Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CFP: Beyond the Bun: Librarian Valuing through Perception and Presentation

CFP: Beyond the Bun: Librarian Valuing through Perception and Presentation

Librarian Wardrobe is putting together a book on librarian style, stereotypes, and image, and we want you to contribute your research.

Perceptions of librarians is the current zeitgeist in the library community. Hipster librarians have become a common human interest piece in the news, sexy librarians are pervasive, and reactions are mixed. The topic of librarian stereotypes and the portrayal of librarians in the media cycles through the professional discourse, yet there is little scholarly examination of the material effect of these portrayals. Likewise, although we assume users do have certain perceptions of librarians, we don’t always know what really comprises those ideas and how they impact library use, interaction with librarians, and ability and willingness to engage with information literacy.

The mostly user-submitted blog, Librarian Wardrobe, has been documenting what librarians wear to work since 2010, and through this challenges stereotypes to show librarians as not always fitting into what the public might assume an information professional looks like. The blog’s popularity generated enthusiasm for a standing-room-only Librarian Wardrobe Conversation Starter on perceptions of librarians at ALA Annual 2012. Based on that great success, a webinar was later offered through ALA TechSource, for which over 300 people registered to participate. This is clearly a hot topic. Nicole Pagowsky, the creator of Librarian Wardrobe (and editor of this collection), has been invited to give presentations and serve on conference panels on topics related to the blog. She continues the conversation within Librarian Wardrobe as well through interviews and other mediated posts. Miriam Rigby (editor) served as moderator for the Librarian Wardrobe conversation starter and has a background in cultural anthropology. Though the blog is a good visual medium for exploring perceptions, stereotypes, and current style, we would like to go beyond images and interviews to more in-depth research to cover these topics.

See the full call for papers with suggested topics here:

Submission procedure
Please submit abstracts and proposals of up to 500 words and a short author’s statement to by February 1, 2013, with notification by April. Final manuscripts of between 1500 and 5000 words will be due August 1, 2013.

Note: this initial stage just requires a 500 word or less description, so just planning out your article now is fine.

Nicole Pagowsky, Instructional Services Librarian, University of Arizona,
Miriam Rigby, Social Sciences Librarian, University of Oregon,