#critlib 9/5/17 chat: The Weight and Worth of Professionalism

moderated by @TheGnarrator

  1. A bit on the repeal of DACA in advance of the chat:

  2. So I'll be moderating a #critlib chat tomorrow! We'll be breaking down the concept of "professionalism." bring your best gifs!  https://twitter.com/violetbfox/status/903664491442950144 
  3. @TheGnarrator Professionalism in practice is often privileging ppl who can have a normal day during a disaster. E.G. #critlib on the day DACA likely ends
  4. @TheGnarrator This is a great topic, is there any chance to reschedule given the many feelings, trauma, support, organizing many will be doing? #critlib
  5. @poeticdoxa I understand, and I totally want to validate your point because I think it is important. However, we had no way of predicting (1)
  6. @poeticdoxa that this chat would coincide with the possible repeal of DACA. I'm also conflicted, because of the bleakness that is 2017, there isn't (2)
  7. @poeticdoxa ever going to be a "good time" to do this as the current us situation is one that just seems to get increasingly worse (3).
  8. @poeticdoxa I would hope that #critlib would be a platform for anyone to bring in these feelings and particularly the organizing spirit into chat (4)
  9. Introductions

  10. Also, #critlib classic: INTRODUCTIONS! Let the folx know about you. Don't forget to use the hashtag!
  11. Going to try to follow #critlib tonight, but the dirty dishes are also calling my name
  12. Good evening, #critlib! My name is Greg, pronoun him/his, and I'm based in Seattle. Faculty librarian at @TheLWTech. Excited to be here.
  13. Hi #critlib! I'm V, currently a library assistant at a public library and MLIS student at Pratt!
  14. Hi #critlib, I'm Kate, a lib tech dev from Seattle soon to be inclusion librarian at Syracuse. Not sure how "professional" I'll need to be.
  15. Jessica, wearer of many hats at a Midwestern academic library #critlib
  16. Hi #critlib, I'm carrie, your moderator. I am an academic librarian at-large in KCMO ("funemployed")
  17. Have fun with #critlib tonight. Wish I could join but thanks to my toddler I'm off to bed with Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease (for real). 😷
  18. Hey #critlib ! Veronica, acad lib in MD, currently on sabbatical in Houston. Wine in hand and ready.
  19. Hi #critlib! Will prob be in and out tonight. I'm Anastasia, academic librarian in NY
  20. Hey all, I am Thomas, instruction librarian in Georgia #critlib
  21. Hi #critlib, I'm Laura, academic & #DH librarian in the north. Mostly lurking & listening tonight. Been a long day.
  22. Hi #critlib MLIS student, Acquisitions/E-Resources staff in Boston.
  23. Hi #critlib, I'm Abby, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Utah State University. Former public librarian!
  24. Hey all! I'm Kelly and I am a new(ish) public librarian near Toronto. #critlib
  25. Ack late to #critlib! Hi everyone, I'm Maura, college library director in Brooklyn.
  26. Hi everyone- Maureen, architecture librarian in Chicago. very interested in tonight's discussion for #critlib
  27. Hi #critlib I'm an academic instruction librarian in Oklahoma. Probably quietly following tonight and participating as I put my kids to bed.
  28. I'm an academic librarian in Brooklyn! Probably spending the rest of my life on this F train! #critlib
  29. Late with my intro - I'm a librarian turned program officer for a grantmaking foundation. #critlib
  30. Hi! I'm robin I'm recent MLIS grad about to make the trek from LA back to NYC with background in OH, organizing, teaching artist #critlib
  31. Q1. What is the culture of professionalism in your workplace? In your area of librarianship?

  32. Respect and ideals:
  33. #critlib Where I work, "being professional" basically means treating all our patrons with respect, kindness and understanding.
  34. #critlib A1: but if I have to talk about professionalism I focus on behaviors that promote respect, engagement, empathy.
  35. @jvinopal I will be the annoying person asking you to unpack the word "respect." Respect as in recognize as human? As in recognize as authoritative?
