June 30, 2009

Library Juice Press and Litwin Books @ALA

Events for your calendar this upcoming ALA Annual in Chicago:

Litwin Books and Library Juice Press will be sharing a booth with the Alternative Press Center in the Exhibits Hall. The Exhibits Hall is open from Saturday, July 11 at 9am until Tuesday, July 14 at 2pm. We’ll be at booth 1637. I hope you’ll drop by and say hello, look at our books, and pick up a catalog.

We will be involved in a number of events at the conference.

Saturday night
There will be a reception/party for Litwin Books and Library Juice Press at Quimby’s Books on Saturday, July 11, from 7pm and on (their schedule lists the event as ending at 8pm, but I hope it goes longer). Quimby’s is located at 1854 North Avenue, at Wolcott Street (two blocks East of Damen Ave.) For information you can call them at 773/342-0910.

Sunday morning
There will be a book signing at our booth (1637) on Sunday morning, July 12th, at 10am. Lauren Pressley will be signing her new book, So You Want To Be a Librarian.

Monday night
We will have a table at the Alternative Media Reception/SRRT 40th Anniversary Celebration, which takes place Monday, July 13, from 7pm to 10pm at the Experimental Station, in the Hyde Park neighborhood. We will be contributing a case of wine to the event. Details about it here:

Hope to see you…

June 28, 2009

New from LJP: So You Want To Be a Librarian

So You Want To Be a Librarian

Author: Lauren Pressley
Price: : $15.00
Published: July 2009
ISBN: 978-0-9802004-8-5
Printed on acid-free paper.

Now on sale.

Librarians tend to love their work and consider librarianship a great career. This book is by a talented librarian who wants to introduce people to the profession. If you are attracted to becoming a librarian, you will find answers to a lot of your questions here:

  • What do librarians do?
  • What are the different types of libraries and professional jobs in libraries?
  • What is the story behind the profession?
  • What are librarians all about and what hot issues do they discuss in their professional lives?
  • What do I do to become a librarian?
  • What are some important things to know once I’m in a masters program in library science?

This book is an essential introduction to the profession for people who are at the point of choosing a career.

The author, Lauren Pressley, has the distinction of being selected as one of Library Journal’s “Movers and Shakers” of 2009.

Lauren has a blog to accompany the book – check it out.

Lauren will also be doing a book signing at the Library Juice Press booth at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago next month. Sunday, July 12th, at 10am. Booth 1637 in the Exhibits Hall at the convention center.

June 27, 2009

Call for Submissions: Greening Libraries


Greening Libraries, edited by Monika Antonelli and Mark McCullough and published by Library Juice Press, is a collection of essays, papers and articles on various aspects of the green library movement.

The editors are seeking articles from a variety of perspectives on a wide range of topics related to green practices, sustainability and the library profession. Greening Libraries will offer an overview of important aspects of the growing green library movement, including, but not limited to, green buildings, alternative energy resources, conservation, green library services and practices, operations, programming, and outreach.

Objective of Book

It is difficult to turn on the television or read a news story today without learning about how green and sustainable practices are being implemented throughout society. Libraries are not exempt from these broader trends. In some cases, libraries and librarians have been at the forefront of these efforts. This book seeks to provide library professionals with a collection of articles and papers that will serve as a portal to understanding a wide range of green and sustainable practices within libraries and the library profession.

Suggested Topics:

Green Libraries
Historical, current or future perspectives

Green Buildings
*How to build a green library
*LEED certification
*Platinum and Gold LEED Libraries
*Green renovations, LEED renovations
*Green and sustainable landscaping
*Alternative building materials and methods
*Green roofs
*The Chicago Standard

*Healthy buildings
*Staff and administration compliance and buy-in
*Energy audits
*Greenhouse gas emission inventories
*Alternative energy resources (geothermal, wind, solar)
*Energy conservation and reduction
*Water consumption and usage
*Going green and cost-effectiveness
*Thinking green about waste (composting, vermiculture)
*Recycling and reuse
*Resource sharing
*Green supplies (recycled paper, cleaners, pens, etc.)

