CRD Chair releases book
The CRD Board is proud to announce that our current Chair, Christina Steffy, has just released her first book, Librarians & Stereotypes: So, Now What? which introduces a critical perspective on the history, current knowledge, and impact of stereotypes in librarianship.
Official press release:
CRD Chair Releases Book
Christina J. Steffy releases Librarians & Stereotypes: So, Now What?
Leesport, PA – Christina J. Steffy, chair of PaLA’s College & Research Division (CRD) released her first book, Librarians & Stereotypes: So, Now What?
While other books have been written on the topic of librarians and stereotypes, most stop at explaining what stereotypes exist; most also examine stereotypes solely through the lens of librarianship. Steffy’s book uses that prior body of a knowledge as a starting point to answer the question, “So, now what do we do with this information?”
Librarians & Stereotypes: So, Now What? examines librarianship through communication, gender, psychology, anthropology, and cultural studies theories to begin to get to the root of why certain librarian stereotypes exist today and whether or not it’s possible to change some of these stereotypes. It also looks at what stereotypes librarians think exist about the field today, how librarians present themselves and whether or not this is changing (and consequently helping or hurting, the profession), and what public perceptions exist about librarianship as opposed to just what the media tells us about librarianship. An overview of stereotypes presented in the literature is provided, however the point of this book is to go beyond simply rehashing what stereotypes are there and to look at how we can use knowledge of the current stereotypes and knowledge from other disciplines to change some of these stereotypes. The book also looks at the possible impossibility of changing certain stereotypes, and possible repercussions our actions, or lack thereof, with regard to stereotypes may have on the future of the profession. Finally, tips are offered to help librarians begin to combat stereotypes.
The book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s websites.
In addition to writing this book, Steffy is the current CRD chair. She has been a CRD member since 2012 and has held various board positions. She was also a member of the editorial team for CRD’s peer reviewed, open access journal Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice (PaLRaP).
Steffy is the manager of library support services at Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, Lancaster, PA. She is also a freelance writer. Steffy graduated from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, with a Master of Library and Information Science in 2011. She also earned a B.A. English/Professional Writing in 2009 and a B.A. Speech Communications in 2006 from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.
For more information about Steffy and her book, you can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or email email@example.com.
Christina’s inspiration for the book stems from her academic interests as well as her own experiences in librarianship. “Once I became a librarian, I was really confronted with how stereotypes damage our image,” says Steffy. “Stereotypes make people think libraries don’t need funding because they are a dying business that only works with print. The idea that stereotypes could be that damaging was shocking,” she adds. Christina’s curiosity about stereotypes eventually led to more intensive research; however, she knew that she had to go beyond the simple concept of librarian stereotypes. That had already been done. “There wasn’t much out there that did anything with the information about stereotypes,” she says. Instead, Christina used her interests in communication, women’s history, and language to take the conversation one step further, exploring issues such as why stereotypes exist, whether or not we can (or should) change them, and their impact on librarians and the profession. “I started researching and thinking about this [topic], and I realized this would pull together everything in my academic and professional background,” she explains.