June 28, 2010

New Book: The Demise of the Library School: Personal Reflections on Professional Education in the Modern Corporate University

The Demise of the Library School: Personal Reflections on Professional Education in the Modern Corporate University

Author: Richard J. Cox
Price: $35.00
Published: June 2010
ISBN: 978-1-936117-18-5
Printed on acid-free paper

In The Demise of the Library School, Richard J. Cox places the present and future of professional education for librarianship in the debate on the modern corporate university. The book is a series of meditations on critical themes relating to the education of librarians, archivists, and other information professionals, playing off of other commentators analyzing the nature of higher education and its problems and promises.

June 23, 2010

This Saturday Night in DC

Come to the reception for Library Juice Press and the Alternative Press Center

Saturday night, June 26th, 7pm to 11pm
M Street Bar and Grill, at the St. Gregory Hotel
2033 M Street Northwest, at 21st and New Hampshire
Cash bar
Good cheese

All of our books will be on display and some of our authors will be in attendance.

Here is a map to the M Street Bar and Grill:

June 22, 2010

Putting up a tent

I’ve been reflecting on our latest title, She Was a Booklegger: Remembering Celeste West, and its meaning for me within my overall publishing endeavors, and I think that the right thing to call it, for myself, is a tent stake, a stake for supporting the structure of a tent by holding it to the ground. Library Juice Press and Litwin Books are a tent to provide a space for idea exchange. The tent has room for people to interact, see each other, see at night by lamp light, and dream. That’s what I would like it to be.

Some of the books we’ve done are tent stakes, others poles that extend the space, and others unique objects in the space. There are some reasons why I consider the Celeste West book a tent stake for me.

First, more than any other person, Celeste West established the tradition of alternative library literature of which Library Juice is a part, and Toni Samek’s essay in the book explains the debt that we owe to her if we have benefited from her magazines, from Charles Willett’s magazines, Progressive Librarian, Unabashed Librarian, Sandy Berman and James Danky’s biannual anthology Alternative Library Literature, Women in Libraries, the progressive listservs that started in the 90s, Library Juice, the MSRRT Newsletter, and many other publications. Many of the blogs you now read also owe a debt to Celeste West. So the book about her that I have had the privilege of publishing serves to connect my publishing business to its roots.

The second reason that I like to view the book as a tent stake is that it has taught me something about what I am doing that I wasn’t aware of. I went off and started Library Juice Press at around the time I was withdrawing from active involvement in PLG and SRRT, and it seemed to myself for a while that it meant that I work better alone than with other people. Over time however, the books that I have done have all involved the efforts of more and more people, until with this one I did little more than guide and encourage a collaborative endeavor. A lot of people contributed a lot of work to this book; from the editors to the contributors to the designer and copy editor, it was a greatly collaborative project. I feel proud to have been a part of it in part because it shows me that people working together is at the foundation of my press. This book makes me feel privileged to be the publisher, and thankful to the people who have contributed their energies; that makes it a tent stake.

It is also a tent stake because of the ideas and ideals that are in it. It is a book full of passion and inspiration, in connection to libraries and life. As a scholarly publisher, it is too easy to get cut off from the passion that gives things their meaning.

Thank you to all the people involved. I am very happy to have been a part of this contribution to the public memory.

June 17, 2010

AP story on slow reading

John Miedema, author of Slow Reading, is quoted in an AP story by Holly Ramer today: “NH professor pushes for return to slow reading.” I am happy to see the topic and John’s book getting some national attention.

June 16, 2010

Ron Day and Hamid Ekbia on “digital experiences”

Ron Day and Hamid Ekbia of the IU library school have an article in the new First Monday titled, “(Digital) experiences.” The article looks at three types of “digital experience” using analytical perspectives on modern “experience” coming from Martin Heidegger and Walter Benjamin.

Day’s and Ekbia’s work gets at the roots of some of the things I have written about in Library Juice over the years. I recently read Ron’s book and plan to read Hamid’s book soon.

Forthcoming Books

We now have a separate page on our website listing our forthcoming titles. We will be adding more titles to this page over the next few months.

