July 27, 2015

Call for Papers: Deadline Extended for Inaugural Issue of JCLIS

Call for Papers: Deadline Extended for Inaugural Issue

Theme: Why is the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies needed today?

The Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies is a peer-reviewed open access journal which addresses the need for critical discourse in library and information science and associated domains such as communication and media studies. It critically engages the cultural forms, social practices, the political economy, and the history of information and information institutions. It also seeks to broaden the methodological commitments of the field and to broaden the scope of library and information studies by applying diverse critical, trans-disciplinary, and global perspectives. The journal engages issues of social and cognitive justice and the historical and contemporary roles of documentary, information, and computational technologies in creating, mediating, surveilling, and challenging personal and social identities in cultural and political economies of power and expression.

For its inaugural issue, the JCLIS will focus on why such a journal is needed, as a platform for critical discourse in LIS. JCLIS seeks to publish research articles, literature reviews, and possibly other essay forms (up to 7000 words) that use or examine critical perspectives on library and information studies. Some of the issues that might be addressed are: What are the current gaps in disciplines and discourses that make the JCLIS necessary? How can scholars speak to past silences in research and thinking in information studies? What is “critical perspective” in library and information studies research? What ethical or political commitments might a critical perspective entail? What do critical perspectives look like in practice?

The theme for the inaugural issue is broad by design in order to encourage diverse perspectives in describing, analyzing, and providing insight into how and where library and information studies might intersect with ethical, philosophical, and/or political concerns, interpretative or speculative approaches to analysis, or experimentation with novel, unique, or exploratory research designs that might be marginalized or excluded from mainstream library and information studies research. JCLIS aims to be a an inclusive platform for library and information studies research,including locally specific research designs and investigations as well as research that adopts a more global or international frame of inquiry. To that end, the journal also welcomes unpublished works in translation.

Deadline for receipt of manuscripts has been extended to December 18th, 2015.

Possible topic areas may include (but are not limited to):

– What is/are critical library and information studies? What might distinguish critical approaches?

– The use of a particular critical perspective for research into topics relevant to library and information studies

– Different notions of critical approaches and perspectives, and their relations to information and knowledge studies and research

– When and why are critical approaches timely? How does its timeliness or not apply to today’s problems of information and knowledge?

– Applications of critical approaches in information institution, organization, or community contexts of practice.

– How critical approaches or methods might relate to other contemporary topics within library and information studies: open access, patron privacy, evolutions in scholarly communication, digital humanities, etc.

– How are critical perspectives included or excluded from empirical or engineering methods in the information and library sciences?

– Descriptions and reflections on methods for conducting library and information studies research with a critical approach. What is the relationship of method tocritical activity?

– Critical perspectives on race and ethnicity in LIS, and/or the need for critical perspectives in LIS research.

– How might postcolonial theory expand the scope and methods of LIS research?

– Critical approaches for investigating militarism and the politics of information.

– Development/Implementation of information services for diasporic populations.

– What has been the relation of critical theory to the LIS tradition and its modes of historical, qualitative, and quantitative research?

– What is the relationship of critical theory to LIS education and to LIS research?

– Failures and shortcomings: how can critical perspectives inform and improve library and information studies?

– Gender and identity within LIS: how might critical perspectives or approaches be used to explore or investigate them?

– #critlib and alternative platforms for critical professional conversation

– Library and information studies versus library and information science: What are the differences?

Types of Submissions
JCLIS welcomes the following types of submissions:

Research Articles (no more than 7000 words)
Perspective Essays (no more than 5000 words)
Literature Reviews (no more than 7000 words)
Interviews (no more than 5000 words)
Book or Exhibition Reviews (no more than 1200 words)
Research articles and literature reviews are subject to peer review by two referees. Perspective essays are subject to peer review by one referee. Interviews and book or exhibition reviews are subject to review by the issue editor(s).

