Quand bibliothécaires et usagers n’ont plus de limites: les comportements professionnels à l’épreuve du sexe et des affects

WALLON, Amandine (2019) Quand bibliothécaires et usagers n’ont plus de limites: les comportements professionnels à l’épreuve du sexe et des affects. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 259 - New Professionals with Management and Marketing.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2447
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Language: French (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

The question of love between librarians and library users is intriguing in many ways. Can a feeling related to the private sphere interfere in a professional sphere? When librarians interact with users, they must strive to maintain clear professional boundaries, especially since there may be an unequal balance of power. Considering that librarians are responsible for meeting the wants and needs of users, this can lead to ambiguity; there is a possibility/a risk of crossing the line. What is at stake in the development of a personal relationship between a librarian and a user? Should the unintentional nature of this be taken into account? Once professional boundaries crossed or exceeded, should we consider that the service being provided is necessarily undermined? The importance of the following statement has been neglected: personal interactions between librarians and users convey cognitive, affective and relational matters. It is all the more necessary to re-examine why and for what reasons librarians can engage in personal relationships with users as this issue is transgressive. Our paper points out that establishing or pursuing personal relationships with library users is a quite common phenomenon even if it seems that librarians generally prefer to ignore or avoid thinking of it. Instead, librarians should be mindful of the potential risks that personal bonds with users may have upon their work. Being clear about professional boundaries and managing within them is a key skill for all library staff. In this regard, equipping librarians with sufficient training, information and guidance seem essential.

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