“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
--Audre Lorde

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Meta / BrokenJaws

This post is probably just for me, or perhaps more a record, but I wanted to note that I spent some time today (my first official holiday weekend I've had off in some time) working on this site. A real let's-sit-down-and-do-this afternoon, which hasn't happened in some time. Really it's hard to say that I worked as much as my partner-in-Drupal (I tend to imagine what I'd like to happen and then he figures out HOW), but together we did some theme altering that I'd wanted to change for some time, and some cleaning up of a lot of lingering weirdnesses.*

I've been having a lot of problems with bots and spam, also, and since really the folks who comment here tend to be people I know anyhow, and since I've opened up anonymous comments I've gotten so much spam that I would never have been able to find the legitimate needle in that haystack), I've turned all the commenting/account-creating features off. If anyone has anything they'd like to comment on or would like an account, there's a link to the contact page that should show up on the left hand side of each page now. I'm pretty accessible via this page and various emails that I'm sure are on the web too, so I hope that this change on the site doesn't stifle any conversations that could happen or make it less inviting.

I wanted to write about this here to keep a small record of all of the pruning and thinking that goes into maintaining even just a small site that takes up just a small corner on the web, like this one. Ideally it would get more affection and content/updates than it does, but whenever I tweak it to be closer to what I want it to be, it's pretty exciting.

Oh and thanks mjg for all of your help today!

JPD Librarianship

"I would be interested in whatever you were interested in when you came to my office. That was my job." -- James P. Danky, from an interview conducted by Sean Moxley-Kelly

Saying Yes / Saying No

I read this article from the Chronicle of Higher Ed on the train home yesterday and reflected a little about my own workload and how I feel about it lately.

I'm struggling to work on a thesis right now while working full time. I've been in school for the past three plus years while working too, but the thesis is feeling more like a very LARGE project that is all ME somehow in a way that other coursework has not. Maybe it's because I'm doing new original research (as in, I thought I had ideas I was working up to in other coursework about what my thesis would be, but I took a turn into some new landscapes that require a lot of other research that's new to me).

My new goal, which has also been an older goal, but one that I'm trying to stick to right now is to be extremely and very careful about the things that I commit to--even fun and enticing things. I wish I could go off the grid a bit more, venture out into a writing cabin or somehow just be a little more isolated physically, but I think really what I need to work on is saying "yes no yes" or putting the thesis front and center. I might even stop drinking for the summer (a prospect that frightens me knowing how great Brooklyn for backyards and booze) but a decision that feels like it will help me gain lots of productivity and morning writing sessions (I hope?!).

What techniques and tips can you recommend for getting large research and writing projects accomplished?

Street Librarianship, Without the Streets

I was asked to write a guest blog post for the new (great) site dh+lib this month. In the post, I talk a bit about my library heroes, and what I hope the overlaps between the digital humanities and libraries can do to further social justice. You can read the post here and I'd love to hear thoughts and feedback.

BIML #4 now order-able on the web

Just a note that I *finally* made it so that The Borough is My Library #4 is now order-able online: here or here.

My apologies on the lag this year, everyone! And if you're adverse to ordering online, I'll be bringing issues #1-4 to the Brooklyn Zine Fest on April 21, 2013!

The New Information Commons at Brooklyn Public Library

I visited the new Information Commons at the Brooklyn Public Library's Central branch last weekend and was really impressed. There are reservable spaces for groups to meet, a classroom awaiting use, and even a recording studio with equipment. I had heard a bit about this project before the opening, but it was another experience to be in the space itself and to see it being used and appreciated so quickly. I'm really hopeful about the opportunities that this space presents--those who have been working on this project have done a really stellar job of making it a place that welcomes community use and collaboration.

Metro Annual 2013 Slides

Fold, Staple, Share: The Brooklyn College Library Zine Collection from Alycia

I'm just back from a great day at the 2013 Metro Annual Meeting and wanted to share my slides. If anyone is interested in reading the accompanying notes, feel free to get in touch and I would be happy to send them to you.

Books of 2012

Here's my list of all the books I read this year, with my favorites starred. I read more books total than I ever have before, a full 60!

The Hand in the Museum

I visited the Morgan Library for the first time yesterday. I initially went because the Beatrix Potter exhibit ads stirred up some nostalgia about reading those little books as a kid, but while I was there the "Dürer to de Kooning: 100 Master Drawings from Munich" exhibit was really what drew me in.

The Borough is My Library #4

Here's a glimpse of the covers of issue #4 of The Borough is My Library!
Copies are available on a sliding scale $4 – $7. All profits go to Literacy for Incarcerated Teens. Get issues #1-3 online here. Issues available free of charge for zine libraries.

The Borough is My Library #4

*If you would like to order a copy via the mail email alycia(at)brokenja(dot)ws for mailing address and further details, or to get a quote for additional shipping costs for international orders.
This year's issue again had me impressed with all the great librarians I feel lucky to know and admire.

Contents include:
  • Foreword
  • "What I Love about being a Zine Librarian" by Jude
  • "Things I Don't Like about Being a Zine Librarian" by Jude
  • "Toof & Nail" by Kiki
  • "Library School Adventures" by Elvis Bakaitis
  • "Telling Our Own Stories at Interference Archive" by Molly Fair

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The 2012 Biblioball!

