“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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Join the Free University of NYC! | Tues May 1 | Madison Square Park


Free University of New York City


TUESDAY May 1, 2012 — MAY DAY
A public experiment in education — 10am to 3pm
Convergence of students, teachers, and the public
demanding free education for all — 3pm
Madison Square Park, 23rd St./5th Ave./Broadway
Subway: N/R to 23rd St. / 6 to 23rd, and 1 block west / F/M to 23rd St., and 1 block east
web: maydaynyc.org/freeuniversity twitter: @FreeUnivNYC | #FreeU
Schedule: http://atrium.occupy.net/sites/default/files/free_university_course_list.pdf

(CUNY-wide manifestation on May 2 at Brooklyn College 12pm, see below)

This May Day, a coalition of students and faculty from Brooklyn College, Columbia University, the CUNY Graduate Center, Eugene Lang College, Hunter College, New School for Social Research, New York University, the Occupy University, and Princeton University are collaborating to produce a “collective educational experiment” to be held on Tuesday, May 1st from 10am to 3pm. The action is in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street’s call for a General Strike and a day without the 99%.

May 2012

Looking forward to the Free Universityon May Day, and wondering whether fellow New Yorkers might want to observe International Day against DRM on May 4 in some official manner?

Writing/Community

Here's a bottle thrown out into the internet/ocean: would anyone reading this be interested to work alongside me in some capacity on various ongoing writing projects? I have a few things that I have been sitting on and would like some feedback and advice about the BIG overarching themes of the things that I have been writing about, but I am also wondering if there are colleagues out there who are in a similar situation and would like the favor returned on a somewhat regular basis?

I'm working on three projects right now that are all drafted but need more backbone (one about print/zines and community/american studies, another about ebooks and a final one that's a kind of crazy film/feminism piece).

Although I am reading and thinking a lot about open peer review in my digital humanities class this semester, these projects still don't feel polished enough to open them up to the wide web--I'm still figuring out what each of these things should be and how to get them there, and I wonder about publishing something that feels unfinished. But it might be the next step. Also, my interest in publishing this post is to think about resolving this larger dilemma--and feeling like I would like a group of people with whom to write and reflect on writing with.

After reading Planned Obsolescence, I agree with Kathleen Fitzpatrick that academic writing could and should be more social and conversational. I'm interested in thinking more about writing communities and support for writing works-in-progress. What resources, links, suggestions and advice can you share?

Upcoming NYC Print Events

Lots of really great looking events are on their way for those of us who like to hold pieces of things bound together in our hands and talk to the person who gathered and created:

FEMINIST ZINE FEST: Saturday, February 25 @ Brooklyn Commons

2012 CHAPBOOK FESTIVAL: Wednesday-Friday, March 28-30 @ the CUNY Grad Center and the Center for Book Arts

BROOKLYN ZINE FEST: Sunday, April 15 @ Public Assembly

I'll be tabling with copies of all issues of The Borough is My Library and as the Brooklyn College zine librarian at the zine fests, and hope to be exploring at the Chapbook Fest.

33. Wake Up and Fight

This has been going around everywhere, but I thought I'd share it here too: Woody Guthrie's 1942 resolutions. We made a big list of all of the good things from 2011 and I have a few goals for 2012, but I can't really top this.

More Pages than Ever Before: 2011 Reading Log

I didn't meet my goal for increasing the overall number of books in 2011. I'd set it high, at 65. But I did read one more book than I had in the last two years--52 instead of 51--and this year was also a LARGE book year: the number of pages that goodreads tells me I read in 2011 vastly outnumbers any previous year in which I kept track.

Most of the books on the list that aren't novels are because of grad school. There were also a number of books I am still half way through (a lot of cyberculture and ebook-related things) that I suspect I'll finish in 2012, and two huge novels I just started (Moby Dick and 1Q84).

Anyhow, here's the list! Especially recommended books are starred as usual. Happy 2012!

The Borough is My Library, Issue 3

The Borough is My Library: A Metropolitan Library Workers Zine, Issue 3, December 2011

It took me a little longer this year, but here are all of the details about The Borough is My Library/the Biblioball zine for 2011!!

Copies available on a sliding scale $4 – $7. All profits go to Literacy for Incarcerated Teens. Get issues 1 & 2 online here. Issues available free of charge for zine libraries.


The Borough is My Library #3




*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 features more about a few projects I've been working on and have been inspired by.

Contents include:

This issue also has an authentic cloth taped spine, LC call number classification, and found book pages.

