Session Description

Libraries are often said to be the heart of their institutions, yet librarians find themselves at the boundaries of so many identities in the academy. Are they faculty or staff? Are they educators or student support? Who do library directors report to, and does it make any sense? In the presentation, we will explore the impacts of this library identity crisis. While we won’t shy away from the negative consequences—such as our field often not being taken seriously as an academic discipline—we will spend time exploring the advantages of being a misfit department. Sometimes it’s faster to affect the change we want to see when we operate outside of conventional institutional structures. Takeaways will include a realistic assessment of this issue as well as a chance to explore some unexpected advantages, including the ability to create learning experiences outside of the conventional curriculum, build community on campus, and to recommend resources to instructional colleagues that are inclusive and transformative.

Type of Library

College Library; University Library


faculty, staff, status, solidarity, labor issues, inclusion, access, morale, professional development

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.


Jun 2nd, 2:00 PM Jun 2nd, 3:00 PM

Libraries: Outsiders at the Heart of the Institution


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