Guest Editors for the Inaugural Issue of JCLIS
Please direct questions to the guest editors for the issue:

Ronald Day, Indiana University – Bloomington: roday@indiana.edu
Alycia Sellie, Graduate Center, City University of New York: ASellie@gc.cuny.edu
Andrew J Lau, UCLA Extension: andrewjlau@ucla.edu

Journal Editors
Associate Editor: Emily Drabinski
Associate Editor: Rory Litwin
Managing Editor: Andrew J Lau

Description of the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies

The mission of the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies is to serve as a peer-reviewed platform for critical discourse in and around library and information studies from across the disciplines. This includes but is not limited to research on the political economy of information, information institutions such as libraries, archives, and museums, reflections on professional contexts and practices, questioning current paradigms and academic trends, questioning the terms of information science, exploring methodological issues in the context of the field, and otherwise enriching and broadening the scope of library and information studies by applying diverse critical and trans-disciplinary perspectives. Recognizing library and information studies as a diverse, cross-disciplinary field reflective of the scholarly community’s diverse range of interests, theories, and methods, JCLIS aims to showcase innovative research that queries and critiques current paradigms in theory and practice through perspectives that originate from across the humanities and social sciences.

Each issue is themed around a particular topic or set of topics, and features a guest editor (or guest editors) who will work with the managing editor to shape the issue’s theme and develop an associated call for papers. Issue editors will assist in the shepherding of manuscripts through the review and preparation processes, are encouraged to widely solicit potential contributions, and work with authors in scoping their respective works appropriately.

JCLIS is open access in publication, politics, and philosophy. In a world where paywalls are the norm for access to scholarly research, the Journal recognizes that removal of barriers to accessing information is key to the production and sharing of knowledge. Authors retain copyright of manuscripts published in JCLIS, generally with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. If an article is republished after initially publication in JCLIS, the republished article should indicate that it was first published by JCLIS.

Submission Guidelines for Authors
The Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies welcomes submissions from senior and junior faculty, students, activists, and practitioners working in areas of research and practice at the intersection of critical theory and library and information studies.

Authors retain the copyright to material they publish in the JCLIS, but the Journal cannot re-publish material that has previously been published elsewhere. The journal also cannot accept manuscripts that have been simultaneously submitted to another outlet for possible publication.

Citation Style
JCLIS uses the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition as the official citation style for manuscripts published by the journal. All manuscripts should employ the Notes and Bibliography style (as footnotes with a bibliography), and should conform to the guidelines as described in the Manual.

Submission Process
Manuscripts are to be submitted through JCLIS’ online submission system (http://libraryjuicepress.com/journals/index.php/jclis) by December 18th, 2015. This online submission process requires that manuscripts be submitted in separate stages in order to ensure the anonymity of the review process and to enable appropriate formatting.

Abstracts (500 words or less) should be submitted in plain text and should not include information identifying the author(s) or their institutional affiliations. With the exception of book reviews, an abstract must accompany all manuscript submissions before they are reviewed for publication.

The main text of the manuscript must be submitted as a stand-alone file (in Microsoft Word or RTF)) without a title page, abstract, page numbers, or other headers or footers. The title, abstract, and author information should be submitted through the submission platform.

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July 23, 2015

A Decade of Critical Information Literacy: A Review of the Literature

A Decade of Critical Information Literacy: A Review of the Literature

By Eamon Tewell

From Communications in Information Literacy, Vol. 9, No. 1 (2015)


As information literacy continues in its centrality to many academic libraries’ missions, a line of inquiry has developed in response to ACRL’s charge to develop information literate citizens. The literature of critical information literacy questions widely held assumptions about information literacy and considers in what ways librarians may encourage students to engage with and act upon information’s complex and inherently political nature. This review explores the research into critical information literacy, including critical pedagogy and critiques of information literacy, in order to provide an entry point for this emerging and challenging approach to information literacy.

Full text: PDF

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July 21, 2015

Interview with Catelynne Sahadath

Catelynne Sahadath is the Head of Metadata Development at the University of Calgary, where she manages the cataloging section, where she was responsible for leading their transition from AACR2 to RDA in 2013. Catelynne has previously worked on cataloging and digitization projects for the Government of Canada, and her research focuses on change management in technical services and the impacts of cataloguing changes on public services. Catelynn is teaching a class for us next month, on AACR2 Legacy Practices, and a class in September titled, Introduction to Library Classification in Dewey and LC. She agreed to do an interview about these classes for the LJA blog.

