October 26, 2014

IRIE Call for Papers on Global Citizenship

IRIE Call for Papers on Global Citizenship

Guest Editor: Jared Bielby, Univ. of Alberta, Canada: bielby@ualberta.ca

Globalization via the digital age is upon us, demanding a new ethics and an intercultural awareness while the dialectics of globalism and cyberspace mandate a committed reflection on what the synthesis between the digital realm and global citizenship entails. In many ways, the borders that previously separated us as citizens physically and culturally have begun to dissipate, replaced by a call for an intercultural accountability and a form of global citizenship that, on one hand, surpasses borders, patriotism, and nationalism alike, but while on the other, demands an understanding and respect for the cultural idiosyncrasies among us, acknowledging the unique existential paradox of universal citizenship that posits each of us as both stranger and citizen on a commonly shared globe.

What is cosmopolitan in the digital age? Is a global digital citizen the same as merely a digital citizen? While talk of digital citizenship has increased in recent years, usually centered on a capitalist drive, encouraging a full electronic participation in society and a responsibility to digital commerce, many questions remain unanswered. Is the netizen the citizen of a democratic state, and of digital democracy? As a citizen of the world interacting online, how will one’s “rights” and “duties” be determined? And are these “rights” universal, and in such a case, what does “universal” mean? What are the legal parameters of netizenship, and what will they be as globalization further takes hold? Is democracy critical to citizenship, or is it not? What are the political landscapes of global citizenship in the digital age? And last of all, is the concept of digital citizenship even tangible? Is it real?

This issue of IRIE will explore the cultural and ethical dimensions of global citizenship in a digital age, looking at the implications, challenges and future of a digitally constructed globalization. We welcome the exploration of, while not restricting to, the following subject areas:

– Defining “rights” and “duties” in terms of digital citizenship
– Universal rights in the digital age
– Intercultural perspectives on citizenship
– Exploration of the digital divide in terms of citizenship
– Borders and nationalism
– Digital citizenship as defined by responsible use of technology
– Governance, law and/or civil rights in terms of globalization
– Ontology, identity and themes of belonging & alienation
– Social justice in terms of cyberspace vs. “real” space
– Global information flow and developing power structures

Deadline for extended abstracts: December 31, 2014.

Please, forward this mail to whom it may concern.

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October 22, 2014

Interview with Naomi House about T160K

Readers may know Naomi House as the founder and manager of INALJ.com (I Need a Library Job). I follow what Naomi is doing, and recently noticed that she is behind a new venture called T160K, which appears to be focused on preserving the famous library of historical treasures in Timbuktu. Naomi agreed to be interviewed here to tell people about this group and how they can get involved.

Naomi, thanks for being interviewed. I went to the website for your organization, t160k.org, and find that it gives tantalizing bits of information, but doesn’t answer the questions that one usually goes to an NGO website to find. It has the feel of an internet startup. Could you tell us what, and who, T160K is?

To start T160k isn’t an NGO. It’s a social impact startup–one of the latest breed of Internet startups who are applying technology to solving social problems. Crowdfunding has been a boon to socially-conscious project all around the world. That’s why we’re launching a crowdfunding platform specifically to focus on cultural preservation and development in Africa.

T160K, which was focused on preserving the famous library of historical treasures in Timbuktu previously, is now going beyond Timbuktu and creating a crowdforming platform helping to further the work of cultural preservation and artistic creativity in Africa. Many librarians and archivists are familiar with the Indiegogo campaign Libraries in Exile, that my co-founders Stephanie Diakité and Tony Dowler worked on in partnership to raise funds for the preservation of the rescued manuscripts in Timbuktu. I met Stephanie in Cape Town, South Africa when we spoke on the same Breakout session panel at a conference. She was also the keynote speaker. We discussed the need to have the manuscripts cataloged, which will be one of the first of the new T160K campaigns. I was drawn to the aspect that we would be helping fund raise in support of people as well as projects. I have spent the past four years volunteering my time at INALJ helping others find jobs. A few months later we began discussions about forming a social purpose corporation and creating a crowdforming platform helping to further the work of cultural preservation and artistic creativity in Africa, which will launch on October 27th.

