“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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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:

MORNINGS:

If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.

If in fine fettle, write.

AFTERNOONS:

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.

EVENINGS:

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.

Meta-Radicalism Slides

I'm preparing for the 2012 Protest on the Page: Print Culture History in Opposition to Almost Anything* (*you can think of) conference in September, and I realized that I never shared my slides that I presented at the last Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture conference, Library History Seminar XII: Libraries in the History of Print Culture, that took place in 2010.

Here are my slides that are associated with the beginning work of my Meta-Radicalism paper. If you are interested in taking a look, I'm attaching a proprietary version of the slides that have notes about what I talked about with each slide, and another version that just includes the images from the slide show.

Finally, I'm not sure about the best way to share this work: the slides themselves don't express all of what I presented, but I'm not sure how to share that content alongside them online other than in the notes field of the proprietary software. Any suggestions, other than going back in time and record it all together?

Via Zines, Brooklyn Voices on Display

Check out today's Wall Street Journal for an article about the Brooklyn College Library Zine Collection.

Keep Interference Archive Awesome

I've been in awe of Interference Archive since I first heard about it, and if you haven't heard, you can help keep its doors open by becoming a monthly sustainer of the project. Please help IA out if you can!

If you want to be impressed by all that has happened and what's in the works, go here.

Fold, Staple, Share Flyer


Flyer by zine interns Sarah Rappo and Erica Saunders--please share!

Press Release: Brooklyn College Library Unveils Zine Collection

For Immediate Release

Brooklyn College Library Unveils Zine Collection: 

Opening Celebration to Include Zine Readings and Exhibition,

July 31, 2012 7-9pm

Brooklyn, NY -- In celebration of the newly-established Brooklyn College Library Zine Collection, an opening celebration will be held on Tuesday, July 31 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, in Brooklyn College Library’s Christoph M. Kimmich Reading Room (1st floor). The event, which is open to the public, will feature zine readings, refreshments, an exhibition, and will represent the official unveiling of the browsing collection.

Zines (a contraction of “magazines”) are independent publications often authored/assembled by an individual or small group, reproduced on a photocopier, and distributed inexpensively in small runs, or traded from person to person. Zine collections are increasingly being established by librarians and archivists in an effort to include underrepresented perspectives and unique points of view in library collections.

The exhibition, entitled Fold, Staple, Share: Highlights from the Brooklyn College Library Zine Collection, will run throughout the summer and fall semesters and will spotlight notable zines from the collection, as well as information about zine-making and zine culture.

The reading on July 31 will feature local Brooklyn zinesters Kate Angell, Elvis Bakaitis, Tommy Pico, and Kate Wadkins, as well as Brooklyn College students Afrah Ahmed, Emma Karin Eriksson, and Tzirel Norman, among others.

The Brooklyn College Library Zine Collection specializes in zines that relate to Brooklyn, zines by Brooklyn College students and alumni, zines about zines, and other zines that relate to the student body and curriculum of Brooklyn College. The Zine Collection was founded in 2011 by Alycia Sellie, Media and Cultural Studies Librarian at Brooklyn College Library, with assistance from two cohorts of summer zine interns: Devon Nevola and Robin Potter (2011), and Sarah Rappo and Erica Saunders (2012). Whenever possible, two copies of each zine are collected: one will be in the open browsing collection, accessible whenever the library is open; the other will be placed in Special Collections at the library, accessible by appointment.

For more information on the Brooklyn College Library Zine Collection, please contact Alycia Sellie or visit http://brooklyncollegezines.commons.gc.cuny.edu/

Contact:  Alycia Sellie
Media and Cultural Studies Librarian
Brooklyn College Library                                                                                                          zinecollection@brooklyn.cuny.edu
(718) 758-8217

Meta-Radicalism: The Alternative Press by and for Activist Librarians

As of today, I've started using this site as one repository for my scholarly writing. While a personal website isn't really the best place to store one's work online for the long haul, I'm also using this platform to publish a project that I have been working on for quite some time: a paper titled "Meta-Radicalism: The Alternative Press by and for Activist Librarians." The piece talks about two waves of alternative library publications that focus on collecting alternative publications in libraries.

This has been the first work of mine to undergo the formal/scholarly peer-review process, and it feels like a major accomplishment. I am very happy to share it here under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. I am also proud to report that this piece will also become a chapter of a new book to be published by the University of Wisconsin Press by the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture, titled Libraries and the Reading Public.

I welcome thoughts and reactions to the piece. Please read, share, and report back!

Spring 2012

Some documentation of what I've been up to:

"Open Access Beyond Academia," Maura Smale's post about our work at the Free University
&
Brooklyn Zine Fest Video by Jessica Durkin (click through for embedded video)

Currently Reading

Zines in Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric



Alycia's favorite books »

Daily Reading Log

May 28, 2014

  • Still in the beginning chapters of Eileen Myles' Inferno (a poet's novel), & loving it.

