Affective Labor, Resistance, and the Academic Librarian

Given the ongoing and increasing machinization of immaterial modes of production, an attention to the affective nature and labor of technology in life and work and the ways in which it also impacts human subjectivity and gender seems a fruitful new line of inquiry for feminist thinkers concerned with labor issues. If we take up a call to arms to think about life and work  and  the  subjects  we  wish  to  become,  how  might  new  technologies  enhance, augment, or limit our feminist political desires for subjectivities free from domination? In the context of the academic library, how does the disruption of the digital library allow us to rethink and revalorize the subjectivity of the librarian?

Sloniowski, Lisa. “Affective Labor, Resistance, and the Academic Librarian“, Library Trends, Vol. 64, No. 4, 2016 (“Reconfiguring Race, Gender, and Sexuality,” edited by Emily Drabinski and Patrick Keilty), pp. 645–666.

The Library As Map

We are careful selectors, nowhere
near the “save everything” end of the
continuum. What’s most interesting
to us is to build our own very specific
collection, and in doing so model
ways of collection-building that could
be useful to other people. We want
to embody the idea that everyone can
be their own archivist. If more people
carefully chose a collection of evidence
to save, then there would be less of
a need for people to save everything.
Libraries like ours can be built by
anyone, anywhere. We do have a
particular collecting strategy, but we
are just two people.