Ask a Librarian: the relationship of library work to social justice

scene of a protest with a woman holding a sign that says "Down with this sort of thing"

Email from a library worker, paraphrased: I am deeply committed to social justice and anti-oppression principles. I am radical in my politics. I am interested in literacy as a feminist issue. I am also interested in knowledge, access, critical thinking, community impact, etc. I worry there isn’t room to work at the intersections of these interests in library spaces…. Is there room for me in librarianship, and if so, where?

I feel like librarianship is a “big tent” sort of profession, especially public librarianship, so I often feel that there is space for people, but some of it depends not only on politics but on temperament. Continue reading “Ask a Librarian: the relationship of library work to social justice”

Personal Politics & ALA

I’ve been enjoying the Blatant Berry Blog. John Berry’s most recent post Personal Politics & The ALA is a short discussion of his view on why he thinks it’s okay for a membership organization to occasionally weigh in on political matters that don’t always seem directly relevant to the general topic of the organization. I am also a person who “mixes up” the personal and political and, like Berry, agree that the line that other people see clearly has not always seemed so clear to me.

Update: Rory has rewritten his earlier post which he took down about dealing with political issues while being on ALA Council. Many of his observations mirror my own.

USA PATRIOT Act extension one step closer

The House voted to make 14 out of 16 USAPA provisions permanent yesterday. The bill — HR 3199 –that they approved also proposed 10 year extensions to our favorite section, Section 215, with an interesting change.

One amendment, passed by a 402-26 vote, requires the FBI director to personally approve any request for library or bookstore records.