TILT #94 — the library is not a TARDIS and can not hold infinite books
Hello from… wow it’s been a while. On the waning days of the latest dumpstergate, I’m here to tell you I’ve been cleaning out my mom’s house every weekend. And, similar to a lot of libraries, I’ve been trying to find good homes for too many books and recycling or (rarely) trashing the ones I can’t find homes for. Tempted to put snarky photos on Twitter “Hey you think these deserve good homes, YOU come and get them….” but I’ve been a little busy.
Some Vermont-y news: our state librarian has been selected to lead the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. Our loss is the country’s gain. Also the Vermont Library Association web team which I lead has decided to be a little more proactive in encouraging people to include salary/benefits information with their job ads as an equity issue. Should have done it sooner. If this is a move you are contemplating, feel free to email me for the wording I used, positive feedback so far.
I’m still working two days a week at the rural library near me, they’re still looking for someone. As much as I enjoy the gig (and can’t consider it permanently because of the commute) I am looking forward to freeing up my schedule some. Slightly relevant New Yorker cartoon.
As the Internet Archive launches its latest volley in the ongoing litigation between them and publishers, here are a few good things to read about Controlled Digital Lending.
- Digitization Wars, Redux — a backgrounder from earlier this year, from Karen Coyle
- IFLA Statement on Controlled Digital Lending — IFLA comes out with a strong and well-footnoted statement in favor of CDL
- Where Is Our Spotify for Books? — A popular press look at whether instituting Public Lending Right might help things
The Conference Formerly Known as Midwinter (LibLearnX?) will be in San Antonio in January and will also have virtual attendance options. As a Chapter Councilor who both misses my librarian friends but also understands the cost difference between virtual and in-person attendance, I’ll be staying out of Texas this January. REFORMA’s 50th anniversary and Conference in November is going to be virtual and I may see if I can attend that with some of my ALA savings.
And speaking of annual events, I always enjoy looking at what turns up at edible book festivals. Here’s a photo set from Johns Hopkins University.
A few great factoids about movies based on books. All of these came from Jane Friedman’s Hot Sheet newsletter.
- Film adaptations of books earn 53% more at the worldwide box office
- 70% of the world’s top 20 grossing films are based on books
- 65% of films released in 2015 were from book properties
- About 50 books are becoming movies and TV shows in the US in 2021
As someone who helps tech novices all the time and can see the way dark patterns — deceptive user interfaces intended to trick a user into doing something they wouldn’t otherwise do — can work on them, I really enjoyed this zine from Stephanie Nguyen and Jasmine McNeely. It outlines not just the dark patterns but ways they can be mitigated. Librarians should know about these so they can assist patrons in seeing/avoiding them.
I have been reading and re-reading Chris La Tray’s speech that he gave at the opening of Missoula’s new public library.
Let us feel our grief, but let us remember our ancestors before us and those yet to come and be bold in our subversiveness! Rejoice that we are here together. We are in a new library, built in the midst of all of this! A temple to the sharing of culture! A fortress that stands against those who would take it all away. There is hope! Hell, I can see it and I’m not even a “hope” guy!
Also contemplating the closure of the Makiki Community Library and wondering what happened.
While I do almost no cataloging in my librarian work, I am definitely a Sandynista in terms of lobbying for socially conscious subject headings. Dorothy Judith Berry is Digital Collections Program Manager at Houghton Library at Harvard. She did an exceptional project, Descriptive Equity and Clarity around Blackface Minstrelsy in HTC [Harvard Theatre Collection] Collections, looking at the very problematic aspects of some of this material from a library perspective. These included historical inaccuracies in item listings, lack of common cataloging so related items could not be easily collocated, absence of finding aids with useful context, and, finally no purchasing guides for minstrelsy-related material.
A few odds and ends:
- A Jewish library’s treasure surfaced at auction. How did it get there? — getting back around to the deaccession topic
- Melissa’s Story and Sharpie Activism — Alex Gino wrote a novel about a trans character and gave it a title with the name the character does not use and does not like. This was wrong. Alex has apologized and suggested that people change the covers themselves. If you have this book in your library, consider it.
- Anatomy of an ARC — how advanced reader’s copies are evolving
- One last shamelessly pandering tweet
Reading continues, more in a graphic novel vein since I am back in the library. All of these were good with one big caveat about the Radtke book which I felt weird about after reading it, and now I maybe know why.