Thriving as a Mid-Career Librarian: Identity, Advocacy, and Pathways—eEditions PDF e-book

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

Mid-career librarianship looks different for everyone. Maybe you’ve worked in libraries for ten years, or you’re halfway to retirement. Maybe you’ve reached the highest level of a hierarchy you care to reach. Most of the literature about mid-career librarianship tends to focus on advancing to leadership or administration, but many of us are more concerned with how to continue to grow professionally without moving upward; how to make decisions about staying in an institution (or the profession); sustaining yourself amid burnout, constant change, wage compression, or even boredom; and navigating cultures of white supremacy, patriarchy, and hierarchy.

In four sections, Thriving as a Mid-Career Librarian collects the experiences of mid-career librarians as they grapple with these questions and the roles that marginalized perspectives, intersectionality, and privilege have played in their careers:

  • Section 1: Staying Engaged in Your Career
  • Section 2: The Role of Identity in Shaping Mid-career Librarianship
  • Section 3: Being Your Own Advocate
  • Section 4: To Lead or Not to Lead? 

Chapters explore maintaining engagement and avoiding burnout; informal mentorships; the doctorate; union stewardship; addressing incivility; post-tenure fatigue; balancing ambition, personal fulfillment, and life; and much more.

It can feel like everything gets harder, more political, and further under-resourced with each passing year. Thriving as a Mid-Career Librarian offers strategies of community, support, and advocacy that can help make it possible for us to thrive and help others to thrive. At mid-career, we may not have the same bright-eyed enthusiasm we possessed as new information professionals, but we have other things: the contributions we make to our communities and the wealth of experience we have built up since those days.

Section 1: Staying Engaged in Your Career
Chapter 1
Staying Engaged By Giving Back: The Librarian Parlor
Hailley Fargo, Nimisha Bhat, and Charissa Powell
Chapter 2
Boundaries and Breakthroughs: A Conversation on Maintaining Engagement and Avoiding Burnout in Reference and Instruction
Sophie Leveque and Eamon Tewell
Chapter 3
The Service of Others: Providing and Growing from Informal Mentorships at Mid-Career
Amanda Nichols Hess
Chapter 4
Choosing a Different Wall: Reimagining the Ladders in Your Life at Mid-career
Caro Pinto and Elizabeth Galoozis
Chapter 5
An Academic Systems Librarian Reflects at Mid-career and Shares Advice
Christina Hennessey
Chapter 6
The Doctorate: The Next Educational Step in Librarianship
Logan Rath and Carol Anne Germain
Chapter 7
Boredom and the Tenured Academic Librarian: How Being Bored is an Essential Component of a Successful Career
Andrew Weiss
Section 2: The Role of Identity in Shaping Mid-career Librarianship
Chapter 8
We Didn’t Know: How a Mid-career Research Project Taught Us about Disability, Advocacy, and Ourselves
Lee Ann Fullington and Jill Cirasella
Chapter 9
A Community Cultural Wealth Model for Recognizing Strengths in Our Lived Experiences
Silvia Vong
Chapter 10
Working Toward Promotion to Full Professor: Strategies, Time Management, and Habits for Academic Librarian Mothers
Marta Bladek
Chapter 11
Self-Determination at Mid-career: Perils and Possibilities
Julie Adamo
Chapter 12
Learning to Thrive—Not Just Survive—as a Librarian with Mental Illness
Andy Hickner
Section 3: Being Your Own Advocate
Chapter 13
Taking Care of Yourself When Your Job is Taking Care of Others:
Self-Care in a Service-Oriented Profession
Justin de la Cruz
Chapter 14
Considering a Change in Mid-career
Kathryn Machin and Danielle S. Apfelbaum
Chapter 15
Union Stewardship: A Space for Mid-career Librarian Leadership
Kate Thornhill, Ann Shaffer, and Elizabeth Peterson
Chapter 16
The Middle Path: Dealing with Boredom, Burnout, and Expectations through Daily Meditation Practice
Khue Duong
Chapter 17
Addressing Incivility as a Mid-career Librarian: How to Advocate for a Bully-Free Library
Megan Palmer, Rachel Keiko Stark, Maggie Albro, and Jenessa McElfresh
Chapter 18
Don’t Go it Alone: The Restorative Power of Peer Relationships in Mid-career Librarianship
Jamie L. Emery, Rebecca C. Hyde, Amanda B. Albert, and Sarah E. Fancher
Section 4: To Lead or Not to Lead?
Chapter 19
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Moving into Management at Mid-career
Danya Leebaw and Carissa Tomlinson
Chapter 20
Fighting Post-tenure Fatigue: Reclaiming Your Time and Redefining Leadership
Nia Lam and Michelle McKinney
Chapter 21
Mid-career Decisions: Sharing Power, Promoting New Voices, and Moving Forward
Kacy Lundstrom
Chapter 22
Frustration, Exhaustion, Determination: Why I’m Not Backing Down from Library Leadership
Emily Mitchell
Chapter 23
Taking Advantage of Opportunities for Informal Leadership
Linda Miles and Susanne Markgren
Chapter 24
The Career Choices We Make: Balancing Ambition, Personal Fulfillment, and Life as an Academic Librarian
Lis Pankl and Jason Coleman
Chapter 25
Leading from Between: Finding Meaning as a Third Space Librarian
Heather Campbell
Chapter 26
Up and Out: How a Mid-career Librarian Advanced, Then Left Academic Librarianship
Editor and Author bios

Brandon K. West

Brandon K. West is the head of research instruction services and liaison to the social sciences at the State University of New York at Geneseo’s Milne Library. His research interests include examining the intersections of information literacy and online learning, applying instructional design principles to enhance student learning, and addressing LGBTQ+ issues in libraries. He has an MEd in educational technology from Grand Valley State University, an MLS from Texas Woman’s University, and an MS in curriculum development from the University at Albany. He was the lead editor of Creative Instructional Design: Practical Applications for Librarians, available from ACRL Publications.

Elizabeth Galoozis

Elizabeth Galoozis (she/her) is head of Information Literacy and Student Engagement at the Claremont Colleges Library. Her research interests include critical information literacy, feminist pedagogy, and identity in the library workplace. Her work has appeared in Library Quarterly, In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Library Juice Press, and at ACRL, CALM, and LOEX conferences. She is the co-editor, along with Carolyn Caffrey and Rebecca Halpern, of Hidden Architectures of Information Literacy Programs: Structures, Practices, and Contexts. Her creative work has been published in Phoebe, Air/Light, Sinister Wisdom, and RHINO, among others. She advises mid-career librarians to articulate their personal values and come back to them when making decisions.