  36. @chiuchiutrain Not annoying at all. What do I mean, hmmmm. I think behavior that recognizes humanity of others and cares about that? #critlib
  37. A1 professionalism is treating colleagues and students with respect, conducting research thoughtfully & responsibly. #critlib
  38. A1. Organizational culture very much in support of academic programs, students bringing who they are into their coursework. #critlib
  39. A1. I'm happy to be able to say that this is mostly articulated as "doing your job competently" at MPOW. #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905236147865051136 
  40. A1. Respect for different viewpoints and frank opinions, expressed in spirit of helping colleagues, not discouraging them. #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905236147865051136 
  41. A1: Also, curiosity, questions & weighing in are appreciated. Colleagues at MPOW want to know as many sides of issue as possible. #critlib
  42. Flexibility:
  43. #critlib With other employees, however, we're all very laid-back: we talk about our lives, share funny stories and things we find online, et
  44. #critlib It's a great environment to work in because I think it hits that nice balance between being professional and being myself.
  45. #critlib I'd wager that it's much the same for other library assistants, but I suppose that would depend on supervisors, coworkers, etc.
  46. Expectations to be busy:
  47. A1. Culture of prof at my college is all about BEING THE BUSIEST OMG. It's emotionally exhausting. #critlib
  48. @arellanover This resonates with me. If you're not ambitious, you must not be passionate as others, is how I sometimes feel. #critlib
  49. @bembrarian A1 Professionalism sometimes feels like performance art. "I am the most willing to give of myself until there is nothing left." #critlib
  50. @arellanover Seems like this could lead to a lot of abuse systemically. Also can exploit a lot of people who are struggling, suffering, etc. #critlib
  51. @bembrarian It makes saying no when you're in a vulnerable situation very scary. #critlib
  52. @arellanover Some of us have pushed back heavily against that cult of being busy at MPOW, & we've made some big improvements #critlib
  53. @LibrarianAngie @arellanover Oh so it’s the performance of “professionalism” through looking busy. Ugh what a waste of time and mental energy #critlib
  54. #critlib I'm more reserved when my director's around and try to look busy (even when there's not much to do) - I guess that's part of it?
  55. @jvinopal @LibrarianAngie @arellanover I wonder if everyone is looking busy, how much real work isn't getting done, like community building. Also mindless #competition? #critlib
  56. @jvinopal @bembrarian @arellanover 1000% agree. Also likely to lead to burnout and/or high turnover rates, which is also really bad for the institution. #critlib
  57. @jvinopal @bembrarian @LibrarianAngie @arellanover Busyness is a status symbol (or seems that way among academics). If you're always busy & stressed, you must be important/valuable. #critlib
  58. Institutional loyalty:
  59. I've been in several POW where the attitude towards professionalism is one oriented around loyalty to institution/system #critlib
  60. @TheGnarrator Definitely. I often feel subtext is "If you're not for us 110%, you're not deserving of our time, energy, attention" from peers. #critlib
  61. Unspoken expectations:
  62. A1a. Professionalism in my workplace is acknowledged but self-determined--maybe more so than any place I've worked prior. #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905236147865051136 
  63. A1 #critlib I honestly have no idea, I've been here like 3 months and navigating new cultural norms, esp surfacing unspoken ones is hard.
  64. #critlib A1: AFAIK we don’t have a statement or policy. I’m still pretty new at the job and don’t know all cultural norms/policy docs.
