April 30, 2018

Radical Empathy in Archival Practice (JCLIS special issue)

Radical Empathy in Archival Practice

Download a PDF version of the Call for Papers for the issue on Radical Empathy in Archival Practice

In their 2016 article From Human Rights to Feminist Ethics: Radical Empathy in the Archives, Michelle Caswell and Marika Cifor define radical empathy as “a willingness to be affected, to be shaped by another’s experience, without blurring the lines between the self and the other.” Incorporating a feminist ethics approach that centers lived experiences that fall out of the “official” archival record, Caswell and Cifor identify archivists as caregivers whose responsibilities are not primarily bound to records but to records creators, subjects, users, and communities through “a web of mutual affective responsibility.”

In a profession that has staunchly held onto myths of its own neutrality, objectivity, and dissociation of the subjective and personal, centering concepts of the body and affect critically engages archives’ and archivists’ complicity in perpetuating inequality. Recent and intersecting conversations in the archival field about feminism, queerness, race, anti-racism, contingent labor practices, peer-mentorship, and decentralizing whiteness in the profession, all relate to the concept of radical empathy in practice.

We invite authors from a variety of career experiences and archival practices (students, early career professionals, and colleagues working in community archives, public libraries, museums, non-profits, corporations, etc.) to contribute to this special issue of the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies. This issue will provide an extended exploration of “how an archival ethics of care can be enacted in real world environments.” It will explicitly focus on case studies, in particular case studies that engage feminist theory and frameworks, relating to the lived experiences of practicing archivists.

Suggested questions and topics include (but are not limited to):
– Whose bodies do we speak of in a profession whose majority makeup represents privileged bodies that are white, cis-gender, conforming to oppressive definitions and standards of ability, and have access to institutional or personal monetary resources? Whose bodies are erased or occluded in the profession?
– Archival description project audits that re-examine language in legacy finding aids.
– Affective documentation of underrepresented communities in archives.
– Managing grief and trauma with record creators, donors, subjects, users, communities, and in archival collections. What are the roles of the archivist?
– Building team competence through peer-mentorship and networks of skill and knowledge sharing.
– Critical examination of contingent labor and employment practices.
– Managing emotional labor in systemically oppressive work environments through affective relationship building (vis-a-vis manager or peer relationships).
– Exploration of access and security models that critically engage users and communities outside of academia (i.e. alternatives to the “panopticon”).
– Inclusion and recognition of archival labor and interventions in description.
– Measuring affective response as an evaluation method to archival instruction.

Deadline for Submission: January 30, 2019

TYPES OF SUBMISSIONS

JCLIS welcomes the following types of submissions:

Research Articles (no more than 7,000 words)
Perspective Essays (no more than 5,000 words)
Literature Reviews (no more than 7,000 words)
Interviews (no more than 5,000 words)
Book or Exhibition Reviews (no more than 1,200 words)
Research articles and literature reviews are subject to peer review by two referees. Perspective essays are subject to peer review by one referee. Interviews and book or exhibition reviews are subject to review by the issue editor(s).

CONTACTS

Guest Editors

Please direct questions to the guest editors for the issue:
– Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez, University of California, Irvine: elvia.ar@uci.edu
– Jasmine Jones, University of California, Los Angeles: jjones@library.ucla.edu
– Shannon O’Neill, Barnard College: soneill@barnard.edu
– Holly Smith, Spelman College: hsmith12@spelman.edu

Journal Editors

Managing Editor: Andrew J Lau
Associate Editor: Emily Drabinski
Associate Editor: Rory Litwin

THE JOURNAL OF CRITICAL LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES

The mission of the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies is to serve as a peer-reviewed platform for critical discourse in and around library and information studies from across the disciplines. This includes but is not limited to research on the political economy of information, information institutions such as libraries, archives, and museums, reflections on professional contexts and practices, questioning current paradigms and academic trends, questioning the terms of information science, exploring methodological issues in the context of the field, and otherwise enriching and broadening the scope of library and information studies by applying diverse critical and trans-disciplinary perspectives. Recognizing library and information studies as a diverse, cross-disciplinary field reflective of the scholarly community’s diverse range of interests, theories, and methods, JCLIS aims to showcase innovative research that queries and critiques current paradigms in theory and practice through perspectives that originate from across the humanities and social sciences.

Each issue is themed around a particular topic or set of topics and features a guest editor (or guest editors) who will work with the managing editor to shape the issue’s theme and develop an associated call for papers. Issue editors will assist in the shepherding of manuscripts through the review and preparation processes, are encouraged to widely solicit potential contributions, and work with authors in scoping their respective works appropriately.

