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Professor Laura Giacobbe poses for headshot at Monmouth University

Specialist Librarian Giacobbe Presents on Barriers to People of Color

Laura Giacobbe, specialist librarian at the Guggenheim Memorial Library, recently presented at the Library 2.0 Worldwide Virtual Conference, featuring their third annual EDI mini-conference. This year’s conference theme was on “Individual Responsibility for Creating Belonging and Connection in the Library Profession.” Giacobbe’s presentation centered around barriers to the librarian profession for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). Her conference presentation, co-presented with Chrisler Pitts of Kean University, “Barriers to the Profession for People of Color (POC): How the Culture of Whiteness in Libraries Excludes Marginalized Groups,” received positive support from the library community.

According to Giacobbe, academic libraries in the United States have a long-standing history of having a white workforce, with women being the majority of librarians. Though the racial composition of the United States has grown more diverse, as has higher education, librarians have steadfastly remained white. Despite implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies and statements in many libraries and institutions of higher education, Giacobbe and Pitts assert that these measures do not always ensure that people of color (POC) feel a sense of belonging within the profession. This presentation aims to bring attention to the barriers that POC encounter in the field and provide recommendations for supporting and retaining BIPOC librarians. 

Watch the full presentation on YouTube.