  65. Actually, can we get some consensus or interpretations on what "professionalism" means? #critlib
  66. A1b. In academic librarianship, it's a different ballgame, and I'm honestly mostly unaware or lazy when it comes to prof. norms. #critlib
  67. A1 Within my lib I'd say it's more about being "student-centered" but not sure we all agree on what that means. #critlib
  68. A1 For me, in my area of librarianship it's easier to identify what the culture isn't as opposed to what it is. Impenetrable, maybe #critlib
  69. A1 I've been in acad libs for 10 yrs & am still not sure what professionalism looks like in our field. It's so inst specific #critlib
  70. That's my experience too, interesting to see the differences even between similar colleges in my very geographically clustered uni. #critlib  https://twitter.com/arellanover/status/905237612100821000 
  71. Maybe "professionalism" in librarianship means "acting like a librarian." And so a floodgate for stereotypes??? #critlib  https://twitter.com/metageeky/status/905237010285080576 
  72. @bembrarian And people can be left out of social circles/cliques in some POW if they aren't "librarian*" enough. (*quirky/hipster/cool/etc). + #critlib
  73. @sfabba @bembrarian I've seen this happen at conferences where non-MLIS librarians are excluded from stuff #critlib
  74. Not having explicit policy/definition of professionalism is purposely creating gray areas that can later be used in the orgs favor #critlib
  75. Expectations for behavior, limits on expression:
  76. My workplace views professionalism as dressing a certain way, acting fake toward faculty, etc it's draining #critlib
  77. I think of dress,deportment attitude, work ethic, etc.but largely the first two. #critlib
  78. @schomj There's something almost emotionally negating about the word professionalism which would limit the ability to be being empathetic. #critlib
  79. A1. Culture of professionalism at my library is one of no complaints. I feel like it often also means no constructive feedback. #critlib
  80. A1: i've also been places where it's been some kind of code for engaging with others--don't talk too much about personal life, etc #critlib
  81. A1. At my library, "professionalism" seems to mean never letting people know you're unhappy or have negative thoughts. #critlib
  82. #critlib Ugh some of these “definitions” (via policy or cultural norms) are oppressive. I’m so sorry to hear that.
  83. @jvinopal Agreed. It's a flavor of this discussion that i had not considered. #critlib
  84. A1. It takes some emotional labor to find between being encouraging, expressive and setting "appropriate" limits. #critlib
  85. #critlib A2 certain topics r preferred not to be discussed openly w/in my organization even when the rest of the library world talk about it
  86. Professional vs. paraprofessional:
  87. A1 cont. Important to note that I have spent many of my 18 yrs in academic libraries being referred to as a paraprofessional #critlib
  88. A1 yes, sometimes often? It's a matter of degrees - what qualifies a professional librarian vs a paraprofessional or support staff #critlib  https://twitter.com/maxgbowman/status/905238304773328900 
  89. @bembrarian @maxgbowman Absolutely. At best, I can interpret it as you always wear a parachute because your job might be kicked off the plane at any moment #critlib
  90. @TheGnarrator @bembrarian & then to step into a 'professional' role after all of those years, feels like I see many things differently than my colleagues #critlib
  91. @TheGnarrator @maxgbowman I def try to hold up the "paraprofessionals" at my library and treat them on a horizontal level regardless of knowledge diffs. #critlib
  92. Dress codes (defined or internalized):
  93. A1 I work currently in our IT services as a dev. Not much in expectations on dress code 99% of the time. Attitude is casual too. #critlib
  94. A1. I also feel like professionalism as far as dress is v casual at the branch level, but hyper femme at the leadership level. #critlib
  95. A1 Generally in cat/metadata/tech services, it seems like jeans/khakis and tees show up more than when I was in pub services? #critlib
  96. @chiuchiutrain So interesting. I justify some "dressing down" to "connect with the people." I wonder if administration considers that bullshit. #critlib
  97. A1. I definitely dress differently or am conscious of what I am wearing when I know higher-ups will be around. #critlib
  98. I'll admit clothing/deportment worries me due to my new job. New location, new role, new culture. I hail from Seattle tech culture. #critlib
  99. #critlib My own way of dealing with clothes “professionalism” is to wear suit-like pants, jacket every day. I dress like a man w/out a tie.
  100. #critlib Everyone gets the same “professional" “me” - I have 5+ of the same black jacket. Few decisions getting dressed.
  101. #critlib at mpow our dress code is defined as business casual and we are all given a handout at orientation about acceptable clothing
  102. A1 As far as attire, I generally wear jeans to work. #critlib
  103. @LibrarianAngie We're not allowed to do that - the pages can, but everyone else has to less casual. I think it's a bit silly #critlib
  104. @VReadsBooks Librarians at MPOW are faculty, and several of us take that to mean we should be free to dress as any other faculty... #critlib
  105. @LibrarianAngie @VReadsBooks Faculty is another contentious term, filled with plenty of stereotypes and gross assumptions. #critlib
  106. Having lots of thoughts abt attire, no dress code (libns are faculty) tho I tend to dress up some, how I'm most comfortable. #critlib
  107. @mauraweb Yes. I've been lucky to find work where dressing comfortably and colorfully is accepted, even valued. #critlib