JCLIS is open access in publication, politics, and philosophy. In a world where paywalls are the norm for access to scholarly research, the Journal recognizes that removal of barriers to accessing information is key to the production and sharing of knowledge. Authors retain copyright of manuscripts published in JCLIS, generally with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. If an article is republished after initially publication in JCLIS, the republished article should indicate that it was first published by JCLIS.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS

The Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies welcomes submissions from senior and junior faculty, students, activists, and practitioners working in areas of research and practice at the intersection of critical theory and library and information studies.

Authors retain the copyright to material they publish in the JCLIS, but the Journal cannot re-publish material that has previously been published elsewhere. The journal also cannot accept manuscripts that have been simultaneously submitted to another outlet for possible publication.

CITATION STYLE

JCLIS uses the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition as the official citation style for manuscripts published by the journal. All manuscripts should employ the Notes and Bibliography style (as footnotes with a bibliography), and should conform to the guidelines as described in the Manual.

SUBMISSION PROCESS

Authors interested in contributing to this special issue should submit manuscripts through JCLIS’ online submission system by January 30, 2019. This online submission process requires that manuscripts be submitted in separate stages in order to ensure the anonymity of the review process and to enable appropriate formatting.

Abstracts (500 words or less) should be submitted in plain text and should not include information identifying the author(s) or their institutional affiliations. With the exception of book reviews, an abstract must accompany all manuscript submissions before they are reviewed for publication.
The main text of the manuscript must be submitted as a stand-alone file (in Microsoft Word or RTF)) without a title page, abstract, page numbers, or other headers or footers. The title, abstract, and author information should be submitted through the submission platform.

April 28, 2018

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 award@litwinbooks.com.

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

Marlene Manoff
Independent Scholar, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Kay Mathiesen
School of Information, University of Arizona

Past Winners

2017: Timothy John Gorichanaz, of the Drexel University College of Computing and Informatics, for his dissertation project, “Understanding Self-Documentation.”

2016: Robert Montoya, of the UCLA Department of information studies, for his dissertation project, tentatively titled, “Articulating Composite Taxonomies: Epistemology and the Global Unification of Biodiversity Databases.”

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.”

April 25, 2018

Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize

The MIRIAM BRAVERMAN MEMORIAL PRIZE, a presentation of the Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG), is awarded each year for the best paper about an aspect of the social responsibilities of librarians, libraries, or librarianship. Papers related to archivists, archives, and archival work are also eligible.

The winning paper will be published in a forthcoming issue of Progressive Librarian. The winner of the contest will also receive a $500 stipend to help offset the cost of travel to and from the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference. The award will be presented at the annual PLG dinner at ALA, and the winner is invited to present their paper at the PLG meeting. In addition, the winner will be provided a press pass for the conference, allowing for free entry to sessions and the exhibition floor, with the expectation that they will write a short reflection for publication by PLG.

Requirements

1. Contestants must be library and/or information science students attending a graduate-level program in the United States or Canada. Contestants may not have finished their coursework earlier than December 2017.

2. Entries must be the original, unpublished work of the contestant, and must be written in English. Entries may not exceed 3,000 words, and must conform to MLA in-text citation style.

3. To facilitate the blind review process, each entry must include a cover sheet providing the contestant’s name, full contact information (address, phone number, e-mail address), name of the institution where the contestant is enrolled, and the title of the paper. No identifying information, other than the title, should appear on the paper itself.

4. Entries must be submitted electronically, in PDF format, to bravermansubmissions@gmail.com. Entries must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. CST on international workers’ day, or May Day, May 1, 2018.

5. The $500 stipend is available only to help defray the cost of ALA conference attendance in the winning year; if the winner of the contest is unable to attend, the money will remain in the Braverman Prize endowment fund and may be donated to an information and communication technology social justice-related NGO at the discretion of the selection committee.

Any questions regarding the contest or the selection process can be directed to the chairs of the selection committee, Julene Jones (Julene.Jones@uky.edu) and Madeline Veitch (veitchm@newpaltz.edu).

More information about Miriam Braverman and about the Progressive Librarians Guild is available at http://progressivelibrariansguild.org/.

