Thriving as a Mid-Career Librarian: Identity, Advocacy, and Pathways

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Mid-career librarianship looks different for everyone. Maybe you’ve worked in libraries for ten years, or you’re halfway to retirement. Maybe you’ve reached the highest level of a hierarchy you care to reach. Most of the literature about mid-career librarianship tends to focus on advancing to leadership or administration, but many of us are more concerned with how to continue to grow professionally without moving upward; how to make decisions about staying in an institution (or the profession); sustaining yourself amid burnout, constant change, wage compression, or even boredom; and navigating cultures of white supremacy, patriarchy, and hierarchy.

In four sections, Thriving as a Mid-Career Librarian collects the experiences of mid-career librarians as they grapple with these questions and the roles that marginalized perspectives, intersectionality, and privilege have played in their careers:

  • Section 1: Staying Engaged in Your Career
  • Section 2: The Role of Identity in Shaping Mid-career Librarianship
  • Section 3: Being Your Own Advocate
  • Section 4: To Lead or Not to Lead? 

Chapters explore maintaining engagement and avoiding burnout; informal mentorships; the doctorate; union stewardship; addressing incivility; post-tenure fatigue; balancing ambition, personal fulfillment, and life; and much more.

It can feel like everything gets harder, more political, and further under-resourced with each passing year. Thriving as a Mid-Career Librarian offers strategies of community, support, and advocacy that can help make it possible for us to thrive and help others to thrive. At mid-career, we may not have the same bright-eyed enthusiasm we possessed as new information professionals, but we have other things: the contributions we make to our communities and the wealth of experience we have built up since those days.

Imprint: ACRL

Published: 2023

Pages: 358

Sku: 9780838939413

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