Reimagining Workplace Empowerment: Reducing Low Morale for Minority Librarians (Online Course)

Dates: May 4th through 31st, 2020
Price: $175

Kendrick’s second workplace morale study focuses on the experiences of racial and ethnic minority librarians and reveals additional impact factors and enabling systems this group faces during exposure to workplace abuse and neglect. Additionally, literature on workplace issues ranging from bullying and burnout to microaggressions and equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) efforts in libraries emphasize an urgent need for dialogue and reflection on low morale outcomes suffered in library environments, particularly as these issues pertain to racial/ethnic minorities practicing in North American libraries.

Employing the use of reflective writing/aesthetic expression, assigned readings, and community participation, this course will offer opportunities for analysis, critique, and reflection on the low- morale experience as lived by racial/ethnic minority librarians. At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Make sense of their low-morale experiences;
  • Identify, reduce, or interrupt the role of occupational, systemic, social, and political barriers to resolving low morale;
  • Contextualize the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion impacts on the low-morale experience;
  • Identify and cultivate countermeasures that decrease low morale in library workplace environments; and
  • Create counter-narratives that empower this group and pushback against dominate discourse about the experiences and outcomes of negative workplace behaviors in a predominantly Caucasian professional field.

Trigger warnings: Participants will be asked to revisit instances of low morale they have faced. As a result, negative memories and associated emotions, including anger, grief, and shame, may (re)-surface.

Enrolled students will be introduced to/have an opportunity to review the following concepts and frameworks:

  • The trajectory of the general low-morale experience (Kendrick, 2017)
  • Vocational Awe (Ettarh, 2018)
  • Contextualize the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion impacts on the low-morale experience;
  • Resilience Narratives (Berg, Galvan, & Tewell, 2018)
  • Microaggressions (Alabi, 2015)
  • Minority workplace ethnography in LIS (Cooke 2014, 2019)
  • Racial and ethnic recruitment and retention concerns in LIS
  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts in LIS/Whiteness in LIS

Enrollee notice: this course is open to all, and is specifically designed to center the experiences of and support a safe space for racial/ethnic minorities practicing in North American libraries who have faced or are currently experiencing low morale.

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S. earned her graduate degree from the historic Clark Atlanta University School of Library and Information Studies. Stemming from a decade of professional experience, Kendrick’s research interests include professionalism, ethics, racial and ethnic diversity in the LIS field, the impact of creativity on library development and leadership, and the role of digital humanities in practical academic librarianship. She is co-editor of The Small and Rural Academic Library: Leveraging Resources and Overcoming Limitations (Chicago: ACRL 2016) and author of Kaleidoscopic Concern: An Annotated, Chronological Bibliography of Diversity, Recruitment, Retention, and Other Concerns Regarding African American and Ethnic Library Professionals and Global Evolution: An Annotated, Chronological Bibliography of International Students in U.S. Academic Libraries (ACRL 2009, 2007). In 2019, Kendrick was named the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Academic/Research Librarian of the Year.

Course Structure

This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.

Payment Info

You can register in this course through the first week of instruction (as long as enrollment is not full). The “Register” button above goes to our credit card payment gateway, which may be used with personal or institutional credit cards. (Be sure to use the appropriate billing address). If you want to pay with Paypal, or if your institution wants us to send a billing statement or wants to send us a purchase order, please contact us by email to make arrangements.

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