May 24, 2013
Debra Lucas-Alfieri is the Head of Reference and Interlibrary Loan at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY, and is teaching a class for Library Juice Academy next month on Marketing the Library in the 21st Century. She agreed to do an interview to give people a better idea about what they stand to learn in the class, her background, and other interests.
May 23, 2013
Jesse Shera, Librarianship, and Information Science
Jesse Hauk Shera did perhaps more than any other figure in defining library and information science in the mid 20th century. He pioneered the application of information technology in libraries and in the field of documentation, as head of the American Documentation Institute (now ASIST), as a professor at the Graduate Library School in Chicago, and as head of the library school at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. At Western Reserve, Shera founded the Center for Documentation and Communication Research. But despite his efforts in introducing information technology to the field of libraries, Shera was a humanist and a historian who emphasized the human side of librarianship and the sociological nature of the profession, especially in his advancing years. His theory of social epistempology provided a philosophy for librarianship as a professional calling and as a research-oriented discipline, where deep subject knowledge and an understanding of the needs of readers are more important than technological tools.
H. Curtis Wright’s study, originally published in 1988 by Brigham Young University’s School of Information Sciences, is the only book-length biography of Shera that has been written. The focus of Wright’s biography is Shera’s role in defining and negotiating the boundaries of library science and information science, as he sought to make the most intelligent use of technology in libraries without getting lost in the capacities of the astounding tools that were being developed. Wright succeeds in showing how over a long career, Shera developed an intellectual foundation for librarianship that was dependent neither or the new ideas of information science and its technologies nor on traditional methods. This book is a superb introduction to Jesse Shera’s life and career and its meaning. Includes a foreword by Kathryn La Barre and an index by Victoria Jacobs.
This book is available from Amazon or your favorite vendor to libraries.
May 22, 2013
Here is an interview that Emily Drabinski did with Maria Accardi. Maria has a book coming out this summer with Library Juice Press, in the series that Emily edits….
Maria T. Accardi is Associate Librarian and Coordinator of Instruction at the Indiana University Southeast Library in New Albany, Indiana, a regional campus of Indiana University Bloomington. She holds a BA in English from Northern Kentucky University, an MA in English from the University of Louisville, and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. 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 the forthcoming Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction (Library Juice Press, 2013). Prior to entering librarianship, Maria taught first year college composition and tutored in a university writing center, and these experiences inform her current practice as a librarian instructor.
1. Why feminist pedagogy? What brought you to this topic for a book?
I came to this topic in part because I wanted to know more about feminist teaching and learn something new, and also because I wanted to contribute to the scholarship in my profession. I am a feminist who is interested in critical, liberatory teaching methods, so bringing together feminism and teaching seemed like a natural place to start an exploration. Sharon Ladenson began the conversation about feminist pedagogy and library instruction in Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods in 2010, and I wanted to engage with and extend this conversation by providing theoretical frameworks and practical strategies for people interested in feminist library instruction. Also, I really wanted to just write a book to see if I could. Apparently, I can!
2. What should readers expect when they crack the spine of Feminist Pedagogy?
Readers should expect a combination of practitioner’s primer, scholarship, and memoir. I didn’t set out to write a genre-bending book, but as I engaged with the feminist literature, listened to my own voice as a writer, and found nurturing support through you, my editor, I had a real breakthrough and realized that this boundaries-straddling approach was the only way I could write this book. So readers should expect a book that doesn’t neatly fit into the typical categories of literature in our field. Readers should also expect a book that is designed to be participative; there are practical teaching strategies and ideas in the appendices that invite, and, I hope, inspire readers to enact feminist pedagogy in their own practice.
3. What did you learn about your own teaching practice as you wrote the book?
When I wrote about the importance of self-care for the feminist teacher, I realized that I was doling out advice that I needed to take myself. Feminist teaching is hard. It is emotionally and intellectually demanding. I learned that I need to give myself permission to take a break, go easy on myself, to be honest and reflective without beating myself up. This fall, when library instruction season starts up once again, I plan to carve out time to keep a reflective journal about my teaching practices as a method of self-care.
