Meet G Trupp, graduate assistant for the school librarian licensure program

G Trupp

In the spring, MS/LIS student and school librarian licensure program graduate assistant G Trupp will graduate from the school librarian licensure program, having received their master's, an Illinois Professional Teaching License, and in-depth experience working among other library information specialists. Trupp enrolled in the iSchool with a focus on public libraries and archives but, after working at a school library as a library assistant, decided to switch to the school librarian licensure program. This program gave them the skills to serve young people in library spaces and helped them prepare for a future career as a middle school librarian.

During their time in the program, Trupp continued to explore their interest in digital spaces and in creating meaningful in-person communities. With much of our lives represented in online spaces, Trupp is curious about how people interact within these spaces, and how that translates to in-person experiences. More importantly, they believe in pushing for justice in the information professions so that library spaces can more positively impact and benefit both library workers and patrons.

"There is a lot of potential for our profession to create revolutionary, loving community spaces and services, and work to address the harm that library spaces have been perpetuating for so long," they said.

Oppressive systems in the United States have historically marginalized people who were not white, heterosexual, cis-gender, able-bodied, Christian, etc. As a result, physical and digital library spaces have also excluded marginalized groups of people, which is why Trupp advocates for change against these exclusionary systems.

"People who don't have those identities were erased from library spaces or misrepresented, if included at all. [This bias has existed in] everything from the way marginalized people are described in library catalogs and archives to whether they were even allowed into library buildings. Unless we make active efforts to fight the ways oppression is entrenched in these systems, we're just going to perpetuate them,” they said.

Trupp recognizes that these spaces have perpetuated harm but believes in the potential to create safer spaces for people in the future. As a middle school librarian, part of their role in changing harmful library spaces is to create inclusive cataloging descriptions with accurate language understood by students and ensuring that marginalized students are seen, represented, and respected in the library. They also participate in larger conversations about diversity, inclusivity, and identity in librarianship to make the field more just for everyone. They also just received a $5,000 grant from the Escondido Education Foundation to bring more fiction and non-fiction written by marginalized authors into their school library.

"I want to create an intentional, welcoming, community space in my new role, and all of my experiences in this program have really informed how I do that work," they said.

Trupp is also on the writing team for the group The League of Awesome Librarians and has co-authored a chapter in Trans and Gender Diverse Voices in LIS from Litwin books and Library Juice Press, forthcoming in 2022. In their free time, they like to make fabric, watercolor, and digital art.

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