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Peer reviewed article: IT’S NOT IMPOSTER SYNDROME: RESISTING SELF-DOUBT AS NORMAL FOR LIBRARY WORKERS

Peer reviewed article:

IT’S NOT IMPOSTER SYNDROME: RESISTING SELF-DOUBT AS NORMAL FOR LIBRARY WORKERS

“In Brief

Library workers, as with other professions, are quick to diagnose ourselves and others with imposter syndrome when we doubt or devalue our everyday work.  However, methods of coping with imposter syndrome have changed little in the forty years since the term was first theorized, and often centre on feel-good fixes which do not address power imbalances between the sufferer and their workplace environment.  Here, I examine the origins of imposter syndrome, and identify factors often misinterpreted as imposter syndrome but which are instead the product of oppressions such as precarious labour, racism, and sexism.  By unpacking how oppression and gaslighting shapes a workplace environment, we can then alleviate individuals with imposter syndrome of sole responsibility for their own healing, and hold institutions and managers accountable for the conditions they help to perpetuate.

NB:  I use the terms “library workers”, “staff”, and “employees” interchangeably, to denote people who work in libraries at all levels. Library workers who are volunteers, interns, students, or precariously-employed grapple with imposter syndrome as much as or more than workers who are formally credentialled with an MLIS degree or who benefit from social credibility through their age, gender, or race.”

Posted on: June 11, 2020, 6:20 am Category: Uncategorized