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July 17, 2015

Project ARCC

From the website:

Project ARCC is a task force of archivists striving to motivate the archival profession to affect climate change. We seek to achieve a four-fold mission:

– Protect archival collections from the impact of climate change
– Reduce our professional carbon and ecological footprint
– Elevate climate change related archival collections to improve public awareness and understanding of climate change
– Preserve this epochal moment in history for future research and understanding

Sounds good to me!!!


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July 16, 2015

CFP – Conceptual Crowbars and Classification at the Crossroads: The Impact and Future of Classification Research

Conceptual Crowbars and Classification at the Crossroads: The Impact and Future of Classification Research

Workshop sponsored by ASIS&T SIG/Classification Research
ASIS&T 2015 Annual Meeting
Saturday, November 7, 2015, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, USA

This year’s Classification Research workshop consciously and critically engages the general conference theme, “Information Science with Impact,” in order to frame conversations about the results and significance of classification research. With the increasing emphasis on impact in and around information science, the theme provides us with an opportunity to consider some of the ways in which we define ourselves as a Classification Research group and how we understand our research to affect and influence theory and practice. Classification matters not only in the functioning of information systems and technologies, but also in the lived experiences of individuals, and in society, organizations, and all information contexts.

The spate of violent events in the U.S., together with the resistance and response, quickens a crucial set of questions about the nature of our work. This workshop aims to cast such violence as a knowledge organization problem. We also aim to consider whether and how classificatory acts and systems can be reparative, or even transformative: What bearing does the structuring of knowledge have upon the seeking, reception, circulation, and use of knowledge and information? Do classifications tell us something about agendas, political contexts, or authority? What role do our classification systems play in constituting, and challenging categories of difference? In what ways have communities used and/or challenged classifications in civic action and protest?

We welcome papers that address positive or negative and intended or unintended consequences of classification, as well as papers and projects that explore potential and possibilities for classification systems and research. Doctoral students are encouraged to submit paper/presentation proposals, and two scholarships covering workshop fees will be awarded to student authors. We also invite presentations and posters of classification design projects in any stage of development, as well as nontraditional presentation formats.

We are interested in work that addresses questions and issues such as the following:

· Encounters with classification in daily life, on- and off-line
· Material effects of classifications, e.g., how do classifications bar or grant access to information, and in what ways does this matter?
· Structures and hierarchies and their effects and consequences
· Design and aesthetics in classifications
· Consequences of specific systems or types of systems, e.g., thesauri, universal classifications, folksonomies
· Reparative/transformative classifications
· Classification research as it relates to diversity initiatives
· Limitations and possibilities for assessing impact of classifications
· The role of classifications in constituting and ordering value in information science, i.e., how measurements of impact rely upon the classification and ranking of what counts as research, users, and knowledge
· Critical / theoretical discussions of classifications, e.g., critical race studies, queer theory, disability studies
· Classificatory mechanisms as tools for building or dividing communities
· Classifications as reflections of agencies, nations, individuals, or organizations
· Classifications in particular contexts, e.g., health information, libraries, archives, the Semantic Web, Linked Open Data, social media, etc.
· Knowledge organization in scientific and political debates, e.g. climate change
· The construction of users (user types, user communities, user identities) through classification


August 20, 2015: Submit abstracts of no more than 500 words for a paper, poster, or alternative format presentation to Melissa Adler: melissa.adler@uky.edu
Include your name, title, and institutional affiliation with your submission.

September 10, 2015: Tentative author notification date, to be determined so that authors will be notified ahead of the early bird registration date.


$100, SIG/CR members
$110, non-SIG/CR members
(Fees increase after the early bird registration deadline)

Melissa Adler, University of Kentucky
Jonathan Furner, UCLA
Barbara H. Kwasnik, Syracuse
Joseph T. Tennis, University of Washington

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July 14, 2015

Interview with Megan Wacha

Megan Wacha is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at the City University of New York. Driven by the statement that Wikipedia is “the encyclopedia that anyone can edit,” she utilizes this open resource to teach information literacy skills and to make underrepresented groups more visible on Wikipedia. She has presented this work at conferences such as the LITA Forum, ALA Annual, WikiConference USA and Wikimania, the global Wikipedia conference. Megan is teaching a class for Library Juice Academy next month, titled, Wikipedia: Library Initiatives and Expert Editing. She agreed to do an interview on the LJA blog to give people a better idea of what they will learn from her class and a bit about her background for teaching it.

