TILT #90 — The dawn is ours

Happy 2021! Happy new administration! We are far from out of the woods in so many ways, but I have a better feeling about this year than last year. As always, I remain grateful for your readership, feedback, and collegiality. Just to drive home the “that year is over” note, here are the top checkout lists from the three big NYC systems. So interesting how different they are from each other. It’s cold here.

little free sled library picture with various plastic sleds in a wooden box.

I have written my own year end summary including my own list of lists. Pretty sure I haven’t spent a calendar year sleeping in the same bed every night in my entire life. What a weird year. And I went to ALA twice! (Did you know about ALAP, the ALA Players? I did not.) Speaking of weird, if you’re looking for a fake James Patterson Insta account that is actually just library memes, look no further.

image of tiny dog in a sombrero standing atop four cans of four loko drink. With meme-like captions.

While we’re talking about radical library workers, it’s worth reading this: Meet the Southern librarians fighting for racial justice and truth-telling, a good summary of the things that drive BIPOC librarians and allies out of the profession, and the uneasy tension between working within the system you have, while also endeavoring to make it better and more just. For a similar, more academic analysis, there’s “Nice White Meetings” Unpacking Absurd Library Bureaucracy through a Critical Race Theory Lens from the Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship. Another good pop culture and tech read: The Long Battle Against Racism and Sexism in Emoji.

Other library+internet topics

close up photo of a PC desktop where all the icons are placed inside colorful squares that are on the library’s desktop

If you’ve been reading other book-or-library-oriented newsletters, I’d like to hear about them. Other than several mailing lists, and social media generally, newsletters are where I find out about new things, given my limited-interaction lifestyle lately. A few notables.

Let’s talk inclusion and access:

Library Map is a project by Hugh Rundle to show every public library in Australia, their loan checkout periods and whether they charge overdue fines or not. He talks about why he made this.

[T]he goal is mapping as an advocacy tool, using the peer pressure of “who else is charging it?” to slowly flip libraries to go fine-free. Fines for overdue library books are regressive and counter-productive. I have found no compelling or systematic evidence that they have any effect whatsoever on the aggregate behaviour of library users in terms of returning books on time. They disproportionally hurt low income families. They need to go.

one screenshot from this tool just showing red dots where all the public libraries are

Got a lot of trailing mentions here including…

Rock and Roll Friends Check Each Other’s Books Back In

youtube screenshot showing a puppet returning a book to a puppet librarian.

These gorgeous book sculptures by Guy Laramée (via)

a book that is turned into a sclupture where the pages are carved to look like a mountain range

And my usual book covers. As always, reading list with RSS feed is available here, or on Twitter.

Four book covers: Causal Angel, Fatal Pursuit, The Year without Summer, 1816, and The Salvage Crew

Stay warm, keep fighting. Let love be our legacy.

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.

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