Upcoming Lecture: Librarians’ Imprint: History of the Libraries at Victoria University


I will be giving a lecture on my current research project about the history of Victoria University Library.

Here is a brief synopsis of the content:

My current project analyzes the library as a site of institutional memory. Charlotte Linde extends Pierre Nora’s influential exploration of 'lieux de mémoire' to argue that buildings and other spatially defined places are 'sites of memory' that contribute to the shaping of a coherent, institutional tradition and identity. Linde’s approach shifts the focus on the library from a repository of books and provider of academic services and study spaces to an institutional workplace with collective experiences and memories. Victoria librarians established both general and special collections, catalogued and classified books and other materials, curated exhibitions, produced scholarly publications, provided leadership during strenuous and transformative times, and thus made distinct intellectual contributions to the institutional prestige of Victoria University.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, October 24th, at 2:00 pm, at the Alumni Hall, Victoria College.

Presentation at the GSIC Colloquium

Claude T. Bissell Building.
140 St. George Street, Toronto.

I will be presenting a research paper at the Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies Colloquium at the University of Toronto Faculty of Information (my alma mater) on October 18th, 2014, at 3:15 pm. The one-day conference is sponsored by Library Juice Press.

The title of my essay is “Professionalization and Gender Stratification in Librarianship: An Historical Perspective” and it deals with my favourite subject—history of women in the development of library science education. Here is the abstract: 

Professionalization of librarianship is an historical trend situated in the intersections of gender, prestige, hierarchy, and professional education. Many library leaders sought to professionalize and establish librarianship as a recognized, socially relevant profession by advocating for formal library science education programs in universities in the late 1920s. Their efforts, while advancing librarianship in some aspects, also led to creating a gendered structure in the work of librarians and in marginalizing the scholarly advances of library science faculty.

Essentially, my paper (which is yet to be written) will examine how the notion of professionalism in librarianship has evolved over the years (what did it mean to be a librarian in the 1920s? ’60s?) and its implications for the education and the professional standing of librarians.