TILT #97 — my library is also my antilibrary

Hello, I hope this email finds you channeling your rage in the proper directions (source).

Here is a good round-up of Statements of Solidarity with Colleagues in Ukraine by Archive, Library, and Other Organizations. The Ukrainian Library Association has been very busy on their Facebook page posting regular updates in both Ukrainian and English. Button below is from the UConn Library’s Special Collections’ pins & buttons collection.

blue button with “Knowing is not enough. Act for Peace and justice” caption in yellow

My winter-into-spring rage has me exercising and editing Wikipedia, the two things I do where I can get into a flow state and the time just passes. Wintertime has a gritty, slow feel to it, sometimes you just want to make go faster. I’ve also been playing Semantle, a daily weird Wordle offshoot (Six guesses too few? Try 106!) and if you haven’t already seen it, I apologize.

Subject line of this email comes from this short essay about antilibraries, you know, all those books you have but HAVEN’T read. A lot happened since last I emailed, let’s get started.

A few national-level notes. David S. Ferriero, archivist of the United States, is retiring. He’s 76. I think he’s done a good job. I applaud him for stepping down before people are hollering at him to. The Library of Congress Labs’ Brian Foo has launched Citizen DJ allowing for remixing and downloading of a whole bunch of sounds. I’ll be honest, this is a little over my head but I enjoy it as a proof of concept.

I somehow missed this when it happened, but I enjoy the simple mystery and elegant artwork of the Scottish Book Sculptures, making the rounds again because some of these items were auctioned off in February by Scottish Book Trust.

a tree that is crafted out of the pages of a book, shown in a photograph on top of an older book
[image from Chris Scott — cc by-nc-sa]

Tech and access corner:

animated gif of a black man signing “The first thing is that the education white deaf people received was better that of black deaf people”

Reading widely and diversely continues to be something I’m interested in, and it’s easier when my public library is open (it’s been closed all winter ostensibly for COVID reasons) than when it isn’t. To that end, some links I’ve had my head in for a while now:

I knew about AIDS even when it was called GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency), long before I became sexually active, before I had admitted to myself that I was queer. And I was terrified, but informed. On top of all the explicit fiction, I also knew about safe sex practices.

Fobazi’s essay really resonated with me because I am, sometimes reluctantly, the Vermont Chapter Councilor for ALA. I’ve been pleased at being able to attend conferences virtually during the pandemic and I’ve participated substantively. And yet, the June conference in Washington DC… I am not ready to attend in person. ALA is having a hybrid conference, so I don’t need to. And yet... governance meetings are being scheduled for morning DC-time. Not great for night owl me, but I’ll cope.

image of a man in a business suit asleep in a park

However, it’s unacceptable, to my mind, to have governance meetings — at a national organization’s conference which is touting hybrid accessibility — which are at 3 am for my colleagues in Hawai`i (and 6 am on the West Coast which is still not great). That is not an acceptable meeting time. These are people who might be more likely to not attend in person because of costs, or travel time, or COVID concerns. I have politely raised my objections through what I felt were acceptable channels and was completely ignored. Not shocked, but seriously disappointed. This is not a healthy normal. You can’t be truly committed to equity unless you find ways to include at least all your governance folks, you know the people who work for you for free? Besides, heck, remember how when scientific conferences went online, diversity and inclusion soared?

Reading continues. Rabbi Small books are my current series, though I’ve read a lot of other good books lately. Booklist here or on Twitter.

covers of four books: Cartographers by Peng Shephers, The Granite State’s Boston Post Canes by Barbara Staples, Thursday the Rabbi Walked Out by Harry Kemelman, and Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

Channel that rage, smell those flowers.

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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