Monday, August 22, 2016

CFP: Identity, Agency, and Culture in Academic Libraries Conference (May 22-23, 2017 - Los Angeles, California)

Call for proposals: Identity, Agency, and Culture in Academic Libraries Conference

The Identity, Agency, and Culture in Academic Libraries Conference will take place May 22nd and 23rd, 2017 in Los Angeles, California at the University of Southern California. Please see our call for proposals below and at

Deadline for proposals is 5pm (PST)October 1, 2016.

Proposals must be submitted using the submissions form. More information will be shared soon on the conference website. We hope you can join us! 

Questions, comments, or concerns can be sent to

Lists of trends in academic libraries and higher education do not always make explicit connections to the changing roles of librarians, the shifting identity required to tackle these new trends and roles, or the agency that librarians may or may not experience as they work at the vanguard of these transformations. In a 2014 article, Deborah Hicks remarked, “By focusing on how librarians describe their profession, attention can be drawn to how librarians themselves construct librarianship, and how this construction shapes their interactions with patrons, their local communities, other professions, and society at large.” This conference will extend ongoing conversations aimed at understanding how issues of identity and agency contribute to access, inclusivity, and diversity in academic libraries. In the current information and higher education landscapes, we cannot succeed by only
performing the roles and responsibilities laid out in our job descriptions. This conference will also raise awareness of, begin to reflect on, and in some cases interrogate, how our roles and identities affect interactions with stakeholders, as well as our perceptions of each other and of libraries and librarians in society at large.

This conference will include keynotes, workshops, and discussions spread across the two days. We invite proposals that address questions of identity, agency, and culture in academic libraries for sessions that will take place on May 22nd and 23rd, 2017 in any of the following formats:

•       Presentations and/or panels, 50 minutes
•       Facilitated roundtable discussions, 50 minutes
•       Workshops, 50 minutes
•       Lightning talk sessions, 10 minutes per person

Library students and library employees of all kinds are invited to submit proposals. There will be student and staff scholarships to help with travel and lodging costs. The application for these scholarships will be available in December on the conference website.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
•       Queering the workplace for people and resources
•       Technology and professional identity
•       Developing a professional identity or focus, and the fear of getting pigeonholed, and/or coping with impostor syndrome
•       How librarians’ official status (e.g., as faculty) affects how we interact with teaching faculty, students, and staff
•       Agency in collections decisions, negotiations, and the importance of considering that the systems we use are profit-driven
•       Valuing library work while maintaining, or deconstructing, job titles
•       Generational and cultural differences among library employees
•       How intersectionality affects workplace culture
•       Differences (and similarities) between library science and information science degrees
•       Peer mentoring and other mentoring models
•       Impact of professional recognition and awards on the kind of work we value
•       How cultivating professional skills impacts collections and resources
•       How the language we use on our websites and in our buildings includes and excludes
•       Maintaining professional identity with diverse professional backgrounds (for example, PhDs with no MLIS hired as librarians, or librarians working in the academy outside the library)
•       Academic culture and the effect on agency

Please submit proposals by October 1, 2016 at 5pm PST using the submissions
form. Proposals must include presenters’ name(s) and institutional
affiliation(s), a working title, and a description of your session no more
than 300 words long. Proposals will be evaluated based on adherence to the
theme of identity, agency, and culture in academic libraries and on their
appeal to a broad audience. An effort will be made to represent a wide variety
of viewpoints, roles, and institutions. Decisions and notifications of
acceptance will be made by December 1, 2016.