Wow, that sounds very exciting, and it sounds like important work. I recall reading about the situation with the library in Timbuktu, but I don’t remember the details. I had not had any idea that you were involved with that effort. But I wonder if you could clarify a little bit what is going on with cultural preservation work in this context. I understand that your group raises money, but are you working with other organizations who work on the ground there, or are you doing that part as well? How does it work, and how do the funds get used?

I am a relative newcomer to T106K.org. We were formed as a social purpose corporation / crowdfunding platform this past summer so I wasn’t around for the fundraising efforts last year for the preservation of the rescued Timbuktu manuscripts. In its previous life T160K was formed to help raise funds to preserve rescued manuscripts. T160K wasn’t doing the actual preservation work; archivists and librarians on the ground in Mali were, but we were running the Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for materials and partnered with the actual preservationists in Mali to do so. Shortly after the manuscripts were rescued the rainy season started. T160K raised funds on Indiegogo which were used to purchase moisture traps, archival boxes, and the additional footlockers required to safely store these manuscripts, as well as to cover the significant labor effort required to un-box and re-pack the manuscripts for preservation.

Now looking forward we will be running a new campaign with those on the ground who rescued the manuscripts and preserved them to catalog them. Our role is as a fundraising platform. One thing we do that is special to T160K is that we partner with organizations that have oversight on the projects on the ground. We select projects that have made incredible contributions to preserving various African cultural traditions and who will work with us to get the message out.

T160K.org is expanding its scope beyond its original Timbuktu manuscript project to include a wide variety of partnerships and projects with a focus on African patrimony (culture/ heritage/ arts). We have already lined up the Timbuktu manuscript cataloging project, Circus Debre Berhan in Ethiopia, i4africa.org West African musical tradition teachers and more as partners for our crowdfunding platform launch on October 27th!

That sounds good. Thanks for clarifying. So when you launch the new crowdfunding platform, will there be more detail about what the funds will be used for? I know that I would be more interested in donating if I had a clear picture of what would be happening as a result, who the preservationists and catalogers are. I think their stories would be inspiring. Or are the plans for the money that specific at this point?

Definitely! We will provide clear descriptions of what the funds will be used for. I’d consider that a best practice for any crowdfunding campaign, ours included. Every project is submitting a budget as part of the concept note. We may not provide a line-item breakdown on the page, but in most cases we have that level of detail from the beginning. One of the reasons I believe strongly in what we are doing is that we help raise funds for the people on the ground who are doing the work as well as the materials, etc.

We have already begun sharing images on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest with the permission of our partners and we will be blogging about the projects as well so you can get a better sense of the mission of each one. I am making individual boards on Pinterest for each project, for example, and many of our partners have a web presence already. In addition to the Timbuktu manuscript cataloging project we are also partnering with Circus Debre Berhan, in Ethiopia, a troupe and training program that focuses on marginalized individuals, and instruments4africa, which was formed to teach traditional music and the arts in West Africa, specifically Mali. This is just the beginning, but each project/partnership is vetted by T160K.org staff.

Also the crowdfunding projects that we will be sharing are often in established organizations with a specific desired fundraising project. I know my co-founder, Stephanie Diakité, has met with many of these partners in Mali, Ethiopia and beyond. Stephanie has a wealth of gender and transformational development capacity building experience in Sub-Saharan Africa. And now we are launching T160K.org as a global crowdsourcing mechanism in support of African cultural patrimony and heritage preservation, promotion and development. Our partners are doing amazing work and we hope through T160K to further the work of cultural preservation and artistic creativity in Africa.

I am sold! That is sounding really great. It’s not tax-deductible though, is it? Have you thought about organizing as a non-profit?

We did – but the social purpose corporation is a better fit what we are trying to do as a business. :)

Do you plan to be listed on Charity Navigator?

