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“This Actually Happened”: An Analysis of Librarians’ Responses to a Survey about Racial Microaggressions




Alabi, Jaena


Racial microaggressions are subtle, derogatory messages conveyed to people of color. While often delivered unconsciously, these persistent and pervasive negative messages can have devastating effects on individuals and organizations. In an effort to investigate academic librarians’ experiences and observations of racial microaggressions, a survey was sent to three ACRL listservs in the spring of 2011. In a preliminary analysis of the 129 comments left by survey participants, seven themes were identified: microassaults, microinsults, microinvalidations, environmental microaggressions, uncertainty or racism not observed, being excluded or isolated, and implications for recruitment and retention.