Programming and Services
*Compliance and buy-in
*Public programming (peak oil, climate change, gardening, green living)
*Public services
*Community resource sharing
*Tool libraries
*Green transportation, car sharing, car pooling, bicycle promotion
*Library community gardens
*The library as a green community hub (CSA pick up, Freecycle, public transportation)

The Transition Town movement and Transition libraries
*Fostering sustainable communities

How Green is our Profession?
*New technologies
*Social networking
*Education, curriculum and training

Resource bibliography

Target Audience:

Library workers, public librarians, academic librarians, school librarians, library administrators, school administrators, public officials, higher education administrators, teachers, faculty, library school students, as well as anyone interested in issues related to sustainability and green practices.

Submission Guidelines:

The editors welcome submissions from librarians and library staff members from all types of libraries (public, academic, school, etc.) as well as administrators and educators who are interested or have experience creating green and sustainable libraries. The editors are open to a variety of submissions including research articles, how-to articles, essays and interviews. Manuscript submissions should comply with the Chicago Manual of Style.

Deadline for Summaries: October 1, 2009

Submit a brief summary of your proposed article (250 words or less) to Monika Antonelli at monika.antonelli@mnsu.edu or Mark McCullough at mark.mccullough@mnsu.edu. Electronic submissions only please.

Deadline for Manuscripts: February 1, 2010

Submit one electronic copy to Monika Antonelli at monika.antonelli@mnsu.edu or Mark McCullough at mark.mccullough@mnsu.edu. Suggested length is 1,500 to 5,000 words. Submissions should comply with the Chicago Manual of Style.

Editors contact information:

Monika Antonelli
Reference/Instruction Librarian
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Mark McCullough
Reference Services Coordinator
Minnesota State University, Mankato

June 24, 2009

The Return of The Baffler

The Baffler is coming back! The Baffler was my favorite magazine during the years it was being published. Thomas Frank has announced he is bringing it back, and is involving some really great people.

This is great news, especially for smart, critical, non-trendy Gen-Xers, whom I think the magazine really spoke to.

June 21, 2009

Anti-elitism and academic libraries

A cultural theme in America for the past few decades has been a certain conservative populist “anti-elitism.” Barack Obama’s victory despite his vulnerability to the charge of elitism – owing to his statements about small town America “clinging to guns and religion,” his educational background, and his personal choice to assume an intelligent audience when he speaks – may mark the beginning of the end of this trend, for now. But the theme of cultural anti-elitism is still evident in the culture in a wide variety of forms – in popular culture, marketing, religion, and backlash against social ideas that have a strong foothold in the academy.

Oddly, as Thomas Frank has observed, America’s present anti-elitism is not directed at the power elites whose existence is what keeps America from its ideal of democracy but always at cultural elites – you know, people who think they know more than the average Joe or talk in ways that the average Joe doesn’t understand. In Frank’s diagnosis this problem was initially the fault of upper-middle class liberals who, because of their social class, could afford to protest the Vietnam war while the same generation’s working class lacked the leisure of college students and lacked the resources to escape the draft when called up. As a result, over the decades the education/class gap manifests as resentment against a class of liberals who, to “mainstream America” “just don’t get it.”

Thomas Frank’s recommended strategy for the Democrats in his 2005 book, What’s the Matter With Kansas, was to emphasize economic issues that the party’s traditional base cares about and to de-emphasize social issues for which the working class and a growing population of Hispanic voters supposedly have less sympathy – gay rights, abortion rights, funding for the arts, funding for higher education, etc. Frank’s recommendations were heard within Washington’s corridors (he moved there from Chicago after the book was published) and seem to have had some effect on Democratic policy directions.

Cultural anti-elitism is not always tied to anti-liberal backlash, however, at least not directly. I have encountered it in institutions of higher education over the years, coming from administrators who are more in touch with the pulse of funding than they are with the pulse of academic life, or from students who clearly aren’t in college because they are interested in intellectual pursuits but because they want that ticket to a middle class job. Administrators and tuition-payers want the curriculum to be “more relevant” to the needs of today’s college students, who, after all, have a louder voice than in the past because of the increased role of tuition and fees and the declining role of state subsidies in higher education. “Relevant,” unfortunately, means (on balance) less demanding and less theoretical, because today’s students are not inclined to spend much time reading for class, are less intellectually prepared for college-level work, are over-scheduled due to full time jobs and social activities, and relatively uninterested in academic subjects. To administrators, faculty who insist on high intellectual standards 1) have their heads in the sand and 2) don’t know which side their bread is buttered on. Faculty who get this message understand what is going on, but wonder who, if not they, are going to preserve, pass on, and encourage cultural achievements and the life of the mind.

