Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A few thoughts on The Feminist Reference Desk: Concepts, Critiques, and Conversations

The Feminist Reference Desk: Concepts, Critiques, and ConversationsThe Feminist Reference Desk: Concepts, Critiques, and Conversations by Maria T. Accardi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This provides an interesting way of looking at reference and information services. I liked the point about allowing space for silence in a reference interview, even if that is not always practical because of work pressures. It was a useful reminder that for some people asking for assistance is not easy. They will not have formulated what they want to ask, and they will need space and time to be able to answer your questions so that you can help them. Culturally there may need to be a discussion for context, and there needs to be space (and time) to be able to do this. This may need a different approach to some service, but that would enable it to be provided with equity, and and this can be really important for all service provision. It also highlighted that the 'reference interview is a conversation, a dialectical exchange between two people with an exchange of ideas and information with the goal of meeting the information need' p53.

There are many useful references which will lead to further reading. It is another excellent publication by Library Juice.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Content unavailable webpage - how do you let your searchers know?

While following a link I came across the content unavailable image below. It is from the National Maritime Museum (England) . I found this a cheery way to tell me, and it was a great use of an image of rescue.
Showing a painting of a rescue at sea
Cheerful content unavailable page from National Maritime Museum, England

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A few thoughts on the book : Progressive community action: critical theory and social justice in library and information science

Progressive Community Action: Critical Theory and Social Justice in Library and Information ScienceProgressive Community Action: Critical Theory and Social Justice in Library and Information Science by Bharat Mehra
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this because I was looking for existing work bringing together critical theory, social justice and libraries for a degree I am doing. I wanted to see the current state of writing in this area, and this book contributed very useful information. I had already read some other material by some of the contributors.

It is published by Library Juice Press. They do a great job bringing together complex ideas in a way which makes sense. I had to resort to buying my own copy because at present three libraries in Australia are listed as holding this title. My copy has post it notes and annotations as I needed to connect the ideas to help with my own planned research. One of the ideas which came through strongly was that libraries themselves can be a 'type of tool to further social justice' (p17).

Reading this was a good reminder that there is value in reading more theoretical material to help us understand the very practical work of libraries. This book helps explore assumptions, which is the point of critical theory.

This work provides many more writers to explore and also challenges the reader to apply critical theory to the library they work in.

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