douglas and Joanna Gadsby

Price: $35.00

Published: December 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63400-060-4

402 pages

Number 12  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.


Table of Contents

vii – Acknowledgments

ix – Foreword
Alana Kumbier

1 – Introduction
Veronica Arellano Douglas and Joanna Gadsby

11 – Service, Gender, and Liaison Librarianship
Megan Browndorf and Maura Seale

35 – Bottoms Up: A Queer Asian Perspective on Service in Academic Librarianship
Andrew Wang

55 – Fat, Fit, and Fem: Exploring Performative Femininity for Fat Female Librarians
Ali Versluis, Carli Agostino, and Melanie Cassidy

79 – Access Services: Not Waving, but Drowning
Max Bowman and Monica Samsky

95 – Disservice: Disabled Library Staff and Service Expectations
Kelsey George

125 – Four Legs Make a Table: Service and Identity in Academic Librarianship
Maura A. Smale

141 – The Weight of Service: Librarianship and Mental Health
Siân Evans

159 – Read, Write, Sing, and…Mutually Empower: Creating Support Systems and Engaging Inclusive Service
Lalitha Nataraj and Kristine Macalalad

179 – We’re Not Libraries; We’re People: Identity and Emotional Labor in Providing Face-to-Face Services in Libraries
Carolina Hernandez and Mary K. Oberlies

205 – Uneven Expectations: Gender, Whiteness, and the Wobbly Tripod
Hailley Fargo, Chelsea Heinbach, and Charissa Powell

221 – A Gendered Legacy: Librarianship and the Social Value of Women’s Work
Christina Neigel

237 – Insert Instruction Here: The Impact of the Service Model on Authentic Teaching
Christine M. Moeller

255 – You Know How to Do This: Caring Service in Librarianship and Midwifery
Elizabeth Galoozis

271 – Situating Service: Care and Equity in Academic Libraries
Shana Higgins

293 – Radicalizing Librarian Service through Vulnerability Practice
Jessica Denke

309 – Reframing and Reimagining the Value of Service
Emily Puckett Rodgers, Rachel Vacek, and Meghan Sitar

327 – Shared Service in the Archives: The Johns Hopkins University First-generation Students Oral History Project
Jennifer Kinniff and Annie Tang

343 – Redefining Library Service through Embedded Critical Reflective Practice
Silvia Vong

361 – “We Gave Them Songs About Taking Your Own Damn Stand:” A Blueprint for De/reconstructing Metadata Creation as a Public Service
Erin Leach

375 – Biographies

383 – Index