Rankism and Marginalization in Academic Libraries

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Suzanne Sawyer, Preservation Specialist (Creator)
Juanita Thacker, Information Literacy Lecturer (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: “When people are seeking help in your library, YOU are a librarian," shared Lori Special, former youth services consultant for the State Library of North Carolina and current University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) library and information science (LIS) lecturer.1 The average library user does not see rank or title or affiliation; they see someone who can assist them, solve a problem, or provide a service. Yet, in many academic libraries, there are many levels of employees, even within a class, like students. There are also many categories of library workers-with titles and rights and responsibilities reflective of the overall academic culture in which they are placed. This stratification leads to much debate, discussion, and potential division within academic libraries. Libraries are entities that have been built upon classification and categorization, and these have been applied to internal human resources, as well as collections. These library or campus-designed classifications may promote rankism and employee marginalization. In the first section of this chapter, terminology, background, and context about these concepts will be explained. The overarching themes of rankism and marginalization will be explored next, followed by a discussion about empowering employees and valuing the dignity and engagement of all library workers. The related concepts of underemployment and role migration as well as retraining and career progression will be discussed in the following section. This chapter concludes with recommended areas for further research and a discussion regarding nomenclature, employee engagement, and employee value.

Additional Information

In M.A. Crumpton & N.J. Bird (Ed.). Emerging Human Resource Trends in Academic Libraries (p.223-240). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Language: English
Date: 2021
rankism, marginalization, academic libraries

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