Archive for the ‘Librarianship’ Category

2012 Rainbow Book List

August 13, 2012

Every January the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table and Social Responsibilities Round Table join forces to create the Rainbow Book List. A carefully selected bibliography of high-quality books with diverse GLBTQ content, the Rainbow Book List is targeted at readers between 0-18 years of age.

I’ve looked over the 2012 Rainbow Book List and just from the titles alone am impressed with the selection. As a queer librarian who came out in my late teens it gives me great joy that resources like these exist. Anyone interested in checking out past lists can go here and find lists dating back to 2008.


Networked New York

March 8, 2012

I wish I had found out about this conference earlier – I just happened to see it on the great blog NYU Workshop in Archival Practice! Titled “Networked New York,” it’s advertised as a conference on “material, literary, and digital connections in the city.” It’s free and open to the public and will take place tomorrow, March 9th, in the Great Room of 19 University Place.

The panels look fascinating, and I really wish I could see the keynote- a presentation by Marvin Taylor (Director, Fales Library & Special Collections) called “Playing the Field: Thoughts about Social Networks and the New York Downtown Arts Scene.”

If you go please give me a recap afterward! 🙂

Repositories of Primary Sources

February 21, 2012

Anyone looking for primary source materials housed in archives across the world is in luck, as the website Repositories of Primary Sources will be your free research matchmaker! The site lists 5000+ websites which describe “holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs, and other primary sources for the research scholar.”

The repositories are divided by geographical location — as far as I could see there is no search function. This project is really useful and the fact that it doesn’t cost anything to use is much appreciated. Other sites like Archive Finder require a subscription.


“Out of the Attic and Into the Stacks”

February 7, 2012

My blogging buddy Anna- the feminist librarian– just informed me about the event of my dreams — Out of the Attic and Into the Stacks: Feminism and LIS: the Unconference. According to Anna’s blog the unconference  will be a “meeting of practitioners, scholars and aspirants in the field of library and information studies to explore feminism as theory, boundary, ecology, method,flavor, relationship, and epistemology — among others.”

It will take place at the University of Milwaukee from March 9-11th.  I’m really disappointed that I can’t attend- especially given the fact that I will be in the Midwest two days later for a different library conference!

The registration fee is very reasonable – $25!  Anyone interested in attending can sign up here.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries

January 30, 2012

My friend Charlotte just sent me a resource which is going to come in extremely handy in my work as a  librarian and could also possibly be useful to you, reader! Its a free downloadable document called the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries,  and it was published earlier this month by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

According to the ARL website, the Code’s purpose includes answering copyright/fair use questions such as (and I quote):

  • When and how much copyrighted material can be digitized for student use? And should video be treated the same way as print?
  • How can libraries’ special collections be made available online?
  • Can libraries archive websites for the use of future students and scholars

In order to obtain the necessary information for the report the Code’s research team interviewed dozens of academic and research librarians. It makes me really pleased that ARL made this detailed document freely accessible to anyone!

P.S. This 10 page FAQ for librarians on copyright is quite handy, too!

Hack Library School

January 17, 2012

I really, really wish that the blog Hack Library School had existed when I was in library school. Anyone either currently in library school or interested in a career in Library and Information Science should definitely check out this excellent blog, billed as “by, for and about library school students.” Inspiration for the blog stems from this 2010 article written by Micah Vandegrift for the blog In the Library with the Lead Pipe. Check out this corresponding video, too:

Hack Library School is updated very frequently, at least several times per week, and also boasts an extensive list of other library-related blogs to check out. The blog invites people to “participate in the redefinitions of library school using the web as a collaborative space outside of any specific university or organization. “

American Libraries publication

January 12, 2012

Over two years ago I interned at Brooklyn College with Barnaby Nicolas under the leadership of professor/librarian Beth Evans. This was my first experience interning at an academic library as a graduate student – my only other library position had been a work-study job in the Interlibrary Loan department of my undergraduate library.

During the internship Beth suggested that the three of us plus another intern apply to present a poster at the 2010 National Diversity in Libraries Conference, held at Princeton University. We created a presentation based upon our experiences at Brooklyn College, calling  it A Few Drops Wrought a Ripple Effect: A Diverse Pool of Interns Offers Short-Term Staffing Solutions and Long-Term Benefits for New Professionals and the Library.

The poster session was a success, and after the conference Beth, Barnaby, and I decided to write an article on the importance of diversifying the library profession from the internship level onward. This article – entitled Reflecting Our Communities – was published by American Libraries online yesterday, and will be printed in the January/February issue.

Women Artists Archives National Directory

January 6, 2012

It seems to me that Rutgers University somehow has an endless supply of stellar women’s/gender/queer studies online resources. Most recently I heard about Women Artists Archives National Directory (WAAND). WAAND is a web directory of archival collections of primary source materials by women visual artists. The artists featured in the directory are based in the United States and their work spans from 1945 through the present.

