Tag Archives: Libraries

Messages of Inclusion: A grassroots campaign for turbulent times

Image result for diversity and inclusion

(From American Libraries magazine, by )

“Jody Gray witnessed a “barrage of tragedy” within her first year as director of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS)—from the Pulse nightclub murders in Orlando, Florida, to the Dallas police shootings.

“Libraries were suddenly in the middle of everything,” Gray says. Libraries have long offered their patrons inclusive, safe places to go, she says, but increasingly “they were doing it in crisis.”

Nationally, librarians looked to ALA for leadership. When Gray received calls from people seeking advice on how to deal with trauma and discrimination, she privately connected them with colleagues who faced similar issues in their own communities. But Gray started thinking: “There’s got to be a way for people to communicate to each other what they’re doing in these times of crisis that doesn’t have to be vetted [by ALA]. It could be flexible, on the ground, and offer a space for librarians to share directly with each other.” Continue reading Messages of Inclusion: A grassroots campaign for turbulent times

Librarians in the 21st Century: It Is Becoming Impossible to Remain Neutral

Interior view of Stockholm Public Library
This article is from lithub.com. I highly suggest you click here to read the entire thing, after looking at the excerpt we posted below.

I will add that the author is one of my former students in library school, and she was absolutely great there! I was fortunate to have her in classes, and valued both her contributions to class and the time I was able to spend with her. So I’m not neutral at all on the value she brings to the library profession!

Stacie Williams on
How to Confront Microaggressions in the Library

Library neutrality sounds innocuous, but it’s not, if you’re a librarian. Although neutrality has long been regarded and taught as an important ethic of the profession, a growing number of librarians have begun questioning whether it is preferable—or even possible—for libraries to be neutral. In this essay, Stacie Williams makes the case that it is neither.

–Stephanie Anderson

I love working the reference desk. Like most people, it was my first introduction to librarians as a little kid: the smiling person behind a desk, asking me if I needed help finding anything. In my last semester of graduate school, I took a job working the access services desk at a medical library, where I could meet new people and help them the way that I had been helped in libraries throughout my life. Even as I gained more experience in archives, I continued to look for opportunities to assist at a reference or access point of service.

Working in such a visible position, over the years, I have been constantly reminded that my interactions with patrons are a reflection of my body: my black, female-presenting body. In ways small and large, I have been reminded that nothing about libraries is neutral. Not the desks or furniture that are sometimes built by incarcerated individuals who can’t protest their labor. Not the buildings, some of which lack physical access for individuals who can’t climb stairs or walk over uneven stones and bricks. Not the collections development theories, not the leadership opportunities, not the vacation and break schedules, or the computer use policies. Not our co-workers, our funding models, and certainly not the patrons we serve. Neutrality as we use it in libraries leaves people standing at the margins, demanding to be acknowledged as capable and professional, as human, as having histories and lived experiences reflective of the bodies we inhabit. Our bodies, like the bodies of knowledge we provide access to, are not and never were neutral. Continue reading Librarians in the 21st Century: It Is Becoming Impossible to Remain Neutral

Thursday is CMLE Library Snapshot Day!

Coll. Marcè CL - Polaroid land camera Mod 95 1948

You already know that here at CMLE Headquarters, we love nothing more than gushing about the work our libraries do. Now we want to have some visuals we can use to show off libraries!

And thus: Our first CMLE Library Snapshot Day!

Thursday, take photos in your library of the things you have, the programs you provide, materials on the shelves, staffers hard at work (ask their permission first, please!) – whatever goes into making your library a wonderful resource. No need to do anything special; we want to see a typical day in the life of our libraries.

This is part of a national program, where people in libraries across the country take photos to show off their libraries. We do not all do this on the same day; but the results can be exciting to view as a big group, and can be powerful tools in showing stakeholders the range and diversity of the work we do in libraries!

From ALA: “Holding a library snapshot day is a simple way to prove that libraries provide invaluable services to our communities.” We agree that all our libraries  across CMLE – school, academic, public, and special – are providing invaluable services, and we want to show it!

You can email photos to us; or if you have social media and want to share photos there, just tag them with #CMLEPhotos. We will collect photos, and add them to our website.

What if you miss it on Thursday? We will still be happy to take your photos from this week and display them!

We are looking forward to seeing the great work you are doing!

Get information on libraries: Listserves

Desktop computer clipart - Yellow theme

Subscribing to listservs is an easy way to keep up with news from around the profession. It’s always valuable to have a variety of information from people who do what you do, and who talk about things that might be useful in your library!

There are literally dozens of listserves focused on your professional interests, filled with ideas for making your skills stronger and to improve the services you can offer to your community. Continue reading Get information on libraries: Listserves

Protect Your Library the Medieval Way, With Horrifying Book Curses

Medieval scribes protected their work by threatening death, or worse.