TILT #95 — our content may be mostly black and white, but we dream in color
Hello Autumn! It’s definitely past peak here in Vermont and I’ve been feeling a little past peak myself after a long few months cleaning out my mom’s house, a project which is winding down. Some photos here. If you want a fixer two-family farmhouse in Middlesex County Massachusetts, do let me know.
My latest archival library delight is this collection of scanned book lists created by Boston Public Library Young Adult Librarians from the 1950s through the mid-2010s. From the groovy to the goofy, they definitely represent a very particular librarian skill, one that I remember learning in library school.
That same digitization grant that netted these booklists also scanned these magazines for the Digital Transgender Archives. Again, representing a particular moment in time, these magazines — FMI, Tapestry, Lady Like, Drag, and En Femme — represented a pre-Internet way for trans people to connect and communicate.
Some small and rural library information.
- Biden administration’s new broadband map shows stark digital divide — as many people know the FCC’s map of digitally underserved areas is inaccurate in a number of ways. This map isn’t used for directing federal funds, but may be of use to libraries trying to lobby for better broadband.
- Rural Libraries and Social Wellbeing toolkits — a great resource for libraries in rural areas trying to engage their communities and assess areas where they should invest time, money, and efforts, a really well done project by Margo at the Southern Tier Library System in New York.
- Open Source Mac Apps — a useful list on github of Open Source tools you can put on your Mac, heavily weighted towards web developers but not entirely. I found a good HTML editor and a utility to help me set per-application sound levels.
An amusing article about the Book Blob (aka the unicorn frappucino cover).
“…something is disconcerting about this “safe” route disproportionately taken in service of women of color and debut authors in particular. These writers are deserving of what is so often afforded to their white and/or male literary counterparts: design that feels specific to the style, preoccupations, and general ethos of the author, a cover that wouldn’t have been created for anyone else. That seems like a failure of algorithmic thinking.”
North Carolina Corner!
- On Protecting Patron Privacy — a look at Duke University Libraries’ Data Privacy and Retention Task force which was formed in response to their data privacy audit.
- University Libraries releases 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge syllabus — the University Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill created a 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge focused on libraries and archives. It’s the 23 Things of racial equity and well worth your time.
- Art, Power, and Profit at Duke University — an incredible long read, a well-researched essay about Duke academics benefiting from the sale of public domain images (direct link to images), but it’s a lot more than that.
Weeding in libraries, especially when weeding is poorly managed from a community-engagement perspective, is a fraught topic. But what about things that may be WORTH jettisoning? A few ideas.
- Can guidelines help weed racist textbooks out of libraries? (original link was not working today) — You’d hope so, right? Via Paul Jewell who is worth a follow if you’re on the tweeter.
- Nine Years Ago, I Speculated that Dewey’s Days Were Numbered. How Far Have We Come? — Things like this aren’t simple, but they may be necessary.
- The end of overdue fines. University of Minnesota and NYPL have both eliminated overdue fines in the past few months.
- WHO COVID-19 library contains hundreds of papers from hijacked journals — an excellent report from Retraction Watch detailing how reputable but defunct journals have been “taken over” by hijackers who extract fees from authors and then publish non-peer reviewed nonsense, including content about COVID-19
Some recent reads. Do not, under any circumstances, read this Donna Leon novel unless you really appreciate a lot of degrading commentary about sex workers. I should not have finished this book. The Mayor one was predictably good-not-great and the other two were exceptionally good.
Please enjoy these two feelgood stories. One is about RIT’s library which has been relocated to an ice arena during renovations, the other is about the Mount Pleasant (DC) Library Friends group making over $100K on their “What’s More Punk Than The Public Library?” t-shirts. They spent some of that money on ukuleles. 😂
Stay warm, hang in there.
Today in Librarian Tabs is written irregularly by Jessamyn West who also maintains librarian.net. It’s available in more-accessible format your inbox via TinyLetter. Thanks for reading.