April 12, 2018

New book: Poet-Librarians in the Library of Babel: Innovative Meditations on Librarianship

Poet-Librarians in the Library of Babel: Innovative Meditations on Librarianship

Editors: Shannon Tharp and Sommer Browning
Price: $22.00
Published: April 2018
ISBN: 978-1-63400-028-4
204 pages

Poet-Librarians in the Library of Babel is a compendium of experimental essays, creative meditations, non-fiction accounts, and lyrical explorations that challenge, redefine, and/or widen perspectives on subjects related to libraries and librarianship. These subjects encompass abstractions such as silence, knowledge, questioning, solitude, information, access, truth, organization, preservation, alphabetical order, digitization, and memory to such concretenesses as bookshelves, archives, mildew, the Patriot Act, scholars, pencils, catalogs, and the list goes on.

21st century librarianship employs a wide array of languages, from the language of scholarly communication to the vocabulary and syntax of computer science, from customer service at the circulation desk to the rhetoric one exercises when asking donors for funds, from the language of government in which state-funded institutions must participate to the very modern language of branding. Libraries are well known for providing services that blur and cut across social layers such as class, ethnicity, and religion. The ways in which libraries use, experiment, and translate the various languages of the profession support the aforementioned blurring and strengthen “core library values.” This anthology adds another language to the mix-—a language of hybridity, exploration, creativity, and experimentation; a language that is missing from today’s critical librarianship landscape.

The audience for this book includes creative writers, librarians and other information professionals, artists who have chosen careers besides that of the traditional professor, and library scholars.

Sommer Browning is Associate Director of Technical and Financial Services at Auraria Library in Denver, Colorado. Her most recent books include the poetry collection, Backup Singers (Birds, LLC; 2014), and The Circle Book (Cuneiform, 2015). She holds an MSLIS from Long Island University and an MFA from the University of Arizona.

Shannon Tharp is the Collections & Content Management Librarian the University of Denver Libraries. She is also the author of the poetry collections The Cost of Walking (Skysill Press, 2011) and Vertigo in Spring (The Cultural Society, 2013). She holds a MLIS and a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington.

Available from Amazon.com.

April 6, 2018

CFP: Deconstructing Service in Libraries: intersections of identities and expectations

Call for Chapter Proposals

Working Title: Deconstructing Service in Libraries: intersections of identities and expectations
Editors: Veronica Arellano Douglas and Joanna Gadsby
Submission Deadline: July 15, 2018
Publisher: Library Juice Press

Note: We use the term librarian in this call, but we do not mean to limit submissions to those with an MLS degree. All library workers are encouraged to submit chapter proposals.

Book Description
Research into the construction of librarians’ professional identities indicates a strong emphasis on our work as service providers, from both within the profession and the larger environment in which we exist. When taken to its most extreme conclusion, the service ethos that informs librarianship can turn into what some some in the field informally refer to as “Handmaiden Syndrome”– the expectation that librarians be at the beck and call of faculty, students, patrons, and administrators. This is most visible in traditional, patriarchal constructions of service that rely on hierarchical power structures, such as those present in academia and other educational and cultural institutions. But Roma Harris argues that librarianship has the potential to transform the ideal of service from one that exploits those in service roles toward a more democratic and potentially empowering exchange. To do so means an acknowledgement of the high level of emotional labor on the part of the librarian, who is constantly negotiating her sense of personal worth and professional value in pursuit of “good service.” It also raises questions about what components of identity we ignore or devalue when focusing on service as a defining feature in our profession.

This book will unpack the ways in which race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and ability combine with an “ethic of service” to create, stagnate, or destruct librarians’ professional identities, sense of self, and self worth. We would like to examine the power structures, values, and contexts that influence our personal, professional, and institutional conceptions of service in libraries, as well as the costs and consequences (to ourselves and our institutions) of these very personal identity negotiations.

Possible Topics

Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:

Section 1: Situating Service in Librarianship
This introductory section will include a history of service values and behaviors in librarianship. It will examine the ways in which this value has been internalized by practitioners without a clear, agreed upon definition across the different subfields of librarianship.

Section 2: Intersecting Identities & Service
This section will include contributed chapters on the intersections of the ethos of service and personal identity. Questions explored may include:
• How do librarians’ personal identities influence their conception of service in libraries?
• What does service in libraries mean to you?
• In what ways do gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and/or ability influence service expectations of librarians; the ways in which service is performed/carried out; and the ways in which service is perceived by others?
• How do definitions and expectations of service shape professional identities of librarians?
• What are the consequences of not meeting service expectations? How do these consequences differ based on personal identities?
• What is the role of power in service roles and how is influenced by intersectional identity?

