November 26, 2015

CFP – CAPAL 2016: Beyond the Library: Agency, Practice, and Society

Invitation to submit to the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) conference, Congress, Calgary Alberta May 28 – May 31, 2016:

Call for Proposals

CAPAL/ACBAP Annual Conference – May 28–June 3, 2016
Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2016
University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta

The Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) invites participation in its annual conference, to be held as part of Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2016 at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada ( The conference offers opportunity to share critical research and scholarship, challenge current thinking, and forge new relationships across all disciplines.


In keeping with the Congress 2016 theme, Energizing Communities, CAPAL16 seeks to look “Beyond the Library” to rethink how academic librarians engage with their communities within which our institutions are situated or those with whom we share disciplinary concerns or approaches. Such communities may be physical, epistemic, academic, or imagined communities, communities of identity, or those communities around us and to which we contribute.

What can the discipline of library and information studies (LIS) learn from other disciplines? What might LIS as an interdisciplinary field look like? Where and how should academic librarianship be situated within and in relation to other communities?


Like any institution, academic libraries both reflect and help shape the societies of which they are part. It is therefore critical for academic librarians to consider how they and their work are situated – professionally, ontologically, ethically, epistemologically, and physically. As social agents, we share and occupy socio-economic, political, and technological spaces in our efforts to provide diverse, high quality, informational resources and critical education within a contemporary (i.e., neoliberal) legal and economic framework.

In such an environment, effecting change requires seeking out, examining, and engaging with new ideas, approaches, theories, communities, understandings, and ways of knowing, which, themselves, may fall outside the traditional boundaries of the discipline of library and information studies. We need to move our lines of inquiry “beyond the library”–physically and intellectually–into new arenas and new communities. This conference is an invitation to academic librarians and scholars who study libraries and information to discuss how we can reframe academic librarianship: in practice, in policy, in theory, and in society.

Potential topic areas include but are not limited to:

· Academic librarianship in the context of urgent socio-political priorities, such as climate change, environmental sustainability, and social equity;

· The relationship between academic librarianship and democracy;

· Academic librarianship and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples;

· Indigenizing, decolonizing, diversity, and inclusion in academic librarianship;

· The philosophical bases of academic librarianship in social theory;

· The history of academic librarianship and the role of academic librarians in the academy;

· The potentially biased treatment of controversial issues and scholarly debates in knowledge organization and information retrieval systems;

· The sociology of knowledge mobilization;

· Academic librarianship and its relationship to the design of user spaces;

· Academic librarianship’s response to privacy and security in the “post-Snowden” era;

· Community development, “town-gown” relationships, and academic librarianship;

· Core values of academic librarianship in mediated spaces;

· Critical theory, interdisciplinary approaches and subject expertise in LIS education for academic librarians.


The Program Committee invites proposals for individual papers as well as proposals for panel submissions of three papers. Individual papers are typically 20 minutes in length. For individual papers, please submit an abstract of 300 words and a presentation title, with brief biographical statement and your contact information. For complete panels, please submit a panel abstract of 300 words as well as a list of all participants and brief biographical statements, and a separate abstract of 300 words for each presenter. Please identify and provide participants’ contact information for the panel organizer. International proposals and proposals from non-members and students are welcome.

Please feel free to contact the Program Committee to discuss a topic for a paper, panel, or other session format. Proposals should be emailed as an attachment as a doc. or docx. file, using the following filename format:


Proposals and questions should be directed to the Program Chairs:

Michael Dudley:
John Wright:

Deadline for proposals: Extended to January 15th, 2016.

November 20, 2015

Seeking Assistant for ALA Midwinter in Boston

Library Juice Academy/Library Juice Press is seeking one or more assistants to help us with our presence with our exhibit at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, January 8th through 12th, 2016. This will involve helping us set up and break down the booth and assisting us in staffing it. Compensation will be free admission to the exhibits hall, plus payment of $20 per hour, with the number of hours negotiable and based on how many helpers we enlist and what else you want to do during the conference.

The ideal person will have prior familiarity with our publications, so that we can feel confident in your ability to represent them well at the booth and show enthusiasm. We will have all of our books on display, and will also be promoting our online professional development courses.

