At the Academy of Management (AOM) Annual Meeting in August, School of Public Policy (SPP) faculty Deneen Hatmaker co-chaired the Public and Nonprofit Division Plenary Session “Navigating censorship: Workers at the Front Line,” along with colleagues Russell Hassan from the Ohio State University and Amy E. Smith from the University of Massachusetts Boston. The panelists, Erynn Beaton (Ohio State University), Maura Deedy (Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners), Ra’Shaun Nalls (Harvard University), and James E. Wright II (Florida State University), discussed how censorship and restrictions on intellectual freedom manifest in organizations and professions and what this means for public and nonprofit workers. The panel addressed how essential workers navigate these challenges while serving constituents, maintaining their professional values and working towards their organizational mission.
Deneen is also currently working with Russell Hassan and Amy E. Smith on a research project focused on public librarians. Responding to challenges and requests for materials reconsideration has become a central part of public librarians’ professional life. This added workload, coupled with the sometimes contentious and very public interactions with community members, creates tensions for public librarians trying to fulfill their professional role, the library’s mission, and public service goals. Deneen and her colleagues are interested in understanding the effects on public librarians’ professional identity, wellbeing, and intentions to leave their job.