4. When you’ve presented on this work before (ACRL 2013), people have noted the connections between the kind of instruction they’re already engaging and the feminist approaches you discuss in the book. Why do you think it’s important to name some of these practices as explicitly feminist?
I think it’s important to acknowledge these things as feminist because this is how we expose the intersecting societal oppressions that are replicated and reified in the classroom. When we make explicit was is normally tacit, we help equip students to transform themselves and their lives. Feminist pedagogy wants students to become not just critical thinkers but critical actors.
5. What else should readers know about the book?
As I say in my Acknowledgements, I have always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a little girl and wrote a poem to read at my school talent show. Writing this book is truly a dream come true, and it is maybe the bravest thing I’ve ever done. This book represents me intellectually and emotionally and it is scary to release it into the world for people to read. I just hope that people will find the book to be engaging, useful, interesting, and, dare I say it? Inspirational. I hope that it is the beginning of many exciting conversations about feminist library instruction and while I’m simultaneously terrified, I can’t wait to see what happens once people read it.
May 19, 2013
Recommended to anyone interested in archives and the cultural record: the documentary now streaming on Netflix called The Mexican Suitcase. It’s about the recovery of a cache of photographic negatives made by important photographers who went to fight the fascists with their cameras during the Spanish Civil War. (It’s called The Mexican Suitcase because it ended up hidden in Mexico for 70 years before it was finally discovered.) Robert Capa is the most historically significant of the three. The pictures ended up at the International Center of Photography in NYC. The documentary interviews people who knew the photographers, archivists, survivors of the war, descendents of refugees, and others. It balances attention to the history itself, the significance for photographic history, and a sense of how the lives of people now are connected to these photographs in various ways…
May 16, 2013
We are announcing that Litwin Books, Library Juice Press, and Auslander & Fox will no longer sell books directly off our website or at conferences. Direct retail sales have always been a small part of our business. Most people buy our books from Amazon, other online retailers, or through vendors to libraries such as YBP. We are getting out of retail sales because it is kind of an administrative headache, especially with regard to the requirement to collect sales tax on sales in California (and soon possibly the 50 states). We have a lot of projects, and stopping retail sales is a way to streamline things so that we have enough time to do the things that matter: signing authors, editing and publishing their books, offering and supporting classes through Library Juice Academy, and other ventures, some experimental.
You should have no trouble finding our books on Amazon or other places. We will only be bringing enough copies of our books to conferences to show them to people, and we’ll be giving those copies away. (We’re not supposed to do any selling out of the inexpensive “independent press” booths anyway.)
One complication: If you own a gift certificate, you won’t be able to redeem it the way you’re supposed to at this point, because we’ve taken our book selling interface offline. If you want to redeem a gift certificate, write to me at rory at litwinbooks dot com and I can work with you.
May 13, 2013
May 11, 2013
Just a note to say that Library Juice is on Pinterest. Please feel free to enjoy our content!
May 9, 2013
The 2013 Green Book Festival awarded its top honor in the category of Best Business Book to Greening Libraries, edited by Monika Antonelli and Mark McCullough and published by Library Juice Press.
Greening Libraries provides library professionals with a collection of articles and papers that serve as a portal to understanding a wide range of green and sustainable practices within libraries and the library profession. The book’s articles come from a variety of perspectives on a range of topics related to green practices, sustainability and the library profession. Aspects of the growing “green library movement” covered include green buildings, alternative energy resources, conservation, green library services and practices, operations, programming, and outreach.
The Green Book Festival gives awards in a number of categories, as well as overall best and honorable mention awards, which makes it a useful collection development tool for librarians.
May 4, 2013
If you’ve started your planning for ALA Annual, here’s something to consider for Monday night, July 1st. Library Juice Press is having a reception/party kind of thing at 7pm. There will be drinks and some things to nosh. We created a Facebook event with details. This will also be for Litwin Books, Library Juice Academy, and Auslander & Fox. Hope to see you there…
May 3, 2013
Emily Drabinski is the editor of a book series with Litwin Books and Library Juice Press, titled, “Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies.” Originally it was “Gender and Sexuality in Librarianship,” but pretty quickly it was clear from the titles that she was lining up that the emphasis was going to be on theoretical topics that would be of interest to scholars outside the library profession, so we updated the title. It occurred to me that this would be a good time to do an interview with Emily about the series and the books that are coming up in it, and Emily agrees. So, Emily, thanks for doing this interview.
