Editor’s Note: This new series features a weekly round-up of interesting articles, blog posts, tweets, news, thoughts, and other tidbits related to the world of library school. Enjoy!
Forgive my round-up post highlighting an article from last week. Last Thursday, the Washington Post published an article nominally about librarians-as-affordable-housing-advocates. Tons of people tweeted the article. (“Tons” being a highly scientific measurement calculated by searching Twitter for tweets containing the link to the article.) Of course, the headline is completely misleading, as there is only one comment about affordable housing advocacy, and that is a suggestion for library volunteers, not librarians. My public library system is doing great things to engage and provide services to the library’s homeless patrons. Just ignore the suggestion to paint the restrooms an unappealing color.
I’m completely done in (and waaay behind) after two and a half weeks of solid conferencing and travel, but here’s what I am paying attention to, along with my bottomless supply of coffee:
- The wonderful Fobazi Ettarh wrote a must-read post for In the Library with the Lead Pipe, “Making a New Table: Intersectional Librarianship.”
- Harlem bookstore La Casa Azul is hosting a book drive for unaccompanied minors detained at the US-Mexico border who are currently undergoing deportation proceedings in New York City. If you need some motivation to donate, Pew Research Center recently reported on the factors (violence, poverty) driving Central American youth to migrate. You can purchase items from the bookstore, or send new/gently used books if you aren’t in the area.
- “Inside the Mind of a Chinese Hacker,” Emily Parker’s review of the English edition of Mai Jia’s novel Jie Mi (Decoded), hints at the reasons this book should go on the reading lists of those of us interested in information science, cybersecurity, and the fate of brilliant, creative minds worn down in the service of technological one-upmanship.
I spent my week being very jealous that I couldn’t go to ALA in Vegas, so I did my very best to avoid any and all ALA-themed information. Here’s some of what I focused on instead:
– Urban libraries say they’re getting shortchanged in a battle for WiFi funding. Urban libraries are up in arms (rightfully so) over a proposed FCC plan to tie e-rate funding to square footage. The problem here is that urban libraries normally serve way more patrons per square foot than suburban and rural libraries, and often have higher numbers of patrons who rely on the library for internet service. The FCC’s plan isn’t final and other options have been proposed, but this is one to watch.
-If I ever get to work in a public library, I dearly hope to have a cat as a coworker (Yes, it’s a cute cat story. It’s Friday and I’m spending my 4th writing a paper, so I get a cat story.)
-And news from my formative years, I just found out that one of my favorite librarians from the public library in my childhood hometown is retiring. Sally was one of the first librarians to know me and my brother by name. She could find anything, she always had a good book to suggest, and she made the library a welcoming place for all. If you’re reading this Sally, I bet you don’t remember me but I remember you, and I hope to be as good a librarian as you someday. Enjoy your retirement!
I’m back from ALA and my spring and summer conference plans are officially complete! I also have good news to share! On Monday, I will begin my new job as the Visual Resources Curator at the University of Georgia. This is truly a dream job for me and I feel so lucky to have this position while still in library school. For those not familiar with visual resources, I will primarily be managing a collection of images, not books! I have plans to transform the space into a functioning art library, however, and I’m looking forward to the challenges and rewards this opportunity will bring.
I’d like to bring attention to a survey on The Magpie Librarian: A Librarian’s Guide to Modern Life and Etiquette, Ingrid Abram’s blog. Ingrid is collecting data about ALA Code of Conduct violations at ALA conferences. Unfortunately, harassment and unwanted attention are still a part of our profession and they tend to rear their ugly heads at conferences. If you attended ALA and experienced a form of harassment, as did I, you can anonymously share your experiences via the survey.