After all, people whose lives are lived in the midst of poetry, science, art, and philosophy seldom choose to refer to themselves as “cultural elitists;” the term implies a populist perspective. From their own perspective, their ability to engage in these cultural pursuits, and the existence of an educational system that opens doors to this world to people of all backgrounds, is a primary measure of a society’s attainment of civilization.

It is one thing to make the populist argument that academics are out of touch with real world problems (sometimes they are, sometimes they’re not) but it’s another thing to devalue their cultural contributions or show hostility toward their values in favor of “real world, practical concerns.” Unfortunately, hostility toward what E. M. Forster called the aristocracy of the sensitive is present in academic institutions, which one would expect to be a refuge.

So there is the story; here is what it means in the context of debates in academic libraries.

A number of related trends that are influencing decisions in academic libraries are supported by cultural anti-elitism (though other factors of change may be more fundamental to them). The first is that of “adapting to the Millenials.” Among other things, this means retooling our services to suit students who we take it as a given will study by spending 20 minutes watching YouTube videos rather than six hours reading (selling them short in the process). The second trend is that of “making the collection more relevant.” Among other things, this means catering to popular tastes and duplicating the offerings of local public libraries, with circulation statistics to back up the shift of resources. The third trend that finds anti-elitist support is the continuing rationalization of work processes in libraries through automation, outsourcing, and bureaucratic efficiency measures, and the deprofessionalization into which it factors.

There is an enforcement dynamic that accompanies these trends. If you question the wisdom of moving in these directions, you are “against change.” The expectation is to demonstrate that you are a forward thinking librarian (countering the stereotypes) by de-prioritizing precisely what is offered by academic libraries alone in society – a rich collection of scholarly and literary texts and a high level of knowledge of what they contain in order to provide meaningful access to them. Instead, there is pressure to put emphasis on what people in other enterprises are already doing better and for which they are looked to first – social media, new media, and web technology. In jumping on the bandwagon we are jumping out of the boat. Anti-elitist pressure pushes in this direction because of what it values and de-values.

I think it is worth shifting the discussion away from the meaningless frame of “change, for it or against it” (as though “change” can only mean one thing) and toward the more relevant, underlying issue of anti-elitism versus the cultural pursuits that the academy is here to protect and cultivate. There is a thread of anti-intellectualism running through much of the talk about relevance and change that must be pointed out and identified on the spot – on blogs, at meetings, at conference presentations – so that it can be tied to its specific roots and manifestations, and separated out from a rational discussion of where to go from here. We should ask, who is being served and what is being undercut by specific changes? What is behind them? And, we should reject references to “change” in general as though its specifics are a given and not subject to intelligent planning, with consideration of the ends we want to achieve.

It’s funny how a lack of perspective can make cultural decay look like progress….

June 20, 2009

Alternative Media Reception at Annual Conference

Alternative Media Reception at Annual Conference
On Monday, July 13, from 7-10 pm, the Alternative Media Reception (ALA Annual, Chicago) will join forces with the SRRT 40th Anniversary Celebration in a not-to-be-missed event featuring great food, drink, and music as well as books, zines, and other materials from progressive publishers in Chicago and all over North America.

Special guest Paul Buhle, will speak at the event with brief words on the legacy of alternative media and underground papers rooted in the 1960s. Buhle edited the recently published Studs Terkel’s Working: A Graphic Adaptation, and is founding editor of Radical America and co-author of The Encyclopedia of the American Left. We will also celebrate the 40th Anniversary of SRRT with our co-organizer, Alternative Press Center.

