Deconstructing the Low-Morale Experience in Academic Libraries
Instructor: Kaetrena Davis Kendrick
Dates: January 6th through 31st, 2020
Credits: 1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs
Kaetrena Davis Kendrick’s 2017 study on low morale in academic librarians revealed the social, environmental, and systemic impact factors of this phenomenon. Implications for ethics, collegiality, professionalism, continuing education, and career mobility were also linked in this groundbreaking qualitative study. Simultaneously, literature on workplace incivility, toxicity, burnout, and bullying reflect a critical need for dialogue about, reflection on, and recovery from low morale outcomes suffered in academic library environments.
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.
At the end of this course, participants who have experienced low morale in academic libraries (or other library environments) will be able to:
- Make sense of their low morale experience(s);
- Identify, reduce, or interrupt the role of occupational and systemic barriers to resolving low morale; and
- Identify and cultivate leadership behaviors that decrease low morale in academic (or other) library environments.
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.
Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S. is an Associate Professor, Associate Librarian at the University of South Carolina Lancaster. Kendrick earned her M.S.L.S. from the historic Clark Atlanta University School of Library and Information Studies. Her research interests include professionalism, ethics, racial and ethnic diversity in the LIS field, 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.
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.
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