[This content was originally published on July 2, 2018 at The Ink On The Page.]
If you’re following this blog – or my work in general – you’re aware that I’m currently working on data analysis for my PoC Low Morale study. After I closed the interview phase, I asked my colleague (and friend) Ione Damasco to join me on this project.
During the past few months, we’ve been working intensely: reading, re-reading and coding swaths of qualitative data from over a dozen racial and/or ethnic minority librarians working in North American academic libraries.
We have learned that our results will not change the trajectory of low morale – instead, what is markedly different are the number of Enabling Systems of the experience for this group of LIS professionals.
The original Enabling Systems (ES) of the low-morale experience (which also affect PoC librarians) are:
- Uncertainty & Mistrust
- Faculty Status/Tenure & Promotion
- Human Resources Limitations
- Staffing & Employment
The data show there are ten(!) more ES that affect this group in addition to the ones listed above. These ES are interconnected, and the five major systems span aspects of racism, Whiteness, diversity, work-life landscapes, and social psychology. You can learn more about the Diversity-related Enabling System here.
At this time, I think our paper will focus on reporting the major (and summarizing the minor) ES, along with associated physical, emotional, and/or career impacts and possibly, implications for recruitment and retention.
We hope to submit the article for review by the end of this summer or in early fall. Please look forward to it.
[UPDATE 8/9/18: Further data analysis has shifted the number of ES from ten to seven. Some of what were previously analyzed as ES are now categorized as separate impact factors, and others were subsumed into broader ES. In the original study there are two other impact factors besides ES: Insidious Experience Development and Contagion. So, in short, not only are PoC Librarians dealing with additional ES; they are also contending with added other continua during the experience.
Additionally – because the voices of PoC librarians and their experiences are so often de-centered or devalued, we have decided to include a report of the low-morale experience for this group along with a report of all impact factors (including ES) results. The draft is long, but we believe it is imperative to share the commonality and differences of the low-morale experience for this group.
The draft of the results have been written and will be validated by study participants soon; we are on-course for a Fall 2018 draft submission to our editors. Let me know if you have any questions!