Unpacking Identity: Racial, Ethnic, and Professional Identity and Academic Librarians of Color
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The motivation for “Unpacking Identity: Racial, Ethnic and Professional Identity and Academic Librarians of Color” was the question of why in spite of evolving efforts, does racial and ethnic diversity among academic librarians remain virtually unchanged? And what impact working in a predominantly white profession has on people of color working in academic libraries? As people of color and as librarians, we approached the chapter from a place more fundamental, personal, and introspective, looking beyond the recruitment, retention, and diversity initiatives that may have brought us into our roles as academic librarians. As we began to explore the internalized experiences, we learned that people develop their sense of self through the external - society, environment, profession, etc. What we discovered was that identity theory helps to articulate, and begin to understand, the experiences of academic librarians of color. What is most exciting about this chapter are the voices of other academic librarians of color found throughout the text. Their quotes help to illustrate and contextualize the theory, but also offers a compelling and poignant window into the experiences of librarians of color in academia.
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