Folks! Hello and welcome to I guess it’s December. Our snow here in Vermont has come and gone and now it’s back again. But what isn’t weird about our current times? I feel like I’m in a holding pattern inside a holding pattern, waiting for January 20th. Our local libraries have been closing to browsing again; I know libraries nationwide have been having similar discussions.
Hello and thanks for reading. It’s been a month. I’ve been outlasting the blues by learning new Wikipedia skills, playing the is-this-COVID-or-flu-shot-side-effects game, and trying to help with morale for people who have it rougher than me. But I won’t lie, it’s tiring. We’ve had a few 30°-ish nights here and that’s my cue to get the sweaters out, stock up on root vegetables, and get the full-spectrum light out of the closet. If you like short fiction, might I suggest The Sleep by Caitlin Horrocks, about an entire town that decides to hibernate through winter? …
Hello and thanks for reading. It’s been a while! For me, the very strangest thing about all of this is that my perception of the passing of time is all ferkakte. I’m still hunkering. Many people aren’t however, some because they’re going back to work or school, and some because they’ve got… isolation fatigue? As libraries are well aware, you have to work with the population you have, not the population you want. I know it’s hard.
Black Lives Matter. Being anti-racist and against racial violence is, I believe, the only tenable position still available to us that is defensible right now. I appreciate that I live in a state where our health department’s COVID updates (pdf) also include information on how to protest safely.
As people who work in libraries, we need to think about what we can do in addition to offering more anti-racist booklists (Alex Vitale’s book The End of Policing is currently free on the Verso website — go read it). Things like rethinking security cameras that feed to police departments, rethinking security in our libraries, rethinking our hiring and promotion practices until our staffing looks like the communities we serve. Remembering that the publishing industry is also not reflective of the population (and does not treat their Black and white authors equitably) in most measures of diversity, and doing what we can as book purchasers, to apply pressure. …
I consider myself lucky to be part of a library community in times like these. I know it’s challenging, scary, and sometimes outright lousy lately. Being able to try doing the right thing for so many uneasy people in a country as fractured as ours is right now is good work. …
Hello! Folks, I won’t lie, it’s been a hard month. I’ve been appreciating the people who have stepped up and been doing the things, whether it’s working to protect library workers (formerly CloseTheLibraries), help libraries manage within a pandemic, or just helping us all pass the time.
Hello! I skipped February because I’ve been elbow-deep in VLA membership software and web host transitions. How are you? Am happy to report that all state library associations have pages on Wikipedia, though a lot of them could use some work. I’ve moved on to approving (and sometimes not approving) people’s WomenInRed draft articles. If I can help you, please let me know.
I have very much enjoyed looking at old newspapers, trying to find information on library associations’ founding. Often there are funny anecdotes. Here is one I enjoyed.
Another year, another list.