Big Picture

Precarious Labor, Student Workers, and Coronavirus

I’m taking a break from my series “To my fellow LIS Black, Indigenous, and People of Color” to talk about the impact coronavirus has had on the LIS field/students. I’m in Seattle, the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. I live near the Life Care Center of Kirkland, where the first U.S. death occurred and now where over 25 people have died. All Washington state K-12 schools have been cancelled for at least six weeks and the University of Washington, along with other higher education institutions, moved online. Museums and public libraries have closed to the public, and buses and the streets of Seattle are empty. There’s no longer traffic at rush hour as many people now work from home. But what are the impacts on student library workers, grant-funded workers, or LIS students working on capstones, practicums, or internships?

To my fellow LIS Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [Series]: Mentorship

Mentorship – in any form – can be an effective way for LIS students of color to learn more about the field. We learn a lot outside the classroom through jobs, internships, and volunteer experiences, and mentorship is another aspect that can help increase a student’s knowledge. Yet besides learning about the academic hiring process, dealing with negative workplace environments, or where to find job postings, mentorship of LIS students of color by mentors of color can help us see ourselves in the field, learn how to navigate white spaces, and how to advocate for ourselves.

To my fellow LIS Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [Series]: Imposter Syndrome, Mental Health, and Surviving Another Day

Nearly everyone in grad school has dealt or is currently dealing with imposter syndrome. Those who claim to have never suffered from it are either lying or actually are the imposters. Alyssa wrote about imposter syndrome in September so, for this post, I’d like to focus on imposter syndrome as a person of color and especially for those of us who also have mental illnesses.

To my fellow LIS Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [Series]: ALA Ethnic Caucuses Part 1

Before even starting library school, students can join local and national associations, such as the American Library Association, often at a student rate. Within ALA are five ethnic caucuses: the American Indian Library Association (AILA), the Asian Pacific American Library Association (APALA), the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Chinese American Library Association (CALA) and REFORMA—the National Association to Promote Library Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking.

To my fellow LIS Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [Series]: Introduction

When I applied to library school, I knew I was taking a risk. I was finishing up my undergraduate degree in American Ethnic Studies (AES) and my classes were always filled with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color). Sure, my English classes, my other major, were full of white people and I had grown up in a predominantly white suburb, but I felt lucky that I had so many positive experiences in AES. But looking around at my MLIS orientation I knew that this would be different. My program, and as an extension the field, looked nothing like me. How was I going to survive three years, especially as an online student?

Trans Folks in the Library – A Meditation on Personal vs Public

A month ago, I attended a webcast seminar, ‘Transgender Inclusion in Libraries’, hosted by San Jose State University’s iSchool. This was the first webcast seminar, or webinar, I was attending under my own power since entering SJSU’s MLIS program, and this likely contributed to my wild underestimation of the number of audience members and, thus, overestimation of my ability to personally engage with the webinar speakers. Last semester saw the composition of my first academic paper written as an MLIS candidate, and with a sixteen-page paper on the queer information community in hand, I was eager to supplement the narrow spread of academic work that I had found that covers transgender issues in the library.

Beyond Sir and Ma’am: Gender Inclusive Libraries

Take a look at your library. What works in the collection are from LGBTQ+ authors? Are the public restrooms gender-inclusive? Is gender a category on your library card application, and if so, are there options beyond M/F?

These are just a handful of the gender diversity issues for libraries that we explored in a recent gender diversity training for public library staff.

Libraries Matter

If you belong to the library world and are in any way involved with social media (aka. if you’re reading this sentence), then you definitely heard about the disastrous Forbes […]

Diversity: Am I Doing Enough?

Have you ever had an “AH-HA” moment when you were doing your readings?  That feeling is the best! It happens mostly when the text echos with my own situations and beliefs, or when the text enlightens you with insights you have never thought about before.