Library Juice Academy has done some technical updates. We’ve upgraded to the latest version of Moodle, which makes for easier navigation among other improvements. We’ve also upgraded our servers to provide better responsiveness and to prevent hangups due to overloading. And we’ve also redone our website – Take a look…
Nicolas Beudon reports that last night there were cyberattacks against numerous French library websites, evidently by Islamist groups. They hacked into these sites using vulnerabilities in Drupal, WordPress, and ISS, as well as by cracking simple passwords. The messages they left on homepages objected to the identification of Islam with the terrorists, referring to it as brainwashing. Beudon refers to a more general article by Damien Bancal, on his site Zataz, which reports on attacks to a broad range of French government institutions’ websites. He writes, “Despite the hashtag #Contre_Charlie, the hackers are not supportive of the attacks that took place in Paris. However, their cyber warfare operation is in competition with Anonymous, who posted their intention to tackle the jihadists on the internet.”
Among the Disrupted
By Leon Wieseltier
JAN. 7, 2015
New York Times Book Review
Amid the bacchanal of disruption, let us pause to honor the disrupted. The streets of American cities are haunted by the ghosts of bookstores and record stores, which have been destroyed by the greatest thugs in the history of the culture industry. Writers hover between a decent poverty and an indecent one; they are expected to render the fruits of their labors for little and even for nothing, and all the miracles of electronic dissemination somehow do not suffice for compensation, either of the fiscal or the spiritual kind. Everybody talks frantically about media, a second-order subject if ever there was one, as content disappears into “content.” What does the understanding of media contribute to the understanding of life? Journalistic institutions slowly transform themselves into silent sweatshops in which words cannot wait for thoughts, and first responses are promoted into best responses, and patience is a professional liability. As the frequency of expression grows, the force of expression diminishes: Digital expectations of alacrity and terseness confer the highest prestige upon the twittering cacophony of one-liners and promotional announcements. It was always the case that all things must pass, but this is ridiculous…
From the website:
During the closing meeting of the International Assembly of Independent Publishers (Cape Town, South Africa, 18-21 September 2014), 400 independent publishers from 45 countries signed the International Declaration of Independent Publishers 2014.
Collectively drafted in three languages, on 20 September 2014, the Declaration 2014 is available in several languages (French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Farsi, Italian, etc.).
Statement from the ABF (Association des Bibliothécaires de France) and the ACIM (Association pour la coopération des professionnels de l’information musicale) on the attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices…
The ABF and the ACIM always take a position against censorship.
Today, January 7, 2015, a new low was reached: the assassination of those who bring a different voice, in the name of an unjustifiable and extreme ideology, and in a country that prides itself on having freedom of expression for all.
The ABF and ACIM gives their full support to the Charlie Hebdo team.
They reaffirm the importance of a free press, but also of libraries where it is possible to access all forms of expression, which counters intolerance and censorship while encouraging respect of others and coexistence.
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, too – let’s not forget that fun imprint. See you in Chicago!
*Call for Poster Session Proposals*
9th National Conference of African American Librarians
St. Louis, Missouri
August 4-8, 2015
Please submit a poster proposal for the 9th NCAAL Conference, “Meet at the Gateway: Reimagining Communities, Technologies, and Libraries.”
The poster session committee is particularly interested in proposals related to:
Information and Financial Literacy
Proposals can be submitted online at: http://bit.ly/1w6h5tb.
Graduate students and early-career librarians are encouraged to apply!
Deadline for entries is April 1, 2015 at 5 pm CST.
For more information contact the poster session committee chair: firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement from Information Studies Academics and Professionals on Documentary Evidence and Social Justice
There is a new open statement circulating, written by UCLA Information Studies faculty, led by Safiya Noble. Written in response to the events in Ferguson and the crisis that it has opened up, it expresses the political orientation of members of the LIS field. It is titled, “Statement from Information Studies Academics and Professionals on Documentary Evidence and Social Justice,” and it is the first item on the new #critinfo blog. Here’s the blog’s self-description:
This blog was inspired by working on a statement that “Black Lives Matter” to the LIS community by a majority of the faculty at the UCLA Department of Information Studies. Because there is a lack of clarity about whether UCLA resources can be used to promote such a statement, we are posting our statement here, and asking our colleagues to link to us and promote more signatures and affirmation about the importance of social justice to the LIS community.
We invite other statements to be sent to this site, which is currently maintained by Safiya Noble in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. For more information: contact criticalinfostudies (at) gmail *dot* com
The American Library Association has increasingly received feedback from members saying that it’s unclear how to get involved. Over the past couple of years the association has made an effort to deal with this problem by setting up what are called Virtual Town Halls and Kitchen Table Conversations, which are opportunities for members to share their ideas. ALA is now expanding on this with a new feature on the website at ala.org/engage/. This webpage is helpful, because it does indeed provide pathways for engagement with ALA. However, there is a larger problem at the root of people’s sense that the association doesn’t offer well-defined pathways in, and that is in the fact that over the years it has become less of an association of librarians and more a business serving librarians.
