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Gender and sexuality, Self-Identity, and libraries: Readers’ advisory as a technique for creative (Dis)assembly

Widdersheim, MM and McCleary, MA (2016) Gender and sexuality, Self-Identity, and libraries: Readers’ advisory as a technique for creative (Dis)assembly. Library Trends, 64 (4). 714 - 740. ISSN 0024-2594

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Abstract

© 2016 The Board of Trustees, University of Illinois. This article addresses the theme of gender, sexuality, and information by considering how libraries might offer readers’ advisory services to young readers in socially just ways. Readers’ advisory is a service found in public and school libraries. In readers’ advisory, librarians recommend materials to library visitors who are often young readers. Though libraries are commonly perceived as neutral, apolitical institutions, this article shows how readers’ advisory in libraries is a site of struggle and contestation for young readers in terms of their gender identity and sexuality. Drawing from the works of Nikolas Rose and Michel Foucault, the authors show how readers’ advisory is a technique of self-assembly where young readers negotiate their self-identities amid surrounding library discourses. The authors provide several reasons why readers’ advisory approaches, as they are presented in professional library literature, are problematic. As an alternative conceptualization of readers’ advisory, this article then proposes what is dubbed a disjunctional approach. The authors explain what this approach is, provide concrete examples of how it might be adopted, and suggest avenues for further study.


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Details

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Widdersheim, MMmmw84@pitt.eduMMW84
McCleary, MA
Date: 1 March 2016
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Library Trends
Volume: 64
Number: 4
Page Range: 714 - 740
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1353/lib.2016.0017
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Library and Information Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0024-2594
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2016 13:56
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 14:55
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/28535

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