June 15, 2010

New book: She Was a Booklegger: Remembering Celeste West

She Was a Booklegger: Remembering Celeste West

Editors: Toni Samek, Moyra Lang and K.R. Roberto
Price: $30.00
Published: June 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9802004-9-2
Printed on acid-free paper

She Was a Booklegger: Remembering Celeste West is a compilation of reflections and tales from friends and other admirers who were influenced and inspired by this larger than life feminist librarian, lesbian, publisher, and activist. Celeste passed away in San Francisco on January 3, 2008 at the age of 65. She was a pioneering progressive librarian and one of the founders of the Bay Area Reference Center (BARC), Booklegger Press, Synergy [Magazine], and Booklegger Magazine. She was also co-editor of the now classic title Revolting Librarians. From 1989 until 2006, Celeste worked as the library director at the San Francisco Zen Center. She was a radical library worker whose practice challenged established library traditions by encouraging librarians to speak up about the need for systematic change. West initiated questions and challenged assumptions (such as library neutrality) that continue to be central issues examined in critical librarianship today. However, while Celeste released a lot of work to the world as author and editor, not much was ever shared about her as subject. This memorial volume provides a written record for those who wish to learn about this remarkable woman.

June 13, 2010

“Metric Mania”

John Allen Paulos is a mathematician who writes books about numeracy for a popular audience. The New York Times Magazine published a brief but insightful essay by him about the dangers inherent in relying on numbers without looking at how they are arrived at (my basic issue with Wolfram Alpha). Here is the starting paragraph of that article, “Metric Mania“:

In the realm of public policy, we live in an age of numbers. To hold teachers accountable, we examine their students’ test scores. To improve medical care, we quantify the effectiveness of different treatments. There is much to be said for such efforts, which are often backed by cutting-edge reformers. But do wehold an outsize belief in our ability to gauge complex phenomena, measure outcomes and come up with compelling numerical evidence? A well-known quotation usually attributed to Einstein is “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” I’d amend it to a less eloquent, more prosaic statement: Unless we know how things are counted, we don’t know if it’s wise to count on the numbers.

June 9, 2010

New book: A Space for Hate: The White Power Movement’s Adaptation into Cyberspace

A Space for Hate: The White Power Movement’s Adaptation into Cyberspace

Author: Adam Klein
Price: $25.00
Published: June 2010
ISBN: 978-1-936117-07-9

A Space for Hate speaks to the media and information topic of hate speech in cyberspace, but more specifically, how its inscribers have adapted their movement into the social networking and information-providing contexts of the modern online community. While many books in recent years have addressed the notable ways that popular internet culture and cyber trends such as blogging have democratized the community of information seekers and providers, little research to date has addressed the darker element that has emerged from that same democratic sphere. That is, the huge resurgence and successful transformation of hate groups across cyberspace, and in particular, those that promote white supremacist ideas and causes. In 2009, hate speech and white power movement organizations in the United States are on the rise once again, fueled by new issues but with familiar themes. Among them, the nomination of the first African-American president of the United States, a national economic crisis that has triggered ethnic scapegoating, and an immigration debate centered largely on illegal Hispanic immigrants. These are just some of the emerging social issues by which today’s hate groups have framed familiar messages of blame, anger, fear, resistance, uprising and action.

The author’s interest in this book project evolved from examining the powerful effects of what many media scholars commonly deem the “hypodermic needle” of mass communication – propaganda. Being the grandson of two Auschwitz survivors who documented their stories through oral and written tradition, his research in the modern day forms of hateful propaganda emanates from a desire to pursue the unanswered question of how the fever of racist sentiment can sweep over a civilized society as it has done so brutally in the past. A Space for Hate focuses on the white power movement, in particular, by using hate-based websites as a concrete and measurable field for examining racial and ethnically targeting messages in the age of information and technology. Perhaps nowhere is this phenomenon more widespread today than within the unguarded walls of cyberspace. The increasingly acceptable domain of racist and anti-Semitic expression within such commonplace websites as Wikipedia, an “information” tool, and YouTube, the younger web community’s digital hub, initially suggested the need to further research the way that cyberspace was allowing blatant hate speech to once again flourish within mainstream popular culture. That investigation led to an investigation of white power movement websites where the new face of hate, in fact, does not resemble the book burning rallies of the neo-Nazi banner but rather the popular forums, media convergence centers, and information tools of social networking websites.