Unfortunately, Charity Navigator only evaluates US-based 501.c(3) charities. As a Social Purpose Corporation, T160k doesn’t meet their criteria for evaluation. I think as Social Purpose Corporations grow in popularity, we’ll see more public interest in sharing their missions. B Lab is a great resource for learning about socially-conscious businesses and what they are doing.

One of the big plusses of Charity Navigator is information about a charity’s transparency and ratio of revenues that go into administrative costs. Do you think you’ll share that kind of info?

We are dedicated to being transparent. Currently we are collecting a 15% crowdfunding fee on the funds collected. Everything else goes to the organizations we’re supporting. We’ll always make sure that the fees we collect are clearly shown on our web site.

Excellent. I think that will give people confidence in donating. Is there anything else you’d like people to know about T160K before we close?

One of the reasons we decided we wanted to create a new crowdfunding platform as opposed to running campaigns on existing platforms is we wanted the flexibility for both short term projects as well as long term patronage fund raising efforts. We wanted the flexibility to create the campaigns our partners need, and not be limited by but inspired by that. Each partnership will be unique and we will be involved at every stage. We know our partners and believe in the work they are doing, something larger platforms simply cannot be.

That makes sense. Thanks for telling us about T160K. It sounds like it’s very well-thought out and something that will be very helpful to African cultural patrimony.

Thanks :) I am thankful to be a part of it, truly.

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October 21, 2014

LibrarianShipwreck on the Emma Goldman papers

Recommended reading: LibrarianShipwreck on the fate of the Emma Goldman Papers

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Library Juice Academy courses offered in November, December, and January

Most of these classes are four weeks in length, with a price of $175.
We accept registrations through the first week of class.

Details on these courses are at http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/schedule.php

Share as appropriate, and apologies for cross-posting. Thanks!

November

Metadata Implementation
Instructor: Grace Agnew

Introduction to RDA
Instructor: Melissa Adler

Assessing and Improving Your Library’s Social Media Presence
Instructor: Julia Skinner

Getting to Know Your Users through Interviews and Focus Groups
Instructor: Jennifer Sweeney

Everyday Statistics for Librarians
Instructor: Jennifer Sweeney

Getting to Know: Fantasy
Instructor: Jessica Moyer

RDFa1.1 (RDFa and RDFa Lite) and RSS
Instructor: Robert Chavez

Advanced Topics in Client-Side Web Scripting
Instructor: Jason Bengtson

Information Literacy, Composition Studies and Higher Order Thinking
Instructor: Andrea Baer

December

Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca
Instructor: Katie Scherrer

Ontologies and Linked Data
Instructor: Robert Chavez

January

Introduction to Project Management
Instructor: Robin Hastings

Student Staff Development
Instructor: Jeremy McGinniss

Embedded Librarianship in Online Courses
Instructor: Mimi O’Malley

Visual Analytics with D3.js
Instructor: Olga Buchel

Introduction to Book Indexing
Instructor: Joanne Sprott

Getting Started with Digital Image Collections
Instructor: Beth Knazook

PHP and MySQL
Instructor: Caleb Tucker-Raymond

The SPARQL semantic query language and protocol – the Semantic Web in action
Instructor: Robert Chavez

Backward Design for Information Literacy Instruction: Fostering Critical Habits of Mind through Learning Outcomes, Assessment, and Sequencing
Instructor: Andrea Baer

While academic programs focus on conceptual understanding of foundations, we focus on the kinds of skills that library schools generally expect librarians to learn on-the-job, but which usually turn out to require additional study. These workshops earn Continuing Education Units, and are intended as professional development activities. Workshops are taught asynchronously, so you can participate as your own schedule allows.

