For the past five years, I have been working on writing about librarianship and motherhood and what happens when they collide.
This work has all been happening in my brain, I’ve been archiving and filing, pondering and musing, and consolidating my own experiences with my values and beliefs and the experiences of my friends and colleagues. I’ve also been reading up on the literature. I’ve slowly begun to save what I’ve found, so I can share it with you.
Many things happen when librarianship and motherhood collide. Many wonderful and life-affirming, many disheartening and disappointing. However, shit happens. And whatever order you did it in – perhaps motherhood before librarianship – you’d have an experience to recall.
I’d like to share some of my findings with you.
I want to write about the collision of parenthood and librarianship because I strongly believe, this topic is close to many of us and concerns many of us in the profession. My intention, like Gallin-Parisi (2015), is to, “inspire an honest conversation about this topic within the profession”. I also want this to be an open conversation.
You should be free to speak your mind, wherever your opinion aligns, or even if – especially if – it doesn’t align with anyone.
Around a couple of years ago, I started up this folder collating all these articles on librarianship and motherhood. A few articles about faculty status and parenthood are there, a few with a feminist slant, one that talks about a thing called ‘income penalty’, and others. One is titled, “Q: I am starting to think about having children. How do I start a dialogue with the people I work with, and with my supervisor?”
I read and found that the literature abounds on negative and corrosive discussions about the stress of doing both roles, and doing them well.
My question is: Do you want to talk about this?
Gallin-Parisi, A. (2015). The Joy of combining librarianship with motherhood. Retrieved from
Bedoya, J. et al. (2015). How to hack it as a working parent. Retrieved from
Andersen, M. (2011). Power of choice: Problems with a female-dominated profession. Retrieved from