If this opportunity interests you, please contact Rory Litwin, at

November 18, 2015

Leslie Sult talks about the ACRL/ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award

ACRL’s University Library Section has a new award, the Outstanding Professional Development Award, which is going to be sponsored annually by Library Juice Academy. Leslie Sult was one of the people involved in creating the award, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to interview her about it for this blog.

Leslie, thanks for agreeing to do the interview.

Hi! Thanks for interviewing me!

I’d like to start by asking you to describe what the award is.

The ACRL ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award was created to recognize librarians, archivists or curators whose contributions to providing professional development opportunities for librarians have been especially noteworthy or influential. The contributions may be the result of continuous or distinguished service to the profession. People can also be recognized for their active, innovative or collaborative work in the realm of professional development.

Very nice. I think there is a need for something like that. It will be nice to highlight this kind of work. I understand that you were involved in it from the start. Do you want to describe how it began? How does something like that get created?

Wow – Let me think about that. I was involved in it form the start. In 2011, the then chair of ULS, Kim Leeder, contacted me to ask me if I’d be willing to chair an ad-hoc award committee for ULS. The committee was charged with “exploring the possibilities for creating a ULS award and hopefully making it happen!”. Kim Leeder (now Kim Reed) is awesome, so I told her I’d be happy to. The committee got underway and came up with a few different ideas for awards, but the idea that had the most interest and traction was the one that focused on recognizing people for contributing to the professional development of librarians. Once the focus of the award was determined, a small implementation committee was appointed and we worked with ACRL to draft and vet the award and get it approved. Beth Filar Williams and Jason Martin did a great job keeping the committee moving and getting the award through the ACRL approval process, and my department head, Michael Brewer, helped a ton with the drafting of the actual award – it was a big group effort and a lot of fun to see so many people get involved and help out.

Thanks for that summary of the process. So now I assume a committee has been formed to actually look at nominations and select a winner. Is that right?

Yes – this is the first year that the award will be made – thanks a big bunch to Library Juice Academy for the sponsorship!. The vice-chair of ULS, Rebecca Blakiston, has appointed an award committee and I think submissions are due by December 4th. It will be exciting to see who will be recognized once the committee reviews the nominees.

What kind of professional development projects do you expect to see from nominees?

That is what I think makes the award so exciting – I think it can span a number of things from people providing training within their own institutions, to people that are offering great online courses, or that are trying things with online chat discussions or a combination of a number of different approaches. I could see book or journal editors being nominated for the one-on-one mentoring and professional development that they provide to authors just like I can imagine instructors in Library Juice Academy or instructors in the various courses that ALA and ACRL offer being recognized.

People are expected to nominate their peers. Have many nominations come in yet? What are you doing to get the word out about the award?

Since I am not actually on the selection committee, I am not sure – the ULS Vice-Chair is the person that is running the award committee. I know that ULS has sent out a number of emails to encourage people to nominate their peers – I hope we get a big response!

I hope so too. I’m excited about the award. Neither of us has mentioned, it’s for $1,000, so it’s a nice chunk of change for the winner. I hope that motivates people to nominate. So to wrap up, I should ask how people can get more details about the award, things like criteria and such.

It is a great chunk of cash, the recipient will also get a certificate, which is nice to have as well! If people are interested in nominating a colleagues they can go to this URL for additional information and to access the nomination form. Thanks for taking the time to highlight ACRL ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award!

And congratulations to you for getting the award off the ground. Thanks again for the interview.

Thanks for the opportunity.

Snippet from Learning to Die in the Anthropocene

A couple of paragraphs from Roy Scranton’s Learning to Die in the Anthropocene, from City Lights Books, 2015. Pages 108 and 109:

Wars begin and end. Empires rise and fall. Buildings collapse, books burn, servers break down, cities sink into the sea. Humanity can survive the demise of fossil-fuel civilization and it can survive whatever despotism or barbarism will arise in its ruins. We may even be able to survive in a greenhouse world. Perhaps our descendants will build new cities on the shores of the Arctic Sea, when the rest of the Earth is scorching deserts and steaming jungles. If being human is to mean anything in the Anthropocene, if we are going to refuse to let ourselves sink into the futility of life without memory, then we must not lose our few thousand years of hard-won knowledge, accumulated at great cost and against great odds. We must not abandon the memory of the dead.