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July 13, 2015

2015-16 Catalog

Download the Litwin Books/Library Juice Press 2015-16 Catalog

Download it…

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July 11, 2015

CFP: The Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership

The Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership

Call for Proposals

Editors: Shirley Lew and Baharak Yousefi
Publisher: Library Juice Press

The Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership aims to make explicit the ways in which a grounding in feminist theory and practice impacts the work of library administrators who identify as feminists.

Recent scholarship by LIS researchers and practitioners on the intersections of gender with sexuality, race, class, and other social categories within libraries and other information environments have highlighted the need and desire of this community to engage with these concepts both in theory and praxis.

The current project adds to this conversation by focusing on a subset of feminist LIS professionals and researchers in leadership roles who engage critically with both management work and librarianship. By collecting these often implicit professional acts, interactions, and dynamics and naming them as explicitly feminist, these accounts will both document aspects of an existing community of practice as well as invite fellow feminists, advocates, and resisters to consider library leadership as a career path.

Proposals might consider questions such as:

  • Do current practices in library leadership training encourage a critique of power structures within librarianship?
  • What does a feminist-led library or information organization look and feel like?
  • What are the synergies between feminist and the open knowledge movements?
  • How can feminists in library leadership best mentor future feminist leaders? What are the consequences of feminist librarians avoiding leadership work for the profession as a whole?
  • How might feminist leaders best advocate for anti-oppression work and confront white privilege in their libraries?
  • What are examples of intersectional feminist strategies within library leadership?
  • In professional contexts where librarians have academic freedom, are they exercising that freedom fully? If not, why not?
  • “Good” vs. “bad” feminism: is there a hierarchy of acceptance of feminist practice within ILS?
  • How can a feminist framework guide the work of developing collection policies?
  • In our professional history, what are the ways in which librarians have used a feminist framework in their practice of leadership?
  • Feminist leaders are often found leading from without, rather than from within, our institutions. Is this due to personal choice, institutional barriers, or are there other forces at play?


Proposals can cover a variety of professional and theoretical topics and methodologies.
Submissions concerning the intersection of gender with sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and class within the context of library leadership are strongly encouraged. Established and emerging practitioners, scholars, and activists are encouraged to submit proposals by December 7, 2015.

Proposals should contain 1) an abstract of no more than 500 words describing the proposed contribution and 2) a brief biographical statement about the author(s). Submit proposals to feministsamongus@gmail.com.

About the Editors

Shirley Lew is Director, Library and Learning Centre at Vancouver Community College. She is Past-President of the BC Book Prizes, Director on the Vancouver Writers Fest Board, and an active member in professional and literary arts communities for fifteen years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography and Master of Library and Information Studies.

Baharak Yousefi is Head Librarian at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey Campus Library and a Director on the Board of the BC Libraries Cooperative. She received a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies in 2003 and a Master of Library and Information Studies in 2007. She lives on the unceded traditional lands of the Musqueam, Skwxwu7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh people in Vancouver, BC.

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July 1, 2015

2015 Litwin Books Award for Ongoing Dissertation Research in the Philosophy of Information

We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2015 Litwin Books Award for Ongoing Dissertation Research in the Philosophy of Information. We are granting this year’s award to Quinn DuPont of the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, based on his dissertation project, tentatively titled, “Plaintext, Encryption, and Ciphertext: A History of Cryptography and its Influence on Contemporary Society.” DuPont’s nominating faculty member wrote:

“His intellectual background allows for cross-pollination of rigorous theoretical approaches from different fields and is useful as a way to add dimension to media archaeology, which has its roots in history and the social sciences. This hybridization adds theory to empirical research, while forcing information studies into a theoretical conversation of its own methods.”

The award consists of a certificate suitable for framing and $1000 check.

Since this award is for ongoing research, other applicants who are still working on their dissertations will be eligible to enter their work next year, and we strongly encourage them to do so.

For more information about the award, please visit http://litwinbooks.com/award.php.

