Weekly Spotlight!

Each week, we reflect on the top articles, blog posts, tweets, news, thoughts, and other tidbits we’ve found interesting or useful. Check out what our writers have spotted this week in library news. Enjoy!


Confused about the publishing process? The Librarian Parlor launched this week. In their own words, it’s a space for “conversing, sharing expertise, and asking questions about the process of developing, pursuing, and publishing library research.” 
You can also follow questions and conversations on Twitter through #libparlor.


In case you haven’t heard, a total solar eclipse is happening on Monday August 21st, 2017. To put this rare event in perspective, the last solar eclipse happened in 1991 and will not happen again until 2024. STAR Library Network distributes hands-on activities and resources related to the STEM field to libraries across North America. Through this network, libraries have received 2.1 million safe eclipse viewing glasses, and libraries everywhere are already quickly running out. These glasses are only available through eclipse events at the library, so this is a giant win for library programming!


A University of Virginia library employee has been hospitalized due to a stroke he suffered on Tuesday, August 15, the Library Journal reports. It is possible that the stroke was a results of a blow the employee suffered during demonstrations by white supremecists on the Virginia campus last weekend. The article provides more information about how the UVA Libraries are recovering from, and responding to, last week’s violence in Charlottesville.


While there’s a lot more to do to dismantle white supremacy than share resources, there were some really great pieces published over the past week, some specifically aimed at those of us who work in libraries.

So You Want to Fight White Supremacy by Ijeoma Oluo asserts that white supremacy is more than the overt display of hate we saw in Charlottesville last weekend, and encourages us all, especially white folks, to examine our privilege and take action:

Because we all interact with the system of white supremacy, because we all uphold it to some degree — we all have some power to tear it down. And while discussions of white privilege can make many white people want to plug their ears in order to keep the shame of their participation in the oppression of others at bay, acknowledgement of that privilege is also the key to finding the places where you can make the most impact in fighting white supremacy. The truth is: You’ve been trusted with the keys to the car, people of color haven’t — so, maybe you should take the wheel and make a hard left.

Equality is Not Pie; Libraries and the Insidiousness of Subtle Racism by Fobazi Ettarh speaks about white female aggression and the ways in which it manifests in professional settings.

Handling Microaggressions in the Library by Amanda M. Leftwich offers strategies for responding to microaggressions, and Stepping Back: Creating Space for Equity in Librarianship by Violet Fox sets out to “start a dialogue with fellow white people on what it means to divest ourselves from the power that comes from being a white person in librarianship.” As a white woman who happens to be the Managing Editor of Hack Library School, I am hyperaware of the fact that I exhibit an immense amount of privilege and I aim to practice “stepping back” in every way possible.

Additionally, Page May and Monica Trinidad, hosts of the Lit Review Podcast, compiled a list of essential reading, and Rethinking Schools published Seven Ways That Teachers Can Respond to the Evil of Charlottesville–Starting Now.

I also encourage everyone to revisit Sheila Garcia’s interview of Jessica Bratt that we published here on HLS called The Myth of the Neutral Library: Why Social Activism is Integral to Librarianship.

Cover photo from Alan Wu on Flickr Commons. Changes were made in adapting this image.  Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s