Membership dues presently make up 15 to 20 percent of ALA revenues, as compared to 100% in the first days of the association. (Net profits from publishing activities are greater than revenues from membership dues today.) Years ago, ALA published the ALA Bulletin, which was a monthly report on ALA’s activities that all members received. Today the publication that goes to all members is American Libraries, which is a general magazine similar to Library Journal that reports on the library scene. Speaking only for myself, my copy of American Libraries goes straight into the trash each month, because it is basically a dumbed-down version of what I can already find on the web concerning libraries. The ALA publication I do read on a monthly basis is ALA Executive Director Keith Fiels’ “Monthly Report to Council and the Executive Board,” which, thankfully, ends up getting distributed to a discussion list that I subscribe to. December’s report is 26 pages long, and tells me a few details about what different parts of the association have been up to.
Aside from the impossible, which would be to completely reorient ALA as a professional association as opposed to a business serving the profession, I have one recommendation for ALA to help engage members. That is first to completely drop American Libraries, because it serves no useful purpose any longer, and to replace it with a new ALA Bulletin, whose function would be to take the same information that is in the Executive Director’s “Monthly Report” and share it with all ALA members. Come to think of it, this information deserves to be fleshed out for a wider readership, so that the items in the latest 26-page report, for example, could be expanded to fill out a 90-page bulletin. This would go a very long way to making members feel included in what is rightfully their own association, that is, an association that is constituted by members rather than a separate entity serving members. Some of what is in the “Monthly Report” are summaries of the activities of ALA’s offices, but most of it involves the work of various committees that are made up of active members. Most members have no awareness of these committees, or even much awareness of what ALA does.
Although the new “engage” page is useful, it still has an “ALA and you” feel to it, where it should really tell members, “ALA is you,” and should provide its pathways to engagement based on that assumption. But the first step to engaging members is to include members by informing them better. There is no reason the information in the “Monthly Report” should be for Council and the Executive Board only, and not for the membership.
Program at Midwinter: The Social Justice Collaboratorium: Illuminating Pathways between Social Justice Issues and LIS
I don’t often post news about programs happening at ALA conferences, since most people reading this won’t be attending, but this one is kind of flying under the radar, especially from the point of view of people in SRRT, so it deserves highlighting. It is called The Social Justice Collaboratorium: Illuminating Pathways between Social Justice Issues and LIS. It’s being put together by the ALA Spectrum Doctoral Fellows in conjunction with ALISE. It is primarily about an online project for sharing information about social justice work being done by academics and practitioners. Here is more info:
More “right-sizing” bullshit.
Barnard’s faculty and staff claim they were shut out of the decision-making process for the new library, which faculty say also led to the resignation of the Dean of Barnard Library and Information Services Lisa Norberg.
Administrators outlined the plan for the new Teaching and Learning Center, which includes removing 40,000 books from Barnard’s on-site collections and moving research librarians to cubicles rather than offices, at a Dec. 2 faculty meeting, according to faculty and library staff present at the meeting.
Inland Editions is a new publisher out of London that is particularly interested in libraries. They are preparing to publish their first book, which appears to be a beautifully designed art book primarily about library architecture. It’s called Bookspace, and they are running a Kickstarter campaign to fund its production. That seems a little bit hinky to me if they are a commercial publisher, but okay, they need capital because it appears to be a book that will be expensive to produce. The expected publication date is February 2015, coming right up. Inland Editions also has a blog that focuses on libraries and is quite different from the usual library-related fare, as they are not librarians but artists and intellectuals of various stripes.
As former editors and writers for The New Republic, we write to express our dismay and sorrow at its destruction in all but name.
From its founding in 1914, The New Republic has been the flagship and forum of American liberalism. Its reporting and commentary on politics, society, and arts and letters have nurtured a broad liberal spirit in our national life.
The magazine’s present owner and managers claim they are giving it new relevance while remaining true to its century-old mission. Instead, they seem determined to strip it of the intellectual, literary, and political commitments that have been its essence and meaning. Their pronouncements suggest that they hold those commitments in contempt.
The New Republic cannot be merely a “brand.” It has never been and cannot be a “media company” that markets “content.” Its essays, criticism, reportage, and poetry are not “product.” It is not, or not primarily, a business. It is a voice, even a cause. It has lasted through numerous transformations of the “media landscape”—transformations that, far from rendering its work obsolete, have made that work ever more valuable.
