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 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 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.
March 2, 2013
Lenny and Nina are Buried in Books
Author: Linda Cooper
Illustrator: Jana Vukovic
Published: March 2013
For children 5-7 years old.
Lenny and Nina have so many books that they cannot find what they are looking for and Grandma almost can’t find them! Beginning with this somewhat silly, exaggerated situation, this book proceeds to introduce concepts of library organization to young children in an engaging and humorous story using vocabulary they can understand and a situation to which they can relate. The children’s solution to their problem both empowers them in organizing their own environment and introduces them to how the larger culture organizes information for the community.
New from Library Juice Press.
January 2, 2013
December 15, 2012
The Unglue.it campaign for Lauren Pressley’s book, So You Want To Be a Librarian, is in its home stretch, which is where the most donations to these campaigns typically come in (so there is still a chance that we will reach our goal). I wanted to mention one thing about the campaign. The free, “unglued” e-book will have some pages where the donors are acknowledged, at the end. The structure for acknowledging donations is as follows:
- $25 and up: Your name in the acknowledgements section of the unglued ebook under “Supporters”.
- $50 and up: Your name & profile link in the acknowledgements section of the unglued ebook under “Benefactors”.
- $100 and up Your name, profile link, & a dedication of your choice in the acknowledgements section of the unglued ebook under “Bibliophiles”.
This idea comes from Eric Hellman of the Unglue.it project, and I think it is a good idea. I hope we will have lots of acknowledgments to make….
December 14, 2012
You can buy gift certificates from Library Juice Press and Litwin Books (and Auslander & Fox as well). You can pay for a gift certificate in an amount of your choosing with funds in your PayPal account or with a credit card.
December 4, 2012
To updates to share with you on our campaign to Unglue Lauren Pressley’s book, So You Want To Be a Librarian:
First, there is the fun Instagram contest that Lauren Pressley and Andromeda Yelton devised, which is for sharing your pictures of your copy of the book. Andromeda will be compiling the entries using Storify. I look forward to seeing the results from this.
Second, there is the first in a series of two items at Hack Library School about the Unglue.it campaign. The follow-up to this is due out on December 6th.
Also, soon there should be something appearing at http://hiringlibrarians.com/.
November 1, 2012
Late Night Library One for the Books Campaign
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A PLEDGE CAMPAIGN SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLERS AND PUBLISHERS
PORTLAND, OR, October 22, 2012—Responding to the US Department of Justice vs. Apple case set to go to trial in June of 2013, Late Night Library has announced the One for the Books! campaign in support of independent booksellers and independent publishers.
One for the Books! is a pledge drive not requiring a monetary pledge. It offers four levels of participation:
Late Night Reader: Anyone who pledges to purchase books from independent booksellers and independent publishers.
Late Night Author: Published authors of any genre who on their website includes links to independent retailers or IndieBound rather than retailers engaged in predatory pricing.
Late Night Publisher: Independent publishers who do not feature links to corporate retailers who predatory price on their official websites.
Late Night Brick & Mortar: Independently-owned physical bookstores supporting independent publishers by offering multiple independent titles on their bookshelves and providing a pick-up or delivery service for community-based readers.
To participate in One for the Books! is simple. E-mail email@example.com and Late Night Library will add your name or business to the appropriate pledge level. We will publish the results on our website in April.
LATE NIGHT LIBRARY is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting talented writers early in their careers. To make a donation to Late Night Library, please visit www.latenightlibrary.org and click Give. All donations will be applied directly to program services.
October 15, 2012
Library Juice Press to “Unglue” a Book for Prospective Librarians with Unglue.it
October 15, 2012
Library Juice Press is announcing one of the latest campaigns to “unglue” an e-book so that it can be shared under a creative commons license, in partnership with Unglue.it.
Unglue.it is an organization devoted to opening up access to electronic books in a way that is community based, library friendly, publisher friendly, and convenient. Using crowd-funding, Unglue.it facilitates campaigns to buy out future e-book rights so that e-books can be used freely by the public, perpetually. Library Juice Press supports the Unglue.it project, because it is smart, realistic, forward-thinking, and motivated by values that librarians can get behind.
Coinciding with Unglue.it’s relaunch with a new crowd-funding platform, Library Juice Press is announcing a campaign to “unglue” Lauren Pressley’s popular book, So You Want To Be a Librarian, a concise yet comprehensive guide to the library profession, aimed at an audience of college students and recent graduates, as well as career changers. Library Juice Press determined that the book would be a suitable candidate for an Unglue.it campaign, due to the financial limitations of college students, as well as their familiarity with e-readers.