April 19, 2014

April 14, 2014

  • Last night heard the intro to Mark Maron's Attempting Normal and I really liked how he talked about what books are on his shelves (the titles surprised me, actually--I think we've got many of the same to-reads) and all the pieces of paper and bits of his life surrounding him in the garage.
  • "A Canon Without Balls," review by Sady Doyle, from In These Times, a photocopy of said article from Sandy Berman, which makes me want to read No Regrets: Three Discussions (which it looks like very few copies have entered into libraries yet, which feels like a joke when combined with getting info about it from Sandy...)
  • Continuing with the thick little Lydia Davis story comp. Feels like something someone should have prescribed to me to read. Everyone recommends it, so maybe as much as it could have been prescribed, it was.
  • Yesterday I also skimmed through a history of another building where I used to work, looking for some pieces that weren't there. Recently I had read a piece about a different library building's history where I used to occasionally work, and that account was pretty sad (hopes were higher then for a better future).

April 11, 2014

  • Started The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis today and this is something that makes me want to make a note about. Crisp and real.

April 1, 2014

  • Reading Poor People and Library Services, edited by Karen M. Venturella today. It's bittersweet; I'm glad that this book exists, but I worry that in the time since it was published that things have only gotten more dire. It's also very haunting to read pieces that are hopeful about libraries you later saw in not-so-hopeful states.

March 29, 2014

  • On a Mr. Rogers binge
  • Poked my way through Informed Agitation, but carefully read Jude Vachon's "Inside and Outside of the Library: On Removing Barriers and Connecting People with Health Care Resources and Zines." I told her it is a reminder of the librarian I want to be. Highly recommended for so many reasons, most of all for lots of good ideas about how librarians can be helpful in connecting people to information, especially in situations where Jude stepped in and shared information when her community might not have thought to ask for a librarian's help.
  • Also a smattering of articles by and from Molly Fair about community archives: including work by Mary Stevens, Elizabeth Shepherd, Andrew Flinn, Eric Ketelaar, Joan Nestle, Jeannette Bastian.

March 26, 2014

  • Started Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun on the train this morning. My copy has someone else's notes in it, and I can't help from reading their marginalia. Except I can't figure out if these notes are just that--notes--or disagreements with the text. In some instances they seem to summarize, but in others they're more reactionary. Lots of the notes just say "Google." (So that should tell you a bit about what kind of book this is.)
  • More about that OCLC report: Bethany Nowviske's response as well as Dot Porter's.

March 25, 2014

  • My book reading list is shamefully low this year, but in the last few days I skimmed Social Justice Pedagogy Across the Curriculum ed. by Chapman/Hobbel and I am finding Jessamyn West's Without a Net to be really helpful for my current projects.
  • "Why Are the Digital Humanities So White? or Thinking the Histories of Race and Computation," by Tara McPherson. How did it take me so long to read this?
  • Trying to remember to take time to read Shall We Gather at the River by James Wright. It's been a long time since I used to linger in the poetry aisle in my hometown public library and come home with such thin books.
  • That report by OCLC about DH centers. I think the tone is really awkward, among other things, and agree with Bethany Nowviske about the odd way that humility is urged.
  • "Narrative Equivocations between Movies and Games," by Marsha Kinder. This was cited by McPherson, who mentioned that it discussed tech determinism and "cyber-structuralism," so I had to read it asap.

March 11, 2014

  • I keep starting books and not finishing them this year, both novels and short story collections and scholarly reading. Although I've finished a big stack of articles for the piece I am drafting right now, I still haven't found the literature that feels quite right, or that I know I'll be citing (yet). And the clock is ticking.
  • Finally watched Jenica Rogers' keynote from Charleston 2013. I agree--strange that common sense can be revolutionary.

February 24, 2014

  • Skimmed States of Emergency edited by Castronovo and Gillman on the train this morning.

February 21, 2014

  • Getting more into Now You See It. The part about the girl with the green and purple hair just killed me, and all the Mountain Views of the world.

February 19, 2014

February 18, 2014

  • This interview with Leslie Kaelbling: "It’s harder to search on an idea. A computer is good at counting words and phrases. Often research gets replicated in two or three different fields because the vocabulary is different."

February 13, 2014

  • I had been reading outside the field for a while, and was feeling a little bit untethered. Today I'm catching up. Working through this issue and a handful of other things.

January 16, 2014

  • Finished Left Hand of Darkness before work. From what I heard about this book before reading it, I assumed it would be a lot about gender roles, but it turned out to be a love song to friendship.