#hurrayoftheday: 28

I just received a short note that in part, shares:

“[I] just read your article on [African-American] male librarians and really appreciated your research and insight…Your article helped me to realize a few things about myself and the profession and perhaps a shift in direction can rekindle my passion for the work.”

It’s wonderful to know that study – published in 2009 – still offers a positive impact to readers.

 

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Tweet-dux: Stereotype Threat and Deauthenticity in the PoC Low-Morale Experience

[This content has been republished at Renewals, a site focused on discussions about low morale in North American libraries] 

On Twitter, I’ve been threading some results of my latest low morale study (done with Ione Damasco), which centers the experience of racial and ethnic minority academic librarians. It is my hope that this work will bring into clearer view the additional emotional labor that librarians of color bear while dealing with abuse and neglect in American library workplaces. 

The following thread introduces the impact of stereotype threat and summates my earlier discussion about the concept of deauthenticity in the PoC low-morale experience. 

  1. Stereotype threat is “a situational predicament in which individuals are at risk, by dint of their actions or behaviors, of confirming negative stereotypes about their group. It is the resulting sense that one might be judged in terms of a negative stereotype that is ‘in the air’” (Inzlicht & Schmader, 2012, 5-6).
  2. Minority academic librarians’ historic exposure to and awareness of race, culture, or ethnic stereotypes—along with their understanding that White colleagues were also aware of such stereotypes and the implicit or explicit associations with their ability to successfully execute the skills, knowledge, and abilities required of academic librarianship—were often linked to participants’ desire to preemptively offset White colleagues’ seemingly low expectations.
  3. Stereotype threat responses included behaviors they hoped would distance them from negative stereotypes: workaholism, culture-carrying (consciously working to positively represent an entire race, culture, or ethnic identity), vocational awe, and resilience cycles.
  4. A [participant] said, “I’m always in a position where I feel like I have to prove to myself, and that people are automatically—instead of assuming that I have expertise, it’s like I have to prove why I’m even there and worthy to take on these positions and prove my expertise.”
  5. During low-morale experiences, minority academic librarians traverse deauthentication, a cognitive process to prepare for or navigate predominantly White workplace environments.
  6. Deauthentication results in decisions that hide or reduce aspects of (1) the influence of ethnic, racial, or cultural identities, and (2) the presentation of natural personality, emotional responses, language, physical and mental self-images/representations, interests, relationships, values, traditions, and more.
  7. Deauthentication decisions help avoid macro- or microaggressions, shaming, incivility, punishment or retaliation, and these decisions ultimately create barriers to sharing whole selves with colleagues and/or clients.
  8. A participant noted: “[when] I walk in the door [of my workplace] . . . when I’m with [my White female colleagues], I’m really usually super quiet with them. I don’t speak up. And when I do, I make sure that I speak with very perfect English, and I have to enunciate…I mean, it’s like—I mean, I don’t have a thick accent, but I, you know, you can hear my [language] accent, sometimes, right? But when I walk in this door, I am—80% of me is left behind. I don’t bring in a lot of my culture and stuff.”

Take the deauthentication survey.

View the deauthentication webinar (presented by the North Carolina Library Association’s Roundtable for Ethnic Minority Concerns)

Works Cited

Inzlicht, M. & Schmader, T. (2012). Stereotype Threat. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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#hurrayoftheday: 26

In 2016 I launched a local digital scholarship repository I named Lancer Scholar Square. It houses what I term ephemeral research outputs generated by University of South Carolina Lancaster’s faculty, staff, and students. I shared the impetus for this project in an earlier post.

Today the repository has reached over 40 items, due in large part to the campus’ new and highly active Research Club. The club’s faculty advisers, Dr. Elizabeth Easley and Dr. Sarah Hunt Sellhorst, have been great partners in helping research-minded students see digitizing and curating their scholarship output as a natural part of the research process.

Visit and browse the repository.

 

Tweet-dux: White Supremacy and Racism in the PoC Low-Morale Experience.

[This content has been republished at Renewals, a site focused on discussions about low morale in North American libraries] 

On Twitter, I’ve been threading some results of my latest low morale study (done with Ione Damasco), which centers the experience of racial and ethnic minority academic librarians. It is my hope that this work will bring into clearer view the additional emotional labor that librarians of color bear while dealing with abuse and neglect in American library workplaces. 

These threads expound on my earlier report of additional Enabling Systems in the PoC low-morale experience. 

