Addressing Patron-Perpetrated Sexual Harassment: Opportunities for Intersectional Feminist and Critical Race Pedagogy and Praxis in the LIS Classroom


  • Tami Oliphant University of Alberta
  • Danielle Allard University of Alberta
  • Angela Lieu University of Alberta



It is becoming increasingly clear that sexual harassment is a serious problem within libraries. In particular, patron-perpetrated sexual harassment is the sexual harassment of library staff by the very patrons they endeavor to support. In this paper we identify and apply intersectional feminist and critical race and whiteness theories that unearth the structural underpinnings that support patron-perpetrated sexual harassment. We do so both to make this issue visible as well as to offer theoretical frameworks that might be taken up by LIS educators to address this topic within their classrooms. A comprehensive and nuanced examination of gender, race, and their intersections in LIS is necessary to recognize, name, and resist acts of gender-based violence such as patron-perpetrated sexual harassment. We call for a slow interconnected pedagogical approach that connects theory to practice, supports the use of critical theory to rigorously interpret the core values of librarianship, and is supported by the voices and perspectives of those working in libraries.

Author Biographies

Danielle Allard, University of Alberta

Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Studies

Angela Lieu, University of Alberta

MA student, Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Alberta