I was reminded of the words of the late US Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” When I was eventually elected to the VLA vice presidency, I established the VLA Librarians of Color (LOC) Forum with that goal in mind—to provide more seats at … Continue reading More Seats at the Table
My information literacy classes, like so many others, have largely shifted to video chat platforms. It was a difficult, abrupt switch, even for those of us who have taught online for years. As online learning librarians know, a lesson designed for a physical classroom cannot easily move to an online space but requires transformation for … Continue reading Remote Control?
This incident took place at the library where one of us, Jarrett Dapier, worked as a readers’ advisor and program coordinator serving teens. (He was not present but has seen cellphone footage of the incident.) Calling the police when a patron is disruptive may seem like a library’s only course of action. But often, the … Continue reading When Not to Call the Cops
As our schools and communities grapple with fostering a broader recognition of sexual orientation and gender identity diversity, school librarians play crucial roles in building a welcoming environment and providing access to inclusive resources and services. Social stigma of non-mainstream experiences in schools, particularly among LGBTQ+ students, is reinforced by a lack of accurate information … Continue reading Accepting Queer Realities
The following guest column is a reprint from the rereleased May 1 issue of Booklist. This is an opportunity to have substantive conversations about our perceptions, as well as the changing face of the publishing world and the paucity of diverse crime writers. In their desire to be socially conscious, many may have missed that … Continue reading Judged by the Cover
The Canadian Union of Public Employees found that more than half of employees in Canadian libraries, both public and academic, either work in precarious roles or are at risk of falling into less stable roles, and that women and minorities are disproportionately affected. This certainly feels true; since graduating, most of my classmates have temporarily … Continue reading Bumpy Inroads
Sustainability initiatives often focus primarily on environmentalism, that is, the importance of reducing the footprint we leave on our physical spaces and habitats in order to preserve them over time. Social and financial measures are just as important to the longevity of our work, and by incorporating these principles into our programming, we can help … Continue reading What Does Green Mean?
My first job at Multnomah County (Oreg.) Library (MCL) was in public relations, which involved writing and editing news releases, brochures, and fliers and, increasingly, planning programs and events. An operating levy, passed when I was a few years into the job, brought a wave of construction, renovations, and expanded public program offerings. New programming … Continue reading Get with the Programming
This wasn’t the first time we’d had fire alarms: leaky pipes, burned bagels, and other incidents had set off our alarms in the past, and the staff was experienced in and accustomed to vacating themselves and others from the building. However, this time was different—smoke was observed and, as first responders came on the scene, … Continue reading When Disaster Strikes
In 2016, more than half of federal appeals were filed by citizens acting as their own attorney, a process called pro se representation. According to the Legal Services Corporation, almost 90% of civil matters involving low-income Americans receive little or no legal help. With nowhere else to turn, such patrons often seek out legal information … Continue reading Unauthorized Practice of Law in the Library
Even in the 21 years since the Good Friday Agreement officially ended the conflict, sectarian tension and renewed violence have punctuated the hard-won peace. Journalist Lyra McKee was killed in April while observing riots in Derry. Conversations with my grandfather gave an immediacy to the stories unfolding across the ocean. In order to get a … Continue reading Keeping History Alive
The 2010 ALA-COA Memorandum of Understanding is clear on that. It makes no mention of preparing students for other professions or for alternative information careers outside librarianship. Nor is there mention of “information science” or any of the other pursuits often included under the umbrella term the information professions. However, including the term information studies … Continue reading Trends in Accreditation