As biological and cultural diversity is threatened across the world by capitalist monoculture and mass extinction, we must build arks: not just biological arks, to carry forward endangered genetic data, but also cultural arks, to carry forward endangered wisdom. The library of human cultural technologies that is our archive, the concrete record of human thought in all languages that comprises the entirety of our existence as historical beings, is not only the seed stock of future intellectual growth, but its soil, its source, its womb. The fate of the humanities, as we confront the end of modern civilization, is the end of humanity itself.

November 17, 2015

ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award

Established in 2015, this award is intended to recognize librarians, archivists or curators whose contributions to providing professional development opportunities for librarians have been especially noteworthy or influential. The effect of these contributions may be the result of continuous or distinguished service to the profession, but may also be the result of extraordinarily active, innovative or collaborative work that deserves national recognition.


$1,000 cash plus a certificate for the award winner, sponsored by Library Juice Academy.


Any individual who holds, or has recently held an appointment as a librarian, archivist or curator at a public, academic or national library, archive or museum. Award winners must be members of ACRL and ULS, or join ACRL and ULS upon receiving the award.


At least two of the following four criteria need to be met:

  • Implementing innovative or creative professional development ideas or activities that have measurably impacted library users and / or the profession.
  • Active participation in special projects, efforts or initiatives related to providing professional development opportunities that have measurably impacted library users and / or the profession.
  • Evidence of service and/or collaboration over time related to providing professional development activities that clearly benefited a number of library professionals and library users.
  • Exemplary and influential research and/or scholarship pertaining to professional development for librarians.


All nominations should be accompanied by a completed nomination form. Completed forms should be emailed to Rebecca Blakiston, University of Arizona Libraries, E-mail:

Supporting documents to accompany the nomination form include:

  • A full and clear description in two (2) pages or less of the nominee(s)’ work as it pertains to the development and provision of high quality continuing education opportunities for librarians
  • One (1) letter of support from a beneficiary (may be a library professional or a library user) of the professional development opportunities detailing how the professional development has benefited the library profession
  • If applicable, a list of publications or research conducted by the candidate(s), with an explanation of how the research pertains to providing high quality professional development activities for librarians.
  • If possible, please submit a high resolution photo of the nominee (at least 300 dpi). The photo will be used to make the official winner announcement immediately after the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

View the full awards committee roster here.

Submission Deadline: December 4, 2015

November 12, 2015

What about the iceberg?

by Emily Drabinski

I spend a lot of time in critical librarian spaces. I am an active tweeter in the #critlib community. I’m organizing a colloquium on critical perspectives on gender and sexuality in the field (abstracts due Monday!) and edit a related book series. I’m working on a talk this spring about critical pedagogy in a time of compliance, trying to figure out how to make social change happen in contexts that sometimes make that feel impossible. I have lately been struck by the relative smallness of our conversations, and feel myself straining to talk more about bigger pictures, to understand the structures that produce the problems and solutions that we engage.

Last week, I talked about critical librarianship at the Charleston Conference. Rachel Fleming (Appalachian State University), Nora Almeida (New York City College of Technology, CUNY), and I developed a “Lively Lunch” presentation titled #critchs, an effort to rough out a frame of what would constitute a critical acquisitions and technical services activist agenda. As we brainstormed topics, I was struck by how much the issues we defined—open access and open educational resources, consolidation in the vendor marketplace, the relentless desire for universal technical solutions to complex and contingent human problems—were the same issues that mainstream librarianship takes up again and again. Ours was hardly the only time set aside to discuss OERs.

The same issue crops up when we talk about critical information literacy. If the self-consciously political project is simply one of replacing rote lectures with guide-on-the-side active learning, well, that’s what they teach in Immersion, about as mainstream as professional work gets. What can a critical or political librarianship offer the field that is potentially transformative of librarianship and the world?