I think the way I’d like to do this is really just to get you to talk about the series and describe the upcoming books. I don’t think I have an accurate memory of how it got started, so do you want to start by telling that story? Did it derive from a particular book project?
I’m also not sure how this book series got started! It’s funny how short my memory has gotten. Thank god for google–searching back through my gmail I see that we started talking about the series in 2009, just as I was finishing up the editing work on Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods (with Maria Accardi and Alana Kumbier). At the time I was also circling around questions of intersections of critical work on gender and sexuality and library organization systems in my own work. We first met at the UW-Milwaukee Thinking Critically conference in 2008, where I presented a paper about queer geography and library shelf space, and I’m guessing that’s what put me in your head as someone with some content interest.
I also had editorial and clerical interest in the series. It turns out that I like working with other people on their work more than I like working on my own work, at least some of the time. I love talking to people about their ideas, shaping editorial calls, looking through raw copy for the heart of the story. It’s like an intimate friendship with ideas, and I love it. It also turns out that I’m pretty good at the clerical parts of the job, managing timelines and deadlines, versioning manuscripts, keeping track of contracts, the nuts and bolts of producing books. This is a part of the job I am getting better at. When I was working with Lyz Bly and Kelly Wooten on Make Your Own History, I was new to Dropbox and downloaded all the chapters without realizing that I’d disappeared them from the shared folder. Kelly freaked out a little, and I learned a solid lesson. Now I don’t know what I’d do without that particular cloud.
The first book was Tracy Nectoux’s Out Behind the Desk, a collection of personal stories and critical reflections on being and coming out in libraries. She pitched me the book based on the call for the series, and it felt like a great fit. While other library presses publish work on gender and sexuality studies, I felt like her book would benefit from the context of the series, being part of a set of titles addressing similar questions in a variety of ways.
I think that was a good way to start the series, although the ones you have been working on since are quite different. We published Make Your Own History last year. Do you want to describe that project and how it came about?
Kelly Wooten and Lyz Bly edited the second book in the series. It’s a collection of chapters about the the theory and practice–my favorite mix, and what makes our field so interesting to think and work in–of feminist and queer archives. Their authors are really from all over the place–the academy and activist circles, feminist presses and queer zine collections. It’s a rich set of texts that I think is the first of its kind, and belongs in the hands of theorists, practitioners, and activists. It was also a book that taught me about the importance of contracts and copyright. All of the authors were really aware of copyright issues and made their concerns very known to me–that was helpful! After working together for more than a year on this project, Kelly and I finally got to meet at a reading in Brooklyn at the Feminist Zine Fest, organized by Kate Angell and Elvis Bakaitis. The book gave us a reason to have a public conversation about feminist and queer history. That’s the real power of this series, I think. The titles enable conversations that I think we’re already having, but in a less organized way.
That book has definitely attracted interest and has been a part of conversations, which is very gratifying. That is what I hope to achieve. So we have a number of titles coming up in your series. Would you describe what’s coming up?
It is a busy, busy time for the series, with three books just about to be hot off the presses. First up is the Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader, a collection edited by Patrick Keilty and Becca Dean. I’m thrilled about this project–it does the kind of work that I always wanted to see in the field. They’ve pulled together critical essays from feminist and queer studies and put them against similar work in information studies. So, you’ll have a chapter about the invention of transgender as a legal category next to a chapter about library classifications of identity. The book puts LIS into critical conversation with fields that work as much on classification theory as we do. It’s just fantastic. Then come two monographs. Alana Kumbier is finishing a book about queer archives theory and practice that draws on theoretical work about “the archive” to describe a number of material archives projects as well as their representations. It’s cross-disciplinary in the best way, and will find readers in fields outside of the library. Maria Accardi is completing a primer on feminist pedagogy for teaching librarians. I’m a little in love with this little book. What started as a relatively dry, academic text about feminist theory has morphed into a hybrid memoir/feminist teaching manual. I think it will be the kind of book librarians will turn to again and again–I anticipate many a coffee-stained, dog-eared copy, ripped out lesson plans, . And Rachel Wexelbaum is editing a collection about LGBTQ libraries and archives in the digital world. It’s an exciting and busy time to be involved with this series.