CUNY IT Conference Slides


I gave a short talk at the CUNY IT Conference on December 9 and thought I would share the slides I made here. There are more notes about the panel I was a part of at the Open Access @ CUNY blog (Prof. Jill Cirasella's presentation is especially useful for those interested in the practicalities of OA publishing). We had excellent conversations with other CUNY folks at the conference, and it was great to get a chance to talk OA with a wide array of CUNY colleagues.

Biblioball & Stay Tuned for The Borough is My Library #3!


The Borough is My Library issues 1, 2, and 3 at the Biblioball

The 2011 Biblioball was yet again a marvellous party, made all the more wonderful seeing all the amazing Occupy Wall Street/People's Librarians out enjoying themselves. I gave all the remaining copies of the brand-new The Borough is My Library #3 that had been created (so far) to the People's Library on Saturday, so I'm totally out right now. But more info about ordering your own copy is soon to come--once the semester settles down enough for me to collate and bind more. In the meantime, you'll have to visit the mobile library for one, or stay tuned for more info!

December Films to See

Just a note that the Film Forum is screening Andrzej Zulawski’s POSSESSION, a Bleeding Light Film Group release, and Anthology Film Archives will be having a Anarchism on Film series later this month--if you happen to catch any of these, let me know what you think!

Get your tickets for the Biblioball!

I'm delighted to yet again be a (small) part of the Desk Set Biblioball! Come out and support Literacy for Incarcerated Teens and pick up a copy of the soon-to-be-released The Borough is My Library: A Metropolitan Library Workers Zine, #3!

Que(e)ry: Open Access Party November 19 @ Stonewall!

092 306.76 ǂb Q

110 2 Que(e)ry (Organization)

245 10 Que(e)ry V : ǂb open access / ǂc curated by the Que(e)ry Librarians.

260 New York, N.Y. : ǂb The Stonewall Inn (53 Christopher St.), ǂc Saturday, November 19, 2011.

300 1 dance party (9:00 p.m. - 4:00 a.m.)

521 For queer librarians and those who love them ; everyone welcome (21+).

511 0 DJ MARC Records; DJ Sirlinda ; DJ Emoticon.

505 0 Queer Zines — Gay-A$$ Raffle — Nerdy Gogos — Queer-Lit Drinks.

536 $5-10 suggested donation, Benefiting the Queer Zine Archive Project.

650 0 Librarians, Queer ǂx Friends and associates ǂv Congresses.

710 2 Queer Zine Archive Project, ǂe dedicatee.

710 2 Desk Set (Organization), ǂe cohost.

856 42 ǂu http://queeryparty.tumblr.com/

The People's Library of OWS is not being "Safely Stored"

No library can be safely stored when it has been removed from its librarians by force in the middle of the night.
No library is being safely stored when it is kept from its readers.

Hacking NYPL

Just a short note here about the talk that I attended yesterday that the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative put on featuring Ben Vershbow of NYPL Labs: This was one of the most inspiring library-related talks I've been to in a long time. Maybe it was due to the fact that at Pratt I spent a lot of time pulling out print Sanborn maps for architecture students and puzzling over their layout and metadata that I was utterly amazed by the Map Warper project, or that I had just last summer had a discussion with Jim Danky about how important it would be if libraries would collect menus that I love the public collaborative What's on the Menu transcription project. But I suspect that even without these personal experiences, I would have been wowed by what they're up to at NYPL. It's great that they are working to share special collections in such useful ways for New Yorkers and the world. Hooray!

You can keep up with NYPL Labs at their blog, and a recording of the talk has been posted at CUNY DHI (a group who also continually impresses me).

RIP WHS Kardex


Data Storage Device / Pete Birkinshaw / CC BY 2.0

I just found out today that the old Kardex files that I used to use at the Wisconsin Historical Society are being retired (and all the thousands of serial titles from the Newspapers and Periodicals department are now in MadCat). This system was used at the WHS for more than 40 years, just a few of which I got to spend with James Danky and Tina Enemuoh and a handful of student workers in room 225, typewriters clacking away, even as recently as 2006.

Currently Reading

Zines in Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric



Alycia's favorite books »

Daily Reading Log

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.

January 15, 2014

  • Dear reader, I will admit it: I almost stopped reading Left Hand of Darkness. But I didn't, and I really like these crossing-the-ice parts (because I think I can't handle governments-and-politics-on-other-planets parts of any book--I glazed over all that in Dune and probably didn't understand any of it. I blame age and a lack of ability to remember names/new and/or inapplicable-to-my-daily-life terminology). Anyhow, it's a good winter read.