Charleston was a particularly apropos location for these thoughts. Walking between the conference hotels and the sessions at the Gaillard Center took us right past Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, site of the horrific murders nine people engaged in prayer. We walked right past it, on our way to coffee and meetings and drinks with vendors. Organizer Katina Stauch offered a moment of silence as the conference began, and opening keynote Courtney Young pointed to Emanuel AME as a sign of how much more work there is to do in terms of disrupting and upending white supremacy. But then we did what people always do, we went about our business.

Of course, the uncomfortable conjunction of past and present in Charleston is much older than that. The city’s port was the entry point for more than 40% of enslaved African people forcibly transported to North America. (The National Park Service site at Fort Moultrie chooses to tell the story of America’s coastal defense history instead.) Plantations surround the city, pitching themselves as sites of genteel Southern grandeur rather than as the sites of America’s evil origin story. Cabins built to house enslaved people in the 1840s—small, overcrowded, without heat or running water—remained in use until the 1990s, when they were steps from the bank branches and gas stations of the outskirts of town. History is very present in Charleston, as it is everywhere, but distinctly so for me in this place I had never seen before. Sure, Charleston has a hot restaurant scene and cool film festival. But I could feel the blood oozing up from the sidewalk. It was difficult not to know where I was.

But what does this have to do with open educational resources or library classrooms? For me, Charleston was another reminder that the field could stand to look up from our close reading of library problems to the social, political, and economic forces that structure those issues for us. A call to more critically engaged teaching librarianship emerges simultaneous with the adjunctification of higher education, including librarianship, demanding more from people being paid less and less. We talk a lot about digital humanities and open access online publishing, but a lot less about extractive industries and electronic waste. We want to make lifelong learners, but what are we doing to extend those lives, to address premature death caused by maldistribution of wealth and white supremacy? How does the future of libraries account for the radically different futures we face depending on the historical forces that have structured our presents?

There’s always something parochial about a professional conference, of course, especially one with a narrow focus. The opportunity to talk among ourselves about the issues of our daily work lives matters. (How *are* people dealing with reference stats these days, anyway?) But in these spaces, I’d like to think bigger about what critical and political librarianship has to offer the field. At its best, I think this means richer analyses of the structural issues beyond our conference rooms and vendor dinners. We can’t talk about the Big Deal without talking about capitalism. We can’t talk about student learning without talking about student debt. If we want a librarianship that does more than embroider a pincushion while the Titanic goes down, we must generate a better account of the iceberg.

November 9, 2015

CFP: National Diversity in Libraries Conference

National Diversity in Libraries Conference
August 10-13, 2016 v UCLA
Deadline: November 30, 2015

The National Diversity in Libraries Conference (NDLC ’16), co-sponsored by the UCLA Library and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), will take place on the UCLA campus on August 10-13, 2016. The NDLC ’16 Program Committee invites you to submit a proposal that addresses the conference’s theme of Bridges to Inclusion, highlighting issues related to diversity and inclusion that affect staff, users, and institutions in the library, archive, and museum (LAM) fields. NDLC ’16 aims to articulate the value of and develop strategies for diversity and inclusion in LAMs in order to improve organizational excellence and community engagement.

NDLC ’16 Tracks and Topics

NDLC’16 seeks conference presentations in all areas of diversity, including but not limited to the following topics:

· Collections and Access
Global and multicultural collections, different languages and formats, archives, oral histories, traditional knowledge, data, government information, digital collections, subject headings and controlled vocabulary, accessible spaces and equipment, assistive technologies, accessible catalogs, access services, preservation, etc.

· Programming, Outreach, and Advocacy
Cultural programming, outreach to diverse populations, teaching and learning, reference and research, instructional design, assessment, community collaborations, services to special populations, health education, financial literacy, marketing, social media, apps, advocacy, community and learning spaces, emerging technologies, digital humanities, makerspaces, institutional repositories, online learning, etc.

· Personnel, Management, and Organization
Recruitment and retention, staff development and training, administration and management, leadership development, mentoring, organizational culture, conflict resolution and mediation, bias and prejudice, harassment, unions, cultural competencies, institutional change, public policies, diversity programs, diversity plans, etc.

