Your data is invalid: Collecting data on sex, gender, and sexuality

I've written previously about how I've acquired knowledge through my lived experiences with gender that I believe makes me a better information professional. One example of this is my experiences participating in research in which I am marginalised and erased because of my gender history. This makes me aware of the ways in which the resulting datasets fail to capture the experiences of trans and gender diverse (TGD) research participants, which means that the TGD population are not represented by and do not benefit from the outcomes of that research. Because of these experiences, I am inclined to centre the interests of research participants, communities, and society in my data curation practice.
Read More

Don't judge a homeless book by its cover

The following is a guest post by my dear friend and found family member, who is an Aspiring Librarian. We met at synagogue and bonded over the fact that we were marginalised within our religious community as men who are attracted to men, while also being marginalised within the gay community due to having chronic health conditions and disabilities. During the time I've known Aspiring Librarian, he became homeless and lived for some time in a refuge. Within the last year I encountered a couple of cases of librarians asking questions about delivering services to people who are experiencing homelessness. Knowing that Aspiring Librarian is a passionate self-taught learner, avid reader, and regular library patron, I suspected he might have some opinions to share on the subject, so offered to give him a platform to do so here.
Read More

Teshuvah

We recently passed through a significant period in the Jewish calendar. The High Holy Days are a time for reflection and atonement. We think back over the previous twelve months, honestly own our missteps and failures, and make practical and spiritual reparations. This year, one of the moral and spiritual failures I found myself reflecting on and atoning for was a professional one.
Read More

Transgender knowledge and archival practice

I recently read an article by T.L. Cowan and Jasmine Rault entitled ''Onlining queer acts: Digital research ethics and caring for risky archives''. In this article, Cowan and Rault discuss the ethics of digitising material relating to queer arts communities and making it available online and the need to incorporate transgender epistemologies into research ethics. I found myself feeling enraged reading the article, not because I fundamentally disagree with anything Cowan and Rault are saying, but because it only gets taken seriously when it gets written up and published in an academic journal. I feel like I've known the things that Cowan and Rault are saying for a long time and use that knowledge to inform my professional practice. But I know those things in the wrong way, which means I can't express them publicly, or if I do try to express them I do so in the wrong way and am punished for it.
Read More

Imposter syndrome, gender dysphoria, and patriarchy

Nicola Andrews' recent article ''It's not imposter syndrome: Resisting self-doubt as normal for library workers'' in In The Library With The Lead Pipe resonated with me. It got me thinking about the way my male privilege combines with my transgender history to leave me in a state of perpetual self doubt that is invisible to and unsupported by my professional environment.
Read More