May 22, 2022

New Article: “The Shock of the Familiar: Three Timelines about Gender and Technology in the Library”

The following article appears in Digital Humanities Quarterly (Vol 9, No.2; 2015).


The Shock of the Familiar: Three Timelines about Gender and Technology in the Library


Gabrielle Dean
Johns Hopkins University


Digital Humanities Quarterly
Vol 9, No 2; 2015


Widespread ideals about libraries are in conflict with deep-rooted gender-based inequities within the library and gendered perceptions of libraries and librarians by the larger public. These contradictions are particularly striking when we look at gender in conjunction with information technologies that help to structure work-roles in the library, especially as these change. This article uses conventional and “fictional” timelines to survey the historical junctures of gender and technology in the library and to speculate about the future of the academic library, with particular attention to deployments of the digital humanities in the library and its potential for disrupting these long-standing gender patterns.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.