Rory Litwin
Litwin Books, LLC
PO Box 188784
Sacramento, CA 95818

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June 22, 2015

CFP: Librarians as Helping Professionals

REFLECTIONS: Narratives of Professional Helping
Published by Cleveland State University School of Social Work
Call for Narratives: Special Issue on Librarians as Helping Professionals
Deadline: September 30, 2015
Laura Habat, Guest Editor

Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping is a double-blind peer reviewed interdisciplinary journal that has been published since 1995. All of the journal’s issues are now available online at www.rnoph.org and via EBSCO SocIndex. This is a call for narratives to be featured in a Special Issue: Librarians as Helping Professionals.

The compelling vignettes found in Reflections narratives portray interpersonal interactions, witnessed events, and felt experiences. Rooted in key moments, this narrative content is placed within the context of a well-told story (exposition). In addition to showing and telling what happened in their practice and activism, authors often reflect on their stories and share conclusions. Reflections articles are valuable for education for practice. They also contribute to empirical knowledge about the nature of practice in the helping professions and often introduce important ideas and concepts that address unresolved theoretical problems.

The present Special Issue on Librarians as Helping Professionals will publish narratives about professional practice with individuals and communities as it relates to librarianship. Historical reflections on the role of librarianship as a helping profession are also welcome. Librarians and other helping professionals recognize the need for access to information and resources that encourage learning, enrichment, and a sense of community. Another shared value is a commitment to helping others and working with the public, including vulnerable populations. Librarianship is firmly rooted in advocacy for information and working with people to access that information. Libraries promote lifelong learning, civic engagement and community development. Librarians are both information professionals and helping professionals. We offer a unique perspective in our work with the community. This special issue is an opportunity for librarians to publish narratives which acknowledge these aspects of the profession.

Please read the Helpful Instructions on the journal website as well as the Review Guidelines prior to preparing your manuscript. Write your narrative in a style which makes sense to you, from a single vignette to longer stories with multiple portrayals of interaction and references to literature, within the range of 1200-8000 words. Submit to Reflections, being sure to choose the Librarians as Helping Professionals section when doing so. When registering for the journal, be sure to check the author box. For feedback, even on an early idea for a narrative, please contact the Guest Editor: Laura Habat, MLIS, MSW-Candidate, l.habat@vikes.csuohio.edu. Librarians wishing to serve as reviewers of submitted articles are also welcome to contact the guest editor.

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June 9, 2015

Interview with Chris Roth

Chris Roth is the author of Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar, which was published by Litwin Books in March of this year. Chris is a social-cultural and linguistic anthropologist with an interest in the symbolic politics of nationalism and ethnicity. He has worked extensively with indigenous groups in northern British Columbia and southeast Alaska and is the author of an ethnography of the Tsimshian Nation. He has also done research with and about New Age and paranormal subcultures in the U.S. and elsewhere. Don’t be intimidated by his academic accomplishments though. As a writer and a person, Chris has a sense of fun and an earthy sense of humor. He publishes an entertaining and very informative blog about micronations and nationalist movements called “Springtime of Nations.” Chris agreed to do an interview with me about his book, to better give people a a sense about it.

Chris, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

I’d like to start by asking about your blog, Springtime of Nations, which kind of led to the book. Would you describe it and tell us how it got started?

I started the blog in 2011, around the time I began working on Let’s Split! In a way, the book sort of led to the blog—or they led to each other, I suppose—since I was researching the topic of separatist movements and finding that underneath all of the so-called “normal” international politics in the news there were these smaller struggles for self-determination that were being lost amid the noise, and I started presenting these stories as news dispatches from a sort of alternative international order. Of course in the years since then the world has changed a lot. Now things like the Scottish and Catalonian independence votes, and Islamic State and Kurdistan forming themselves in the Middle East, and of course the Russian puppet states sprouting like mushrooms in Ukraine, are bigger stories. I was analyzing and commenting on things like the rise of ISIS and the powderkeg of Crimea before the mainstream media were. For years I did a feature in the blog called “The Week in Separatist News,” which involved sifting through piles of news reports from around the world, and this was a fantastic way to do the front-end, moving-target research on the hundreds of movements worldwide that I discuss in the book. Lots of people, even overseas, have told me that when they Google “springtime of nations” the first thing that comes up is my blog. The Wikipedia article on the actual Springtime of Nations—the wave of European revolutions in 1848—is actually only the second hit. That kind of surprised me the first time I noticed it. So I guess people are reading it!