And while all that is going on, you are accepting book proposals and submissions for future projects in the series. How would you define the scope of the series for people who may want to submit something to it? What issues do you hope to address with future titles?
Yes, I am absolutely seeking new projects. The series has both practical and theoretical scopes, and proposals are welcome for either. In terms of practical projects, I’m particularly interested in books that provide a how-to for people in our field, like handbooks to feminist or queer cataloging, or a manual for setting up print or digital community archives for feminist collections. I also think we have room in our field for more abstract explorations of feminist and queer perspectives on knowledge production, organization, and access, as well as the politics of all three of those. I’d like the series to address a broad group of readers, those who want to open a book at 9am and then make something happen by noon, and those interested in reading and thinking through more complex arguments about the foundations and futures of our field. I am also really open to just talking with people who have only the germ of an idea. Dialogue has a way of turning a glimmer into a book for sale, so I hope people will get in touch.
That is wonderful. Readers, you can contact Emily at emily.drabinski at gmail dot com. Regarding communications with readers, I wonder if you could share some of the things that have come about as a result of these books – discussions, projects, etc. What have these books generated? I mean books in this series specifically, not your book on critical library instruction, which has had its own life post-publication.
Well, there are the concrete outcomes that are public and that I can articulate: Maria Accardi’s session about feminist pedagogy at ACRL was a direct outgrowth of her book project, and was quite well received this spring. She also just got tenure at the University of Illinois Southeast, an accomplishment I like to think this book played a hand in. Alana Kumbier presented on a chapter of her upcoming book at Barnard College’s Activism and the Academy conference in 2011 along with Jenna Freedman, who wrote an essay for Kelly Wooten and Lyz Bly’s collection. Out Behind the Desk was nominated for a 2011 Over the Rainbow award, and has been well reviewed in print and online. Kelly Wooten and Jenna Freedman spoke with me at the Feminist Zine Fest in Brooklyn. And then there are the outcomes that we’ll only see later, both in traditional ways (I’m following citations like a hawk!) and in ways less amenable to measurement. One of the reviewers of Tracy Nectoux’s book notes that the collection was “comforting.” I think he meant that he could see from reading the stories of these LGBT librarians that he wasn’t alone. I hope the series can be comforting to many readers in many ways, letting us know that we are not alone in our professional and theoretical conversations, and that they have a home on this series and on this press.
That’s right. Thanks for those links, too. I’m very pleased at the way these books have sent out waves. I hope that with future projects we can expand the range of people who will be comforted and feel included. I think that the way a book can help someone at a personal level is an extremely important aspect of publishing that we don’t normally think about when we think about scholarly communication. Which is not to diminish what could be said about your series from other perspectives.
I am wondering about your own intellectual interests, and when there might be a book in this series written by you. Any thoughts on that?
My own intellectual interests are a little bit all over the map right now–my hands are in a lot of pots as I come to the end of my tenure clock. I’ve been working with the journal Radical Teacher to go open access, and that is taking up a lot of my time. I think we’re just a week or so out from going live at http://radicalteacher.library.pitt.edu. I’m hoping to find venues to share what I learned, particularly about the kinds of worries that people who aren’t librarians have about the open access decision. I recently published the culmination of several years of puzzling through my thinking on what to do about the paradox of queer subject headings: how do we fix in place ideas and identities that change so rapidly and depend so entirely on context? That’s out in the April issue of Library Quarterly. You probably can’t tell by reading it, but it took me a very very long time to figure out how to say the pretty small something I said in that piece. We’ll see what I end up focusing on this summer: ideas of time in information literacy instruction, a curriculum analysis project I’m working on with a colleague, queer theory and retrieval systems, I’m in a bit of a reboot moment. I can’t imagine writing a book at all, let alone a book in this series. I have come to appreciate–and hope some of the authors I’ve worked with appreciate–the real pleasures of the author-editor relationship, especially at the small press scale. If I ever write a book, I think I’ll want to do it with an editor who isn’t me.
