Yet these revelations and incidents lead to troublesome, difficult questions: What should we do about the books these authors have written? Do we remove them from circulation or pledge to no longer purchase them? Do we keep them on the shelves as if nothing has changed? Do we owe something to our patrons, our colleagues, … Continue reading How Should Libraries Respond to #MeToo?
A total of 39,634 failed to vote on the question. Yet of those who did, a majority stated they wanted the executive director to be a librarian. The question is not so much about a skill set but about the relevance of our degree and our profession. It makes one wonder how important the library … Continue reading The Librarian Identity Crisis
The rally was hosted by the UW College Republicans, who invited Patriot Prayer—a right-wing group based in the Pacific Northwest—as a way to exercise free speech rights. As many open-carry advocates, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis voiced their intentions to attend the rally, fears of maintaining campus safety increased. (Just last year, a protester was shot … Continue reading Institutional Neutrality Isn’t Reality
For community-based or other participatory archive models, digital technologies offer a way to meaningfully engage with materials. Yet what good is a digital archive if the community does not have internet available? How can an individual fully participate in using or shaping digital heritage resources if they do not have the computer skills, or even … Continue reading What Is Access without Equity?
This is an excerpt from “Creating Space for Agency,” Knowledge Quest, Sept./Oct. 2017. It’s easy to imagine no LGBTQ students are at a given school, and therefore no need exists to court controversy by providing LGBTQ materials, but LGBTQ students are everywhere. I loved to read as a kid, but when I looked inside the books on … Continue reading Creating Space for Agency
Revisions have advanced the profession and addressed educational and technological innovations of the day. Standards have moved from a concern for the library facility (1920s) to a focus on defining effective access services (mid-20th century) to describing the roles of school librarians as teachers, instructional partners, information specialists, program administrators, and school leaders (since the … Continue reading Rewriting the Standards
At Georgia Tech, we knew that using words to explain and defend would not accurately demonstrate the impact we have on inspiring and accelerating the intellectual achievements of faculty and students. So we set out on a library renewal project. When we started four years ago, the project largely centered on building renovations. Over time … Continue reading Radical Restructuring
The traditional dilemma about whether listening equals reading becomes increasingly relegated to the same bin of disproved anxieties as our ancestors’ certainty that radio would kill thoughtful reading. As technology advances our access points to—and interest in—information and literature, the world of social and political possibilities blossoms. Where audiobooks were once limited to oral reading … Continue reading Audiobooks and Engagement
The Copyright Office’s future has sparked debate and controversy, specifically regarding the best location for the office. As librarians, we must seize this opportunity to advocate in favor of keeping the office within the Library of Congress (LC) and not, as some lawmakers would have it, as an independent agency under their purview. The framers of … Continue reading Keep Copyright in the Library
This is a climate in which we now all live. This is the climate in which my husband and I are raising our 3-year-old daughter, a Korean American, in a city that is 83% white and 8% Asian. Currently, 96% of Minnesota’s K–12 educators are white. Across the country, librarianship is 88% white. What do … Continue reading Diversify Everything
Most library internships allow for experience in one area. Choosing between a public library and an academic library meant I would learn practices and policies unique to that particular type of institution. Thankfully I did not have to make that decision. I came across an opportunity for a dual-library internship, applied, and was selected. The … Continue reading Best of Both Worlds
The end of the James H. Billington era has prompted an outpouring of advice from scholars and pundits on a new agenda for LC, from mass digitization of the library’s book collections and wholesale archiving of websites to relaxing copyright restrictions. Yet many of these prescriptions align poorly with the realities of the digital present … Continue reading Rethinking the National Library