A Space for Hate speaks to the interests of readers of media and information studies material by focusing on three central spheres of hate speech in cyberspace: the legal/ethical concern, the cultural context, and the information aspect, each of which leads into the main body of the study of a series of hate group websites. First, any work on hate speech must begin by addressing the ‘free speech versus hate speech’ debate that has always surrounded the issue of hateful rhetoric in the media, and is further currently being tested on new ground in the World Wide Web. Tied into the legal debate of hate speech on the web are the ethical issues of the internet space itself such as its unregulated content, decentralized and unaccountable domain, and limitless exposure to younger audiences. Second, and perhaps most relevant to this topic is the cultural youth element of cyberspace, specifically those popular trends that have allowed hate-groups to adapt and flourish often under the camouflage of a “user-friendly” social network community. Finally the book investigates exactly how these hate groups are entering into the mainstream media culture by playing on traditional formats which convey their movements as tools of information – educational, political, spiritual, and even scientific in nature.

June 8, 2010

2010 Catalog

Our 2010 Catalog is published in web form and will be ready for mailing soon.

June 7, 2010

New SRRT Newsletter

An announcement from SRRT Newsletter Editor Myka Kennedy Stephens:

SRRT Newsletter – Issue 171, June 2010 is now available!
The permanent link is: http://libr.org/srrt/news/srrt171.html

NEW! This is our first issue available in EPUB format:

This graphics-free edition is readable on a variety of e-book readers (Kindle, Nook, etc.) and mobile devices equipped with e-book reader software (e.g. Stanza for iPhone/iPod Touch). Strictly speaking, this is a “beta test” so please let me know if you encounter any difficulties with our EPUB edition.

At any time, access the most current issue of the SRRT Newsletter online by going to http://libr.org/srrt/newsletter.html or subscribe to our RSS feed at http://libr.org/srrt/srrtnewsfeed.xml.

Be aware: If you intend to print this edition of the newsletter for reading offline, it will be approximately 31 pages long. Be green and read it on a screen of your choice!

Myka Kennedy Stephens
SRRT Newsletter Editor

June 4, 2010

Introduction to Critical Library Instruction

We have put the introduction to Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods on the website as a guide to what is in the book.

June 2, 2010

2010 Braverman Prize Winner

June 1, 2010

Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize Winner Announced

(University of Oregon, Eugene, OR) The Progressive Librarians Guild is pleased to announce the winner of the 2010 Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize. This year’s prize has been awarded to Kristen Hogan for her essay entitled ‚ “‘Breaking Secrets’ in the Catalog: Proposing the Black Queer Studies Collection at the University of Texas at Austin.” Ms. Hogan is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Information Studies (MSIS) program at the University of Texas at Austin School of Information; she expects to graduate August 2010.

An honorable mention goes to Steven Lorenz, School of Library and Information Sciences, North Carolina Central University, for his paper, “The Finer Points of Librarianship: Does a Basic Policy Impede Library Access?.” Lorenz’s essay makes a strong argument against library fines, identifying ways in which they can serve as a barrier to library resources, even for patrons who do not currently owe any.

Essays were submitted by library and information science students from colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Their papers considered such subjects as open access publishing and meeting the information needs of many populations including adult learners and LGBTQ teens. Ms. Hogan’s essay will be published in the forthcoming issue of Progressive Librarian, the journal published by the Progressive Librarians Guild. She will also receive a $300 stipend for attendance at the 2010 American Library Association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., and an award certificate at the PLG annual dinner on June 26, 2010.

The Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize is awarded annually for the best essay written by a student of library/information science on an aspect of the social responsibilities of librarians, libraries or librarianship. The prize is named in honor of Miriam Braverman (1920-2002), an activist librarian who was a longstanding member of the Progressive Librarians Guild and a founder of the American Library Association’s Social Responsibilities Round Table. She was a strong proponent of the social responsibilities perspective within librarianship and an inspiration to younger librarians entering the field.

The Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG) was founded in 1990 and is committed to supporting activist librarians and monitoring the professional ethics of librarianship from a perspective of social responsibility. For more information, visit the Guild’s website at: http://libr.org/PLG/