· Challenging Topics
Difficult patrons, vulnerable users, book challenges, controversial displays, contentious collections, digitization of traditional knowledge, free speech, trigger warnings, censorship, intellectual freedom, privacy and confidentiality, policies, cultural competencies, other legal issues, etc.

Ideal sessions will: provide insightful information and practical skills and strategies; facilitate constructive conversations around critical issues, including an exploration of potential solutions; highlight new research in the field; showcase exemplary programs; examine the successes and failures of initiatives designed to improve diversity and inclusion; or offer approaches for substantive change on limited resources.
Session Formats

All sessions are 75 minutes in length. They can take the following formats:

· Workshop A session with facilitator(s) that provides an in-depth introduction to a topic and/or practical skills and techniques.

· Roundtable A facilitated discussion between presenters and audience participants on a particular topic or broader issue. Should include multiple viewpoints and diverse voices.

· Panel Presentations may cover a specialized topic from different perspectives or a general topic in-depth. Should provide sufficient time for audience questions.

· Individual Paper/Presentation Proposals that are not already part of a set panel. May be assigned to a panel with similar topics.

NDLC ’16 will also accept proposals in formats other than those listed, especially if they provide a new way to engage the audience. A call for poster proposals will go out in early 2016.
Submission Guidelines

All proposals must be submitted on the NDLC ’16 website: Proposal form will be available beginning on October 23, 2015.

You will be asked to provide the following information:
· Primary contact: name, title, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, and phone number
· Additional participant(s): name, title, affiliation, and email address
· Proposal title
· Brief abstract for the conference program (up to 75 words)
· Detailed description, including learning outcomes, for proposal review (up to 250 words)
· Program track
· Session format


All proposals must be received by midnight PST on November 30, 2015. Notifications of proposal selection will be made by February 1, 2016.
Selection Criteria

All proposals will be reviewed by the NDLC ’16 Proposal Review Subcommittee. Proposals are evaluated on quality and clarity of content, relevance to conference themes, and ability to engage the audience.

Presenters may be invited to use a format other than the one(s) selected or co-present with others who have proposed similar topics.

Additional Requirements

All selected program presenters must be registered for NDLC ’16 in order to present. Presenters are responsible for paying the conference registration fee, travel, and lodging. (UCLA will offer economical conference housing that includes meals.)

Non-Commercial Policy

NDLC programs are non-commercial educational learning experiences. Under no circumstances should a session be used for direct promotion of a speaker’s product, service, or other self-interest.


Questions may be sent to the NDLC ’16 Program Committee at

November 5, 2015

CFP: Radical Teaching and Archives

CFP: Radical Teaching and Archives

To create, maintain, and control an archive is to establish facts and exercise power. Archives consolidate objects as sources of knowledge, and in so doing, they help construct boundaries around what counts as history and whose stories are likely to be told. Often, archives are the province of the powerful, who have the resources to preserve and regulate access to materials in ways that narrate the world from the perspective of history’s winners. Radicals ignore such depositories at their risk, however, since they must understand power in order to confront it. Official documents often enable critical readers to understand the behavior of their authors in ways that those authors may not have intended. In recent memory, for example, the release of the Pentagon Papers, declassified NSA documents, and wikileaks have all provided opportunities to reconfigure knowledge around highly-charged government actions and historic events. At the same time, professional archivists, scholars, and activists are creating new community-based and bottom-up archives, such as Brooklyn-based Interference Archive (, a collectively-run repository of social movement materials; The Lesbian Herstory Archives (; and the CUNY Digital History Archive (, a participatory project to collect and preserve the histories of the City University of New York. These archives, among many others, are part of a larger movement to build resources for alternative versions and visions of history and society. Accessibility has become a growing problem, however, as the institutions that house these records all too often reduce and/or deskill their professional staffs. Without trained archivists, who know the contents of their collections, students, teachers, and other researchers may find it difficult, if not impossible, to find the materials they seek. Funding is, of course, the issue here, as the neoliberalism suffusing 21st century society is unlikely to put a high priority on recovering the radical past. Radical Teacher invites essays that address radical teaching with, in, and against archives. Some of the questions one might consider include:

