ACRL announces the publication of The Self as Subject: Autoethnographic Research into Identity, Culture, and Academic Librarianship, edited by Anne-Marie Deitering, Robert Schroeder, and Richard Stoddart. This collection of reflective narratives explores the varied dimensions of librarianship in the present moment, and examines autoethnography’s potential to help librarians answer questions that cannot be answered by traditional, empirical research methods and to reveal voices that are obscured by aggregations of data.
Autoethnography is a type of research that uses writing and self-examination to explore far-ranging cultural, political, and social issues through personal experience. It is a qualitative, reflexive, ethnographic method where the researcher is also the subject of inquiry.
Using autoethnography as their research method, the 21 academic librarian authors of The Self as Subject investigate aspects of what it means to be a librarian. Starting with a reflective examination of themselves, they each investigate questions of culture, values, and identity. All of the pieces in this volume share some characteristics: Each one is the result of a rigorous examination of the self and lived experience, and each one moves between the subjective and the cultural in its analysis. How the authors do this, however, varies widely—from a graphic novel to speculative fiction to rigorous academic analysis.
The Self as Subject provides an opportunity to expand our understanding of rigor and the practice of research in LIS, and explores what it means to be a librarian in this age of disruptive change, and how the various identities and experiences we bring to our practice shape our experience of librarianship. This book is for any librarian interested in research and research methods; the use of literary genres in research; alternatives to large empirical studies; questions of identity and social justice; and those looking to step out of their comfort zone and approach learning from a new and challenging vantage point. As Barbara Fister writes in the foreword, “this collection is something rare and important for the discipline of librarianship.”
The Self as Subject: Autoethnographic Research into Identity, Culture, and Academic Librarianship is available for purchase in print and as an ebook through the ALA Online Store; in print through Amazon.com; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.