March 31, 2016

CAPAL 16 Preliminary Program

The preliminary program for CAPAL 16 is out and it’s very exciting. Here is Colleen Burgess’ announcement:

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the conference organizing committee, I am pleased to present the preliminary program for CAPAL16: Beyond the Library: Agency, Practice, and Society, the third annual conference of the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL). The program can be viewed in full online at:

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.

We are honored to welcome keynote speakers Leroy Little Bear, Ry Moran, and Dr. Bonnie Stewart. Long-time advocate for First Nations education, Leroy Little Bear served as Director of the Harvard University Native American Program, and helped to design the Bachelor of Management in First Nations Governance at the University of Lethbridge. Dr. Bonnie Stewart serves as the Coordinator for Adult Teaching for the University of Prince Edward Island, where she directs and develops professional education and career development initiatives for a suite of adult education programs. Ry Moran is Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at the University of Manitoba, which is tasked with preserving, protecting and providing access to all materials, statements and documents collected by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). A Metis and graduate of the University of Victoria where he studied political science and history, Moran worked in traditional language preservation with a focus on Michif. In 2008, he received a National Aboriginal Role-Model Award, which led an invitation to Rideau Hall and his involvement with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as Director of Statement Gathering, and eventually Directorship of the National Research Centre.

Registration for the conference is now open and available at the following link:

Note that Congress fees are cheaper if you register before March 31st.

Please visit our website for further information and updates:

The CAPAL Research & Scholarship Committee is pleased to offer a CAPAL 2016 Preconference Workshop at the University of Calgary on May 28, 2016. For further information and updates, see the pre-conference workshop webpage:

Also, follow us on Twitter at #CAPAL16 and join our Facebook page at to connect with others attending.


Colleen Burgess, Communications Chair

March 21, 2016

Library Juice Email Updates

You can get news from Library Juice Academy and Library Juice Press (and Litwin Books) via email. Here are the links to sign up:

Library Juice Academy email updates

Library Juice Press (and Litwin Books) email updates

We sometimes get requests to be put on our mailing list. Library Juice Academy hasn’t had one until now. The Library Juice Press mailing list has been going for a number of years and will continue.


March 16, 2016

Award for Ongoing Doctoral Dissertation Research in the Philosophy of Information

Award for Ongoing Doctoral Dissertation Research in the Philosophy of Information

1. Nature of the Award
1.1 The award shall consist of $1,000, given annually to a graduate student who is working on a dissertation on the philosophy of information (broadly construed). As we see it, the range of philosophical questions relating to information is broad, and approachable through a variety of philosophical traditions (philosophy of mind, logic, philosophy of information so-called, philosophy of science, etc.).

2. Purpose of the Award
2.1 The purpose of this award is to encourage and support scholarship in the philosophy of information.

3. Eligibility
3.1 The scholarship recipient must meet the following qualifications:
(a) Be an active doctoral student whose primary area of research is directly philosophical, whether the institutional setting is philosophy or another discipline; that is to say, the mode of dissertation research must be philosophical as opposed to empirical or literary study;
(b) Have completed all course work; and
(c) Have had a dissertation proposal accepted by the institution.
3.2 Recipients may receive the award not more than once.

4. Administration
4.1 The Litwin Books Award for Ongoing Doctoral Dissertation Research in the Philosophy of Information is sponsored and administered by Litwin Books, LLC, an independent scholarly publisher.

5. Nominations
5.1 Nominations should be submitted via email by June 1, to
5.2 The submission package should include the following:
(a) The accepted dissertation proposal;
(b) A description of the work done to date;
(c) A letter of recommendation from a dissertation committee member;
(d) An up-to-date curriculum vitae with current contact information.

6. Selection of the Awardee
6.1 Submissions will be judged on merit with emphasis on the following:
(a) Clarity of thought;
(b) Originality;
(c) Relevance to our time;
(d) Evidence of good progress toward completion.

7. Notification
7.1 The winner and any honorable mentions will be notified via letter by July 1.

Advisory Board
Jonathan Furner, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA
Ron Day, School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University
Melissa Adler, College of Communication and Information, University of Kentucky

Past Winners

2015: Quinn DuPont, of the University of Toronto Faculty of Information, for his dissertation précis, titled, “Plaintext, Encryption, and Ciphertext: A History of Cryptography and its Influence on Contemporary Society.”

2014: Patrick Gavin, of the University of Western Ontario FIMS, for his dissertation propsoal, titled, “On Informationalized Borderzones: A Study in the Politics and Ethics of Emerging Border Architectures.”

2013: Steve McKinlay, of Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia, for his dissertation proposal, titled, “Information Ethics and the Problem of Reference.”

