“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
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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!).
Ms. magazine has a lot of good conversation up on their site in observation of bell hooks week.
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):
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!
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)!
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.
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!).
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.
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: email@example.com). 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.