Invisible labor has increasingly come to light in the library profession. “Invisible labor” is a concept from feminist scholarship and related disciplines that refers to work that frequently receives little or no recognition or monetary rewards but is crucial to obtaining and/or retaining the job or furthering one’s career. Although all of our core library competencies are put to use daily, most remain invisible, especially to library users and other potential library supporters like legislators and policy makers. In this panel discussion, two separate research groups—composed of both practicing librarians and LIS researchers and educators—will discuss what invisible labor is and how it manifests in library work. After each speaker presents a short overview of their diverse methods and some surprising findings on invisible labor, the session will continue with a conversation about the impact of invisible labor in library work and potential methods for surfacing and communicating the value of this traditionally unrecognized labor. The discussion will include interactive opportunities for audience questions and comments to steer the conversation.
Upon completion, participants will be able to define the concept of invisible labor.
Upon completion, participants will be able to identify instances of invisible labor in library settings.
Upon completion, participants will be able to describe various techniques that may be used to uncover and communicate the value of invisible labor in their organization.