Type

Panel Discussion

Description

This panel discussion will focus on the challenges and failures we have experienced as new and semi-new academic librarians. The all too familiar trend in libraries has been to do more with less: requests for library services have increased yet our budgets, time, and supplies have all decreased. While institutions have devised creative ways to adapt to new difficulties, including adopting new staffing models, the situation remains the same: we have been hired to do one job but inevitably end up doing much more. How did we as new librarians deal with systemic issues? How has it impacted our professional development (or lack thereof)? What did we learn or feel we failed at while coming into our own in this field? Our discussion will focus on shifts in working patterns, professional development (and the privilege that comes with being able to participate), the impact of institutional culture on “library work,” and proposals for success and change from the failures we have experienced. We also acknowledge that this is a panel of predominantly white, female-identified persons, and so our conversations are deeply rooted in systems of privilege. We are not speaking to the experiences of every librarian (nor should we aim to try), and we will also signal-boost counterspaces existing within our profession. This panel discussion will not be a venting session, but rather it is our hope to refocus the conversation to our experiences in the field and some possible solutions. Finally, we will consider how we have maintained professional direction and focus while allowing our career experiences to shape and inform us.

More Information

We believe it is important to understand the systemic issues within the field of librarianship and how these might affect the wellbeing of incoming and current librarians. We therefore hope to refocus the conversation to our experiences and perceived failures in the field, with review of some possible solutions, to engage the community and open the conversation up for further expansion.

Type of Library

Other

Keywords

New librarians, Failure, Lessons-Learned

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May 4th, 3:30 PM May 4th, 4:20 PM

Turning Missteps into Stepping Stones: Personal and Professional Growth as an Early Career Academic Librarian

Mayflower Room

This panel discussion will focus on the challenges and failures we have experienced as new and semi-new academic librarians. The all too familiar trend in libraries has been to do more with less: requests for library services have increased yet our budgets, time, and supplies have all decreased. While institutions have devised creative ways to adapt to new difficulties, including adopting new staffing models, the situation remains the same: we have been hired to do one job but inevitably end up doing much more. How did we as new librarians deal with systemic issues? How has it impacted our professional development (or lack thereof)? What did we learn or feel we failed at while coming into our own in this field? Our discussion will focus on shifts in working patterns, professional development (and the privilege that comes with being able to participate), the impact of institutional culture on “library work,” and proposals for success and change from the failures we have experienced. We also acknowledge that this is a panel of predominantly white, female-identified persons, and so our conversations are deeply rooted in systems of privilege. We are not speaking to the experiences of every librarian (nor should we aim to try), and we will also signal-boost counterspaces existing within our profession. This panel discussion will not be a venting session, but rather it is our hope to refocus the conversation to our experiences in the field and some possible solutions. Finally, we will consider how we have maintained professional direction and focus while allowing our career experiences to shape and inform us.

 

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