Stand, Fight, Resist

 

December 16, 2016

 

The idea that libraries are neutral spaces has been well and disabused over the last few years. From the services we offer to the collections that we curate, the decisions that libraries and librarians make are political ones that reflect values. Sometimes those are the values of the organization, sometimes the values of the individuals, and sometimes they are the values of the communities that the library serves. Those values are illustrated by our technologies, our ontologies, and our descriptors. Those who attempt to hold that “neutrality” of information access is an ideal for which to strive have had a hard time holding to that stance as increasing numbers of librarians question and deconstruct our profession. I would like to suggest something even stronger…that even if it were possible for libraries to be neutral spaces, that to create such a space would be morally questionable, and potentially actively morally wrong.

I say this as someone who firmly believes in the maxim of combating bad speech with more speech. I am not here advocating controls or restrictions on speech. But it is not the responsibility of every library to collect and distribute literature of hate, or falsehoods, or lies. Some libraries do need to collect everything, the good and the bad, for archival and historical study purposes, but those libraries are fairly obviously identified in practice and the vast majority of libraries should and could take a stand with their actions, programs, policies, and collections to be on the side of justice and scientific fact.

Neutrality favors the powerful, and further marginalizes the marginalized. In the face of the current political climate, with the use of opinions as bludgeons and disinformation as the weapon of choice for manipulation and intellectual coercion, it is up to those who value fact and believe in the care of those in need to stand up and positively affirm that to do otherwise is evil.

I say this as someone who firmly believes in the maxim of combating bad speech with more speech. I am not here advocating controls or restrictions on speech. But it is not the responsibility of every library to collect and distribute literature of hate, or falsehoods, or lies. Some libraries do need to collect everything, the good and the bad, for archival and historical study purposes, but those libraries are fairly obviously identified in practice and the vast majority of libraries should and could take a stand with their actions, programs, policies, and collections to be on the side of justice and scientific fact.

Neutrality favors the powerful, and further marginalizes the marginalized. In the face of the current political climate, with the use of opinions as bludgeons and disinformation as the weapon of choice for manipulation and intellectual coercion, it is up to those who value fact and believe in the care of those in need to stand up and positively affirm that to do otherwise is evil. Read article

 

Best LL&F Advice of 2016

dumpsterfire-2016-t-shirt-black-midnight-swatch-400x400This past year has sucked. The world is less melodic (Bowie, Prince, Cohen, etc.) and safe now more than ever. There is no better time to step up and be a leader. Below is a list of some of the best LL&F posts of 2016. If you are new to our blog, consider this a sampler of the great advice from library leaders all over the world. My hope is you find some wisdom and direction too help kick ass in 2017.

9 Ways to Become an Even Awesome Library Leader in 2016

You’re a Librarian 24 Hours a Day: Interview with Heather Lowe of Dallas Public Library

Don’t Overthink It: How Librarians Can Conquer Perfectionism with Mindfulness

4 Ways to See Your Library from a Patron’s Perspective

Advice on Being a Good Library Boss

Why We Talk Crap About Patrons

Fix Your Library’s Internal Communication in 20 Minutes with Standup Meetings

Lead From Where You Are

Introverts and Extroverts: Interpersonal Dynamics in a Library Workplace

Write Your Own Story

Do you you advice or a story to share about your leadership journey? Maybe 2017 is the year you contiribute to LL&F! Please email librarylostfound@gmail.com if you want to write for the blog. Read on LL&F Blog

What You Need To Know About Digital Applications As Part Of Your Job Search

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez October 11, 2016

Tablet Computer. Business Woman Using Digital Tablet Computer Pc

If you are like many of my clients, you have already found yourself frustrated when filling out digital applications online. Simply trying to make your way through the maze of a company’s applicant tracking system just to upload your resume can seem like an endless Odyssey that Homer himself might tell of. As with my clients, I advise you not to focus too much effort on applying online as this is just a snapshot in the overall album of your job search. With knowledge comes power. The following information will empower you when it comes to ATS so you can put your best foot forward when applying online.