Congratulations on your article in Library Quarterly. Sounds like an exciting period, wherever things go from here in your own intellectual work. I think you are a very good editor, but I also hope that it doesn’t pull you away from your own writing too much.
To finish up the interview, I would like to ask if you have advice for writers and thinkers in our field who may have an ambition of publishing in your series or elsewhere. What do you think people should understand at various stages of working toward completion of book projects like the ones you have been editing?
Write every day. That is just the only way to write a book. Nobody sits down and writes a book; lots of people spend a little bit of time writing every day and end up with a book at the end. They aren’t exceptional people; they’re just people who decided to write more often than they didn’t. Make deadlines and meet them. When you feel like you want to stop, call your editor on the phone and let her talk you away from the shredder. And every single part of this process will take more time than you think it will, and it will be worth it. We all want to hear what you have to say.
Thanks very much for this interview, Emily. If I may say so, I think it’s a little bit inspiring!
Thanks, Rory. My work on this series feels like pretty invisible labor most of the time, so I’m glad to get a chance to talk about the project.
May 2, 2013
I want to make people aware of an important new book:
The Stories I Read to the Children: The Life and Writing of Pura Belpré, the Legendary Storyteller, Children’s Author, and New York Public Librarian. Selected, Edited, and Biographical Introduction by Lisa Sánchez González.
This is not a Library Juice Press or Litwin Books publication, but I wish that it were. It’s a landmark book that is too long in coming. Please share this info with anyone interested in Pura Belpré.
April 28, 2013
I’m working on a “Publisher’s Pledge to the Library Community” that we will release soon. I’ve put out some feelers regarding what people want to see in this pledge, and one concern came up that I feel is too complex in its implications to respond to in a bullet point on the pledge, and that is “timeliness of publication.” It turned out she was asking the question from an author’s perspective, which is fairly valid for the purposes of a pledge to the library community, since most book authors in the professional literature are librarians and many librarians have publishing expectations as a part of their job responsibilities. The question of timeliness is also relevant to collection development and acquisitions librarians, both in terms of the timeliness of the content of a book in the context of its use and in terms of organizing the process of buying books based on publishers’ advertised publication dates. In terms of advertised publication dates, I will readily admit that Litwin Books and Library Juice Press have not always published our books by the advertised publication dates, and can say in our defense only that it is difficult to work on that kind of a schedule when much of the work is subject to factors we can’t control. Among these factors may be other responsibilities of contractors to whom we send production work, permissions issues, and the ability of editors of collections to submit their manuscripts on time (given that they too have issues beyond their control that can affect their schedules, especially for work that is not their primary responsibility in life). So there are factors that are difficult or impossible to control that can affect how long it takes to bring a work to publication once we have announced it and set an expected publication date. As a result I have begun to build in a longer period of time for the expected publication date, for the sake of truth in advertising.
There is always the possibility of cutting corners to make the work go faster, and we avoid doing this, because quality has a different balance point with timeliness in book publishing than it does with faster forms of publishing in the information ecology. Often, I feel that an expectation of “timeliness” of topics is a little misplaced with regard to books. The long form and permanent nature of the book format gives room for the long view as an intellectual approach. I think the perspective of time is one of the contributions that book publishing has made culturally, and not only because we have a lot of old books around. The format encourages work that takes a long time to write, work that is the product of reflection over greater spans of time. Not all forms of book publishing are like this or should be like this. Software manuals, for example, become useless quickly. In academic subjects, the intellectual duration of long-form works can vary by discipline and sub-discipline. My feeling as a book publisher, though, is that if people are less interested in books than they used to be and read fewer of them (which may or may not be true, if you want to be inclusive of e-books, and we are), then the importance of long-form publishing for creating a space for intellectual culture has only increased. Compromises with faster forms of publishing represent compromises with the long view. Timeleness isn’t exactly irrelevant, but I want it to be in balance with quality, and with something that with some exaggeration I will call “timelessness,” by which I mean that I want to publish books that will be of interest to people in ten or twenty years and not just next year, and a few books that will be of interest for much longer than that.
