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

Hey readers! If you'd like to have an account on this site (so that you can post comments), or for further information about what you see here, get in touch through the contact page.

User login

Syndicate content


Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI)

I'm pretty excited about what the new Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI) program means not only for my own research* but for interested folks all throughout all of the five boroughs.

ACRL 2011 Slides

I thought I would share our slides from our ACRL 2011 presentation here. There is a dowloadable PDF version over at http://readersbillofrights.info/acrl2011, and soon there will also be a version with our notes as well.

Orderly Disorder: Librarian Zinesters in Circulation Tour, Summer 2011

Super excited about this--The Orderly Disorder Librarian Zinesters in Circulation Tour !!!
Announcing a librarian zinester summer tour, making its way from the American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans to Milwaukee’s Zine Librarians (un)Conference.

Projected stops and dates:

New Orleans, LA - June 26
Tuscaloosa, AL - June 27
Atlanta, GA - June 28
Murfreesboro, TN - June 29
Louisville, KY - June 30
Columbus, OH - July 1
Pittsburgh, PA - July 2
Cleveland, OH - July 3
Toronto, ONT - July 4
Detroit, MI - July 5
Chicago, IL - July 6
Milwaukee, WI - July 7

We haven’t really started contacting people in our host cities, so this whole schedule could blow up at any time!

Core participants are Jenna Freedman, Celia Perez, Debbie Rasmussen (and her Zine Mobile), Jami Sailor, and John Stevens (from Australia). We’ll pick up other library worker zine makers along the way!

Please Keep Our Conversations off Facebook

I'm sharing a copy of an email that I sent to ALA President Roberta Stevens over at the Readers' Bill of Rights site because I worry about the profession's use of restrictive communication platforms on the web, like Facebook. I recently canceled my Facebook account, and because of this larger decision, I haven't been able to read President Stevens' recent statement on the HarperCollins situation in full (nor can I participate in the "Librarians Against DRM" group discussion any longer, which is unfortunate).

I don't think an ALA member should have to agree to Facebook's terms of service in order to read news from our president. I also think that librarians at large should understand the dangers of restricting information in this way. Let's keep our professional conversations that happen online out of walled gardens and gated communities and on the open web. I highly recommend this piece by friends dkg and jrollins: The Problem with Proprietary Social Networks

If President Stevens responds to my email, I will ask her if I can share her response here. My hope is that she will understand these issues and communicate with ALA members in an open platform.

I am interested to know whether my colleagues also feel that this calls for some kind of resolution to be proposed to the Council--i.e. that ALA should not communicate via restricted third party sites that require a membership to view content. If there are librarians who are interested to bring this resolution to the Council, please get in touch with me, or leave a comment at http://readersbillofrights.info/ALA. I'm interested to hear others' thoughts about this topic and to get some guidance about ALA resolutions in general.

Click through to the RBRfDB page for the letter.

Librarians against DRM

Please use these images in support of our work against DRM with the Readers' Bill of Rights for Digital Books.

These images were created for us by cartoonist and QuestionCopyright.org artist-in-residence Nina Paley. You can support Nina's work and view her amazing and copyright-free film, Sita Sings the Blues, over at her website.

This Post Will Self-Destruct after 26 Views

I’m sure you all have seen the news about HarperCollins and their new policy that each ebook they supply to Overdrive would disappear after 26 checkouts, but in case you haven’t, there has been a lot of hubbub about it online recently, both within and outside of library blogs and websites:
Cory Doctorow's post on Boing Boing
Jessamyn West's post
Bonnie Newman's post, which contains many other links
My Delicious links about HarperCollins (yeah, I know, but I'm still using Delicious...)

In response, there has is a new eBook Users Bill of Rights that has been widely circulated, which is in a similar spirit, but different from, the Readers’ Bill of Rights for Digital Books which I have been working on for a while with technologist Matthew Goins. There is also as a Boycott HarperCollins page with a sample letter, if you would like to communicate with Murdoch (HarperCollins is, of course, owned by NewsCorp).

One thing that I think is missing from many of these conversations is the right to privacy that online vendors do not assure readers in the same way that libraries do, and conversation about libraries’ longstanding commitment to the right to read. Barbara Fister wrote a good post that I think touches on some of the larger issues, and I recommend this article by Ted Striphas about the Right to Read also (although he conflates libraries and bookstores a bit).

We will be presenting the Readers Bill of Rights for Digital Books on April 1st at ACRL annual in Philadelphia. We’ll be discussing all of these issues and more. Right now we're considering actions that could be taken then, and ways that we as librarians can collectively battle oppressive restrictions upon our right to read. I hope many librarians will be able to attend!

There have now been over 26 views of this post! Back away!

Save the Date--2011 LACUNY Instruction Committee Spring Event

2011 LACUNY Instruction Committee Spring Event
Critical Information Literacy: The Challenge of Practice

James Elmborg
Associate Professor/Program Director - School of Library and Information Science, University of Iowa
April 22 10:00am-1:00pm
CUNY Graduate Center - Skylight Room (9100)

James Elmborg has written extensively about how information literacy fits into the context of general education and the development of college students. Elmborg’s work is highly interdisciplinary drawing from critical literary theory, new media literacy, rhetoric, and composition. For several years he has led a program in which graduate students work as digital librarians with the University of Iowa’s renowned International Writing Program.

In his presentation Professor Elmborg will define critical information literacy and explore the challenges of applying its theoretical insights in day-to-day practice. Following his keynote address participants will be asked to join small breakout discussions on a variety of themes related to the keynote.

Click through for more details about the event.

More Inspiration

Etsy made this video about 91-year-old artist Mabel Pike. It makes me want to make movies, learn to sew, and hear more stories.


We went to the Baldessari show this weekend at the Met (which closed yesterday), and this post is a placeholder to remind myself to remind myself that I really really enjoy his work, and to pursue more. He just gets it, you know?

Looking for Brooklyn Zines

I am starting a zine collection at Brooklyn College! The collection is going to be focused upon Brooklyn, and thus will include works made within the borough or about it, as well as any zine made by a current or former Brooklyn College-affiliated person, and zines about zines.

Do you know of something that we should add to our collection? Get in touch! Send me a line at zinecollection at brooklyn.cuny.edu. I'm following Barnard's model and trying to collect 2 copies--one for preservation and one for browsing in the library.

The collection's mailing address is below.

This Tree Doesn't Branch

I happened upon "Baby (Not) on Board: The Last Prejudice?" by friend Miriam Schaer, and have been enjoying the work, and the project.

2010 in Books

Happy 2011! Today also marks the first anniversary of this Reading Log. I didn't make a post each and every day, but I did read a lot. The list only includes monographs, and not all kinds of things I started and didn't finish...

In 2010, I read more books than I ever have before! I credit Octavia Butler for the high count. Here's the list, with highly recommended books starred.


I am canceling my facebook account. Although I think it is important to know how students are navigating the web--and I like to use my account to scare them in classes in which we discuss internet privacy--the negative consequences of having an account are really outweighing the scholarly uses of it. Join me! Free yourself!

Support Small Presses!

Just a short note, since it's debt/spend/commodify season: I've been a member of my local farm share/community supported agriculture program for a few years now, but what I would really like to become is a "friend" of a small or independent press. The idea is the same for both; you pay an annual or monthly fee, and you get all of the items--in this case the books--that they produce:

I'm trying to decide which friend I would like to become this year. What other presses worth supporting have this feature?

The only video that I have ever made

I randomly found this video that I made online today. I made it for a performance art class in 2002, and apparently my former instructor uploaded to YouTube:

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).