“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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On the Loss of Undoubtedly Important People

This week I went to the Stated Meeting of the Faculty here at Brooklyn College, where I was handed a flyer that GLARE (GLBT Advocacy in Research and Education) had put together about the recent suicides that have happened all across the country of folks who were bullied in "due to perceived sexual orientation and/or gender non-conformity." GLARE is urging their peers to start talking about this epidemic in their classrooms, and I hope that we all can help fight against bigoted actions and those that seem to be so mixed up in fear, and without empathy for fellow people.

I'm sharing two pieces below, by friends, that I think are important.

Happy Sandy Berman Appreciation Month, 2010!

Sandy's 77th is coming up tomorrow, October 6th. Here's to the very lucky and thoughtful person that I have had the pleasure to know and adore.

If you are interested to celebrate Sandy Berman appreciation month (because as my dad used to say--birthdays, they're good for the whole month), you can go over to Jenna's page for contact info and a bit of history.

p.s. Can I also mention that JPD is another October birthday? Here's to library heroes in the month of October.

Open Access Week Events in CUNY Libraries

In May 1883, in response to a population explosion, the Brooklyn Bridge opened a new, free path between the cities of New York and Brooklyn....In October, 2010, in honor of Open Access Week and in response to an information explosion, the CUNY colleges of Brooklyn will show faculty and students free and open paths to scholarly information.

Please join the Brooklyn College Library and the Ursula C. Schwerin Library, New York City College of Technology, in marking Open Access Week this fall.

Report Back: “Libraries in the History of Print Culture"

The Library History Seminar XII: “Libraries in the History of Print Culture” Conference of the Center for the History of Print Culture was truly one of the most enjoyable conferences that I have ever attended. I may be a bit biased because presenting at this conference was a dream of mine, and perhaps also because I utterly adore the field of print culture. I think it also helped that the event was held at my alma mater, and I got the chance to chat with many library colleagues and heroes who I just don't get to see often enough (and just how often do you get met with a great big hug directly after your presentation?!--thanks Tracy!).

links worth sharing

Ms. magazine has a lot of good conversation up on their site in observation of bell hooks week.

Ayun Halliday's Zinester's Guide to New York City is now available for pre-order here or here!

The clip below was found on a friend's site, and worth sharing because I think it's the greatest advertisement of all time (even though it is far better when viewed in the theater with Kubelka after a thorough discussion of what a viewing in the cinema is all about):

Libraries in the History of Print Culture

Excited and nervous for next week's Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America's Library History Seminar XII: Libraries in the History of Print Culture conference in Madison!

Check out the New Design!

http://readersbillofrights.info/ has been totally revamped!
Be patient with us--MJG is still at work, but I am impressed with the new theme (which will be released freely for Drupal use)!

Report Back: Debian Day

Debian Day was great.

I heard snippets of Biella Coleman and Hans-Christoph Steiner's introduction to the day that morning as I sipped my coffee outside the auditorium. I liked Biella's use of humor and Hans' presentation in which he urged participatory software structures (as opposed to a dichotomy between producers and consumers). I'm looking forward to seeing the recordings up on the DebConf10 site.

Prelude to a Report Back: ACRL Immersion 2010

There are already a few blog posts about our shared experiences in Vermont. What I can say about Immersion is that it stretched me really far as a teacher, as a student and as a librarian. I learned a lot about how I like to learn (and how that affects what I teach, and that one of those things is that I need time to reflect, contemplate and collate what I've learned. Being back in Brooklyn I've been on to other things but I hope that soon I'll get a chance to share here and also implement what I took away from Immersion (that hopefully doesn't violate the copyright statement--couldn't let that go without mention!).

Report Back: The Next HOPE

HOPE was a really amazing conference. The hackers (in comparison to librarians, who I normally conference with) were really engaged and industrious--they gathered data, archived events, created gizmos, and provided not only segway rides but also hammocks throughout the three day's events. I'm dropping my notes here in one gigantic mess, but there's audio and video up over at http://thenexthope.org/talks-list/ if you want to see/hear it for yourself.

Summer 2010 = The Summer of the Conference

Before I get to tackling a summary of this weekend's HOPE conference, I wanted to plug another week of events coming up that many of my friends are working on: DebConf, a conference that circles Debian, a free operating system, and also an event/opportunity for free/libre/open source folks to collaborate and develop over the course of a week.

One part of DebConf is devoted as an introduction for non-techie folks: Debian Day. It's FREE--you just need to register (just send an email with intent to attend to: debianday@debconf.org). The schedule for Debian Day is up here. I'm lucky enough to be on the panel about "Pedagogical Freedom" on Sunday at 11:30am. Come out and find out more about the free software movement!

Report Back: USSF: "A Conversation with Grace Lee Boggs and Immanuel Wallerstein"

The presence of Grace Lee Boggs at the U.S. Social Forum this year--95 years into her life as an activist and free thinker--was one of the aspects of the Forum that touched everything else that I experienced in Detroit.

Image from Americans Who Tell the Truth

During one celebration of her 95th birthday at the Social Forum, I heard Grace talk about once living in an apartment that she could only access via an alleyway that was infested with rats. "And that was important," she said, "because it made me rat-conscious!" I am amazed by her resilience and her tremendous mind.

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to hear Grace Lee Boggs speak with Immanuel Wallerstein. Introduced as "avid seekers of new truth," they have known each other since the 60's and seemed delighted to share the stage. Here are a few notes I took as I listened.

Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE)

Yet another conference this summer! I think that hacker interests in privacy and librarian interests are not too far off (or as M claims, growing closer and closer--I hope so). I'm excited for these talks (in addition to seeing a sea of hackers all together):

Zine Libraries: Policies and Documentation

I've been working on a few projects surrounding zine libraries and underground press collections. One thing I noticed (and posted to the Zine Librarians email list) is that there isn't a centralized repository of shared documentation for folks who are starting to start up their own collections (often people are happy to share the info, there just isn't a central location for it to live). While creating that repository is a larger project than I can handle at the moment, I did want to share my own work.

I'm posting the SLIS Library Workers Zine Collection Collection Policies and Guide here.

It was originally a booklet of information about the Library Workers Zine Collection that I started at the SLIS Laboratory Library in 2006. I've attached a copy of the document and pasted it here so that you can read most of the text on this site or download the PDF version with full cataloging information (!!!). Hope it is helpful!

Back from Detroit

I am back from Detroit but still processing all that I took part in at the U.S. Social Forum. The Forum was amazing and I was so happy to participate and to help it to happen. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of the smaller as well as the larger organizations that I worked within.

Detroit itself was a lesson. One that I am still thinking about. I think we all appreciated the wide, desolate roads for our bikes, but the ghosts of industry and capital seemed caught in much of the city. It was difficult to ride through, despite the bike-able streets. More thoughts and reports-back to come.

Currently Reading

Zines in Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric

Alycia's favorite books »

Daily Reading Log

July 22, 2015

  • Started Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

May 29, 2015

  • Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. So funny!

May 1, 2015

  • The best thing I've ever gulped down while on the train; tired and delayed, clutching the pole, banging into others, totally gone.

    "I slipped my hand behind my ribcage, removed my heart, and smashed it into the carpet."

April 7, 2015

  • "CC-BY unrest" by Gavia Libraria/the Library Loon
  • Simon Gikandi's Editor's Column in PMLA from 2013, "The Fantasy of the Library":
    • "My faith in the library as custodian of culture and civilization was premised on what now appears an unforgivable form of blindness--the belief that libraries were autonomous, objective fountains of knowledge. Enchanted by books and the buildings that housed them, one could easily forget that libraries were often institutions of power." (12).

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!