me at UMass Dartmouth library

Hi, My name is Jessamyn West and I’m a library technologist living in Vermont. Thanks for visiting my website. Here is a short list of things people often look for on this page.

This is my professional blog where I occasionally write about library-oriented things and about my own work within the library profession.

I started this site in April 1999 when I found the URL available as I was doing vaguely work-oriented stuff at the reference desk of the community college I worked at in Seattle. I’ve always had things I wanted to tell and show people online and the nascent blog format became the way to do that. I love libraries because I believe they are a true manifestation of the public sphere in the US. They are a place where people can read what they want, be who they are, and inform themselves about what interests them.

I like to help people do that. I am also fiercely protective of losing what is special about libraries, and much of my work concerns this preservation issue in its many facets. I am a user-oriented librarian when I’m working at a library, and a library activist when I am not. My passion presently is mucking about in the intersection of libraries, technology and politics and describing what I find there. I am also concerned about white supremacy in libraries and what we can do to make libraries more equitable places for people of color, both patrons and staff. I also feel libraries should do more about accessibility issues than they currently do.

I was elected to be an ALA Councilor in 2004 and served a two year term. I re-joined ALA in 2020 to be the Vermont Chapter Councilor. I feel the double-edged sword of participating in a flawed system versus sitting out and not participating at all. I write on library topics frequently, and have published two books: I co-edited Revolting Librarians Redux, and I wrote Without A Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide. I’m on the road speaking on library issues a lot, mostly in New England.

My readership has become more attentive and more useful over the years. I’ve made friends with many of my readers and have a large circle of people known and unknown to me who help me out with links and encouragement. This website would quite literally not exist without them. The explosion of library weblogs and websites over the last two decades makes me happy; news is less likely to fall through the cracks and I would be foolish to think that for my readers I am their one and only. Thanks so much for reading.

If you don’t like it, tell me why, or don’t read it, I’d be the first to admit it’s not for everyone. My larger labor of love is jessamyn.com. Worth a looksee if you think I have any sense at all.

All personal content on this website is licensed under a CC BY-NC license.