My favorite news sources seem to abound with tidings of feminism’s resurgence in 2013. One of my favorite collages of feminist moments is courtesy of PolicyMic. Of course, as much as I enjoy images like these and reading about feminism in the mainstream media, I can’t help my skepticism. The appearance of the word “feminism” doesn’t necessarily mean that our culture is suddenly devoid of sexism and the other isms it often intersects with–racism and classism, to name a few.
So, what does this have to do with libraries? My university is now participating in a full-scale strategic planning process, and this has motivated me to think of ways to be more egalitarian in the library, to work alongside our student workers and support staff instead of simply theorizing in my office. This is a little tricky, since I’m required to do a fair bit of theorizing for tenure purposes. How do we balance the scholarly aspects of our work with the work of running a library, of knowing our students and faculty and colleagues?
I’ve also been thinking a lot about professionalism and respect; our notions of these concepts are often incredibly biased by our perceptions of race, class, and gender, among other paradigms and lived experiences. I invite you to think about how feminism shapes our daily library work.
Happy New Year, and I hope we can carry on some of these conversations during Midwinter.