24/04/2013 § 7 Comments
I recently received an ALA Store catalog in the mail and was happily flipping through the pages, considering whether or not I should order my own supply of Love My Library buttons, when I stumbled across this t-shirt:
It has pictures of endangered animals (a giant panda, a mountain gorilla, a black rhino) and then the library symbol, the point being that libraries are endangered. I’m sorry to say it but something about this t-shirt does not sit well with me. It rings a little alarmist and reminds me of the Huffington Post “Libraries in Crisis” page which Turner Masland covered in an excellent Hack Library School post called HuffPo: Helping or Hurting?.
13/02/2013 § 9 Comments
I’m always on the lookout for articles, blog posts, and anything else with some variant of “things they don’t teach in library school,” as I’m sure many of you are as well. These things usually fall into two categories: “things they should teach in library school classes, but don’t” and “things you have to learn outside the classroom.” As an LIS student who is trying to make the most out of her education, both inside and outside the classroom, I try to keep an eye out for both.
Thus, when I recently stumbled across an American Libraries Inside Scoop post by Chris Kyauk entitled ”They Don’t Teach You Politics in Library School,” it really got me thinking. Should they teach us politics in library school? If so, how? Would that kind of education lend itself to a classroom setting? And aren’t library students and librarians already politically engaged as it is?
11/09/2012 § 2 Comments
Recently, library-land has been buzzing about the soft launch of EveryLibrary, a non-partisan , national organization dedicated to helping libraries at the ballot box. As we move towards election time, I’m sure we’re all reading about what measures and initiatives we’ll be voting for and against (because we’re all responsible citizens who will be voting in the upcoming elections right?). What’s cool about EveryLibrary is that they will exclusively be dedicated to advocating for library initiatives, connecting with local communities to get voter support. Libraries can use all the help they can get at election time. A vote for libraries means more hours, more funding, and more jobs. This is something all library school students can get behind.
Advocacy is a very important aspect of librarianship. We often hear about the doom and gloom of library hours being cut and budgets being slashed. Professionals, new and young, are finding themselves out on the frontlines to push for more support from the community. We’ve written about advocacy and being a locally grown advocate before, so this concept isn’t really new to us or our readers. As future professionals, we all need to pay attention to what’s happening in our communities and see how we can help our local libraries.
Right now, EveryLibrary is in the fundraising stage, trying to get enough money to register as a 501(c) organization and a non profit in the state of Illinois. As students, it’s hard to spare even a small amount of money, but if you have some to spare, you can donate here. More importantly, the best thing we can all do is to spread the word. Tell everyone in your classes about this, tweet the link, share it with your friends and family. Let’s #makeithappen!
Tell us what you think about advocating for libraries and what you think about EveryLibary. Is this something that’s even being discussed in class? Have any other ideas about spreading the word? Let us know in the comments!
15/12/2011 § 13 Comments
A few weeks ago we wrote about how libraries fit into the Occupy Wall Street movement. In the comments there was a discussion of emergency plans so I wanted to write a bit of an update on what has happened with the Audre Lorde to Howard Zinn (A-Z) Library at Occupy Boston.
16/11/2011 § 68 Comments
“I learned that the most important thing about teaching is not what you do in the classroom but what you do outside the classroom. You go outside the classroom yourself, bring your students outside, or have them bring you outside the classroom, because very often they do it first and you say, ‘I can’t hang back. I’m their teacher. I have to be there with them.’ And you learn that the best kind of teaching makes this connection between social action and book learning.” Howard Zinn
The goal of this post is to start a conversation about LIS students and Occupy Wall Street. Several OWS libraries have popped up in different cities, and LIS students and librarians have heeded the call for reference workers, book donations, and more. In a lot of ways, libraries as a part of activism are related to our discussions of advocacy as professionals. A few HLS folk and others, are going to share our thoughts here, but what we really want is to open up a discussion with readers about how we fit into OWS as students and future info pros. There are info pros who agree and disagree with OWS itself, but all of us have important perspectives to add to the conversation. One caveat: no disrespectful/unkind/abusive/etc. comments. Our readers are generally pretty agreeable folks so this is pretty unlikely to become a problem, but we want to make sure the conversation is productive. With that, here are some thoughts from HLSers–please add your own!