• Change the Tempo: Dismantling Vocational Awe in Music Librarianship

    Winston Barham, Katie Buehner, Morgan Davis, Joy Doan, Vaughan Hennen, Emily Vickers, Z. Sylvia Yang (see profile)
    Music Library Association
    Item Type:
    Meeting Title:
    Music Library Association Annual Meeting
    Meeting Org.:
    Music Library Association
    Meeting Loc.:
    Norfolk, VA
    Meeting Date:
    February 27, 2020
    Permanent URL:
    Interactive session. Vocational awe as identified by Fobazi Ettarh refers to the, “set of ideas, values, and assumptions librarians have about themselves and the profession that result in beliefs that libraries as institutions are inherently good and sacred, and therefore beyond critique.” As a profession, librarianship is often considered as more than “just a job,” but a calling to service grounded in noble values related to education, intellectual freedom, and democracy. While this characterization celebrates librarianship as rewarding and meaningful work, it also fosters a culture of martyrdom, inhibits critical examination of the profession, and inadvertently promotes a spirit of elitism and judgment. Ultimately, such characteristics are incompatible with the ostensible values held by professionals within music librarianship. It is Ettarh’s dedicated, fearless work of challenging the profound notion of vocational awe that has laid the foundation to begin the work of unpacking this concept within the profession of music librarianship. This interactive session provides participants with the opportunity to discuss, and examine the praxis of dismantling vocational awe and the notion that the profession of music librarianship is beyond critique. Panelist will lead group discussions to explore how the worlds of music and librarianship reinforce the manifestations of vocational awe in each other and critically examine the potential impact in areas such as advocacy for music libraries and library workers, as well as the effort to create an equitable and inclusive profession.
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
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