Archived Webinar: A Champion for All? OER and Deconstructing Vocational Awe with Fobazi Ettarh

By | February 10, 2023

As the costs for educational materials rise way above the means of most students, libraries share more and more of the burden to supply high-quality materials at little to no cost. One of the methods to assist students in that goal is Open Educational Resources (OER). As OER professionals, it becomes our mission to ‘champion’ these educational resources for academic faculty, publishers, and other professionals to integrate OER into teaching and learning. However, who is caring for these champions? Like many other library and GLAM workers, there is very little emotional, financial, and institutional support to achieve these goals. How do we as OER champions continue to provide the amazing quality services that students and academic professionals come to expect, without succumbing to the pressures that vocational awe press upon us? In this session, we will learn about vocational awe, and how it affects the field of open education, as well as beginning to learn how to deconstruct it for ourselves and our institutions. No longer should you shoulder the burden of OER without any help or support. By the end of this session, participants will have tools to make the case that championing for ourselves and our wellbeing is just as important, if not more so, than championing for our patrons.

Fobazi's headshotFobazi Ettarh’s research is concerned with the relationships and tensions between the espoused values of librarianship and the realities present in the experiences of marginalized librarians and library users. In 2018, she coined the term and defined the concept of “vocational awe,” which describes “the set of ideas, values, and assumptions librarians have about themselves and the profession that result in beliefs that libraries as institutions are inherently good and sacred, and therefore beyond critique.” In her article Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves, she describes how vocational awe can lead to burnout and a sense that one’s own self-care is less important than the work being done. Her research has been covered in numerous outlets and she consults in library and corporate contexts on labor, identity, and diversity. She is also the creator of the open-access video game Killing Me Softly: A Game About Microaggressions. You can find her on Twitter @Fobettarh.

Link to slides