  108. Q2. How do definitions of professionalism differ from the democratic and social values advocated by librarianship?

  109. Disabilities:
  110. I suspect that I many a theses could be written about the tensions between disability and professionalism in any field. #critlib
  111. @VReadsBooks But to add more. Visible disabilities are reknowned for the stigma/judgments people give them. #critlib
  112. @VReadsBooks But invisible can creep in. A dyslexic person writes "messy" emails. My depression has me drink a lot of coke zeroes as comfort. #critlib
  113. Defying stereotypes:
  114. A2. I definitely do not play the "quiet librarian behind the desk" role ingrained in society. Be friendly. Be loud. Communicate. #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905238976486936585 
  115. A2: I think when you buck "librarian stereotypes" people can see you as "being unprofessional" #critlib
  116. @TheGnarrator Curious about the pros of looking unprofessional in this context. #critlib
  117. Be civil, be quiet, be nice, be gentle and genteel...and be white, middle class with no noticeable disabilities while you're at it #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905240678413807616 
  118. @schomj unfortunately sometimes those invisible disabilities become very loud & obvious. Then you're unprofessional & a problem to hide. #critlib
  119. Yes! We are trying to bring in diverse students when most of our full time front facing staff aren't all that diverse. #critlib  https://twitter.com/schomj/status/905241384793333760 
  120. @schomj And if you are going to be queer somehow, let it fall under proper queerness channels #critlib
  121. So much this. I swear sometimes I try to be more visibly subversively queer just as big FU to this pseudo queer acceptance in libs #critlib  https://twitter.com/metageeky/status/905241645393747968 
  122. @mchris4duke Right, but then what kind of privilege does one have to have in order to do that, big middle finger to the establishment? #critlib
  123. @mchris4duke Also the responsibility of having the privilege: for whom do we raise that middle finger and how to do it to make positive change #critlib
  124. @jvinopal @mchris4duke A lot. I've taken a lot of fire for being open about having depression. But as I can gain more job stability, I keep it up. #critlib
  125. Power relations:
  126. A2. Professionalism has an inherent hierarchy, yeah? So there'll always be tension with egalitarian social values #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905238976486936585 
  127. A2 exactly. Professionalism is on one level a set of coded behaviors in an organization: who belongs, who doesn't #critlib  https://twitter.com/schomj/status/905240029240406016 
  128. A2. "Professionalism" presents challenges in explicitly calling out white supremacy librarianship often upholds. #critlib
  129. Late to #critlib, sitting on a delayed train! Professionalism gets higher salaries for some workers, produces inequality for others. 👋🏻👋🏻
  130. Unspoken norms:
  131. A2 #critlib I think it's where the UNspoken norms are that I hit the differing values. Like @Fobettarh says, there're often unspoken caveats
  132. A2 Always feels like there's this hidden culture at every workplace I've been in, where some nebulous character trait is valued. #critlib
  133. @maxgbowman Right & that can mask the potentially discriminatory framework of "cultural/institutional fit" #critlib
  134. A2 & I've only recently decided to stop trying to figure it out, & instead focus on my strengths, & build from there. #critlib
  135. A2 Professionalism seems oddly codified but subjective. #critlib
  136. A3 I think it creates loopholes in espoused values. It allows for those unspoken caveats like "unless your truth is uncomfortable" #critlib
  137. Inclusion and exclusion:
  138. A1 #critlib Anecdotally, how inclusion can be built into workplaces and services seems less talked about amongst catalogers I know
  139. Lisa, infolit lib+advisor to many LIS students at UIUC. Also, late to #critlib. Extremely worried how "not professional" is used to exclude.