As Lauren Pressley says about Unglue.it, “Unglue.it is something every librarian should be paying attention to. Part crowdsourcing, part open access, part answer to the ebook problem, it’s a solution to some of the most critical issues libraries are facing today. Ungluing a book gives it to the world, so that anyone can access the ebook without Digital Rights Management (DRM), without worrying about how many devices they’ve put it on, and without worrying about legality and compensation issues. Libraries can provide access to unglued books for free, forever, in any format — no need to worry about changing contract terms or pricing.”
Author Lauren Pressley currently serves as Head of Instruction at the Wake Forest University Library. She is a frequent presenter on library technology topics, with numerous published articles and book chapters. A 2009 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, she is also a member of ALA Council, Director at Large of the LITA Executive Committee, and otherwise active in national, regional and state associations. She is also the winner of the 2011 Greenwood Publishing Award for Best Book in Library Literature for The Tech Set, from Neal-Schumann Publishing. Her CV is available at
Library Juice Press is a small publisher for the library profession founded in 2006 by Rory Litwin, specializing in library philosophy, information policy, library activism, and library history. It is an imprint of Litwin Books, LLC, which publishes books about media, communication and the cultural record, primarily for an academic audience.
To support the Unglue.it campaign for Lauren Pressley’s book for prospective librarians, go to:
For more information about Lauren, go to:
For more information about Library Juice Press, see:
September 18, 2012
Just in time for Banned Books Week, here is a bit of news that I hope comes to your attention if you are concerned with civil liberties and the freedom to read.
A couple of young people in Portland, fresh faced college students who like to say that they’re anarchists, have been arrested as part of an investigation of vandalism of a courthouse in Seattle. It doesn’t seem that they were involved, but the FBI regards anarchists not as a tribe of harmless bohemian-ish young intellectuals with a vague, semi-coherent political philosophy and taste for history, but as “criminals seeking an ideology to justify their actions” who are “not dedicated to a particular issue” (according to the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Guide). The FBI’s search warrant that ordered the raid on their house specified that they were looking for “anarchist literature”…. which seems to imply that books containing anarchist political philosophy are considered illegal by the FBI.
In my opinion, this is a matter that deserves our attention during Banned Books Week. Not to minimize the importance of protecting the rights of teens to read novels that have mature themes that some members of their communities believe they are not ready to be exposed to yet (or the importance of questions about what teens are in fact ready to be reading), but this seems to be a case of political repression based in part on what books these young idealists may own. Raising further red flags about civil liberties questions is the fact that their subpoenas have been to appear before secret grand juries where the proceedings can’t be monitored by the press.
I read about this issue at Sound and Noise.
August 28, 2012
A new source for book reviews: SRRT Reviews, book reviews from the Social Responsibilities Round Table Newsletter. Our titles are reviewed there periodically, along with many others. Bookmark it for collection development.
August 27, 2012
I recently encountered some interesting data on the academic book market, in an article in the most recent issue of the Journal of Scholarly Publishing, by Albert N. Greco, Robert, M. Wharton, and Falguni Sen, titled, “The Price of University Press Books: 2009-2011.”
According to data from YBP, in 2011, the total number of books published by university presses was 12,104, and the number published by commercial scholarly and professional publishers was 52,148. I was interested to see that commercial scholarly presses were a much bigger part of the market for scholarly books than university presses. Included in the category of commercial scholarly book publishers are big ones like Routledge and SAGE on down to small ones like Parlor Press and Litwin Books. (Since Litwin Books is on the YBP core list of publishers, we were counted in these stats.)
Also interesting to see in this data were the average prices per title charged by university presses and commercial presses. In 2011, the average price of a book from a university press was $61.04, and the average price from a commercial scholarly and professional publisher was $85.17. The authors of the article state that they assume there is no qualitative difference between titles published in the two categories.
At Litwin Books and Library Juice Press we have been pricing our books much lower, with the idea of making them affordable to individuals and not just institutions. The average price of a book from Library Juice Press is $24.80, and the average price of a Litwin Books title is $26.86. While it might seem that our prices are ridiculously cheap for the market that we are in, it has to be stated we are only publishing paperbacks thus far, and the data I saw did not separate prices for hardcover versus paperback editions. Paperback editions from other scholarly publishers, though usually higher than ours, are mostly in the same range. (It’s my personal opinion that hardcover pricing for libraries is a scam, gaming on the fact that many years ago, when library collection policies were set, paperback books were manufactured poorly and hardover books lasted much longer. With current manufacturing techniques, quality paperbacks are just as durable as hardcover books, with the exception of those with sewn bindings, which are far from the norm.)
August 5, 2012
Journalism students at the University of Missouri have published a very important report on book censorship in Missouri. It makes for chilling, but necessary reading. Take a look here.