Library Juice Academy
P.O. Box 188784
Sacramento, CA 95818
Tel. 218-260-6115
Fax 916-415-5446

inquiries@libraryjuiceacademy.com

http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/

Testimonials:
http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/testimonials.php

Check out our jingle:
http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/news/?p=139

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October 20, 2014

CFP – Deadline Extended: Library History Seminar XIII

*CALL FOR PAPERS*

Library History Seminar XIII:
Libraries: Traditions and Innovations

July 31 – August 2, 2015
Pre-Conference Tours, July 30-31, 2015

Graduate School of Library & Information Science
Simmons College
Boston, MA 02115

**

Boston, Massachusetts, the site of the Library History Seminar XIII, provides an apt setting to explore traditions and innovations in libraries. The Boston area is home to many important library innovations
in North America, including the first university library and the first large, free municipal library. At the same time, new information institutions continue to be created here, of which the Digital Public Library of America and the Digital Commonwealth of online heritage materials are two recent examples.

With Boston as the backdrop, this conference seeks to delve into the enduring and evolving aspects of libraries and librarianship. The convergence and divergence of the physical and the digital may result in
opportunities and challenges that we do not yet realize. Traditionally libraries have made their collections available to defined audiences, but today it is increasingly difficult to define and delineate user communities. At the same time, so-called “disruptive technologies” in publishing are resulting in new approaches to the collection and dissemination of information. The Library History Seminar XIII will provide a lively forum for such scholarly debate.**

We encourage the submission of papers and panels that explore the notion of the library, from brick-and-mortar to digital. Topics include, but are not limited to, the history of library services and types, library architecture, the library as place, library users (digital and virtual), library communities, challenges and opportunities of cyberspace, disruptive technologies, social media and networking, pop-up libraries, online learning, and social reading.

Proposals should include a 200-250 word abstract of the paper, along with the name, title, affiliation, and email address of the author. Panels should include an abstract for each paper, as well as an abstract
for the panel. All proposals should be submitted to lhs13@simmons.edu with the paper and panel proposals attached in a word or pdf document. Any queries regarding the conference should also be submitted to lhs13@simmons.edu.

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 15, 2014.

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October 17, 2014

Librarians and Archivists with Palestine launches “One Book, Many Communities: Mornings in Jenin”

LAP One Book logo

Here’s the press release for the latest project from Librarians and Archivists with Palestine, and we are looking for librarians and their friends to get involved!

—-

This winter, Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP) is coordinating an exciting international reading campaign: “One Book, Many Communities: Mornings in Jenin.” The project draws inspiration from the “one book, one town” idea–wherein people in local communities come together to read and discuss a common  book. LAP invites readers, librarians, and others to organize gatherings in January 2015 to discuss Mornings in Jenin, the acclaimed novel by Palestinian-American author and activist Susan Abulhawa.

Mornings in Jenin is a sweeping, heart-wrenching historical saga about four generations of the Abulheja family. From Jenin to Jerusalem to Beirut to Philadelphia, the novel follows the family from its displacement from Ein Hod village in 1948 through love and loss over decades of life in Palestine and the diaspora. LAP’s “One Book, Many Communities” campaign will introduce readers to the richness of Palestinian literature, and  create a broader awareness and understanding of Palestinian history and the struggle for self-determination.

All are welcome to organize a reading group in their community in January 2015. Book groups can be held at a library, university or school, at a local non-profit organization or community center, in a living room, or at a bookstore. Event organizers can get in touch with LAP at librarians2palestine@gmail.com. There will also be a campaign launch featuring author Susan Abulhawa at Bluestockings bookstore in New York City on Saturday, November 8.

Librarians and Archivists with Palestine is a network of self-defined librarians, archivists, and information workers in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.
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October 10, 2014

In Solidarity: Academic Librarian Labour Activism and Union Participation in Canada

In Solidarity: Academic Librarian Labour Activism and Union Participation in Canada

Editors: Jennifer Dekker and Mary Kandiuk
Price: $40.00
Published: October 2014
ISBN: 978-1-936117-62-8

With a focus on Canada, this collection provides a historical and current perspective regarding the unionization of academic librarians, an exploration of some of the major labour issues affecting academic librarians in a certified and non-certified union context, as well as case studies relating to the unionization of academic librarians at selected institutions. Topics addressed include the history of academic librarian labour organizing in Canada, academic status, academic freedom, leadership in academic staff associations, collective bargaining, and recent attacks on the rights and occupational interests of academic librarians at Canadian universities. The volume includes a broad representation of academic librarian labour activists from across Canada. Little in the way of documentation exists on academic librarian union activism and participation in Canada and this work will contribute to original research in this area. Serving as both history and handbook it will be of interest to librarians and labour historians alike.