  140. A2 "Professionalism" sets up an ingroup outgroup situation. You are either "professional" or you are not. But who decides? #critlib
  141. Gender expectations:
  142. IMO women that are called unprofessional in the workplace are often just not performing femininity to the expected extent #critlib
  143. Corporate norms:
  144. A2. I think many definitions/expectations of professionalism come from corporate world, carry into mgmt in other sectors. #critlib
  145. Things like "being a team player" and "dressing for success" and a million other platitutdes #critlib  https://twitter.com/lisahubbell/status/905241330325979136 
  146. @TheGnarrator Often it seems these only come into play to criticize. Done instead of providing clear direction on goals + performance feedback? #critlib
  147. Q3. What are ways that professionalism is oppressive?

  148. Q3. What are ways that professionalism is oppressive? #critlib (we've already covered this some, but lets dig deeper)
  149. Oppressive?
  150. A3 #critlib I think oppressive is a...strong word for something like professionalism, but looking at your answers I c where ur coming from
  151. Could be I just don't have enough experience to really say #critlib
  152. Whiteness:
  153. A2 Piggybacking on @abigailleigh : B/c professionalism is subjective it makes it easier to create very white libraries #critlib
  154. @abigailleigh Ack, I mean A3! Also I've seen professionalism dictate civility discourse at its worst. #critlib
  155. @arellanover #critlib there is lots of inequality/racism defining professional dress or hairstyles: who decides & based on what culture's parameters?
  156. Q3. Professionalism is often code for male, white, straight- and cis-presenting, able. Keeps ppl who don't fit these categories 👎 #critlib
  157. @k_swickard @arellanover Thankfully live in Seattle and see all manner of styles; but have been within 2 hours where it's homogeneous, sterilized, white. #critlib
  158. Sameness:
  159. A3 Whatever professionalism is, whatever def you adhere to, it always values sameness. It values policy. It values rules. #critlib
  160. Q3 Used as a cudgel against those who don’t neatly fit into dominant culture or call it into question. #critlib
  161. @maxgbowman Can there be an "anti-professionalism" that values difference and uniqueness and equity? #critlib
  162. A3 There is a price to pay, even if it's just exhaustion, from performing professionalism in a way that is outside your org's norm #critlib
  163. @maxgbowman A3. Often. But I've worked in places that value policy & still encourage staff to be themselves. Driven by mission more than rules. #critlib
  164. Hot take: "professionalism" is more often than not used as a cudgel to stifle the marginalized #critlib
  165. "Professional" masks "worker"
  166. @edrabinski A3 Yes! The idea that a "professional" is more than just a "mere laborer/worker" is used to wring us dry #critlib
  167. @edrabinski A3 It's the whole "we do it bc we love it" bullshit. It's a profession! It should mean more to you than just a paycheck! #critlib
  168. @edrabinski A3 ...well yeah, but that paycheck also helps me eat/pay med bills/live #critlib
  169. Physical and emotional performance:
  170. A3. Does your library expect employees to be physically present, clean smelling, smiling, from early morning to night? #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905242050647470080 
  171. @schomj I don't think the first two are asking too much. Smiling the whole time is just unrealistic #critlib
  172. A3. Does your library expect passion, enthusiasm, constant positive engagement, travel, unpaid research/writing? #critlib
  173. A3. Will your library support you when you try to so All The Things, burn out, hey depression!, and can't produce like you used to? #critlib
  174. A3. Or will your coworkers start saying that you're incompetent and unpleasant and use that to force you out? #critlib
  175. A3. I've been through this (have rebounded from the worst but there was a worst). Unions > professionalism any day #critlib
  176. Privilege of knowing and/or breaking the rules:
  177. A3. What is the literacy of professionalism? What's the language? Do you know it automatically? Thinking about privilege. #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905242050647470080 
  178. Root of why the "buck the stereotype" trend bugs me. Who can afford the privilege of "being unprofessional?" Not most libs of color #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905240678413807616 
  179. @chiuchiutrain It has been on my mind that knowing the rules and norms, and bending them, are privileges. #critlib
  180. @bembrarian A3 I feel this. There is so much that feels foreign if you are not white, middle to upper middle class. #critlib
  181. @arellanover Another hurdle, another wall to climb over for POC. One that I wish I could identify better and respond to more directly. #critlib
  182. A3 It's almost as if you must know what it means to be professional before you even enter "the profession". How do you learn? #critlib
  183. @abigailleigh Movies. Shows. Parents. Public and private school. Trickle, trickle, trickle. #critlib
  184. @bembrarian A3 some are "professionally literate" & privileged to navigate org culture; many aren't & we fail them, lose their contributions #critlib
  185. Dressing the part:
  186. A3. Pressure to "dress for the job you want" isn't tenable w/o salary that supports it. Hard on job seekers, PT workers. #critlib
  187. A3 I've seen a lot of "they don't dress professionally" as a lead-in for criticism about someone's lack of drive or goals #critlib
  188. "Quirky" label:
  189. @TheGnarrator a twist on this ... when the non-conforming to professional is make a "mascot" like person ... the "quirky one" #critlib
  190. A4B amplify nonconformity. Cultivate a "yes and" attitude (from improv) w/out fetishizing or marginalizing quirkiness #critlib  https://twitter.com/thegnarrator/status/905244378280624130 
  191. @laurabrarian Yo we for real do improv workshops during staff days at my lib.