The 2012 Desk Set Biblioball has been announced: it will again be held at the Bell House in Brooklyn on Saturday, December 8. Get your tickets now! This year the event will again raise funds for Literacy for Incarcerated Teens and Urban Librarians Unite’s Sandy Children’s Book Relief Fund. Among other great attractions, The Borough is My Library #4 will be debuting (!) and I'm super excited about this issue. The Desk Set organizers are still looking for volunteers to help make the magic happen, so lend a hand! Mark your calendars, buy your tickets, and I'll see you there!

Open Access Week 2012

Open Access Week is coming up and we're celebrating again at CUNY. Join us if you are local, or hold your own celebrations!

You're Invited! Interference Archive Open House(s)!

Interference Archive Open House! (click through for full details!)

Radical Librarians Book Club!

I know library school can be hard, and that sometimes you don't get the best reactions or perspectives from veteran librarians, or to get to talk about the things you would like to talk about in school (LIS or otherwise). That's why I'm so impressed with the Queens College students who are paving their own way with the Radical Librarians Book Club! (which is open to all--MLS'ed, in the process, or library-curious)

Sunday, August 19th @ 2PM – Free
Radical Librarians Meetup: Bly & Wooten’s “Make Your Own History: Documenting Feminist and Queer Activism in the 21st Century”
The Radical Librarians Book Club is a group of aspiring librarians, current librarians, and other folks who are invested in re-envisioning the traditional library. We seek to examine issues of librarianship from a radical, politically-focused perspective, and build community within the field. The Radical Librarians meet every third Sunday. August’s text is “Make Your Own History: Documenting Feminist and Queer Activism in the 21st Century,” edited by Lyz Bly and Kelly Wooten.

Henry Miller on Daily Writing Routines

I found this on Brain Pickings the other day and thought I'd re-post it here, since it's pretty great:


If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.

If in fine fettle, write.


Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.


See friends. Read in cafés.

Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.

Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.

Paint if empty or tired.

Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.

Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.

Currently Reading

Zines in Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric

Alycia's favorite books »

Daily Reading Log

May 12, 2016

May 5, 2016

  • "Kentucky Is My Fate," by bell hooks, from Belonging: A Culture of Place. Wow.

May 2, 2016

April 29, 2016

  • Chapter three of Queer Art of Failure

April 13, 2016

April 11, 2016

January 3, 2016

  • Skimmed through Textual Poachers by Jenkins.
  • Read some pieces of de Certeau, some of the scriptural economy chapter and all of "Reading as Poaching" from The Practice of Everyday Life

2016 Reading Goals

Following Vicky's lead, this year I'm going to devote half of my reading to works made by women of color. I've got an overall goal of reading 60 books in 2016 (gulp). If you're interested to take on a similar challenge, Vicky's reading lists are a great place to start. Happy reading, all!

Late December

Been listening to H is for Hawk. So far I drift in and out of really hearing it, but the part about an unexpected death rings true. But it's not a punch in the stomach--it's a bowling ball to the guts. Wishing I'd developed that film that was of the piece I made in college that I must have threw away, but I also don't regret getting rid of things usually.

December 3-4, 2015

  • Lisa Gitelman's “Print Culture (Other Than Codex).” Comparative Textual Media. Eds. N. Katherine Hayles and
    Jessica Pressman. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. AND “Daniel Ellsberg and the Lost Idea of the Photocopy.” Participatory Media in Historical Context. Eds. Anders Ekström, et al. New York: Routledge, 2011.

November 30, 2015

October 15, 2015

Reading/dog-earing Coates' Between the World and Me.

October 14, 2013

Finished the Slice Harvester memoir within 12 hours of getting it from ILL. Highly recommended. Made me reminiscent of when I moved to the city and we would get a slice from Luigi's, back when Luigi was still there (and you would not necessarily encounter the dude who we now refer to as the "our friend jesus" guy), and eat it sitting by the canon every single day before my evening shift, with the ferocious pizza-eating squirrels.

October 5, 2015

  • Finished "A Tale for the Time Being" by Ruth Ozeki. One of the best novels I have read in YEARS. Really impressive in voice and intricate construction.
  • Morgan, W., & Wyatt-Smith, C. (2000). Im/proper accountability: Towards a theory of critical literacy and assessment. Assessment in Education, 7(1), 123-142.
  • Schlesselman-Tarango, Gina, "Cyborgs in the Academic Library: A Cyberfeminist Approach to Information Literacy Instruction" (2014). Library Faculty Publications. Paper 19.

September 30, 2015

  • Finished My Struggle (book one) and grew to adore it by the end. There was a moment when I worried it would be too much about being a white guy trying to get girls, but all the death and decay at the end washed away what I had felt, or worried about, in the middle. I also put down another book around the same time for fear of the same pitfalls. Will I finish that one? If I knew that writing about puddles of piss could wholly grip me and endear me to that book in the way it did with this one I would wholeheartedly finish it as soon as I could (every time those were mentioned here at the end I got sliced through the heart just like living with analogous situations IRL).