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October 6, 2014

Copyright bedfellows of the Left

Here’s something to think about if you have sympathy for Copyleft perspectives or are simply anti-copyright.

Lots of people use Creative Commons licenses to give blanket permission for people to use their work for non-commercial purposes. (One example is the anonymously-owned Extinction Symbol, which aims to be like the famous Peace Symbol but with the goal of promoting awareness of the current mass extinction event). I think it is important to keep in mind that this is not the same thing as disavowing copyright and declaring that the work is in the public domain. By disallowing certain uses of the work this type of license retains the rights in copyright that allow the creator of a work to control its use. I think this presents a dilemma for anti-capitalists, who might want to have their cake and eat it too, in the sense that they might want to oppose copyright as a capitalist structure while at the same time wanting to employ it to prevent commercialization. Personally, I think this means that copyright is not all bad, that it is a good thing to have a legal structure that gives creators control over their work. There might be plenty that is wrong with the copyright regime, but at its root it is something that I like. That is conceivably not the only way out of the dilemma, however.

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October 4, 2014

Our booth at ALA Midwinter in Chicago

We’re attending ALA Midwinter 2015 in Chicago, and we hope to meet you there. You can find us in the exhibits hall at booth 1532. This is Litwin Books, Library Juice Press, and Library Juice Academy. And Auslander & Fox, let’s not forget that fun imprint. See you in Chicago!

MW15_WereExhibiting

#alamw15

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September 24, 2014

Journal of Scholarly Publishing – current issue TOC

Sharing the TOC of a journal I find very useful as a publisher. I think it also has a lot that would be of interest to academic librarians who do collection development.

Journal of Scholarly Publishing
Volume 46, Number 1

This Issue Includes:

University Press Forum 2014
Tom Radko
DOI 10.3138/jsp.46.1.001

Choice’s Compilation of Significant University Press Titles for Undergraduates, 2013-2014
Tom Radko
DOI 10.3138/jsp.46.1.002

Monographic Purchasing Trends in Academic Libraries:
Elisabeth A. Jones and Paul N. Courant
This article describes an exploratory study examining one contentious aspect of the relationship between university presses and academic libraries: the trends in purchases of university press books by academic libraries. The study provides an empirical basis for evaluating the frequent claim that the declining fortunes of university presses can be blamed primarily on declines in monographic purchasing by academic libraries. Our analysis indicates that this relationship is not clear-cut for at least three reasons: first, to the extent that purchasing reductions have occurred, they have occurred much more recently than many accounts have suggested; second, purchasing trends vary significantly between different sizes of libraries; and third, purchasing trends for university press books are very different from those for monographs in general. These findings cast substantial doubt on the proposition that changes in university library purchasing behaviour dating to the 1990s ‘serials crisis’ are principally responsible for the current economic malaise of university presses.
DOI 10.3138/jsp.46.1.003

From Book Publishers to Authors:
Elea Giménez-Toledo, Sylvia Fernández-Gómez, Carlos Tejada-Artigas and Jorge Mañana-RodrÍquez
The publishing processes and standards in scholarly journals are much better known than those of the publishers of scholarly books. Since scholarly books are key channels of communication and academic assessment in the humanities and social sciences, information provided by publishers concerning their publishing processes is very important both for authors and panelists (at funding and evaluation agencies). This article focuses on the analysis of the transparency of publishers in relation to the information they offer to authors. The main objective is to identify and analyze the publishing practices of two hundred scholarly book publishers of social sciences and humanities with respect to the information that they provide on their Web sites about their publishing processes. A lack of information on these Web sites is the main finding of the study. Among Spanish publishers, only 11.2 per cent explicitly state that they have a review system by experts. At the international level, the situation improves, but the shortcomings are still evident. Some guidelines for publishers are outlined and proposed.
DOI 10.3138/jsp.46.1.004