The New Republic is a kind of public trust. That is something all its previous owners and publishers understood and respected. The legacy has now been trashed, the trust violated.
It is a sad irony that at this perilous moment, with a reactionary variant of conservatism in the ascendancy, liberalism’s central journal should be scuttled with flagrant and frivolous abandon. The promise of American life has been dealt a lamentable blow.
Peter Beinart (Editor)
Sidney Blumenthal (Senior editor)
Jonathan Chait (Senior editor)
David Grann (Senior editor)
David Greenberg (Acting editor)
Hendrik Hertzberg (Editor)
Ann Hulbert (Senior editor)
Robert Kuttner (Economics editor)
Robert B. Reich (Contributing editor)
Jeffrey Rosen (Legal editor)
Peter Scoblic (Executive editor)
Evan Smith (Deputy editor)
Joan Stapleton Tooley (Publisher)
Paul Starr (Contributing editor)
Ronald Steel (Contributing editor)
Andrew Sullivan (Editor)
Margaret Talbot (Deputy editor)
Dorothy Wickenden (Executive editor)
Sean Wilentz (Contributing editor)
Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award: Call for Papers
The Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award is presented by the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association annually to recognize the best essay written in English on library history. The award is named in honor of the distinguished nineteenth-century librarian, historian, and bibliographer who was also ALA’s first president. It consists of a certificate and a $500 cash award, as well as an invitation to have the winner’s essay considered for publication in Information & Culture: A Journal of History. If the winning essay is accepted for publication, additional revisions may be required.
Manuscripts submitted should not be previously published, previously submitted for publication, or under consideration for publication or another award. To be considered, essays should embody original historical research on a significant topic in library history, be based on primary sources whenever possible, and use good English composition and superior style. The Library History Round Table is particularly interested in works that place the subject within its broader historical, social, cultural, and political context and make interdisciplinary connections with print culture and information studies. Essays should be organized in a form similar to that of articles published in Information & Culture: A Journal of History, with footnotes, spelling and punctuation conforming to the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. Papers should not exceed thirty-five typewritten, double-spaced pages (plus footnotes and bibliography).
Submissions and Selection
Applicants must send five copies of the manuscript or submit electronically. The name and other information identifying the author should appear only on a separate cover letter. Applications must be received by January 31, 2015. Receipt will be confirmed with four business days.
Submit manuscripts to:
LHRT: Justin Winsor Award Committee
Office for Research and Statistics
American Library Association
50 East Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
or send files electronically to:
with Subject line: LHRT: Justin Winsor Award Committee
Special issue: Radical Archives
Deadline: April 15, 2015
“Radical archives” and “radical archiving” are concepts that continue to gain currency among archivists, artists and cultural theorists alike, but to date, discussions of “radical archives” and “radical archiving” often appear to rest on an assumed rather than articulated understanding of what these concepts mean. For this special issue of Archive Journal (scheduled for Fall 2015), we seek essays (3000 to 5000 words), reviews, and/or interviews (text, image, audio and video formats welcome) that address one or more of the following questions with the aim of bringing greater clarity to the “radical” in discussions of archives and archiving:
– What do we mean when we talk about “radical archives” and “radical archiving”? Does the “radical” point to a specific politic, to types of content, or to a set of practices that challenge archival standards?
– How might we define “radical content” and “radical practice” in relation to archives?
– Are radical practices necessarily opposed to archival standards?
– To what extent are archival standards responsive to change? Why do cultural theorists’ accounts of archives so often rest on the assumption that archives are by definition resistant to change? Is there an investment in understanding archives as sites of inflexibility and stagnation?
– Is radical content (e.g., the archives of activist collectives, social movements, or avant-garde artists) best served by practices that eschew archival standards? What are the short and long-term consequences of such decisions?
– How might community-based archives support the work of institutional collections and vice-versa? Furthermore, what questions, anxieties and/or possibilities are opened up when we begin to think about preservation across these spaces?
– What, in fact, do we mean by “archives”? For many outside of libraries and institutional archives, the term has come simply to mean a collection of “curated” materials. How do we talk about “radical archives” without a shared understanding of what an archive is, or of what it signifies for different types of practitioners and theorists?
– How might the work of cultural theorists with investments in radical, activist and queer archives benefit from a deeper engagement with the practices, discourses and perspectives of working archivists, and vice versa?
Please send submissions to guest editors Lisa Darms (email@example.com) and Kate Eichorn (firstname.lastname@example.org) by April 15, 2015. Proposals should include a brief (200-word) professional biography. An open access, peer-reviewed journal, Archive Journal seeks content that speaks to its diverse audience that includes librarians, scholars, archivists, technologists, and students.