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Title:Gender and sexuality, self-identity, and libraries: Readers’ advisory as a technique for creative (dis)assembly
Author(s):McCleary, Melissa A.; Widdersheim, Michael M.
Reader's advisory
Abstract:This paper 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 which librarians recommend materials to library visitors, who are often young readers. Although libraries are commonly perceived as neutral, apolitical institutions, the paper 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, the paper 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.
Issue Date:6016
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Illinois School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In Library Trends 64 (4) Spring 2016: 714–740.
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-01-03

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