The location is at Experimental Station, in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Experimental Station takes its name from a 1901 Frank Lloyd Wright speech, “The Art and Craft of the Machine”, and is occupied by various collaborative projects in independent publishing, contemporary art, experimental music, organic gardening, bulk food purchasing, ecological initiatives and youth education. The event is accessible via public transportation; the Metra Electric Line departing from Millennium Park Station (Michigan Ave. and Randolph St.) services the 59th Street (University of Chicago) Station, a quick walk from Experimental Station. The CTA bus #6 Jackson Park Express also runs from The Loop (via State St.) to Hyde Park.

The all-you-can eat buffet is a reasonable $20, payable at the door. See your old friends, make new friends, catch the latest in independent perspectives, and wish SRRT another 40 years of happy activism!

For more information, contact Lyn Miller-Lachmann, mcreview(at)aol.com; 518-729-3976
Alternatives in Media Task Force http://libr.org/amtf
Alternative Press Center http://www.altpress.org/
Experimental Station http://www.experimentalstation.org/
Metra line http://metrarail.com/Sched/me/me.shtml
CTA bus line http://www.transitchicago.com/riding_cta/busroute.aspx?RouteId=165

June 19, 2009

Review of Richard Cox’s latest book

The current issue of Interactions has a review of Richard Cox’s latest book, Personal Archives and a New Archival Calling: Readings, Reflections, and Ruminations. The review, by Kim Anderson, gives a thorough description of the book.

June 18, 2009

Call for Submissions – Gen-X Perspectives on Librarianship


Gen-X Perspectives on Librarianship (working title), edited by Erik Estep, Rebecca Tolley-Stokes, and Martin K. Wallace; published by Library Juice Press.

Seeking previously unpublished scholarly manuscript contributions for an anthology relating to the “Gen-X experience” from a librarian perspective, or, the “librarian experience” from a Gen-X perspective. Also welcome are critical perspectives of Gen-X librarians and interesting perspectives on Gen-X librarians from non-Gen-Xers.

Objective of Book:
The objective of this book is to view, critique and analyze what makes Gen-X librarians unique among other generations of librarians, what is unique or different about the professional situation of Gen-X librarians, what have Gen-X librarians contributed to the field, and what have they changed about the profession. In order to fully understand the X-Generation and librarianship, a variety of perspectives is needed.

Suggested Themes:
Emphasis will be placed on the themes of media representations and misrepresentations, work and leadership styles, technology, globalization, cultural shifts, class, and gender but the editors remain open to any theme that proves itself interesting, especially manuscripts that present something new and compelling.

Target Audience:
Librarians, library workers, and library school students, as well as library administrators who might find such a volume helpful in creating an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Selection Criteria:
All submissions received by the deadline will be reviewed by the editors. Editors will select submissions that speak or reveal the most about Generation X Librarians as a group and those that share the most insightful or individualized experiences and can relate those experiences to their generation. Only works of the utmost scholarly quality will be selected. Articles in scholarly sociology or cultural studies journals or university press monographs should serve as examples.

Submission Guidelines:
Submissions from a broad spectrum of librarians and library workers are welcome. We seek to be inclusive of all ages, library types (public, academic, or private libraries), geographies (rural, urban, international), sexual orientations, gender identities, and class backgrounds.

Deadline for summaries: August 30, 2009
Submit a brief summary (3 paragraphs maximum) and a short author’s statement or URLs where appropriate. Electronic submissions only to tolleyst@etsu.edu .

Deadline for manuscripts: January 31, 2010
One electronic copy. Black-and-white artwork may be submitted in hard copy; author responsible for securing image copyright permissions.

Rebecca Tolley-Stokes
Charles C. Sherrod Library
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN 37614
Fax: 423-439-5674
Email:[ mailto:tolleyst@etsu.edu ]tolleyst@etsu.edu

About the editors:
Erik Sean Estep is Assistant Professor and North Carolina Collection Librarian, East Carolina University. Rebecca Tolley-Stokes is Associate Professor and Reference Librarian at the Charles C. Sherrod Library, East Tennessee State University. Martin K. Wallace is a Science & Engineering Librarian at the Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine, and is the state’s Patents & Trademarks Librarian.

