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Marginalized Faculty at Marginalized Institutions: Counternarratives as Resistance in Exploring the Experiences of Black Librarians at Public, Two-Year Colleges

Evangela Q Oates, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Libraries purport to be neutral organizations in practice and philosophy; however, critical research has found that libraries are often rife with racial animus, toxicity, whiteness. The current study sought to investigate the experiences of Black librarians at public, two-year institutions in the U.S in order to have a better understanding of how they navigate, cope, and succeed amongst the challenges of academic librarianship. Using Critical Race Methodology and narrative inquiry as methodologies, the experiences of Black librarians were leveraged to construct and reconstruct the storied lives of Black librarians in academic libraries. Presented as individual narratives and a Composite Counter Story (CCS), the stories of Black librarians show the hostile environments they encounter in their work as educators in community college libraries. Across and within their stories, four themes were found: retaliation, derailment, gendered racism, and epistemic violence. The themes represent the actions of the perpetuators as it is necessary to call attention to the behaviors, practices, culture, and values of individuals, and more importantly, institutions. As the only study that investigates the experiences of Black librarians at public, two-year institutions, the findings provide understanding of community college libraries through the lens of Black librarians. As academic libraries look to retain Librarians of Color, it is important for them to pinpoint and dismantle the practices that reinforce white supremacy, and those that injure, traumatize, and hold Librarians of Color in contempt.

Subject Area

Library science|Community college education|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Oates, Evangela Q, "Marginalized Faculty at Marginalized Institutions: Counternarratives as Resistance in Exploring the Experiences of Black Librarians at Public, Two-Year Colleges" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI27956361.
https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI27956361

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