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.