Vocational Awe in Academic Librarianship: A Conversation with Fobazi Ettarh

Recorded on 07/22/2019
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 91

Vocational awe is a term Fobazi Ettarh uses to “[describe] the set of ideas, values, and assumptions librarians have about themselves and the profession that result in notions that libraries, as institutions, are inherently good.1” Though it may seem counter-intuitive that assuming a library is “inherently good” can lead to unproductive ends, Fobazi makes the case for examining the history of libraries and the stories told about them in order to understand why librarians are asked to feel inspired by their jobs, and how that inspiration isn’t always best for the librarian or the patron. In her discussion with Bill Mickey, Fobazi turns a critical eye on the library to find ways to make it better—for everyone.

About the guest:

Fobazi Ettarh
Undergraduate Success Librarian
Rutgers University, Newark

  1. Fobazi Ettarh. “Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves.” In the Library with the Lead Pipe, January 10, 2017, http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2018/vocational-awe/. Accessed July 22, 2019.