Keynote Address

Authority Is Constructed: Navigating Power and Leadership in Context

Allison Jennings-RocheLead Teaching and Learning Librarian, Towson University
Michael Shochet – Interim Dean/Associate Director of Reference Services and Faculty Affairs, University of Baltimore

From servant leadership to critical pedagogy, library workers can struggle to navigate leadership, authority, and power while still staying true to our inclusive principles. In this session, presenters will discuss the parallels between the way libraries serve their community and the way (good) leaders serve the staff with whom they work. Good leadership comes from within and can only be cultivated through intentional reflective practices and the willingness to have hard conversations. Participants will be encouraged to wrestle with how they experience (and wield) authority in their libraries and communities.


Allison Jennings-Roche, MA, MLIS is the Lead Teaching & Learning Librarian for Towson University and a PhD Candidate in Information Studies at the University of Maryland. She has professional experience in public libraries, archives, academic libraries, student affairs, and undergraduate teaching. Her research interests include information policy, advocacy, and ethics; rhetoric; and intellectual freedom; as well as critical information literacy and inclusive leadership. Allison’s research has been published in The Political Librarian, Library QuarterlyExploring Inclusive & Equitable Pedagogies: Creating Space for All Learners, Volume 2 by ACRL Press, and is forthcoming in the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy. Her work has been presented at ALA Annual, ACRL, MLA/DLA, other library and writing conferences, and in invited workshops for EveryLibrary Institute, Lyrasis, and Library Journal.

Michael Shochet has worked at the University of Baltimore since 2004 where he has served as Systems/Reference Librarian, Head of Reference, and Associate Director first at the Langsdale Library and now at the RLB Library. Starting in August, he will begin a new role as Interim Dean of the RLB Library. Michael is also an affiliate faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences, having taught 3-credit classes on Information Literacy and an Interdisciplinary Studies capstone. Michael recently earned a certificate in Open Educational Practices and will be presenting on facilitating student creation of content at the American Political Science Association’s annual conference. He also has recently earned a certificate in Servant Leadership from the Greenleaf Academy at Seton Hall.


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