Tuesday, May 22, 2018

a few thoughts on Teaching for Justice: Implementing Social Justice in the Lis Classroom

Teaching for Justice: Implementing Social Justice in the Lis ClassroomTeaching for Justice: Implementing Social Justice in the Lis Classroom by Nicole A Cooke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first Library Juice Press publication I have read. The title may seem to be only relevant for people who are teaching people to be librarians, however, there is much of relevance for library practitioners as the different chapters explore theoretical frameworks as well as teaching. Many of the exercises described by the authors of the different chapters could be applied or modified for a workplace. It is helping me think about professional development to work on, building on some work already being done to address social justice in libraries.

A strong point in this books is about social justice being a key part of every library service. It is part of who is not using the library, who is included in the collections (and this is all collections from those for children to local studies), and who is targeted in programs and services. What languages are collected and have programs or services provided in also matters.

I read this book slowly because it is the kind of book which needs to be read and thought about, and now parts need to be reread.

Each chapters has detailed bibliographical information making additional reading easy to do. This book is written by people in the USA, but there is much of relevance for Australian (and other) library staff.

The book would be useful reading for many library staff. It would be an interesting one for a staff reading group discussion.

My copy now has post-it note flags sticking out from it, some with writing on them for additional prompts. This is why ebooks can be handy, for less messy note taking, but paper is also fine for reading.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

a few thoughts on the book Shetland Oo: Wool Textiles Work (and it is a lovely local studies publication)

Shetland Oo: Wool Textiles WorkShetland Oo: Wool Textiles Work by Kate Davies
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an impressive local studies publication with very beautiful photographs. It is a collaboration between Kate Davies (words) and Tom Barr (photographs) exploring the current wool environment in Shetland. The story of local wool is mostly told through short biographies of people in the whole chain of wool and sheep processing from those who raise the sheep to those who process the wool/leather, and those who spin, knit, design and use wool in other ways.

It is a very interesting look at this part of the world and brings many people into the story of the wool and sheep industry. There is some exploration of the history of wool and knitting on these islands, highlighting the very tough life many of these people have had.

This is a engaging, episodic read and shows how lovely some local studies publications can be.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The meaning of life is 42, but does this sign included or exclude?

Do the signs at your library include or exclude?

This was a sign at the blood bank.  I have read The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy (a very long time ago), so I thought I knew the quote it was referring to. I may still work if you have not read/watched it (or at least I think it does), because the key point is how long blood lasts (or at least that is how I read it). 

There is a however to this.  Because I was taking a photograph in the interview room (you have to answer a lot of questions before you can donate blood, plasma or platelets), this started a discussion with the nurse who had not read the book, seen the film or television series.  She was commenting on how excited another donor had been seeing the poster.  This made me wonder if it was too niche.  I think it works even if you don't know that that many of the words form a quote as the key point is blood lasts 42 days so there needs to be continuing donations.  It highlights that there can be many ways to read a sign.
Life, the universe and everything - sign at the blood bank


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A few thoughts on Algorithms of oppression by @safiyanoble

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce RacismAlgorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an amazing book. There are detailed and glowing reviews of this book available elsewhere. These glowing reviews are deserved. I will keep my comments brief, as I want you to read this book, and not my review. Instead I will say, if you use search engines, you should read this book to be more aware of the bias in the tools which you use. If you work in a library and assist clients through using a search engine, you should read this to be more aware of the bias in the tools which you use.

This book, as well as highlighting the research of the author, generously showcases other relevant research about bias in search engines and library catalogues.

It contains strong calls to action for librarians, archivists and information workers, which is also relevant for museum and gallery staff as well. Quoting from location 3081 Now, more than ever, we need libraries, universities, schools, and information resources that will bolster, and further expand democracy for all, rather than shrink the landscape of participation along racial, religious, and gendered lines.

When I checked the holdings on Trove Australia on 7 April, there were two libraries in Australia showing that they have this title.

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