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Title:Library and Information Science Professionals as Community Action Researchers in an Academic Setting: Top Ten Directions to Further Institutional Change for People of Diverse Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities
Author(s):Mehra, Bharat; Braquet, Donna
Abstract:The need for progressive change in people’s attitudes and behaviors is essential for a communitywide acceptance of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals. This article examines our role as library and information science (LIS) professionals working in an academic environment to promote equality of sexual minorities by taking community action and creating social awareness and acceptance on their behalf. Findings based on qualitative studies and action research conducted in the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) help identify typical barriers and challenges faced by local LGBTQ individuals toward self-fulfillment and social and political empowerment. Research participants share their marginalizing experiences that paint a picture of slow acceptance reflected in the lukewarm campus and community climate of support toward LGBTQ individuals. It forms the contextual motivation for the authors as openly gay LIS professionals to promote “top ten” prioritized community actions of “what do we need to do” and “how do we do it” on behalf of people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Current directions of progress made in the UTK academic environment over a period of two years are shared in this paper. Future efforts are also identified that require extending traditional library functions of information provision to reflect contemporary nontraditional expectations of relevance that include proactive social justice efforts for libraries and LIS professionals to come out of the closet in support of people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
Issue Date:2007
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In Library Trends 56(2) Fall 2007: 542–565.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2007 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-03-26

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