Library Burnout: Recognizing the causes and dealing with the effects

Chapter in Got a minute? Instruction Tune-Up for Time Pressed Librarians.

These short overviews of instruction topics for busy librarians were written by students in the University of Denver Library and Information Science program. The final papers were peer reviewed by instruction librarians from several universities and compiled into an open access book.

Got a minute? Instruction Tune-Up for Time Pressed Librarians

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A collaborative project between the University of Denver LIS students and the ENSSIB students in Lyon

Article published in the December 2015 edition of International Leads, the newlsetter of the ALA International Relations Round Table. Co-authored with Krystyna K. Matusiak, Assistant Professor, University of Denver, and Chelsea Heinbach, MLIS Candidate, University of Denver.

This article highlights the collaborative project I participated in between Library and Information Science students at the University of Denver and students from the École Nationale Supérieure des Sciences de l’Information et des Bibliothèques in Lyon, France.

International Leads – December 2015

Fairy Tales: Tools for Promoting Diversity in Young Adult Library Displays

Paper presented at the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association Annual Conference

  • April 1 – 4, 2015
  • New Orleans, Louisiana

Abstract:

As the young adult genre has become increasingly more popular and profitable, a boom of fairy-tale inspired novels for young adults has taken place in recent years. Books in this genre feature all types of protagonists who are diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality. Diversity has also become an important topic in nearly every genre and libraries often create displays aiming to highlight diverse populations. While the effort many libraries make to include diverse groups in their displays is an admirable one, it can also be problematic by choosing to feature one group in particular (almost always a minority), often calling out the ‘otherness’ by alienating a specific population from the more general displays that are regularly featured. Not only does this practice alienate a single group, but also a single aspect of identity. French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan while talking about the formation of identity proposes the idea of the ‘mirror stage’, which involves the individual observing themself, but also a fragmentation of identity that can cause tension. A library display that focuses on one part of a group’s identity can cause this same fragmentation by forcing member of the featured population to look at themselves being defined by one narrow characteristic. A potential solution to this problem comes in the form of the numerous young-adult fairly tale novels that have recently been published. These books offer the opportunity to create a cohesive point of focus for a young adult display (fairy-tales) while simultaneously allowing for a diverse array of protagonists without singling out any one community.

Acts of Gender: Selva in ‘La Gota de Sangre’

Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Annual Conference

  • October 9 – 11, 2014
  • Boise, Idaho

Abstract:

The works of Spanish author Emilia Pardo Bazán show a tendency to favor feminist ideals and empower the female characters. Despite this fact, Pardo Bazán’s work La Gota de Sangre emphasizes the power of the detective Selva, a male character. Selva is noted for his intelligence and intuition, which he uses to resolve a murder while the other characters, including the police, rely on his hard work. The female characters in the novel on the other hand are represented in a very different light, portrayed as victims of society with no power whatsoever. According to theorist Judith Butler, gender is a performance and is formed by our everyday acts and decisions. Because it is created by the individual, gender, unlike sex, is not a biological determination and can therefore be manipulated. In conformity with Butler’s theory of gender performativity, Pardo Bazán uses the figure of an effeminate man according to Spanish societal norms in the early twentieth century and Selva’s actions seem to suggest a gender that is considerably more feminine than masculine for the time. The detective in the novel possesses numerous feminine traits, tends to act like women of the era, and suffers from neurasthenia, a condition that was generally associated with women. In La Gota de Sangre Pardo Bazán uses the concepts described by Butler and by manipulating Selva’s behavior, she creates a literary hermaphrodite; in terms of sex Selva is male, but in terms of gender he appears to be female. Women appeared very infrequently in Spanish literature during the period in which Pardo Bazán was writing and detective novels tended to follow a well-established formula that generally did not include a woman as a detective. By using a male detective who in reality is female in terms of gender, the author manages to empower women in a society that would not accept a woman detective.