Related: 3 Ways To Get Your Resume Past The ATS

What Is ATS?

The Applicant Tracking System is software that allows businesses and recruiting companies to centralize their efforts in recruiting and managing employees. For employers, there are several benefits to this type of technology including its ability to collect and sort data. In addition, companies can offer existing employees internal opportunities before searching externally for qualified candidates. Government regulations are becoming ever more stringent about protecting personal data, and ATS software can often meet or exceed the security threshold for businesses and organizations.

Read more…

Emerging Trends in Libraries for 2016 Stephen Abram, MLS

The progressive librarian: 10 ways to be more forward-thinking

by Sarah Tanksalvala

For librarians, being more progressive means embracing new ways of approaching their job and the role of the library in a university. Progressive librarians are working to revitalize libraries by making them more than simply places that store information. Part museum, part lab, progressive libraries are exploring and defining their services based on people’s needs.

“Librarians find themselves in the midst of trying to reinvent themselves and what they do,” says Sebastien Marion, virtual services librarian at New York Institute of Technology. “The challenge is how to go from book-storage places to collection places to places that engage with skills.”

Progressive librarianship has a number of defining components. Progressive librarians support reading culture, in an academic environment in which many are pushing for all-digital libraries. Progressive librarians support personal learning, and see the library as a place where personal learning and lifelong exploration can take center stage.

Here are 10 tips for librarians looking for ways to become more progressive.

 

1. Focus on the human component: Libraries might be seen as places to go work quietly, but progressive librarians look for ways to make libraries more human-centric. Read more…

How To List Online Courses On Your Resume The Right Way (Because Yes, There Is A Wrong Way)

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So you’ve been taking some online courses. You’ve learned a ton, and you’ve even been using your new skills at work or to develop a side project.

But now you’re contemplating a career move and wondering how (and even whether) to include your continuing education on your resume. You’re right to approach this task thoughtfully. Online courses are still relatively new, recruiters can be skeptical and in certain cases, listing your online education can actually make your resume worse.

I spoke to several recruiters and hiring managers to gather insight on what they think when they see online courses listed on candidates’ resumes. So, whether you aced your marketing MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), killed it in coding bootcamp, or taught yourself graphic design, here are some of their tips on how to tell that story in your application:

1. Put Them In Their Proper Place

Across the board, the hiring managers and recruiters I spoke with agreed that MOOCs and other online courses can help make the case that you can do the job. However, they also think these classes shouldn’t be the star of the show. As Anne Lewis, the Director of Sales and Recruitment for Betts Recruiting, a firm specializing in recruitment for technology companies, told me, “In general, MOOCs can help to make candidate profiles stronger, especially junior candidates who don’t have as much experience.” Read more…

From Both Sides Now Mentoring the next generation of librarians

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For most librarians, their first year working in a library is the biggest learning experience of their career. I remember coming into my first library job so clueless about, well, everything and feeling a year later like a completely different person: a professional. But that time in between was filled with cringeworthy mistakes and a whole lot of anxiety.

At the same time, I felt like I had unlimited stores of passion, energy, and ideas that year. My colleagues took me seriously even though I was green, and some of those rookie ideas became services the library still offers, like chat reference. I frequently hear about new-to-the-profession librarians who are treated by their colleagues as if they need to “pay their dues” before they
and their ideas can be given consideration. I can’t imagine how quickly my passion for my work would have waned had my ideas been met with cynicism and dismissiveness.

This attitude is not only harmful to a new librarian’s morale, it also prevents the library from taking advantage of an opportunity to get a fresh perspective on what it does. There is a golden period when someone new to the library can see everything that might be strange, confusing, or problematic. In time, we all become accustomed to our surroundings, and those problems become the barely visible flotsam and jetsam of our everyday work. We should make the most of that magical newcomer vision. I always make a point of asking new colleagues to keep track of problems they see because those fresh insights can push us out of our comfort zones and create positive change for our patrons. We want to encourage these audacious ideas, even if they’re not all feasible. Read more…