Aboriginal and Visible Minority Librarians: Oral Histories from Canada (Paperback)
  • Aboriginal and Visible Minority Librarians: Oral Histories from Canada (Paperback)

Aboriginal and Visible Minority Librarians: Oral Histories from Canada (Paperback)

(editor), (editor)
Paperback 252 Pages / Published: 11/06/2014
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Aboriginal and Visible Minority Librarians: Oral Histories from Canada, is a collection of chapters written by librarians of color in Canada writing about their experiences working in libraries. This book is not only for librarians in Canada and for those who aspire to become librarians, it is also for deans, directors, and faculty of libraries and library schools, managers and supervisors in libraries, human resources personnel, and other decision-makers in the field. It will also appeal to researchers interested in race relations, multiculturalism, intercultural communications and management, cross-cultural communications and management, cross-cultural studies, diversity, Aboriginal peoples, indigenous populations, and ethnic or visible minorities. The majority of the chapters written by visible minority librarians come from those born outside of Canada. They speak of their love for their new country, its generosity and support towards newcomers and immigrants, and their reasons for taking up the library profession. While few of the librarians speak of open racism, they narrate their experiences as those filled with challenges, self-doubt and courage. Several of the Aboriginal librarians who contributed to this book have worked within tribal communities and tribal libraries. In spite of working within community environments, they have experienced challenges, especially related to lack of funding. These librarians speak of having to deal with tokenism, lack of mentorship, and working in professional isolation. Some of them narrate their challenges in working with colleagues who do not relate to them. Lack of support is common, as many organizations do not have proper strategies to deal with discrimination. However, these chapters end with a positive note of encouragement for future librarians; the authors encourage all librarians to be engaged, find trusted mentors, seek help when needed, focus on professional development, and find a niche in the organization.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442236813
Number of pages: 252
Weight: 349 g
Dimensions: 227 x 154 x 16 mm

With this new edited collection, Kumaran (originally from India) and Lee have done a tremendous service to the profession in filling this gap. They present a mix of personal narrative, scholarship, and career advice that will both empower and encourage aspiring Aboriginal and visible minority librarians and enlighten Euro-Canadian professionals as to the struggles they face. In fact, the diverse pathways to satisfying careers offered here would be of value to any library school student or new professional, regardless of racial or ethnic background. . . .Aboriginal and Visible Minority Librarians is a significant milestone in the professional literature that should be required reading for all library professionals, administrators, and students, and rewards repeated reading. * Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research *
I found these oral histories full of introspective insights into the Aboriginal and visible minority librarians' personal experiences and well worth reading. * Australian Library Journal *
[T]his collection of thoughtful, personal narratives of 18 career librarians presents a clear overview of the challenges the aboriginal and visible minority librarian faces. They share their love of their chosen profession and are more interested in evolution than revolution, which gives impact to their narratives.... Editors Deborah Lee and Mahalakshmi Kumaran are founding members of the Visible Minority Librarians of Canada Network (ViMLoC) and must be commended for their foresight and dedication. They are among the 18 who shared experiences in this book. All look toward the future with a great deal of hope and a willingness to be part of the solution to the issues. * ELAN: Ex Libris Association Newsletter *
A very insightful read! Peer reviewed, this book was a joy to read learning much from the various visible minority and Aboriginal librarians who share their experiences working in Canadian libraries. A must read for anyone interested in diversity and librarianship from an international point of view. -- Camila A. Alire, Dean Emerita, University of New Mexico
Aboriginal and Visible Minority Librarians is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of what it means to be a minority in the field of librarianship in the US and Canada. Such a work is especially useful to the non-Native library world for enriching everyone's knowledge of a variety of cultures and backgrounds that contributors bring to their practice. The 18 chapters represent a spectrum of diverse voices among librarians practicing in a wide variety of library settings. Each chapter author describes the challenges and rewards of librarianship from a unique lens as minority library practitioner; contributor backgrounds include Filipino, Cree, Metis, Jamaican and more. This work will enhance every reader's perspective of the rich diversity and wide cultural participation in the library profession, while introducing them to individual practitioners who so generously share their stories. -- Mary Anne Hansen, professor and research & instruction librarian, Montana State University Library

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