So that is what I bring with me to conversations with impatient authors or contributors to edited volumes. Often, their impatience is based in part on a lack of understanding of all that is involved in the publication process. We had a problem with a book recently that was held up for a long period because the editors had personal issues to deal with, but because they didn’t communicate about this with contributors, we as a publishing house took the heat (and it had to do with people’s tenure portfolios, among other things). So I have experience with authors who have had serious issues regarding timeliness of publication. But because it is not always possible to make people happy regarding their expectations of timeliness, I don’t feel it’s possible to make “timeliness of publication” a promise in our pledge to the library community.
What about the option of saying that we will “make every effort to ensure timeliness of publication,” as was suggested to me by the person who brought this up? That would allow us to avoid promising what ends up being impossible. The problem I have with that option, though, is that it places too much stress on the value of timeliness in a form of publishing that is less about timeliness than other forms. So I have arrived at this:
“We pledge to balance timeliness, quality, and ‘timelessness’ in our choice of book projects and our processes for bringing them to publication.”
I’m interested in readers’ feedback on this.
April 24, 2013
Letter from the CILIP International Library and Information Group:
In the interest of international cooperation and experience-sharing, I would like to invite you to join the Hosts Directory and help make it a global resource.
So what is it?
The Hosts Directory is exactly that – a list of international librarians who are willing to host, for a day or two, a fellow library and information worker who is visiting their city or region. Hosts are located across the world – please see the Map of hosts at www.tinyurl.com/CILIPHostsMaps . All information is anonymous and you will not be put in contact with a guest without agreeing beforehand – the idea is that you will be able to stay with a professional colleague when attending a conference, event or just travelling abroad rather than in a hotel.
All you need is a spare bed or room and the desire to meet colleagues from other countries, to share experiences and to contribute, in a small way, to building bridges to international understanding and co-operation within the library and information profession. Guidance for potential Hosts is also available online at www.tinyurl.com/CILIPHostsGuide.
Please help us expand the directory by registering online at www.tinyurl.com/CILIPHostsRegistration.
For the visitor – the guest – it is a chance to get to know, at first hand, something of the life of a fellow professional in a foreign country as well as the opportunity to stay with a colleague for free or at limited cost.
If you would like to use the Hosts Directory as a guest, please first check the Map of hosts at www.tinyurl.com/CILIPHostsMaps to see there are Hosts in the area you are visiting and email the Hosts Directory Administrator at email@example.com with details of who you are, where you want to and how long they want to stay.
Please feel free to pass this information onto colleagues who may also be interested.
Facebook: International Library and Information Group
ILIG YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/CILIPILIG
April 13, 2013
LISdocstudents is an unmoderated email discussion list for doctoral students in Library and Information Studies, working at any institution. The purpose is to communicate with other doctoral students about shared issues, be they intellectual questions in the field, problems facing emerging academics on the path through graduate school and into academic careers, issues having to do with trends in higher ed and LIS as a discipline, or other topics that seem appropriate. Announcements are good too. Doctoral students in LIS are the main constituency of the list, but masters students, graduate students in other fields, and professors are invited to participate.
April 11, 2013
In this 6-course certificate program, you will gain competency as a coder in XML and RDF-based systems that create, transform, manage, and disseminate content and metadata. Typically, these are the structures at the heart of content management systems, repositories, and digital libraries. Topics covered include XML fundamentals, XPath, DTDs and Schemas, standard markup languages, XSLT and Xquery, the semantic web, RDFa and RDFa Lite, RSS, ontologies and linked data, and the SPARQL semantic query language and protocol.
Courses in the series:
1. Introduction to XML
2. Transforming and Querying XML: An introduction to the XSLT and Xquery
3. Introduction to the Semantic Web
4. RDFa1.1 (RDFa and RDFa Lite) and RSS
5. Ontologies and Linked Data
6. The SPARQL semantic query language and protocol – the Semantic Web in action
These courses are four-weeks in duration and taught asynchronously.
These courses work best if taken in sequence, as the sequence builds on knowledge gained, but we have no formal prerequisites in place. If you need to take them out of sequence, feel free to contact us about your situation.
The cost for each course is $175, but you can register for all six courses in the program at once and receive a 10% discount.