CFP: The Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership

The Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership

Call for Proposals

Editors: Shirley Lew and Baharak Yousefi
Publisher: Library Juice Press

The Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership aims to make explicit the ways in which a grounding in feminist theory and practice impacts the work of library administrators who identify as feminists.

Recent scholarship by LIS researchers and practitioners on the intersections of gender with sexuality, race, class, and other social categories within libraries and other information environments have highlighted the need and desire of this community to engage with these concepts both in theory and praxis.

The current project adds to this conversation by focusing on a subset of feminist LIS professionals and researchers in leadership roles who engage critically with both management work and librarianship. By collecting these often implicit professional acts, interactions, and dynamics and naming them as explicitly feminist, these accounts will both document aspects of an existing community of practice as well as invite fellow feminists, advocates, and resisters to consider library leadership as a career path.

Proposals might consider questions such as:

  • Do current practices in library leadership training encourage a critique of power structures within librarianship?
  • What does a feminist-led library or information organization look and feel like?
  • What are the synergies between feminist and the open knowledge movements?
  • How can feminists in library leadership best mentor future feminist leaders? What are the consequences of feminist librarians avoiding leadership work for the profession as a whole?
  • How might feminist leaders best advocate for anti-oppression work and confront white privilege in their libraries?
  • What are examples of intersectional feminist strategies within library leadership?
  • In professional contexts where librarians have academic freedom, are they exercising that freedom fully? If not, why not?
  • “Good” vs. “bad” feminism: is there a hierarchy of acceptance of feminist practice within ILS?
  • How can a feminist framework guide the work of developing collection policies?
  • In our professional history, what are the ways in which librarians have used a feminist framework in their practice of leadership?
  • Feminist leaders are often found leading from without, rather than from within, our institutions. Is this due to personal choice, institutional barriers, or are there other forces at play?


Proposals can cover a variety of professional and theoretical topics and methodologies.
Submissions concerning the intersection of gender with sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and class within the context of library leadership are strongly encouraged. Established and emerging practitioners, scholars, and activists are encouraged to submit proposals by December 7, 2015.

Proposals should contain 1) an abstract of no more than 500 words describing the proposed contribution and 2) a brief biographical statement about the author(s). Submit proposals to

About the Editors

Shirley Lew is Director, Library and Learning Centre at Vancouver Community College. She is Past-President of the BC Book Prizes, Director on the Vancouver Writers Fest Board, and an active member in professional and literary arts communities for fifteen years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography and Master of Library and Information Studies.

Baharak Yousefi is Head Librarian at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey Campus Library and a Director on the Board of the BC Libraries Cooperative. She received a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies in 2003 and a Master of Library and Information Studies in 2007. She lives on the unceded traditional lands of the Musqueam, Skwxwu7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh people in Vancouver, BC.