We are happy to answer questions about the study, send you copies of the papers mentioned on this page, or send you occasional updates about the study. Just use the form below to let us know what you're interested in.
Publications from the project
The main findings from the project are the themes of experience for the eight librarians of color who participated. You can read about these themes in our paper (feel free to use the form at the bottom of the page to request a copy.
One of the themes required a full paper of its own to discuss fully. This paper is under review as "Articulating the Pervasive State of 'Uniqueness and Difference' for Librarians of Color". We will post an update when that paper is published.
The project's findings suggest that further study is needed about the influence of perceived similarity in background between librarian and user, a concept called racial/ethnic matching in other disciplines. We make a case for such further research in our short paper:
We are interested in understanding reference and information service (RIS) from the practitioner perspective -- understanding the thoughts and feelings that motivate what professionals do.
Study of the practitioner perspective must include a diverse group of professionals in order to develop an inclusive understanding of RIS. However, professionals representing diverse ethnic groups can be difficult to access because they represent a minority of professionals and because they may be located in cities distant from researchers.
This project aims to study the experience of providing RIS from the perspective of librarians of color. in this way, our new understanding of RIS will include many perspectives.
What method are you using?
We are using a qualitative research method called interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to study the experience of RIS for the participants in our study. This method identifies themes that are fundamental to the experience under study, but also preserves the experience of the individual participant.
You can read more about how IPA is being used for research in library and information science in a paper Amy wrote with Solveig Evenstad. (Use the form at the bottom of this page to request a copy of the paper.)