We're Not Libraries; We're People: Identity and Emotional Labor in Providing Face-to-Face Services in Libraries
Oberlies, Mary K.
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In this chapter, we explore how professional service expectations outlined in the LBR can come into conflict with the personal identities of public services library workers, focusing on how gender and race affect the amount of emotional labor needed to meet these expectations. We conducted a national survey of library workers who provide public services in a variety of library settings and in different positions. Through quantitative analysis of the survey data, we examined the distribution of emotional labor across race, ethnicity, and gender identity. Survey comments then highlight specific experiences and feelings about providing public services. All together, the data demonstrate a disparity in the amount of emotional labor performed, with women of color (WOC) bearing the bulk of this burden.