TILT-y Mail #21
Selected Annotated Bibliography for the Librarian Resistance
I am writing but I am mostly still listening. Letting my friends and community know I am here for them. And reading poetry.
Not to be all “Hey it’s going to be fine if we all just reconnect with nature and not let it bother us” but more that self-care is useful and the birds don’t give a shit about this election so sometimes it can be good to just sit with them to recenter before you get back to work.
Post-election time in America is time for a lot of reflection, frustration, and planning and scheming for whatever is coming down the road. I’ve been reading and assessing.
My peripatetic lifestyle has always held some risks and that hasn’t changed. My position otherwise is not that risky. Many people are being thrown into incredibly vulnerable positions as a result of this election — positions that were only getting slightly stabilized over the last decade — and this is happening at a national or international level, not just in our local communities. I’m proud of what libraries have been able to accomplish in the world so far. I offer a reading list and hopes that we can weather this storm together and form an effective and ruthlessly efficient resistance.
Brief Annotated Bibliography for the Librarian Resistance
- While I am still helping people get their first email addresses, people are blaming algorithms for losing the election for HRC. I am not forwarding this position personally (also not NOT forwarding it) but it’s a fascinating look at what can happen when we can’t get under the hood of our systems. Noted for later.
- The folks from We Need Diverse Books came out with a post-election statement.
- EFF has provided a very good Surveillance Self-Defense page for those who feel they need to communicate significantly more securely than they have been.
- Helping people with questions about what this all means for them? Lambda Legal has a post-election FAQ for GLBTQ folks. More specifics for other vulnerable populations can be found at Concrete Suggestions in Preparation for January 2017’s Change in American Government a nice repurposable online document (sometimes overloaded with readers, try again if you can’t get it).
- Libraries can be a health lifeline for people most at risk, according to a US study (headline is from Reuters, let me know if you’d like me to email you the PDF of the study)
- Rebecca Solnit’s book Hope in the Dark is available for free for a few more days.
- Libraries step up (in times of crisis) is a place on Facebook where you can get help with library issues concerning this recent election.
- How to weather the Trump Administration? Head to the library. An OpEd piece in the LA Times.
Librarians may be the only first responders holding the line between America and a raging national pandemic of absolutism. More desperately than ever, we need our libraries now, and all three of their traditional pillars: 1) education, 2) good reading and 3) the convivial refuge of a place apart. In other words, libraries may be the last coal we have left to blow on.
Urban Libraries Unite is having their annual fund drive and will send you a My Library is for Everyone button if you donate, or you could just make your own button (but donating anyhow is a good idea, I did).
Maybe you don’t know what to do? Letting people know that the library is for everyone, maybe just “surfacing” the policies that you already have like Lawrence Public Library has done, can show people that you know that this is a tough time for many and that you are there for them.
Or something like this? Other suggestions from Programming Librarian.
I am bad at talking about my feelings, so I will continue mostly not to. I am better at talking about, and taking, actions. Pointers welcome. Replies to this newsletter always read and replied to. Signing off with a quote from Toni Morrison
I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom. Like art.
and another poem from Wendell Berry.