Section 3: Reworking the Concept of Service in Libraries
This section will attempt to redefine the concept of service in libraries through a variety of critical theoretical lenses. Contributed chapters may, for example, rework service through a feminist, critical race, or critical disability framework. We also welcome theories and perspectives from other fields. Questions explored may include:
• Do we need a new shared definition of service in libraries?
• Should we abandon the ethos of service in libraries altogether?
• If so, what other professional values should take precedence?
• How can service be redefined to promote a critical, just, and inclusive work and patron environment in libraries? Can it do this?

A variety of traditional and nontraditional scholarship methods are welcome, including but not limited to rhetorical analysis, critical analysis, lyric scholarship, autoethnography, ethnography, phenomenological research, interviews, and other methods of exploring personal and collective identity and the ethos of service.

Timeline
• CFP distributed: April 2, 2018
• Deadline for Chapter Proposals: July 15, 2018
• Notification of Accepted Chapter Proposals: October 1, 2018
• First drafts due: January 15, 2019
• Second drafts due: March 15, 2019
• Final drafts due: June 1, 2019
• Editing: June-August 2019
• Submission of final manuscript: September 1, 2019

Submissions

Please email abstracts of up to 500 words to serviceinlibrariesbook (at) gmail (dot) com.

Abstracts should briefly describe your topic and how your chapter examines the ethos of service in libraries in relation to identity, and/or a larger theoretical framework. You are welcome to submit multiple abstracts about different possible topics. If your submission is tentatively accepted, the editors may request modifications. Material cannot be previously published.

Final chapters will be in the 2000-5000-word range. Abstracts that discuss service in tribal college libraries, HBCUs, Hispanic-serving institutions, community colleges, archives, special libraries, and libraries outside the United States are especially welcome.

Please direct any questions to Veronica Arellano Douglas and Joanna Gadsby, editors, at varellano (at) gmail (dot) com or jogadsby (at) gmail (dot) com.

About the Editors

Veronica Arellano Douglas is the Reference & Instruction Librarian and Instruction Coordinator at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her BA in English Literature from Rice University and MLIS from the University of North Texas. Her research interests include feminized labor in librarianship, intersectional librarian identity, critical information literacy and librarianship, feminist pedagogy, and relational theory.

Joanna Gadsby is the Instruction Coordinator & Reference Librarian at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She holds an MLIS from University of Maryland, College Park and an MEd from Loyola University. Her research interests include critical and constructivist pedagogies as well as issues that shape librarian identity.

April 2, 2018

New book: Open Divide: Critical Studies on Open Access

Editors: Ulrich Herb and Joachim Schöpfel
Price: $35.00
Published: April 2018
ISBN: 978-1-63400-029-1
Printed on acid-free paper

Open access has transformed the traditional way of scientific communication. Open repositories and open access journals provide large and free access to articles, theses and dissertations, reports, working papers, proceedings and books but also to other unpublished items, multimedia files and raw data. Fifteen years after the landmark Budapest Declaration, this book invites the reader to a critical assessment of the concept and the reality of open access, with a special attention to its impact in the countries of the Global South.

The success of open access for the dissemination of scientific information cannot be denied. Yet, the growing numbers of OA journals, articles and books should not keep the scientists and librarians from a critical posture towards the reality beyond figures and statistics. Most publications on open access give the impression that there are only benefits and no alternatives to open access. It is time to abandon this blend of marketing, politics and technology-driven ideology and to return to a more scientific and critical stance.

This book brings together seventeen short critical studies of scientists and librarians from different continents, all interested in open access, most of them supporting and accompanying the open access projects and initiatives since many years, each one with the motivation to better understand (and make understood) the ongoing transformation of scientific communication. Some topics: the discursive staging of open access, mis/trusting open access, the promise of reducing digital divide, open access and the Global South, business models of open access, predatory publishing, open access as a symbolic gift.

ULRICH HERB is project manager and scientific publishing expert at Saarland University and State Library (Germany). His focus areas are electronic publishing, science communication & infrastructure, scientific publishing, scientometrics and science research. He is publishing regularly in a variety of professional bodies in the fields of Information Science and Science Research.

JOACHIM SCHÖPFEL is lecture of Library and Information Sciences at the University of Lille 3 (France), director of the French Digitization Centre for PhD theses (ANRT) and member of the GERiiCO research laboratory. He was manager of the INIST (CNRS) scientific library from 1999 to 2008. He teaches library marketing, auditing, intellectual property and information science. His research interests are scientific information and communication, especially open access, grey literature and research data.

This book is available on Amazon and through your favorite library vendors.