  192. @klthoreson @laurabrarian Interesting! (And terrifying. Are people allowed to not do that or are they then "unprofessional" for not participating?) #critlib
  193. Who is included/excluded:
  194. A3 Also who gets to know what? Is information shared differently with "professionals" and "staff"? #critlib
  195. @mauraweb Ooohhh good question. In my experience this is def the case. #critlib
  196. @mauraweb yes we have that problem, trying to fix it, there is definitely an "us" vs "them" #critlib
  197. @TheGnarrator A3: Who *gets* to be professional? That not everyone in an organization might not be considered "of the profession" is oppressive. #critlib
  198. @arellanover @mauraweb I have seen cases where certain people are intentionally left out of meetings. It's not something I practice though #critlib
  199. @mauraweb as cataloger, work w tech srvcs staff > other librarians, often treated differently in liminal space of that, though librarian #critlib
  200. @TheGnarrator @arellanover Yes, me too -- I try very hard to let everyone know everything (within confidentiality), try not to assume interest. #critlib
  201. @TheGnarrator @arellanover @mauraweb Ugh, the "game of meetings" is one that it seems most people play, and def reinforces hierarchies. #critlib
  202. Literature on professionalism:
  203. See how others define? Engineers: Performed for the benefit of others in an ethical manner.  http://ranger.uta.edu/~carroll/cse4317/profession/tsld003.htm  #critlib
  204. @klmccook Yeah, if only those fields actually pay attention to those professional bodies. My time in CS suggests not really. #critlib
  205. @klmccook I've had some rather depressing conversations about the ACM code of ethics. #critlib
  206. Sexism:
  207. @TheGnarrator When professionalism = enculturation it is toxic.
I wrote this poem after a lib listserv discussion.

Still makes me angry. #critlib https://t.co/0V9B8MqsbT
    @TheGnarrator When professionalism = enculturation it is toxic. I wrote this poem after a lib listserv discussion. Still makes me angry. #critlib pic.twitter.com/0V9B8MqsbT
  208. @TheGnarrator How many read that line about a senior colleague's "professionalism" & internalized "contesting sexism isn't professional" That's culture.
  209. Q4. How can we cultivate acceptance of different attitudes towards professionalism/redefine professionalism to be more inclusive and accommodating of different experiences/identities?

  210. I think I feel a bit too pessimistic tonight to even attempt an answer to Q4. #critlib I'm glad others are not!
  211. Inclusion:
  212. A4 My new job is about addressing inclusion in the library. While my focus will be mostly on accessibility and patron access, I... #critlib
  213. intend to dedicate some time to inclusion among library staff because we count too #critlib
  214. A4 Dedicating time to come to a SHARED agreement of workplace responsibilities and values. Including everyone, not just libs #critlib
  215. @arellanover amen to this, SHARED & COMMUNICATED not just implied that some staff person will do it, all parts of the library are important #critlib
  216. Define and push back on "professionalism":
  217. A4A: Maybe if professionalism is talked about, differences are acknwoledged, equity principles reinforced within/outside department #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905244083773468672 
  218. A4 Those of us who can do so should push back/probe when we hear talk abt “professionalism.” Ask: what specifically do you mean? #critlib
  219. I ask my peers to definitely remind me about this. I'm being empowered to ask that question and push back. Help me do it. #critlib  https://twitter.com/jvinopal/status/905245090272174080 
  220. I’m working on techniques for calling people in on all sorts of stuff. & reminding how certain concepts used against ppl #critlib +
  221. For example: critiquing tone of voice = tone policing. #critlib
  222. A4 #critlib Maybe talk to people in the community? See what they're like and get their perspective on what professional means, y'know?
