Soliciting performance, hiding bias: Whiteness and librarianship

Despite the growing body of research on our professional demographics and multi-year diversity initiatives, librarianship in the United States remains overwhelmingly white. I suggest the interview process is a series of repetitive gestures designed to mimic and reinforce white middle-class values, which ultimately influence the hiring decisions—and relative lack of diversity—of librarianship as a whole. I consider how the whiteness of librarianship may manifest long before the hiring process. By identifying and interrogating the body of white, middle-class values inherent to both librarianship and professional job searching, I offer suggestions to encourage an authentically diverse pool of applicants.

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