LIBchats (Library Interesting Briefs) are fast-paced, high-energy talks from speakers who are truly passionate about their topics. These sessions are bound to stir up some controversy and guaranteed to get you thinking.
Wednesday, October 3
3:15 – 4:00 p.m.
- Stories, Not Statistics: Tell Us Why We Need Libraries
- Is Leveling Books a Level-Headed Decision? (cancelled)
- Dewey Lite: Pros & Cons
- The Activist Librarian
Thursday, October 4
3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
- When Stereotypes Go Viral: Generational Thinking at Work
- Down with Dewey?
- Making Intersectionality a Reality: Leaving White Feminism Behind
- Being Giggles: Positivity, Kids in Cages, and Rage Tweeting My Thumbs Off
When I tell people I work at the library I often receive awkward stares and the same old rage-inducing question: “Does anyone even need the library anymore?” We have the documented evidence that proves how vital our libraries are to the communities they serve, and yet we still get asked the same question over and over again. So how should we go about answering it? This LIBChat offers one way of answering that question, not with facts and statistics, but with stories about the people we serve.
Schools and parents often rely on librarians to recommend materials at the right level for their readers. But what if choosing the right level is all wrong?
The Dewey Lite System groups non-fiction titles together by subject. This system is based on Book Store Display methods and is in direct response to patrons’ lack of familiarity with the Dewey Decimal System. Williams County Public Library undertook this new way of shelving and categorizing books to aid their patrons in finding materials. Learn how Dewey Lite, which still retains the Dewey classification system, has become an overwhelmingly positive benefit to patrons.
As the nature of information changes many librarians bemoan the loss of “traditional” librarianship and think that libraries who extend their services into “social work” or form unusual partnerships have overextended to the point of no longer being libraries. However in this new environment librarians actually have more ability to effect positive change in our communities, and we’re not doing our jobs if we ignore those opportunities just because they don’t fit a misguided notion of what “traditional” librarianship is. In fact, this “non-traditional” librarianship is what librarians have always done.
Millennials! Boomers! Technology! Entitlement! We’ve gotten into the habit of accepting assumptions about generational groups. In the interest of creating collaborative, dynamic workspaces, we need to understand how these are stereotypes that reinforce prejudice. Investigating historical patterns of discrimination (as seductive and deeply human as categorizing can be) and recognizing the destructive power of prototyping is essential to building effective, diverse teams and inclusive workplace cultures.
Are you Down with Dewey or is it time to say “DOWN with DEWEY!”? Listen to the facts and decide for yourself what’s best for your library, patrons and our profession. One side points out the importance of formal structure and organization as a key pillar of our profession. The other side says it’s time to rethink our approach in order to remain relevant in our changing society. What decision will your patron’s be down with?
White Feminism has persisted and supported the larger ideologies of White Supremacy for hundreds of years, but more recently has become a part of the lexicon of popular culture and our 24-hour news cycle. As ‘Nice White Ladies,’ it’s on us to use our privilege to make space for women of color, and to do the heavy lifting that engenders true equality. Let’s talk about some of the ways we can do that, in both the short and the long term fight for equal and human rights.
I used to sing in a big, gay chorus. My chorus brothers called me “Giggles” because, well, I giggled. A lot. On November 9, 2016, I stopped giggling. I lost hope. I got angry. I used the F-word online. A lot. (Spoiler alert: I still use the F-word online. A lot.) In this chat, I’m not going to be telling you to smile yourself out of it or look for silver linings. I won’t be sharing any quick-fix prescriptions for positivity, because things just aren’t that simple. What I will do is tell a few stories, and share a particularly impactful recent experience which taught me that being positive doesn’t always mean being Giggles.