Site visitors can either browse the entire directory (1000+ collections listed) or search library-catalog-style. This is an example of one search record — the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, found by a keyword search I did for one of my favorite artists, Eleanor Antin.  Records will provide all of the information you will need to access the collections.

Future Librarian Forum

January 3, 2012

Are you a library school student? Or think you might be one someday? If you answered “yes” to either of these two questions, come to the Future Librarian Forum on January 22 from 2-4PM at Bluestockings!
This event will feature 4 library workers – Kate Angell, Aliqae Geraci, Heather Halliday, and Rebecca Shows – speaking about their various backgrounds in academia, public libraries, special libraries, and archives.
Each person will speak briefly on their educational and professional experiences – the presentations will be followed by a lengthy period of discussion on anything and everything library-related!

Interview with Aliqae Geraci, Part 2

December 15, 2011

3. K: I frequently meet NYC-based librarians and library students interested in participating in library-focused activism. What are some steps you would recommend for them to take to get involved?

A: I would definitely say to go to every library networking event in NYC – Meet Ups, ULU meetings, Radical Reference meetings, Desk Set mixers…  you’ll see how close-knit the NYC library world is. Get on listservs too, but show your face and talk to people. Despite the cynicism of the future, librarians love their jobs and are always happy to talk to someone new.

Get off the Internet and go talk to people face to face. Lots of established people in the profession aren’t hanging around on social websites, and they’ll be your most valuable mentors. Make sure you’re talking to multiple people in different stages of their career – ask people if they’ll mentor you. REACH!

4. K: If you’re scheduled to go to a protest or other event in the middle of a downpour or snowstorm, what do you think about to inspire you to brave the weather in order to attend?

A: I’m from upstate New York so I know how to put on some layers. This year I thought about all of the workers in Wisconsin who stood outside for 20 days in the winter. We need a willingness to experience minor discomfort to stand up for each other, to take such a minimal level of personal risk, or we’re never going to be able to change.

If you keep finding excuses to not dissent or take a stand, if you’re not willing to take a risk, or are afraid of damaging your professional reputation, then you really can’t be surprised with what you get. Find your boundaries and push them and keep pushing them. I think we don’t have enough of that in the library world – to take personal and professional risks.

Suburban Blight #10

5.  K: At this point in history both labor unions and libraries are targets of major financial cutbacks and are also constantly forced to justify the legitimacy of their existence. I would love to hear your opinion on possible partnerships that could be forged between labor and library workers/activists to protect their jobs and peoples’ right to utilize their industry’s services.

A: I think a lot about labor in the library world and how it affects the general trajectory. Unfortunately lots of attacks on library workers are coming from libraries themselves – from the administration, funding sources , etc. to cut labor costs. Whether it’s justified to provide service and staffing is irrelevant, as it has a concrete and chilling effect on the living standards of library workers and the ability of the profession to maintain itself as a respected and sustainable occupational choice.

We may have a million library school students glutting the labor pool, but unfortunately this is justified to create contingent and part-time workers. Even though new workers have a MLIS [Master of Library and Information Science] they may not be treated as real librarians.

Lots of library discourse says we’re being de-professionalized because libraries are using paraprofessionals to replace librarians, but that’s not the whole story. Clerical workers are fired first when cuts happen – librarians can do every job, they can work down. Libraries are moving toward relinquishing full-time staff and instead having an army of part-time and contingent workers. We’ll see more of this as Baby Boomers retire, with every institution that can – or there will be an army of library school students created as a free labor force.

Only 30% of librarians are unionized. Huge chunks are in right-to-work states and can’t form unions. Academic librarians may or may not be able to join a union because of shitty labor law. Zero national bodies exist to address concerns of library workers – ALA [American Library Association] represents libraries, not librarians.

Since there aren’t any national (or regional) bodies we have to fight our own battles, to fashion something resembling careers. This is getting harder and harder. There’s very little ability to join forces and challenge this on a professional basis. I believe that ‘s what unions do, but unfortunately existing labor law doesn’t allow us to form a national body. I think we should still do it, but I don’t know how it will be done.

Until we can build some kind of national or regional organization or form a federation to advocate for and represent library workers as employees, we are never going to solve large labor issues in library work. Every victory we get will be a local, isolated victory.

I fucking hate LSSI [Library Systems and Services, a private company which some libraries have hired to manage their services in an outsourcing framework] and privatization – it’s a threat to the very core of public libraries and we should all be fighting it tooth and nail, as well as fight the neo-liberal plan to destroy libraries.

6. If you could have dinner with 3 activists (living or dead) and after dinner listen to an album and read a zine together, who/what would you choose?

A: 3 activists: Naomi Klein, Barbara Fister, and Elaine Brown. Album: Team Dresch’s Captain, My Captain. Zine: Xtra Tuf.