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ERIC Number: ED550875
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 367
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-0086-7
Reading in Mirrors: Using Street Literature to Facilitate Practitioner Inquiry with Urban Public Service Librarians
Irvin Morris, Vanessa
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
This dissertation is about a group of African American inner-city public librarians who, over the course of 16 months, read the literary genre Street Lit in an inquiry-based book club for the purpose of professional development. I explore their literary responses to Street Literature to learn what it means to be an educated, African American literacy professional in inner-city settings. This study was designed to understand what happens when librarians read what their patrons read as a form of practitioner inquiry to inform their professional practices as Black librarians. The Librarians' Book Club comprised of a group of 8 African American librarians who met once a month, for a three-hour long book club meeting at a private home to discuss one or two titles that represented Street Literature across a historical literary continuum. This means that the group read canonical works with Street Lit themes as well as contemporary iterations of the genre. Using Practitioner Inquiry as a methodological framework, I collected data from various sources including book club discourse, field notes, reaction sheets, librarian journals, and interviews. The data revealed that the librarians' primary response to reading Street Literature was that they personally related the stories and characters to their own lived lives. This relating factor was the foundation upon which other reading responses emerged including whether they liked or disliked a novel or character, or if they found the text to be quality literature or not. Their reading responses revealed ways in which the librarians unpacked, questioned and transformed their perceptions towards their library patrons as well as how they began to modify their approaches to professional practice in the library such that they were more invested and involved in community life. My own practitioner inquiry as a participant/observer in the Librarians' Book Club informed my professional practice as a library and information science (LIS) educator as I learned how to more gently regard my students' reading habits and effectively apply the Librarians' Book Club to my pedagogical practices in the LIS classroom as a means to encourage pre-service librarians to be active readers of what the patrons read as part of their professional identity. The primary implications of this research is that urban public librarians' professional identities are empowered when they approach their professional practice from an inquiry-based model where questions can be raised and strategically explored for the purpose of professional development. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A