  1. Participants frequently reported White colleagues’ assumptions of racial superiority as a significant cause of their low-morale experience(s).
  2. Dealing with White librarians’ unrequested guidance or advice, often given under the guise of knowing what is best for minority librarians, was frequently reported.
  3. Participants’ discussed their institutions’ active justification or downplaying of the negative outcomes of their historic and contemporary participation in or condonement of programs or events perpetuating White supremacy and racism.
  4. These justifications were evidence that their institutions remain unwilling to recognize or reconcile the long-term, still-present negative impacts of their actions on marginalized groups.
  5. Participants perceived that White colleagues discounted their preparation for, engagement in, and outcomes of their work.
  6. They perceived the discounting was motivated by White colleagues’ desires to discourage minority colleagues’ feelings of self-efficacy or trajectories of career success, even if they had no interest the same projects.
  7. Participants shared that White colleagues had limited expectations about them based on their race, culture, or ethnicity.
  8. Behaviors or comments signaling subtle or indirect racial, cultural, or ethnic discrimination were noted by study participants. (e.g. dog whistling, microaggressions).
  9. Racism increased participants’ feelings of emotional or physical limitations with regard to their immediate workplaces and/or overall career development.
  10. Multiracial participants discussed White colleagues’ reliance on phenotype to determine if it was safe to share racist opinions…
  11. Multi-racial participants also recognized that the non-White aspects of their identities were more often met with disdain than the perceived “better” qualities of Whiteness.

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Tweet-dux: Diversity Rhetoric and Whiteness in the PoC Low-Morale Experience.

[This content has been republished at Renewals, a site focused on discussions about low morale in North American libraries] 

On Twitter, I’ve been threading some results of my latest low morale study (done with Ione Damasco), which centers the experience of racial and ethnic minority academic librarians. It is my hope that this work will bring into clearer view the additional emotional labor that librarians of color bear while dealing with abuse and neglect in American library workplaces. 

These threads expound on my earlier report of additional Enabling Systems in the PoC low-morale experience. 

  1. Participant data show that White women are soundly perceived by minority academic librarians as harbingers and enablers of workplace abuse and neglect.
  2. White women librarians alienate minority librarians through exclusionary attitudes or language.
  3. [One participant] stated, “Specifically, just librarianship as a profession, it’s predominantly White women [who have contributed to my low-morale experience]. And that’s just—I don’t know what else to say about that.”
  4. Respondents shared how White privilege also played a detrimental role in their low-morale experience, especially when it was invoked purposively while dealing with general enabling systems…
  5. White privilege also allowed uncivil behavior to go unchecked.
  6. Study participants also recognized the intersectionality of diversity rhetoric and White privilege when White colleagues invoked both enabling systems to offset events traditionally seen as only negatively affecting minorities – especially when such events were poised to also affect them negatively.

Learn more about the Diversity Rhetoric Enabling System.

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The Biggest #Hurray Ever…

I’m absolutely elated to share that today I was named the Association of College & Research Libraries’ 2019 Academic/Research Librarian of the Year!

There are absolutely no words I can write to describe the simultaneous humility, gratitude, and resolve I feel as a result of earning this honor. So many people stand with me as I reach this honorable milestone in my career. 

I AM SO THANKFUL.  

Read the full release.

 

#hurrayoftheday: 22

Earlier this month, Shira Peltzman summarized her collaborative work centering a qualitative study on the evolution of digital stewardship, particularly as it pertains to standards, organizational culture, and job expectations and satisfaction. The summary concludes with the following note:

We are indebted especially to Kaetrena Davis Kendrick for her use and clear explanation of the phenomenological research methodology in “The Low Morale Experience of Academic Librarians” (2017)[5] — a pivotal precedent in our research development. And while they must remain anonymous, we wish to express our sincerest gratitude to our interview participants for the time, labor, and candor that they contributed to this education. We hope that our report can do justice to their clear insights into making digital preservation work well.

I wish the group well as they delve into aspects of advocacy for those involved in digital preservation and associated work, and I look forward to reading the complete report.

 

#hurrayoftheday: 21

First thing this morning, I received the following message from my Dean:

“…I am pleased to inform you that your Research and Productive Scholarship Grant application for a project entitled “Continuing Studies on Low Morale in the North American Workplace” has been awarded ….”

My proposal requested funding to support data collection and analysis for my current low morale studies focusing on public librarians and business and nonprofit organization employees.

I am thankful that my dean continues to offer this line of funding, and I appreciate the hard work of the committee members who had, no doubt, a tough time evaluating the submitted proposals.

NOTE: this is the second time I have applied for – and obtained – funding from this award (this was the result of the first grant).

#RecommendedResearch

Lived Experience of Academic Librarians of Color

Authors: Juleah Swanson, Azusa Tanaka, & Isabel Gonzalez-Smith

ABSTRACT:  Lived experience encompasses the perceptions, feelings, and context of an individual’s human experience. Researching lived experience can be a way of understanding identity, emotions, perceptions, and contexts to develop a more thoughtful understanding of human experience. This research explores the following questions: what are the lived experiences of people of color who work as academic librarians in the profession; what are the contexts of their experiences; and how do these librarians see themselves? Through qualitative research using a phenomenological approach, this research reveals the complex, nuanced, and varied lived experiences of academic librarians of color navigating a predominantly white profession.

Read article.