2021 in Libraries

a dim afternoon-into-evening shot of an empty library circ desk with a book drop slot and a small shelf next to it with books on CD

Only my regulars this past year. I picked up shifts at my local library and did a few months at Chelsea Public Library while they searched for a full-time librarian. While I taught some classes virtually for Rochester I only went inside the building once, really just to say hello. Forty-four visits, but only three libraries.

  • Kimball (20) – The library was open to the public for a while. I stopped in an occasionally worked a sub shift or met people here.
  • Chelsea (23) – I was the W/Th librarian for a few months
  • Rochester (1) – stopped by to say hello before teaching some online classes

Previous years: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and some reviews from 2003.

2021 reading list and commentary

picture of me in big glasses opening a large book and inside it is paper towels and pressed leaves

Here was the twitter thread of what I read last year but I should note, it has two 46es on it. I read about the same this year. I started and finished 115 books. Not bad. One more book got added to my best in show category: The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson, though I felt like I read a lot of good books this year.

Here are stats for the books that I finished. Continue reading “2021 reading list and commentary”

A CRT statement from VLA

A stamp from a US military location which has an eagle in the center and the text "A E F PASSED AS CENSORED"

I’m on a team of people who help keep the town’s volunteer-run laundromat open. We’ve had a “mask suggested for vaccinated people” sign up since maybe summertime. I make the signs. I also do my laundry there. Yesterday no one was wearing masks. I don’t know their vaccination status but I do know about omicron and it’s concerning. So I suggested we replace the sign with one that says Masks Required. And everyone agreed. But no one suggested it until I did. And maybe the person to get your groups CRT statement going is… you? Continue reading “A CRT statement from VLA”

Preparing NOW for expected challenges

White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaking to reporters at the White House
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks to reporters.

 

An email I wrote to our state library association about the concerning things happening in Texas.

Hello all — I am writing this kind of in my role as VT Chapter Councilor and somewhat as someone in the Intellectual Freedom Committee. I wanted to make you aware of an issue concerning book challenges.

As you are probably aware, Texas is one of the states where there are coordinated groups of “concerned parents” and others who have been challenging books with GLBTQ content as well as books about what they call “critical race theory” but which are really just books about… American history usually, with a focus on the Black (and sometimes Native American) experience and the effects of racism. Here’s an article from CNN. I draw your attention to the quote from ALA.

https://www.cbs58.com/news/texas-governor-calls-books-pornography-in-latest-effort-to-remove-lgbtq-titles-from-school-libraries Continue reading “Preparing NOW for expected challenges”

Ask A Librarian: Working Towards Racial Justice in Libraries

contradictions for white people in racial justice work diagram
[diagram from hannah baer @malefragility]

 

Question from a soon-to-be library school student: as a white person, how can I go about this in a way that promotes inclusivity and justice for all people? I really want to help people with this profession by helping create and facilitate a space of accessible education but I also want to make sure I’m doing it in the right way. 

I think it’s tricky, I sometimes refer to this diagram about white people in social justice work generally (above). That is, there are a lot of contradictions to the work of being a good ally and otherwise trying to support justice for everyone. I see it as having two main directions

1. Tearing down white privilege and the patriarchy and other things that really inhibit us from a more equitable society
2. Building up new and alternative forms of interaction which are more inclusive of everyone Continue reading “Ask A Librarian: Working Towards Racial Justice in Libraries”