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Call for book chapter proposals
(Please share with your professional networks)

This is a call for chapter proposals for a new, forthcoming book with planned publication by Routledge tentatively titled Dysfunction in Libraries and LIS: Perspectives and Experiences from Europe and Australia

The book editor, Spencer Acadia, recently completed a soon-to-be-released book (also by Routledge) titled Libraries as Dysfunctional Organizations and Workplaces. In that book, authors from the United States and Canada discuss workplace dysfunction in the North American library context. Indeed, emerging anecdotal evidence and survey/interview research suggests that North American libraries today face an overwhelming problem of internal dysfunction. That is, libraries do well at managing external information and attending to external stakeholders, but they fail at taking care of themselves internally.

The next book on this topic seeks to expand the geography of dysfunction related to library and information sciences (LIS) and libraries beyond Canada and the United States. As such, the editor seeks proposals whose chapters will advance discourse on dysfunction in libraries as workplaces, and within LIS as a discipline and profession, for Europe and Australia (New Zealand will also be considered) via:

  • Specific topics facing LIS and libraries today (see some examples below)

  • Specific theories informed by sociology, psychology, organizational studies, and critical theory/thought that help explain dysfunction

  • Specific projects and analyses that indicate evidence of LIS and library dysfunction

  • Specific solutions used to address and reduce dysfunctional outcomes

Examples of topics related to library and LIS dysfunction include but are not limited to:

  • Turnover and problems with retention and succession planning

  • Lack of effective mentoring, onboarding, and socialization

  • Racism, sexism, ableism, LGBTQ+ discrimination, micro-/macro-aggression, and stereotyping

  • Workplace incivility, mistreatment, conflict, violence, lack of collegiality, office politics, and power dynamics

  • Bullying, mobbing, and sexual harassment (e.g., by peers, supervisors, conference attendees, etc.)

  • Problems with hierarchical organization

  • Problems with tenure in academic libraries

  • Feelings of burnout, stress, and work overload

  • Fear of negative evaluation and problems with evaluation of personnel

  • Toxic leadership, poor management, and inaction of leaders to address problems

  • Poor communication and lack of information sharing across departments

  • Poor recruitment practices

  • De-professionalization

  • Contingent and precarious employment (e.g., part-time, short-term, and temporary positions)

  • Low morale, low job satisfaction, disillusionment, and disengagement

  • Emotional labor and compassion fatigue

  • Negligence of LIS schools to fully prepare their graduates to work in libraries

  • Lack of interest and dedication among LIS schools and LIS organizations to address library dysfunction

  • Discouraging LIS job market

  • Corruption and unethical practices in LIS professional organizations

  • Turning to social media (e.g., Twitter, blogs, etc.) to voice complaints and draw attention to unsatisfactory work environments and workplace experiences

  • ... and other topics not listed here (contact editor to discuss)

Also welcome are proposals for chapters that are extensive and thorough reviews of published LIS literature on dysfunction topics focused on individual countries in Europe and/or European regions, as well as Australia (New Zealand will also be considered).

All chapters should also aim to suggest ways to improve dysfunctional workplaces and environments (e.g., solutions, frameworks, best practices, etc.). 

To submit a proposal for consideration, email the following to the editor, Spencer Acadia (, in a single document:

  1. A working title of your proposed chapter

  2. Your name, email address, and institutional affiliation, along with those of any co-authors

  3. An abstract of no more than 500 words describing your proposed chapter

  4. A short bio for yourself and any co-authors

Only proposals pertaining to library and LIS dysfunction in European, Australian, and New Zealand locations will be considered. Authors may reside anywhere in the world, but proposals must demonstrate knowledge of dysfunction related to libraries and LIS contexts within these geographies.

Authors of accepted proposals will be asked to write a high-quality book chapter intended for professional and scholarly audiences worldwide in English and between 4,500 to 7,500 words. Citation style is APA 7th edition. All text files must be compatible with Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx preferred).

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