June 16, 2009

Group Storms Greek-Macedonian Dictionary Promotion

It’s easy to think that politics has no place in the production of reference materials and that objective reference works are by nature apolitical. Yes, solid reference sources tend to work against ideologically and rhetorically-based thinking and in favor of fact-based reasoning and questioning, that is true, but one should not conclude from that than an apolitical position is the result.

Case in point: the role of a Greek-Macedonian Dictionary (and attempts to destroy it) in the fight for and against Macedonian statehood….

Review of David Bade’s Responsible Librarianship in Interactions journal

The current issue of InterActions, the UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, has a review of David Bade’s Responsible Librarianship. The review, by Michael Wartenbe, provides a thorough and accurate overview of the book, so anyone who is curious about what Bade’s book is all about might find it useful.

June 14, 2009

Lauren Pressley Book Signing – So You Want To Be a Librarian

Lauren Pressley will be signing her new book, So You Want To Be a Librarian, at the Library Juice Press booth in the exhibits at the ALA Conference in Chicago.

Booth 1637, Exhibits Hall, McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago

10am, Sunday, July 12, 2009

The book is scheduled to be published July 1st, but you can pre-order your copy to bring to have signed. There will be a limited number of copies at the booth available for purchase.

There is a Facebook Event for you to add if you like…

June 11, 2009

2009 Catalog

Download the Litwin Books & Library Juice Press 2009 Catalog, or contact us to request a print copy.

June 9, 2009

SRRT Newsletter #167

The new issue of the SRRT Newsletter is out – Issue #167, June 2009. It has the usual updates from task forces, messages from the coordinator and editor, and book reviews. This issue also has a separate PDF supplement, a flier about SRRT’s activities at the ALA Conference in Chicago coming up.

June 8, 2009

Why Study Archival Theory?

I have posted Chapter One of John Ridener’s From Polders to Postmodernism: A Concise History of Archival Theory to the Litwin Books website. The chapter is called Why Study Archival Theory? and is a good introduction to the book…

June 7, 2009

Michael Gorman’s Foreword to Speaking of Information

Speaking of Information: The Library Juice Quotation Book

Foreword by Michael Gorman

Books of quotations serve many functions. They can entertain, enrich, inform, infuriate, define (by inclusion and exclusion), and/or provide one end of a strand of knowledge to be pursued elsewhere by the enquiring mind. Some quotations are comical, some profound, but a true quotation book is neither a collection of jokes or one-liners on the one hand nor an assemblage of profundities and pomposities on the other. Essentially, every quotation book is an argument in favor of a field of study or one that attempts to influence that field of study. Even the venerable general compendia, such as The Oxford book of quotations, are arguments, rooted in their times, for a particular way of looking at the canon of literature and thought. The Oxford book of quotations (second edition, revised, 1953) argues that certain authors and certain books belong to the canon to the exclusion of other authors and books and, thus, defines what literature consisted of to its editors. It assigns ten pages to hundreds of quotations from Rudyard Kipling and four lines to two quotations from Robert Frost, thus, placing those authors on a scale of importance in that canon. In much the same way, this book of quotations is an argument for a particular way of looking at libraries, library work, and the great causes of the library profession—intellectual freedom, literacy, social responsibility, etc. Library juice was, inarguably, a progressive publication and the progressive view of libraries and librarianship could be seen in the selection of quotations that began each issue. That shaping of the field could have been seen even if this were simply a reprinting of those quotations in chronological order, but emerges even more strongly in the selection from, and grouping of, those quotations that you will find here. What is librarianship about? The compiler and editor of this book will give you an answer, one that I find compelling, an answer that can be found, at one level, in the contents list and, at another level, in the selections themselves. Fortunately for the reader, the compiler and editor take a broad as well as a progressive view and a stroll through these quotations is one undertaken with an eclectic bunch of companions. It is hard indeed to resist a selection with an index that yields the successive entries “Goering, Hermann,” “Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von,” and “Goldman, Emma.” So, relax, read, enjoy, and prepare to have your view of our profession reinforced, challenged, and/or broadened.

Michael Gorman
Chicago, Illinois
December 2008