March 8, 2016

Library Juice Press Handbook of Intellectual Freedom wins the Eli M. Oboler Award

“The Library Juice Press Handbook of Intellectual Freedom” named 2016 Eli M. Oboler Award winner

Tue, 03/08/2016

Shumeca Pickett
Administrative Assistant
Office for Intellectual Freedom

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table has announced the winner of the 2016 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award, which recognizes the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom. The 2016 award goes to The Library Juice Press Handbook of Intellectual Freedom, edited by Mark Alfino and Laura Koltutsky. The publisher is the Library Juice Press.

In recognizing The Library Juice Press Handbook of Intellectual Freedom, the Oboler Award selection committee said it believed that the book was an enormous contribution to the existing literature and indispensable to a thorough discussion of the subject of intellectual freedom. The book looks at intellectual freedom from a wider range of theoretical perspectives and in connection with a wider range of cultural topics, under the premise that “thought and action about intellectual freedom needs to be informed by a broader and more complex range of topics and theoretical reflection than it typically has been.” The 21 articles focus on topics including threats to intellectual freedom, academic freedom, the arts, the internet, censorship along with connections to contemporary social issues and institutions, and historical and cultural theories.

The Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award, which consists of $500 and a certificate, is presented for the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom. The award was named for Eli M. Oboler, the extensively published Idaho State University librarian known as a champion of intellectual freedom who demanded the dismantling of all barriers to freedom of expression. The award has been offered biennially since 1986.

The award will be presented at the IFRT Award Reception & Member Social at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando in June.

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award.

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs, and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians; serves as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters; promotes a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom; promotes a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom.

March 4, 2016

CFP: Reference Librarianship & Justice: History, Practice & Praxis

Call for Proposals: Reference Librarianship & Justice: History, Practice & Praxis

Editors: Kate Adler, Ian Beilin, and Eamon Tewell
Publisher: Library Juice Press

Reference work often receives short shrift in the contemporary discourse and practice of librarianship. Conversations that concern critical pedagogy, social justice, and theory tend to revolve around instruction or cataloging practice. Moreover, reference librarians and reference services themselves seem to be disappearing. Reference Librarianship & Justice: History, Practice & Praxis seeks to stake out a space and make a passionate case for reference work in a manner that is historically, socially and politically compelling. It will highlight the unique position of reference librarianship, a liminal and dialectical space, potentially distinct from the power dynamics of classroom instruction and singular in its mission and practice. At heart, reference is a conversation and partnership. The stakes are significant, not only because of the unique potential for social justice work but because of the risk that the profession is now overlooking reference’s central importance.

Libraries can be viewed as “leaks in the informational economy” (Vaidhyanathan, 2004) and reference services inside and outside of the library have the capacity to create radical spaces of critique and social justice. Reference has a long history of contributing to libraries as sites of democratic access to information, ideas, books, and culture. That access is an essential element of an informed democracy and the intellectual engagement of the autonomous individual. Yet we overlook that this access doesn’t happen magically. Point-of-need interaction, key to the positioning of libraries as agents of social change, often pivots around the work of reference.

The Book’s Three Sections:

Part 1: Praxis
This chapter will mine diverse theoretical frameworks as they pertain to Social Justice & Reference. This may include the canonical theorists that Critical LIS Literature has traditionally engaged but an emphasis will be placed on work beyond the canon. In so doing, it will trouble and broaden traditional academic conventions. For example, the work of various activist traditions and social movement thinkers might be discussed, or epistemologies associated with non-western cultural ideas of property, ownership, knowledge, etc. Contributors are also encouraged to look to theorists writing in a variety disciplines: architecture, computer science, or law, among others. These frameworks can come from both inside and outside LIS literatures. For example: How has work in the area of radical cataloging or archival theory served to provide a lens through which to engage reference work?

Part 2: History
Part 2 makes the case that reference librarianship has a long tradition of social justice work. It will feature historical studies of reference work both in and out of libraries, international and domestic (e.g. librarians in totalitarian regimes, librarians during the cold war, etc.). In this section we encourage authors to make connections from the past to the present: what historical examples of reference service might serve as inspiration or as caution for present day efforts to provide a socially conscious reference service? Possible examples: reference work in Nazi Germany or Nazi-occupied Europe; reference services in segregated, Jim Crow libraries.

Part 3: Dispatches from the Field
Articles about mindful, social justice-oriented reference work in diverse settings (e.g. rural, Native American reservations; inner-city neighborhoods; situated within myriad institutions such as the federal government; and within myriad collections, e.g. archives, special collections, etc.) Part 3 seeks to bring parts one and two together. We laid the groundwork for the book’s claim about the centrality of social justice in reference work by presenting a variety of theoretical models; we’ve explored the rich genealogy of social justice in reference librarianship by looking to the past in part 2; and now, in our closing section, we seek to illuminate parts one and two and their relevance by looking to practice today.