In addition to being fun to read, your blog really has turned into an unparalleled information resource on the topic, and so is the book. Why don’t you give an outline of the book itself?

Well, this is an example of a book written because it was a book the author wanted to read. I was frustrated that there wasn’t a single volume that gave an overview of modern separatist movements in the way that readers would be able to connect with. There were global guides to rebel movements written by security-consulting firms, there were a few books specifically on micronations, and there were some rather slapped together volumes listing independence movements which had either no maps at all or only tiny crude maps; one such book had flags, but they were in black and white, which makes one wonder: why bother? It occurred to me that a lot of the trends underlying separatist movements were bigger than local: the attempts to erase or redraw borders left over from European colonialism in places like Africa and the Middle East, grass-roots indigenous movements in places like South America and the South Pacific and the Arctic, the ongoing fragmentation of former pieces of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and tensions arising with those discontented with the European Union—all of these phenomena deserved to be addressed in a way that allowed the reader to see this phenomena alongside one another and interacting. This also allows readers to see larger-scale historical trends—for example, the sense that empires based in Moscow, London, Istanbul, Tehran, and Berlin (in Berlin’s case, a monetary empire) are still trying to sort out where their respective spheres of influence begin and end after the geopolitical earthquake of 1918, when World War I ended. In some ways, World War I has more geopolitical reverberations today than World War II does—that’s how the whole idea of “self-determination” “became a thing,” as they say nowadays—and its aftermath is still being worked out in borderlands like the Balkans and the Caucasus and the Steppes and the Levant. Most of all, I was lucky to have a publisher that shared my vision that a book that brought together large amounts of information that hadn’t been brought together before also needed to have that information visually presented in a new way that would grab people. One of the things I’m happiest about with the book is that as you flip through it there are these dozens of maps that are full color and that show different layers of information about a particular region—historical borders, aspired-to borders, demographic features like the distribution of different ethnic and linguistic groups, and also some of the resource areas and trade routes that sharpen a lot of the ongoing conflicts and movements. The first few map makers we talked to said, “No, no, you can’t do all that in one map, you’d better just have one map that shows the languages of the region, and another one showing what the borders were before 1918, and another one” etc. etc. And I said, “No, but it’s all connected, you can’t understand why what’s happening in Iraq and Syria is happening in the way it is unless you see it, bang, all at once.” Valerie Sebestien did our maps and they’re unlike any collection of maps I’ve seen. In conjunction with the hundreds of flag designs and the sidebars with numbers and data in them scattered through the book, and what’s I hoped would be the go-to book for anyone interested in this very central topic.

Yes, I think it is the go-to book on this topic, whether someone is looking for a reference book or a book to sit and read on a Sunday afternoon. As you recall, when we first discussed the book, I was expecting it to be much shorter, and I was surprised by the amount of work the designer had to put into it to lay out all the pages (and how much money she charged us). The length of it – it comes it at 634 large-format pages. Had you ever written something that substantial? Was it a surprise to you as well?

It was. I realized it was a big topic, but I didn’t realize how much space I would need to give it the treatment it really deserves. I envisioned something that would weigh in as much shorter. If I’d known from the beginning that the final product would be that long I might not have had the guts to jump in and start, but as it happened it just mushroomed. My other full book, which is an academic book, an ethnography of the Tsimshian tribal group in Alaska and British Columbia, was shorter, but I must say it took longer than I expected it would. I’m a perfectionist at heart, I suppose: I wanted to make sure that the issues I wanted to raise and the points I wanted to make were completely nailed down, and I took a similar approach with getting Let’s Split! to a point where I felt it was doing its full job. Of course, with Let’s Split!, there’s a difference: since I discuss ongoing political situations, I’m writing about a moving target. Some aspects of it are—I won’t say outdated—but partially superceded. That’s inevitable. But I was happy it saw print on a timetable that allowed last year’s Scottish referendum and the expansion of ISIS and the eastern Ukrainian conflict to get full treatments in there. And I feel the book sets a historical and political background for new events that may arise. When new separatist regions flare up—and I’m anticipating further disintegration in Libya and Moldova soon, as well as an acceleration toward independence in Kurdistan and regional fragmentation within England—Let’s Split! is still a place to turn to to understand the history and the dynamics.

