Advocacy & Activism

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.

HB2, NC Libraries, and Why You Should Care

In the words of Charlotte’s Mayor Jennifer Roberts, “This legislation is literally the most anti-LGBT legislation in the country. It sanctions discrimination against the LGBT community.” The legislation provides legal protection of rights in employment and public accommodation for individuals on the basis of “race, religion, color, national origin, age, biological sex or handicap,” and goes on to state that these protections cannot be expanded by “any ordinance, regulation, resolution, or policy adopted or imposed by a unit of local government or other political subdivision of the State.” In other words, local governments can no longer define discrimination within their own towns, cities, or counties.

Introduction to Net Neutrality

As future information professionals, it is vitally important for library school students to follow major trends and topics in our respective industries. Today, library students  have more opportunities than ever to participate in discussions and initiatives that will shape the future of our profession. The tools at our disposal include library journals, […]

Recruiting New LIS Students

I was excited to read recently that ALA is sponsoring a series of informational workshops with the hopes of recruiting a wider pool of students interested in library & information science. The workshops, which are an IMLS-funded partnership between the ALA Office for Diversity & Spectrum Scholarship Program and LIS graduate programs in […]

Pro Bono Librarianing

I’m an attorney, and one of the things that attorneys are encouraged (in some states,required) to do is pro bono work. “Pro bono” means “for good” and is generally representation of a low-income person or a non-profit organization without payment. Libraries are generally a community function and librarians generally serve […]

Do What Makes You Mad

In the library world, enthusiasm is not in short supply. I’d even go so far as to say that being excited about things is quickly becoming part of the new librarian stereotype, along with being 25, tattooed, pink-haired, and on a skateboard. Think about it—an abundance of library websites, blogs, […]

Questionable Promotion/Advocacy

I recently received an ALA Store catalog in the mail and was happily flipping through the pages, considering whether or not I should order my own supply of Love My Library buttons, when I stumbled across this t-shirt: It has pictures of endangered animals (a giant panda, a mountain gorilla, a […]

A FASTR Open Access

Last week Nicole discussed getting political, and the very next day an opportunity came. On February 14, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was introduced in both the House and Senate. As a library school student who is passionate about open access and interested in scholarly communications, this bill is […]

We Can Crowdfund This Library

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Cassandra Elton. I was in kindergarten when I got my first library card. The two requirements for a child’s library card at our public library in Summit, New Jersey were you had to have a parent cosign the card with you and […]

Rethinking Leadership in Librarianship

Last fall, the Occupy Wall Street movement captured the attention of people across the nation, and amongst librarians, one particular image made the rounds, inciting chuckles as well as knowing nods. (See also two HLS posts from last fall: HackLibSchool on Occupy Wall St: How Do Libraries Fit In? and […]

The Library Will Be Crowdfunded

Crowdfunding is when individuals come together as a crowd to fund projects by other individuals and organizations. Often funders get perks or rewards for their contribution, ranging from small benefits like a thank you post card or a tote bag to original artwork or a private concert.  The two most popular crowdfunding […]