– How are progressive educators incorporating archival research, trips, and materials into their pedagogy? What is radical about this work?
– What kinds of efforts have archivists, educators, librarians, and activists undertaken to reconstruct archives in ways that reflect the power and experiences of everyday people (gays/lesbians, working class people, disabled people)? And/or in ways that pose challenges to established forms of information, data-gathering, and political power?
– In what ways can archives be used to promote radical inquiry by students—individually or as group projects?
– Does the radical use of archives require radical content (e.g., the archives of activist collectives, social movements, or avant-garde artists)?
– How might one use community-based archives in the classroom? What questions, anxieties and/or possibilities arise regarding preservation of and access to these records?
– How have progressive educators used archives at their own institutions in their teaching?
– What problems of access have radical teachers and/or their students encountered in using certain archives?
– How has digitization helped or hampered the use of archives? How has it changed the way radical teachers and their students use such collections?

The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2016. Queries, abstracts and proposals are welcome in advance and should be directed to Linda Dittmar ( and Joseph Entin ( Prospective authors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with Radical Teacher by reading the journal at

November 4, 2015

CFP: Unintended Consequences: the Paradox of Technological Potential (IEEE Potentials)

IEEE Potentials is seeking contributions to a special issue guest edited by Ramona Pringle, Katina Michael and MG Michael. The theme of the issue is: “Unintended Consequences: the Paradox of Technological Potential”.

We are looking for critical reviews and analyses, case examples, commentaries, interviews, opinion pieces, stories, projections and science fiction narratives from researchers, futurists, practitioners and storytellers, examining the hidden implications of our ever-digital lives.

While we are open to predictive scenarios of what the near future will bring, we are also looking for contemporary analysis as well. After all, we are living at a time where the line between science fiction and reality is blurring: our relationships are mediated, our memories are archived, and our identities are public documents. What are the implications of rapidly advancing technology on government (e.g. military drones), organizations (e.g. data analytics), and our personal lives (e.g. wearables)?

With all great innovation comes responsibility; an inevitable dark side, and with the exponential growth of technology, the window within which we can examine the ethics and consequences of our adoption of new technologies becomes increasingly narrow. Instead of fear mongering, how do we adjust our course, as a society, before it is too late? We are looking for disruptive perspectives, and articles that present solutions and blueprints, while questioning the status quo. These may take the form of precautionary tales, scenario-based planning and action, assessment impacts and response, design principles, standards, regulations, and laws, organisational policies and approaches to corporate social responsibility, externality fines and penalties for breaches, advocacy, and the formation of specialised global NGOs.

IEEE Potentials is interested in manuscripts that deal with theory, practical applications, or new research. They can be tutorial in nature.

Submissions may consist of either full articles or shorter, opinion-oriented essays. When submitting an article, please remember:

? All manuscripts should be written at the level of the student audience.

? Articles without equations are preferred; however, a minimum of equations is acceptable.

? List no more than 12 references at the end of your manuscript. No embedded reference numbers should be included in the text. If you need to attribute the source of key points or quotes, state names in the text and give the full reference at the end.

? Limit figures to ten or fewer, and include captions for each.

? Articles should be approximately 1,500–4,000 words in length; essays should be 900–1,000 words.

? Include an individual e-mail address and a brief biography of four to six lines for each author.

All submitted manuscripts are evaluated by the IEEE Potentials reviewer team and graded in accordance with the above guidelines. Articles may be required to go through multiple revisions depending on reviewers’ grades and comments.


CFP distribution: 30 November 2015

Expression of interest (abstract submission): 8 January 2016

Feedback to authors: 15 January 2016

Final paper submission: 15 March 2016

Proof back to authors: 15 April 2016

Publication Date: July/August 2016 (vol. 35, no. 4)

Guest Editors

+Ramona Pringle is an Assistant Professor at the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University.

*Katina Michael is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at the University of Wollongong.

*MG Michael is an honorary Associate Professor in the School of Computing and Information Sciences at the University of Wollongong.