Call for Participation–Women of Color in LIS

Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL)

February 18, 2017

(via Gwen Gregory, IACRL Past President)

Alyse Minter (Librarian at Towson University) and Genevia Chamblee-Smith (Library Associate at Towson University) are conducting a research project on the experiences of women of color in the library and information science field. Participation is voluntary and may take the form of a survey, an interview, or both. The purpose of this study is to inform research for a forthcoming book chapter, though findings may also be shared in scholarly articles or presentations.

The survey is anticipated to take approximately 15 minutes, while the interview is estimated to take about 30-45 minutes. If you choose to participate in the study, your participation will be anonymous.

While there are a growing number of articles addressing diversity and inclusion in LIS, few of these center on the experiences of women of color, much less from a celebratory perspective. In recognizing the presence and accomplishments of women of color in the field, we seek to counter the silencing of marginalized voices and bring visibility to issues of representation and the impact of considering intersectional identities. Using excerpts of survey responses and interviews from female LIS paraprofessionals and professionals of color, we seek to investigate the relationship between personal cultures of identity and professional cultures of identity. This includes issues such as race and gender, code switching, climbing the ranks, transitions between spaces and environments, and the meaning of language in different contexts.

Looking at a variety of positions within the LIS field, to include graduate students, support staff, librarians, administrators, and faculty, we will examine the experiences of women of color across the spectrum of library environments: public, special, and academic libraries, as well as archives and special collections and LIS degree programs. Study participants should identify as a person of color, identify as female or woman, and be currently employed as part-time or full-time employees of a library, archives, or information center; in the role of an information professional at a non-library institution; or be employed as faculty in an LIS degree program.

We greatly appreciate your participation. For additional information or questions, you may contact Alyse Minter at or (410) 704-5169, or Genevia Chamblee-Smith at or (410) 375-2146.  Please go here for access to the survey, and sign up here for interview slots.

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