Health sciences librarians of African heritage: an earnest entreaty for research
Keywords:African-American, Minorities, Diversity
In view of recent discussions of diversity in library work, it would seem prudent to have a good understanding of basic facts and considered opinions of health sciences librarians of African heritage concerning their career experiences, opportunities for advancement, perceptions of negative behavior in the library, experiences of bias and discrimination in the library, existence of special information needs of patrons of African heritage, and interactions with non-African-heritage medical librarians and staff. Since there is a dearth of literature and research on these topics, this commentary will attempt to stimulate and encourage such work by providing a brief summary of currently available literature and research and providing some ideas for future academic endeavors.
Angelou M. Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now. New York, NY: Bantam Books; 1993. p. 121.
Anantachai T, Booker L, Lazzaro A, Parker M, Establishing a communal network for professional advancement among librarians of color. In: Hankins R, Juarez M, eds. Where are all the librarians of color? The experiences of People of Color in academia. Sacramento, CA: Libr Juice Press; 2015. p. 31–53.
Wilkin BT, ed. African American librarians in the Far West: pioneers and trailblazers. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press; 2006.
Danquah LE. Achievements of selected 21st-century African American health sciences librarians. In: Jackson AP, Jefferson JC, Nosackhere AS. eds. The 21st-century Black librarian in America: issues and challenges. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press; 2012. p. 121–25.
Dawson A. Celebrating African-American librarians and librarianship. Libr Trends. 2000;49(1):49–87. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/8328.
Cooke NA. Introduction. Libr Trends. 2018;67(1):1–7. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/lib.2018.0021.
Corcoran K, ed. 2017 MLA Compensation & Benefits Survey. Chicago, IL: Medical Library Association; 2017:7.
Henderson CL. The role of the Black health sciences librarian. In: Josey EJ, DeLoach ML, eds. Handbook of Black librarianship. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press; 2000. p. 683–96.
Swanson J, Tanaka A, Gonzalez-Smith I. Lived experience of academic librarians of color. Coll Res Libr. 2018; 79(7):876–94. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.79.7.876.
Barr-Walker J, Sharifi C. Critical librarianship in health sciences libraries: an introduction. J Med Libr Assoc. 2019;107(2):258–64. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2019.620.
Nadal Kl, Griffin KE, Wong Y, Davidoff KC, Davis LS. The injurious relationship between racial microaggressions and physical health: implications for social work. J Ethn Cult Divers Soc Work. 2017;26(1–2):6–17. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15313204.2016.1263813.
Alabi J. Racial microaggressions in academic libraries: results of a survey of minority and non-minority librarians. J Acad Libr. 2015;41(1):47–53. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2014.10.008.
Williams MT. Microagressions: clarification, evidence, and impact. Perspective Psych Sci. 2020 ;15(1):3–26. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691619827499.
Dalton SD, Mathapo G, Sowers-Page E. Navigating law librarianship while Black: a week in the life of a Black female law librarian. Law Libr J. 2018;100(3):429–38. Available from: https://www.aallnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/LLJ_110n3_05_dalton_et_al.pdf.
Li Y, Kumaran M, Cho A, Ly, V, Fernando S, Miller MD. 2021 Redux survey of visible minority librarians of Canada [dataset]. Scholars Portal Dataverse. 2022 [cited 15 Feb 2022]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5683/SP3/F4LNZO.
Ishaq M, Hussain AM. BAME staff experiences of academic and research libraries [Internet]. London: SCONUL; 2019 [cited 15 Feb 2022]. <https://www.sconul.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/BAME%20staff%20experiences%20of%20academic%20and%20research%20libraries_0.pdf>.
Thorpe K. National survey on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment in Australian libraries: research report [Internet]. University of Technology Sydney; 2021 [cited 15 Feb 2022]. <https://read.alia.org.au/national-survey-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-employment-australian-libraries-research>.
Garthwait CS. African American librarians in the Far West: pioneers and trailblazers [Book Review]. J Access Serv 3(4):71-3. DOI: 10.1300/J204v03n04_06.
Asare M, Peppone LJ, Roscoe JA, Kleckner IR, Mustian KM, Heckler CE, Guido JJ, Sborov M, Bushunow P, Onitilo A, Kamen C. Racial differences in information needs during and after cancer treatment: a nationwide, longitudinal survey by the University of Rochester Cancer Center National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program. J Cancer Educ. 2018;33(1):95–101. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-016-1038-x.
Akers KG, Pionke JJ, Aaronson EM, Chambers T, Cyrus JW, Eldermire ERB, Norton MJ. Racial, gender, sexual, and disability identities of the Journal of the Medical Library Association’s editorial board, reviewers, and authors. J Med Libr Assoc. 2021;109(2):167–73. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2021.1216.
Copyright (c) 2022 Charles Raymond Fikar, Barbara Hallas
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.