How to Be an Effective Peer Reviewer:
Stephen K. Donovan
Peer review is an essential component of modern academic publishing, but it is a task that is commonly learnt by trial and error rather than a published set of rules or principals. To review a research paper requires a close knowledge of the subject area, but contrasting reviews by a generalist and an expert in the field may provide a better appreciation of a paper’s merits to an editor than those of two experts. Reviews are there for the edification and information of the editor and to be passed on to the author; do your best to provide a constructive response.
DOI 10.3138/jsp.46.1.005

Book Reviews
Mary Jane Curry and Theresa Lillis, A Scholar’s Guide to Getting Published in English: Critical Choices and Practical Strategies, reviewed by Steven E. Gump

Laura N. Gasaway, Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals: From the Columns of Against the Grain, reviewed by Sanford G. Thatcher

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September 17, 2014

CAPAL15: Academic Librarianship and Critical Practice – CFP

Call for Proposals
CAPAL15: ACADEMIC LIBRARIANSHIP AND CRITICAL PRACTICE
CAPAL/ACBAP Annual Conference – May 31-June 2, 2015
Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2015
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario

The Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) invites you to participate in its annual conference, to be held as part of Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, which lies in unceded Algonquin territory. The conference offers librarians and allied professionals across all disciplines an alternative space to share research and scholarship, challenge current thinking about professional issues, and forge new relationships.

THEME
In keeping with the Congress 2015 theme, Capital Ideas, the focus of CAPAL15 is critical practice: the intersection of our work as librarians with purposeful critical reflection on the dominant ways of thinking, speaking, and acting that characterize academic librarianship. With academic librarians negotiating increasingly fraught settings in the academy and beyond, it is more important than ever that we inform our work with rigorous examination of our assumptions, practices, and environments, both through reflection and dialogue within the profession, as well as through engagement with other disciplines and communities.

CAPAL15 encourages the broad participation of all those with an interest in fostering critical inquiry in academic librarianship. We seek to cultivate multiple understandings of critical practice:

Practice: Critical practice asks us to consider the role of critical reflection in shaping our approaches to day-to-day professional practice. What do such concrete applications look like? How, for instance, do you apply feminist perspectives to your collections work? What does your library instruction session look like when designed through a critical pedagogy lens? What, more broadly, is the value of such applications of critical reflection?

Theory: Critical practice also points to the practice of critical theory itself – the interrogation of the limits of particular assumptions in academic librarianship and/or the investigation of LIS problems using theoretical frameworks from other disciplines. How, for instance, might postcolonial theory allow us to think more critically about intellectual freedom? What can political economy perspectives tell us about research practice in LIS?

Professional and civic engagement: Critical practice refers to critical exploration of our goals and struggles as a profession, as well their connection to other political goals such as the empowerment of students, faculty, and other members of the community, or the struggle to define universities as public space and research as public good.

POTENTIAL TOPICS
Our exchange of ideas at CAPAL15 will involve the pursuit of discussions spurred by any of these interpretations of critical practice or others, by their points of intersection, and even by the recognition of their limits. Papers presented might relate to any aspect of the following sub-themes (though they need not be limited to them):

– Critical approaches to core practices: information literacy, collections, description, archives, copyright, metrics, technology, etc.
Critical reflections on core values: intellectual freedom, (open) access, privacy, preservation, professionalism, etc.
– Critical reflections on professional issues: LIS education, deprofessionalization, governance, advocacy, etc.
– Intersections of librarianship with social and global justice, equity, decolonization
– Librarianship and higher education in relation to neoliberalism, austerity, and other socioeconomic phenomena
– Critical library research practice and/or methodologies
– Critical approaches to librarianship and culture
– Critical reflections on working in and across different disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and beyond
– Critical theory and philosophy in librarianship

SUBMISSION INFORMATION
The Program Committee invites proposals for individual papers as well as proposals for panel submissions of three papers. Individual papers are typically 20 minutes in length. For individual papers, please submit an abstract of 400-500 words and a presentation title, along with a brief biographical statement, and your contact information. For complete panels, please submit a panel abstract of 400-500 words as well as a list of all participants including brief biographical statements, and a separate abstract of 400-500 words for each presenter. Please identify and provide participants’ contact information for the panel organizer. International proposals and proposals from non-members are welcome.