Possible Chapter Topics:
– Reference as praxis: Explorations of diverse theoretical models and frameworks through which to think about Reference. We encourage proposals that engage thinkers, writers and traditions beyond the traditional Critical LIS canon, though new engagements of canonical thinkers are welcomed too.
– Studies exploring the historical tradition of reference librarianship as social justice practice. We encourage proposals that seek to connect and draw parallels between librarianship’s historical tradition and contemporary practice and the contemporary context.
– Examples of specific social justice initiatives tied to reference services.
– Linking reference services to social justice movements outside of the library.
– Innovations in reference service to better serve marginalized and oppressed groups.
– Reference work and anti-racism.
– Successful efforts at repurposing reference services with a social justice and/or critical focus.

Submission Guidelines:
Please submit the following to by July 1, 2016:
– An abstract of up to 500 words describing your proposed chapter
– A brief biographical statement about the author(s)

Notifications will be sent by July 29, 2016. First drafts will be due December 1, 2016, with an anticipated final publication date of Fall 2017. Chapters are expected to be between 2000 and 5000 words.

March 2, 2016

CFP: Language, Modes of Communication, and the Contemporary Academic Library

CALL FOR PROPOSALS for an edited book with the working title:
Language, Modes of Communication, and the Contemporary Academic Library

Melanie Boyd, University of Calgary
Natasha Gerolami, Huntington University
Courtney Waugh, University of Western Ontario

We are inviting proposals for an edited collection of papers to investigate and challenge how language is used in the academic library milieu. We seek papers that offer – through an interdisciplinary lens – a critical analysis of the values and meanings embedded in contemporary academic library discourse and modes of communication.

Language both reflects and shapes the values and priorities at work in academic libraries and the broader socio-political environment in which they operate. We are interested in the patterns language creates – patterns that may be unconscious or unnoticed, yet have effects on and implications for library theory, practice and culture.

We welcome interdisciplinary papers that unearth and examine how language and other modes of communication in libraries form, and are formed by, societal forces – be they political or economic systems, racial, gender or class structures, or the military-industrial complex, to name a few. Papers might consider questions such as: What are dominant or accepted “languages” or modes of communication in academic libraries? What values do they imply? Must we engage in them? Should we? Why? If not, what are alternatives? What are barriers to alternatives? In responding to such questions, this book will address how language reflects and influences academic library culture and values, as well as librarians’ ability to engage with library users and each other, with their own institutions, and with the larger library milieu and the public.

Paper topics include but are not limited to:

– Digital messaging: the language of screens and websites
– Racial bias in library language
– Indigenous voices
– What do spaces, places and placement ‘say’?
– “Branding”: academic library as market place
– Shift from silence to noise in the academic library
– Emotion in workplace language
– Absent language (e.g. “problem” is a problem word)
– Codes of conduct
– Corporate language
– Discourse around “professionalism”
– Crisis culture
– Micro-aggression (verbal and nonverbal)
– Rhetoric as activism
– Rhetoric as replacement for action
– The “respectful workplace” and the silencing of disagreement and dialogue
– Library jargon
– Litany of literacies – info, 21st century, critical, etc.
– Traditional mode of the academic library paper
– Trickledown effect: Messages in management modelling and mentorship

The editors will contribute to the collection. Melanie Boyd, with linguist Ozouf Amedegnato, will address the use of war and military metaphor in academic library culture. Natasha Gerolami will assess the implications of the discourse of secularism and neutrality in academic libraries. Courtney Waugh will analyze neoliberal language in academic library strategic plans.

Proposal submissions

The editors are especially interested in papers co-written by a librarian (as lead author) and a scholar from a discipline outside Library and Information Science. Such an intersection of scholars integrates two strengths, potentially raising many different ways of thinking about issues important to the library and, it follows, the whole academic community. Proposals for single-authored papers are also welcome, and will receive equal consideration.

Proposals and papers must be in English. Proposals for papers that use innovative or non-traditional writing approaches will be considered. Only previously unpublished papers will be accepted.

Authors whose proposals are accepted will be invited to submit a full paper for consideration. Papers will be subject to editorial assessment and blind peer review.

Proposals are to include: title, description (no more than 500 words), and a brief biography of the author(s). Remit the proposal as a word document in an email to Melanie Boyd with the subject line: Proposal: Language Academic Libraries: Last Name(s).


Proposal submissions: May 1, 2016.
Authors will be notified by May 31, 2016 whether or not their proposal is accepted.
The deadline to submit full papers is September 1, 2016.

Please feel free to contact Melanie Boyd to discuss a potential topic or with any questions you may have.