I think we’ve given people a fair idea of the book. As a final question, what other book projects do you envision maybe doing down the road?

It would be nice to be able to update Let’s Split! every few years to keep up with current events, but whether it makes sense to do that will depend, of course, on its reception. Recently, I’ve been intrigued by deposed royal families and governments-in-exile, which is a category of non-state or pseudo-state that overlaps with the material in Let’s Split! but also gets at some of the legal and metaphysical questions at the very root of the idea of statehood, and also involves an appreciation of social structures and descent systems in different cultures, which is an interest of mine coming out of anthropology. As with Let’s Split!, one of the attractions of this topic is that it’s a zone where serious geopolitical and legal questions intersect with wildly colorful stories of real people whose stories tend to get buried in the 21st-century news cycle. I’m not sure I’m up to another giant global survey of a volume, but those are the kinds of alleys and byways of history and politics that my mind is running down lately. Readers can check out the Let’s Split! Facebook page as well as the Springtime of Nations blog to see what sorts of things are turning up in my research as I start to orient myself for the next thing.

That sounds like some very interesting material on the horizon. I hope that Litwin Books will be involved in publishing it.

Thanks very much for taking the time to do this interview.

My pleasure!

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June 8, 2015

Open Access Conference 2015: Learning from Experience


San Jose State University
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
October 23, 2015

Call For Proposals

In celebration of Open Access Week, San Jose State University will be hosting
its biennial one-day conference on October 23, 2015, on all things Open: Open
Access, Open Educational Resources, Open Education. For the conference
sessions, we are interested in what worked, what didn’t work, and why in areas
related to:

–Open access publishing and institutional repositories
–Sustainability, scalability, and assessment of open access
–Open educational resources and open access applications in the classroom
–Massive open online courses (MOOCs) : copyright issues, assessment,
–Outreach, promotion, and overcoming resistance to open initiatives

We will consider proposals for individual presentations and panels organized
around a theme. Presentations are scheduled for either 60 minutes or 30
minutes. In the final program, 30-minute sessions will be paired. We are also
offering a lightning round session consisting of 5- to 10-minute presentations
showcasing your best ideas and your most educational failures.

Submit your presentation proposal to:


Deadline for proposals: July 31, 2015
Notification of accepted proposals expected: August 15, 2015

Please feel free to contact the Program Planning Committee with questions:

Ann Agee, Program Proposal Coordinator, at ann.agee@sjsu.edu and
Christina Mune, Program Planning Chair, at christina.mune@sjsu.edu

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June 5, 2015

Catch us at ALA


Catch us in the Exhibits Hall at ALA in SF. We’ll be at booth number 3538.

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June 3, 2015

Interview with Maria Accardi

Maria T. Accardi is Associate Librarian and Coordinator of Instruction and Reference at Indiana University Southeast. She served as a co-editor of and contributor to Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods (Library Juice Press, 2010), and is the author of Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction (Library Juice Press, 2013), for which she received the ACRL Women and Gender Studies Section Award for Significant Achievement in Women and Gender Studies Librarianship. Maria’s research and practical interests include critical pedagogy, feminist pedagogy, the relationships between storytelling and teaching and learning, and combating library instruction burnout. She has taught two classes for Library Juice Academy thus far. They are: Changing Lives, Changing the World: Information Literacy and Critical Pedagogy; and Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction. She is preparing to teach a new course for us, which will be titled, Transforming Your Teaching Toolkit. Maria has agreed to do an interview for the Library Juice Academy blog about her course and her experience teaching for Library Juice Academy.

[…Read the interview…]

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May 26, 2015

Interview with Joachim Schöpfel, author of Learning from the BRICS: Open Access to Scientific Information in Emerging Countries

Joachim Schöpfel is lecturer of Library and Information Sciences at the University of Lille 3 (France), director of the French Digitization Centre for PhD theses (ANRT) and member of the GERiiCO research laboratory. He teaches on LIS topics, including intellectual property. His research interests are scientific information and communication, especially open access and grey literature. Litwin Books recently published his book, Learning from the BRICS: Open Access to Scientific Information in Emerging Countries. Joachim agreed to be interviewed here about it.

Joachim, thank you for agreeing to do this interview. I’d like to start by asking you to tell readers a bit about yourself and what got you interested in the topic of this book.

