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Ryan P. Randall

Instruction & Outreach Librarian at the College of Western Idaho ∴ Literary, media & cultural studies ∴ Web Editor at In the Library with the Lead Pipe ∴ Sous les pavés, la plage ∴ We are, as always, stubborn, stoked, and petrified - GY!BE

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Weekly Whaaa…?

Social Justice and Libraries Student-Run Open Conference in Seattle

SJL Seattle happened on 2016-05-14. Congratulations to the student organizers, Reed Garber-Pearson, Allison Reibel, and Marisa Petrich on what appears to have been a fantastic day! I considered driving over from Boise, but ultimately wasn’t able to make it. Thankfully, participants were generous enough to live-tweet parts of the day. Here are the tweets with the conference hashtag if you’d like to read them.

On top of this being a student-led event, I really like the idea of there being more local groups that meet to work on how libraries and library workers can focus “on dismantling structural oppression” and “empower people and ideas!” This localization and in-person discussion seems like the next step for critical librarianship and the people who’ve perhaps become more interested in or familiar with these issues through the #critlib conversations on Twitter.

Library Trends Vol. 64, No. 3 (Winter 2016), “Valuing Librarianship: Core Values in Theory and Practice” promises a lot that’s relevant to critical librarianship: disability justice, privacy, social responsibility, diversity, lifelong learning, intellectual freedom, unexplored histories, public good, democracy, professionalism, discourse, and advocacy, just to pick some of the keywords out of the article titles. Kudos to editors Selinda A. Berg and Heidi LM Jacobs for putting this issue together, and to all the authors for their articles.

I’m profoundly looking forward to digging into them—and I appreciate that I can, because this issue is at least currently not behind a paywall. Normally I don’t have access to Library Trends, but I’ll be eating this particular issue up.

Popowich’s “Public Libraries, History, and the State”

Sam Popowich wrote a great post on his blog looking at, you guessed it, public libraries, history, and the state. Using Hobsbawm and Habermas, he gives a succinct yet insightful overview of the ways that public libraries have furthered various class interests throughout their history in Europe since about the 1600s. It’s a good reminder that libraries do not operate in a historical vacuum but instead produce their effects within a constantly shifting constellation of other socio-economic forces.

#ArchivesSoWhite Intro & Bibliography

Shout-out to Natalie Baur and Sam Winn for Tweeting about this resource from the Issues & Advocacy Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists… and, of course, to that Roundtable for putting this together. I’m looking forward to engaging with the readings more before long. On top of the Intro and Bibliography, there are interviews with Jarrett Drake, Samantha Winn, and Ariel Schudson, so there will be a lot to dig into!

Love and Rockets in the Guardian

The Guardian recently wrote a story on Love & Rockets, the comic series published by Jaime, Gilbert, and Mario Hernandez since 1981. If you don’t have many comics in your collection, this would be a great place to start. Read the article if you’d find Neil Gaiman’s enthusiasm more convincing than my own!

Reading Notes This Week

I wrote up reading notes for a couple of articles this week in my research notebook site. I read a couple useful chapters from Crumpton, Michael A. and Nora J. Bird’s 2013 Handbook for Community College Librarians. I also read a fantastic article by Laura Burt called “Vivian Harsh, Adult Education, and the Library’s Role as Community Center” which is unfortunately behind a paywall at Libraries & the Cultural Record.


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