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!
Between my summer semester, a seriously busy personal life, and the copy of Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries I checked out a few days ago, not a lot of library-world reading has gone on in my life this week. There has been some though. Annoyed Librarian had a very satisfying rant up on Library Journal that will get you all fired up to defend the profession. A little boy in Kansas has been forced to remove his Little Free Library after the city council deemed it an unauthorized detached structure, which made me kind of sad. Little Free Libraries are dicey in that some people use them as a false proof that librarians are unnecessary, but if they’re seen as a supplemental reading tool I like them. In happier news, the Tulare Public Library is letting patrons donate pet supplies in place of paying their fines, with all donations going to the Tulare Animal Shelter, bringing two of my favorite interests together. I also noticed this piece in Slate on participatory budgets, the process by which citizens are actively involved in municipal budget priorities. Depending on the mood of the local citizens, I can see this process going either way for libraries, though they do note an example of a Brooklyn library getting a new college and career center as a direct result of participatory budgeting.
And finally, THE LIBRARIANS TV SHOW starts in December! I might have to get cable.
I’m writing from ALA Annual’s Internet Cafe in the Las Vegas Convention Center, where I just picked up my registration packet. My highly anticipated tour of the Neon Museum this evening was cancelled by the museum due to technical difficulties, so I’m giving some thought to other things to do this evening. With some wiggle room in my schedule, I decided to stop by the Chapter Relations Office in the temporary ALA Office here at LVCC to chat with Don Wood, who heads up the Student-to-Staff Program every year at Annual. Several of us Hackers have been fortunate to participate in the Student-to-Staff Program over the past few years, and I’m looking forward to hearing about Casey and Courtney’s experience this year.
One of the things I’ve learned about ALA conferences is that while it’s great to come with a plan of the programs you want to attend, but it’s important to be flexible too, because you never know what neat learning experience or conversation with a new colleague may come your way. So while I’ll miss the Neon Museum tour this time, I’m sure I’ll find something else to do on my first night in Las Vegas. (It’s also important to have some down time, so I may end up by the hotel pool to wind down after a long travel day!) I’ll report later about my take on ALA ’14.
Book banning alert! A Pasco County, Florida school district hastily yanked John Green’s YA novel Paper Towns from students’ summer reading list following a single parent’s complaint. According to this Tampa Bay Tribune article from June 24, the removal apparently violated the district’s own review process for book challenges.
In other news, check out the ACRL’s forthcoming title The Librarian Stereotype: Deconstructing Perceptions and Presentations of Information Work, edited by Nicole Pagowsky and Miriam Rigby. The book includes a chapter on “changing perceptions through diversity” from Hack Library School alumni Annie Pho and Turner Masland!
Later this afternoon, I’ll be presenting at ProQuest Day – “Transforming Libraries, Transforming Research.” Even though it’s the very beginning of ALA Annual, it’s actually the culmination of a long week of conferencing for me! Last Saturday, HLS managing editor Courtney Baron and I presented our work on institutional repositories and digital scholarship at the phenomenal conference Data Driven: Digital Humanities in the Library, in Charleston, SC. Trevor Muñoz gave a galvanizing keynote address that questioned our simplistic assumptions about the library as value-neutral and looked to librarians’ role in digital scholarship for a path forward. You can check out his abstract, slides, and sources here – I can think of no better summer reading list for engaged library students.
I then went straight from Charleston to ACRL’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Section preconference, where I was able to connect with some of my favorite people from the Internet and hear about some phenomenal projects. Some personal favorites: Sarah Burke Cahalan and Jason Dean‘s efforts to trace the work of naturalist and artist S. Fred Prince, Mitch Fraas and Melanie Meyers’ research on the movement of books looted in World War II, and Allison Jai O’Dell’s Book Artists Unbound.