  223. @VReadsBooks I wonder how many folks in the community would respond with white librarian stereotypes, but it's totally worth a shot! #critlib
  224. @bembrarian True, especially if every other "professional" standard in the community adheres to those as well! #critlib
  225. A4 Early in my career I had no idea what professionalism meant. Not talked about at home. I learned through failing to be the norm. #critlib
  226. A4: Be flexible w/ definition of professionalism, which should entail thinking critically abt it & understanding it's problematic. #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905244083773468672 
  227. You know what I think... I think insecurity is toxic. If your professionalism is different from mine (& I bet it is), that's okay! #critlib
  228. A4 Librarians aren’t amateurs: just show clients/citizens you know your stuff-double prizes if you end up being called professional #critlib
  229. Define and push back on "unprofessional":
  230. A4 I'm stuck @ "interrogate yourself when you think 'unprofessional,'" am bad at teaching others. Interested in what others do #critlib
  231. @chiuchiutrain Like, question yourself about why you jumped to that conclusion? #critlib
  232. @chiuchiutrain If so, agree. Try to stop myself when I think all kinds of things & wonder: what was tt *really* about? What bias made me say that? #critlib
  233. Acceptance:
  234. @schomj But how do we promote this to non-librarians/ignorant admins we have to work with and answer to? #critlib
  235. @TheGnarrator You can't control admins/other librarians. But being unionized provides more bargaining power to reach shares expectations #critlib
  236. Valuing differences:
  237. A4: part of transforming professional to me is institutions approaching inclusion by valuing diverse work experience 1 #critlib
  238. A4: more places want librans who can work w/ diverse communities, promote SJ but only if resume looks same as every other applicant #critlib
  239. A4: ppl who can connect with new communities, practice radical empathy, bridge gaps usually won't have taken the same route 3 #critlib
  240. A4. Training? I feel like more training on diversity and mental health can't hurt. would help staff understand each other better. #critlib
  241. A4 Stretch what people expect professional library staff look/act like–unite knowledge & friendly support 4 your library community #critlib
  242. Q5. How do you represent yourself authentically in the workplace or as a job seeker while navigating organizational expectations?

  243. Communication, openness, being oneself:
  244. A5. I try to be kind, empathetic, sympathetic. But also curious. And critical with open lines of communication, friendliness. #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905246859622567937 
  245. A5: Not sure I know, except that I try to be true to myself & my values & proceed from there. TBH, length of time in a place helps. #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905246859622567937 
  246. Q5 There is a significant amount of privilege in this answer, bc I've only sought jobs while already employed, but as person who, #critlib
  247. Identifies as queer & gender non-conforming, I've just stopped apologizing. Because what I was apologizing for was my existence. #critlib
  248. I'd always gone into interviews/jobs feeling like a burden (sometimes still do), but I try hard to view the knowledge that I bring #critlib
  249. as an asset. If for no other reason than being visible to our larger campus community. #critlib
  250. Dressing for job interviews:
  251. A5 All that I can think of is how much time I spent figuring out an interview outfit... I even went SHOE SHOPPING!!! #critlib
  252. One can debate how much of that is dress expectations for librarians/job candidates and gender role expectations with clothes #critlib
  253. @metageeky I once had a colleague and good friend criticize my interview outfit for being "unprofessional". Wait, what? #critlib
  254. @abigailleigh @metageeky I'm curious what was unprofessional about it. One time I wore red shoes (OXFORDS, but the color of blood) and I think I was judged. #critlib
  255. @bembrarian @metageeky Her idea of professional dress is very blazer, dress pants, blouse. That's not me. I want to reflect who I am as much as I can. #critlib
  256. I didn't even realize how how closely professionalism and clothing/appearance were tied but wow. #critlib
  257. @metageeky Oh, the hours and hours that I have done the very same thing. It's torture. Both figuring out the outfit & shoe shopping! #critlib
  258. @TheGnarrator A5 with great difficulty, esp if you don't have $. tons of convos w LIS students re interviews on this, esp women. #critlib
  259. @TheGnarrator A5 think is especially hard applying for aclib jobs since so often there is a dinner night before. not 1 outfit but 2! #critlib
  260. @abigailleigh @bembrarian @metageeky Yes. I've usually tried to second-guess dressing for interviews in ways that could fit in whether panel was dressed up or down. #critlib
  261. @TheGnarrator A5 plus, what is it ok to wear straight off the airplane when they pick you up? breaks my heart the pain students go thru w this. #critlib
  262. @TheGnarrator I've fought w HR on this. "we cannot take them there if we want to actually RECRUIT them to our lib" #critlib
  263. @lisalibrarian Changing in the airport bathroom is a thing I have done several times. #critlib
  264. How hiring institutions treat candidates:
  265. A5 This is SO HARD to do when you are unemployed. Responsibility is on library to make candidates feel comfortable. #critlib
  266. @arellanover Maybe should revisit this conversation in another #critlib chat on hiring committees?
