“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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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.

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

Currently Reading

Zines in Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric

Alycia's favorite books »

Daily Reading Log

March 27, 2015

  • Reading Kim Gordon's Girl in a Band, and revisiting my favorite Sonic Youth songs (the Kim ones, duh).

March 11, 2015

March 1, 2015

  • More CUNY reading: Kelly Blanchat's “Optimizing KBART Guidelines to Restore Perpetual Access” in Collection Development, 34.1.

September 1-2, 2014

  • Yesterday gulped down Anya Ulinich's Lena Finkle's Magic Barrel, and now I just want to binge read graphic novels...
  • Back to a bit of Cvetkovich's An Archive of Feelings, but distractedly, because I keep wanting to mine the bibliography instead of moving ahead.

August 31 2014

  • Lauren Berlant's article, "'68 or Something," (Critical Inquiry, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 124-155): "This essay is written in favor of refusing to relinquish utopian practice, of refusing the apparently inevitable movement from tragedy to farce that has marked so much of the analysis of social movements generated post '68. I meant to place '68 in a scene of collaborations and aspirations for thinking, describing, and theorizing social change in the present tense, but a present tense different from what we can now imagine for pragmatic, possible, or useful politics." 125-126.
  • Freeland, Cynthia A. "Feminist frameworks for horror films." Post-theory: Reconstructing film studies (1996): 195-218. Such a great find for that project I'm trying to revive.

August 20-21, 2014

  • Yesterday morning, started Lauren Berlant's article, "'68 or Something," (Critical Inquiry, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 124-155) because it had been cited by Cvetkovich in her footnotes, and really enjoyed the very first part. Still working on it.
  • Yesterday afternoon, serendipity reminded me to how little I know about Ralph Bunche, so started Ralph Bunche: Model Negro or American Other? by Charles Henry. There a quick way to explain who Bunche was--the first African American to win the Nobel prize--but he was so much more, and yet is still a relatively overlooked historical figure.

August 19, 2014

  • The intro to Ann Cvetkovich's An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures on the train this morning. Didn't read any more because I wanted to be sure to go back and make note of a few portions, and to be sure to put a few things from the bibliography on my reading list.

August 14, 2014

  • Bonnie Gordon's paper, "Towards Open Metadata and Bibliographic Data." A really useful summary of all the issues surrounding open linked data for libraries!

August 5, 2014

August 4, 2014

August 3, 2014

  • A snippet from today's reading: "Foucault disdained photocopying which, he told a friend, destroyed the charm of a text, 'which becomes almost lifeless when you no longer have the printed page before your eyes and in your hands.'" (from Steven Maynard's article, "Police/Archives")

May 28, 2014

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