“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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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.

Happy Open Access Week!

It's Open Access Week, and so far 2011 has impressed me. From Barbara Fister's reveal of what journals are costing her library (going against nondisclosure agreements), to Maura Smale's Open Access Pledge.

I'm joining Maura and Barbara and many other colleagues who are celebrating Open Access this week.

At Maura's recommendation, I signed the Open Access Pledge. I also think that Maura's new publishing pledge is fantastic. I would like to use it as my own from here on out:

  1. I will not submit articles I have authored or co-authored to any closed, subscription-based journals.
  2. I will not undertake peer review for any closed, subscription-based journals.
  3. I will not join the editorial board for any closed, subscription-based journals.
  4. I will not accept the editorship of any closed, subscription-based journals.
  5. I will make my own research and scholarship available online wherever possible.

What is Open Access? As someone who has struggled with variances in OA definitions, I believe that the Berlin Declaration captures OA in the clearest manner:

Open access contributions must satisfy two conditions:

The author(s) and right holder(s) of such contributions grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship (community standards, will continue to provide the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the published work, as they do now), as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.

A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in an appropriate standard electronic format is deposited (and thus published) in at least one online repository using suitable technical standards (such as the Open Archive definitions) that is supported and maintained by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, inter operability, and long-term archiving.

Open Access is more than the ability to view an article without paying for it,* or without your library having to pay for it. Open Access can be seen as a commitment to hacking copyright--in a way that provides more ways for everyone to use a creators' work (similar to the ways that free software licensing insures more freedom).

Please join us for CUNY's Open Access Week if you are able, or plan/discuss/pledge wherever you are!

Sandy Berman Appreciation Month!

I'll admit: it snuck up on me this year and I feel silly posting this late! Happy Sandy Berman Appreciation Month 2011 nonetheless!

Help Riseup!

Please help to support the work of the techies whose professional commitments to privacy are most closely aligned with what we librarians try to uphold (not keeping any data that isn't necessary to function, not working with the feds on surveillance): Riseup

Here's their call for contributions:

Riseup works tirelessly to create grassroots technology alternatives that address the communication needs of people and organizations working for social change. When you get a service from a corporation that doesn’t charge you, chances are that the money comes from extensive surveillance. Riseup, on the other hand, relies on donations by users like you who believe in supporting democratic alternatives.

For more information about Riseup, you can meet our members and check out our project areas. Riseup is a registered nonprofit under section 501(c)(4) of the US Internal Revenue Code.

Donations to riseup.net are not tax-deductible. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation (US), you can contribute to our sister organization, RiseupLabs.

Suggested contribution:

Individuals: We ask that individuals with email accounts or owners of lists give monthly or yearly. If you are broke, live in the global South, or live somewhere with a devalued currency, we don’t expect you to give. This means that those with money in the global North should contribute extra as an act of solidarity. If you are unsure how much to contribute, might we suggest $5-$15 a month? If you can do more, please do!

Groups: We rely on organizations with email accounts or lists to contribute. It is especially essential for organizations with big mailing lists to contribute, as such lists are costly for us to provide. As a rough guideline, we ask that organizations annually contribute at least 1% of their annual budget—this is a $100 a year donation for an organization is an annual budget of $10,000.

If you have a big list with over a hundred subscribers or with high traffic and lots of archives, increase the suggested donation amount several fold.

Please consider donating more if you can afford it. Any money left over after we have met our basic expenses gets folded back into providing service to more users. If you are making a large donation (thank you!), then please consider sending a check or money order through the mail—online payment systems take a cut of about 3%.

All financial decisions by the Riseup Collective are made using the consensus process by collective members.


Jenna wrote a great report back of our work on Friday at the Occupy Wall Street People's Library. There's a lot more information about what's happening at the Occupy Wall Street Library blog.

I've been trying to balance an already-overwhelming semester with my desire to help the library and OWS in any way that I can. I would really like to figure out ways to help answer questions from afar. Is twitter the way to go? (I helped a bit with a twitter q&a at the USSF and that seemed accessible...) Some kind of chat? Dial-a-librarian? How can we librarians help the folks who are representing so many of us?

Librarians for Sharing (Information, Wealth & Love)

The NYC Radical Reference collective will be meeting at the People's Library at Zuccotti Park Friday, October 7th at 6pm in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. We'll be doing street reference, and helping the library and the people as are able.

Join us!

Please bring plastic tubs for the library and sleeping bags, blankets, warm clothes and love for the folks of Occupy Wall Street.

#occupywallstreet October 5, 2011

It was really amazing to be a part of Occupy Wall Street today. I am proud to support this movement as a member of the PSC-CUNY, a CUNY student who walked out on my homework for a day, and as a person who supports this site as a place for conversations about a better world.


Open Access Scholarly Publishing as Thought and Action

Friday, October 28, 2011
CUNY Graduate Center—Room 9204
free and open to the public

As a culmination of CUNY Open Access Week 2011, and in conjunction with the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative, this panel will unravel issues surrounding open access scholarly publishing. Our panelists will share their inspiration for becoming open access advocates, their thinking about adopting particular licenses for their work, and the processes through which they have liberated their scholarship—from their perspectives as authors, editors and publishers.

The panel will include:

Members of the Radical Teacher editorial collective: Emily Drabinski is an Instruction Librarian at Long Island University, Brooklyn, James Davis and Joseph Entin, both Associate Professors of English at Brooklyn College. Radical Teacher is a socialist, feminist, and anti-racist journal about the theory and practice of teaching. Published in print since 1975, the journal has recently decided to transition to an open access model.

Matthew K. Gold is an Assistant Professor of English at New York City College of Technology and of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he serves as Advisor to the Provost for Master's Programs and Digital Initiatives. He recently edited the book Debates in the Digital Humanities, which will be published through the University of Minnesota Press in January 2012 both as a printed text and an expanded, open-access edition on the web.

Michael Mandiberg is an artist and Assistant Professor of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island/CUNY and on the Doctoral Faculty of the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the coauthor of Digital Foundations: An Intro to Media Design, Collaborative Futures, and the editor of The Social Media Reader.

Trebor Scholz is a scholar, artist, organizer and chair of the conference series The Politics of Digital Culture at The New School in NYC. His forthcoming monograph with Polity offers a history of the Social Web and its Orwellian economies. In spring 2011, he co-authored From Mobile Playgrounds to Sweatshop City (with Laura Y. Liu). Scholz is the editor of two collections of essays, Learning Through Digital Media (iDC, 2011) and a volume on digital labor (Routledge, 2012). He also founded the Institute for Distributed Creativity that is widely known for its online discussions of critical network culture.

For more information about Open Access publishing, and CUNY’s 2011 Open Access Week events, see the Open Access @ CUNY blog on the CUNY Academic Commons, or get in touch with Professor Alycia Sellie: asellie@brooklyn.cuny.edu

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).