Please feel free to contact the Program Committee to discuss a topic for a paper, panel, or other session format. Proposals and questions should be directed to Dave Hudson, Program Chair, at dhudson@uoguelph.ca.

Deadline for proposals: December 8th, 2014

Further information about the conference, as well as Congress 2015 more broadly, will be available soon.

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Information Ethics Roundtable 2015 – CFP

Information Ethics Roundtable 2015

University of Wisconsin Madison
April 9th & 10th

Theme: Transparency and Secrecy

Information and the CFP here

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September 15, 2014

Interview with Jessica Moyer

Jessica E. Moyer is an assistant professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Literacy Education and MS and CAS degrees from the University of Illinois, Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Moyer has taught reference and readers’ advisory courses for the LIS programs at the University of St. Catherine, San Jose State, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well and continuing education courses for the American Library Association. She is scheduled to teach some courses in Readers’ Advisory with Library Juice Academy coming up. Jessica agreed to do an interview on the Library Juice Academy blog to give people an idea of what they will get out of her courses, and a bit about her in general.

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September 10, 2014

Interview with Jason Bengtson

Jason Bengtson is the Head of Library Computing and Information Systems at the University of Oklahoma’s Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library. A co-editor of the Technology column of the Journal of Hospital Librarianship, he is also a member of the NN/LM South Central Region Technology Advisory Committee and ASIS&T. Jason is teaching a series of courses on web technologies, focusing on client-side scripting using Javascript. He agreed to do an interview for the Library Juice Academy blog to tell people about his classes and what they can expect to learn from them, as well as a bit about himself.

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An ironic concern over net neutrality

In her January piece on net neutrality in Wired Magazine that I have just now seen, former ALA President Barbara Stripling says, “…[W]ithout net neutrality, we are in danger of prioritizing Mickey Mouse and Jennifer Lawrence over William Shakespeare and Teddy Roosevelt. This may maximize profits for large content providers, but it minimizes education for all.” (I found this article linked from Margaret Heller’s informative discussion of net neutrality on the ACRL Tech Connect blog, but that is not what I want to focus on here.)

The comment I have to make about this quotation from Stripling is that it is ironic given the increased focus on popular media in public libraries since the early days of the “Give ‘em what they want” philosophy of collection development, pioneered by Charlie Robinson and Jean-Barry Molz of Baltimore County Public Library in 1979. This marked the beginning of collection development guided primarily by circulation stats, and it had the effect over time of stripping collections of materials deemed elitist and of interest to a limited number of patrons. It had the effect, really, of prioritizing Mickey Mouse and Jennifer Lawrence over William Shakespeare and Teddy Roosevelt. This trend has been in place for a long time and public library collections have been reshaped by it. I have never liked this trend, because I believe in the educational function of public libraries, but in my experience most public librarians really do not, believing that our role is not so “top down.” So this particular objection to net neutrality (and there could be others) lacks authority coming from the leader of a social institution that made the same baleful turn decades ago. Stripling may believe in the educational role of libraries as I do (I don’t know), and she may share my disgust at the way public libraries have developed since Charlie Robinson had his major influence, but I have not heard her offer the same argument regarding prevailing collection development policies as she has about net neutrality.

I apologize if I am unfairly focusing on a statement made in passing, but I think it does reveal a certain hypocrisy among the library community at large if we are so concerned about net neutrality favoring the interests of popular consumerism over higher cultural values when we are unconcerned about the same problem in our libraries.

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