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Aboriginal and Visible Minority Librarians: Oral Histories from Canada

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

£52.95
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Synopsis

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.

Deborah Lee is of Cree, Mohawk, Metis and French ancestry. She was a reference librarian at the National Library of Canada and Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa/Gatineau for seven years. Lee was the Indigenous Studies Portal Librarian and team leader at the University of Saskatchewan Library in Saskatoon for four years but has been the Indigenous Studies Liaison and Aboriginal Engagement Librarian at the U of S since 2011. She would like to dedicate her chapter to her two adult children, Eric and Tara, her son-in-law, Jake, and twin grandchildren, Liam and Elizabeth. Maha Kumaran is the initiator, founding member, and co-moderator of the Visible Minority Librarians of Canada (ViMLoC) Network, a CLA Network. She works as a liaison librarian at the University of Saskatchewan. She is grateful to the support she has received from the University of Saskatchewan to pursue her research. She would like to thank the many librarians who have played a major role in shaping her career as a librarian. She would also like to thank members of ViMLoC for their support.

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