After a PhD in Psychology at the University of Hamburg (Germany), I have been working for nearly 20 years in the French public information industry before returning to academic life. As an author and information manager, I have always been interested in open access as a set of tools and services designed to facilitate scientific communication. Most of my publications are freely available on the French open repository HAL. Also, I am interested in the development of the open access movement, in France and Germany and other European countries, but also in other regions of the world. Because of their economic and demographic dynamics, the BRICS countries play a particular role in global policies, may it be security, public health, ecology, innovation, research or education. This was the reason why a couple of years ago I became interested in open access initiatives and projects in these countries.

For readers’ info, the BRICS countries are the “emerging” economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. What are some of the basic differences regarding the open access movement in those countries, versus the U.S. and Europe?

Perhaps the most important difference is that the scientific output of the BRICS countries has largely been neglected and underrepresented by the international databases and catalogs; and partly still is. Language, culture, politics – all this may explain the underrepresentation but today they want to be visible and have impact on the global landscape of scientific research.

Another difference is that they had and partly still have more problems than the U.S. or Europe to get access to the core of scientific information. Again, language plays a role but also the economics of scientific information and technical infrastructures. Open access, therefore, has another and sometimes more crucial meaning for the BRICS countries, as a vector of global dissemination of their scientific results and as a way to get access to larger amounts of information than before.

So what does the book say about the open access situation in the countries discussed? Could you tell us its scope and outline it?

The book shows that all emerging countries develop an open access policy. Yet, the diversity and differences prevail. Each country pursues its own open access strategy that fits best with its economic, financial, political and scientific situation. Each strategy is specific and different, except for Brazil and South Africa which started a bilateral collaboration for OA journal publishing on the SciELO platform. However, all countries face the same double challenge, i.e. how to increase the visibility and global impact of their scientific output, and how to improve access to scientific and technical information for their research and higher education? Open access can be an answer to both.

Can you give a few interesting examples of the differences between the open access policies in these countries?

The public policy concerning open access journals is quite different between the countries. While Brazil and, to a lesser degree, South Africa, invest into a central public platform for OA journals (SciELO, SciELO-SA), the other countries and in particular China and India have another strategy, based on larger numbers of different OA servers. Another difference is the role of the public sector. Russia for instance, but also Brazil seem to consider that free access to research output is part of the social and political responsibility of the State, i.e. national or regional authorities. Open access, gold or green road, should not be controlled by commercial publishing houses. On the other hand, India and perhaps even more China foster further individual, institutional and often corporate initiatives, without clear distinction between “for profit” and “non for profit” dissemination. A third difference is related to their global strategy. While some countries focus more on regional collaborations, such as Brazil and South Africa, others (China, Russia, India) appear to seek global impact, in competition with Western countries, which means for instance, that for them the question of English content and the visibility in international initiatives are of prime importance.

The title, Learning from the BRICS, suggests that there are lessons to be learned from these countries in going forward with OA in the West. What do you think are some of the lessons to be derived for us?

One lesson is that there is no single solution or magic recipe for open access, and that a pragmatic and flexible approach fitting with local conditions seems more important than preconceived ideas about what should be done. Perhaps there is no unique or dominant model of open access. Perhaps there never will be. Perhaps, too, there is no need for a unique model, be it green or gold. Diversity may be a better option for sustainable development. Another lesson is the need for a strong commitment to open access shared by scientific and political authorities in order to increase the impact of the countries’ research output and the availability of scientific information. With the words of one of the book’s authors, Abel Packer from SciELO (Brazil): “National research policies that favour open access is the main factor to advance open access”. Yet, as our book shows, this commitment must also be shared by the local and domain-specific research communities in order to transform national policy into a success story. This is the third lesson: learning from each other does not only mean learning from failures, mistakes and dead-ends but more so and above all, learning from success. More than the understanding of problems and challenges, perhaps the real message of our book is the importance of success stories. The development of open access depends on the promotion of successful initiatives, such as SciELO in Latin America. Expect success, focus on it, and coordinate scientific and political efforts in favour of open science.

Thank for this interview, Joachim. Your insights are very much appreciated, by me and I’m sure by our readers. Litwin Books is privileged to have published this title.

Thanks to Litwin Books for support and interest!

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