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Monday, October 7 • 2:00pm - 2:45pm
Practicing Care: Exploring a Maintenance Schema for Sustainable and Compassionate Academic Library Work

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In libraries, there is nothing that does not, at some level, need to be maintained. Physical and virtual collections need to be developed; physical and virtual spaces managed; and instructional services designed, delivered, and sustained. But as social, political, cultural, and technological changes have shifted perceptions about the value of libraries, librarians have often responded with an agenda of innovation to remain relevant and reach an ever expanding user population. However, innovation as a euphemism for “doing more with less,” is not sustainable. Greater attention and care need to be given to maintenance in academic libraries. As a critical response to the obsession with innovation, this panel proposes a schema (comprised of energy, resources, platform, and vision) to make visible the essential role of maintenance in academic libraries. The panelists—librarians at a variety of academic institutions—will use the maintenance schema to analyze the teaching and learning work taking place within academic libraries. Teaching librarians’ capacity to maintain various roles as advocates, coordinators, instructional designers, lifelong learners, and leaders directly affects their ability to support student learning within and across academic, professional, civic, and personal contexts. The lack of attention to maintenance in teaching and learning work in libraries has critical implications for librarians’ identities, advancement, job security, and the potential for burnout. While specifically focused on teaching and learning within libraries, this panel proposes the maintenance schema as a means of recognizing and applying a theory of maintenance for use in other contexts. This presentation draws broadly from the library literature, maintenance studies, information theory, innovation studies, and discussions of burnout to frame and demonstrate the interconnectedness of the maintenance schema.


Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:45pm
4ABC (2nd Floor)
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Attendees (6)