  267. Authenticity and pushing back as privileges:
  268. A5. As a job seeker... if you're seeking out of want, go ahead and be you If you're seeking out of need, be enthusiastically fake #critlib  https://twitter.com/TheGnarrator/status/905246859622567937 
  269. A5. Authenticity is a privilege. And that sucks, but new people (esp lgbtq+ and disabled folks) -- be careful with your self! #critlib
  270. Agreed. One way forward is to help colleagues, especially new to org, feel comfortable w/ being themselves. Foster authenticity. #critlib  https://twitter.com/schomj/status/905248622245289987 
  271. A5 So much of this is wrapped up with privilege: who has privilege to push back, to question cultural norms? #critlib
  272. @jvinopal This is a really difficult thing--when you push back against norms you can be seen as "unprofessional" but you can't break down the issues 1
  273. but you can't take on issues with professionalism without pushing against norms #critlib pic.twitter.com/Ypzu47yKyc
  274. @TheGnarrator Yeah a catch-22. And it’s takes privilege to also call attention to your calling out, which is a way to disarm defensive disagreement
  275. A5 #critlib Uhhhh, #uncomfortabletruths I kinda think I don't. I interview in whitewashed ways and wait till I see $$ to shift.
  276. A5. Already said, but authenticity is a privilege. Those with priv should help make space for others to be authentic selves too. #critlib
  277. @klthoreson That's very true. I realize how privileged I am even be able to attempt being authentic. #critlib
  278. Asking for help:
  279. A5. I've learned a lot from asking staff across the organization how they deal w situations that are emotional labor for me. #critlib
  280. Thanks for this chat:

  281. OK, we're past time on #critlib! I need a volunteer to storify! Also, thanks for so much great convo and gifs! Any one have any plugs? pic.twitter.com/beemeCVW1u
  282. @TheGnarrator Many thanks for hosting tonight's #critlib chat! Really appreciated the questions and the responses.
  283. @TheGnarrator Thank you for hosting! I haven’t been on #critlib since I started my new job. Looking forward to the next one.
  284. Thanks for moderating great #critlib chat @TheGnarrator, and to all participants. Always get inspo from these to ✊️✊️✊️.
  285. Thanks for a great chat tonight everyone and thanks to @TheGnarrator for moderating! #critlib
  286. Great #critlib tonight, thanks to @TheGnarrator for challenging questions, and to all who shared on a rather itchy topic.
  287. @TheGnarrator Also, how PROFESSIONAL is it to thank people. #relevant #critlib (But seriously. Thank you.)
  288. Afterthoughts:

  289. Sorry to have missed tonight's #critlib but so glad to read through the discussion: reflects some painful reality but also support--thanks!
  290. Catching up on some #critlib chat from last night. tbh the reading & qns made me expect more about 'the profession' than 'professionalism'.
  291. UK perspective is that it does seem possible to discuss LIS-as-profession and what that means eg. for ethics (hello @ijclark). #critlib