“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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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.

New York Libraries in Crisis

Sad things are happening to each of our borough's public libraries. Major staffing cuts, branches will soon close. There are a few campaigns to combat the cuts, and a 24 Hour Read-In today that will happen on the steps of the Grand Army Plaza Brooklyn Public Library. Daunting library times.

Rhymes with Bean: A Do-It-Yourself Zine Definition

As I am doing a bit of schoolwork and other projects related to zines and print culture, I dug up an old piece that I had originally written for the Madison Zine Fest's website in 2005. I thought it might be useful to share here. Re-reading it again in combination with another survey of the literature has likewise inspired me to create more comprehensive list of definitions, so stay tuned for that.

(click through for)
Rhymes with Bean: A Do-It-Yourself Zine Definition

Critical Pedagogy and Library Instruction Report Back

Writing after a thorough brain workout at the Critical Pedagogy and Library Instruction session held here at home base in the Brooklyn College Library yesterday.

Ira Shor, presenting the first portion of our event, was really enlivening. I appreciated how he infused discussions of class, social consciousness and context into all what he spoke about. A few notes that I jotted down from his talk follow below.

Currently Reading

Zines in Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric



Alycia's favorite books »

Daily Reading Log

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.

January 8, 2014

  • I read the essay about the puppy today in the Patchett book and it took me straight back to being 10, or 12. In a good way.