Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in a new series featuring a weekly round-up of interesting articles, blog posts, tweets, news, thoughts, and other tidbits related to the world of library school. Enjoy!
The Slate Book Review article, “Against YA,” caused quite a stir when it came out on June 5, 2014, in the wake of the movie version of The Fault in Our Stars. Librarians and other fans had plenty to say on Facebook and Twitter, and articles and YA-for-adults lists abounded. A YA author responded with, “A Young Adult Author’s Fantastic Crusade to Defend Literature’s Most Maligned Genre.” What do you think?
Oh, Slate! I enjoyed Lauren Davis’ article, “Really? Are We Still Genre Shaming People for the Books They Like?” as well as the rebuttal from Modern Mrs. Darcy, one of my favorite blogs, “Slate, you are drunk. Adults should be reading YA.” As future librarians, I think it’s important to respect the reading choices of all of our patrons. In an age where the average book consumption is low, any read is a victory. I happen to enjoy a variety of genres and it’s common for me to go from non-fiction gems like this or this to YA to chick lit to classics. A book is a book is a book.
New Tumblr Alert: Bearded Librarians!
A relevant article for Netflix-lovers (the premiere of season 2 of Orange is the New Black - a series set in a women’s prison – was last Friday): Jill A. Grunenwald’s “Orange is the new academia,” in the June 2014 issue of College & Research Libraries News [you may need to go through your library’s website to access the article]. Grunenwald discusses connecting her experiences as a prison librarian to her current position at an academic library. A short and interesting piece about an interesting career path. For a longer read, check out Avi Steinberg’s Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian.
I’m a big fan of ALA Live, which is a series of LIS-related Google Hangouts, and I was making my way through some of the archived sessions this week when I found an absolute gem from 2013. Episode 2, which is titled Landing Your Ideal Library Job, is hosted by David Connolly and features panelists Jill Klees and Bohyun Kim. SO MUCH GOOD INFORMATION HERE. What I like the most about it is that the panelists go into detail about how to answer common interview questions and how to stand out among all the other applicants. I feel like a lot of resume and interview guides aren’t really geared towards library professions, so this was a refreshing take on a topic every library school student is thinking about. Oh, and check out the companion blog post by panelist Bohyun Kim–lots of solid advice there, too.
I’ll be honest: I needed a break from library-land this week. I took advantage of the numerous Bond films currently on Netflix, combed through the archives of Rookie, and listened to Lizzobangers on repeat (NSFW, unless you have a really cool office). There’s a lot outside the library echo chamber that can be generative for librarians, though! Does your library collateral need some sprucing up? At Wired, Liz Stinson explores how designer Natasha Jen and the Pentagram firm created a striking graphic identity for the US Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale using only the standard system fonts Arial and Times New Roman. The overwhelmingly female/feminized field of LIS would do well to consider the “Pink Collar” conditions of affective labor in public relations, and knowledge work more broadly, that Jennifer Pan discusses in this month’s Jacobin Magazine. And, if you’re getting ready to head to Vegas for ALA, encounter a different side of the city through Christina Sharpe’s review of Chris Abani’s recent novel The Secret History of Las Vegas in The New Inquiry.
In a June 3 article “Ice Ice Baby: Are Librarian Stereotypes Freezing Us out of Instruction?”, academic librarians Nicole Pagowsky and Erica DeFrain ask, “Why do librarians struggle so much with instruction?” With trademark energy and clarity, the authors review impression formation, the historical feminization of librarianship, steps toward empowerment, and other issues. This is an informative piece for anyone pursuing library instruction, but I’d also like to call your attention to In the Library with the Lead Pipe, which published the paper and which Anne Helen Petersen rightly lauds as “an awesome open-access, peer-reviewed publication for hip librarians.” Oh, and the Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) just announced 2013’s top twenty articles on library instruction!
While many of my twitter-brarian friends were at SLA in Vancouver, I registered for the Society of American Archivists conference (taking advantage of it being local), along with my existing plans to go to the AALL conference. So two items caught my attention this week: INALJ on “Avoiding the ‘Conference Itch'” and Giso Broman‘s new tumblr collecting LIS conference hashtags. Go forth and confer!