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Based on the data from the Visible Minority Librarians of Canada Network (ViMLoC) 2021 Survey, this research examined the leadership roles held by Chinese Canadian librarians and their perceptions of inclusivity of work climate, job satisfaction, and race as a career barrier. Their encounters with racial microaggressions and mentorship experience were also explored. Of the 38 respondents, 79% (n=30) were in non-management positions. 82% (n=31) felt very satisfied or satisfied with their jobs; however, their work climate was not found to be inclusive to all respondents. 87% (n=33) indicated that race was a barrier to their career. Fisher’s exact tests were run to compare the management group and non-management group. The results showed that those in management positions were less satisfied with their jobs and less likely to feel free to express their views openly. They experienced various forms of racial microaggressions. Nearly half of the respondents sought mentoring support and two-thirds of them found mentorship extremely helpful or very helpful. To increase representation in librarianship, library school students and first-generation immigrants of Chinese descent need to be inspired to enter librarianship and reach higher professional goals. Chinese librarians would benefit from leadership programs tailored to minority librarians in Canada.


This article was originally published in International Journal of Librarianship, 8(2) © 2023 by Yanli Li.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright 2023 International Journal of Librarianship