FIMS Publications

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Book Chapter

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The Feminist Reference Desk: Concepts, Critiques, and Conversations

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The lyric scholarship of Canadian poet-scholars such as Jan Zwicky, Anne Carson, and Kathleen McConnell provides space for literary, analytic, and artistic critique of library reference practice and interactions. Lyric scholarship is a poetic and methodological tool that is used here to interrogate the dependence-driven customer service model embedded in women-dominated service professions, while gesturing toward alternatives that cultivate inter-dependence, independence, and equity. Significant portions of this piece are structured to evoke Zwicky’s Wisdom & Metaphor, in which the author’s own verses live on the left, mirroring and responding to quotes from other writers and thinkers on the right. The performative, call-and-response potential of lyric scholarship is used here to create dialogue across the centre margin of the page (a reflection of the reference desk itself), challenging conventional practices of library reference and instruction.

Citation of this paper:

Gilroy, Corinne, and Alex Hanam. “The Creature Questions its Reflection: Lyrical Feminist Explorations of Reference Desk Interactions.” The Feminist Reference Desk: Concepts, Critiques, and Conversations, edited by Maria T. Accardi. Library Juice Press, Sacramento, CA, 2017.