Monday, January 16, 2017

Risks and Benefits of Visibility: Librarians Navigating Social and Political Turbulence

LOR, P. J. (2016). Risks and Benefits of Visibility: Librarians Navigating Social and Political Turbulence. Library Trends, 65(2), 108-127.

The deliberate burning of libraries is nothing new, but it seems surprising that such incidents have also occurred in peacetime in democracies. What does this say about community perceptions of libraries and the response of the library profession? Mostly, libraries are not very newsworthy. In some countries they are largely invisible; in others they may only attract public attention when they are threatened by cutbacks or closures or when things go badly wrong. The visibility and invisibility of libraries in the political arena confer risks, as well as benefits. As a framework for an exploration of this topic, libraries in various countries are conceptualized as being located in the political space on a continuum, from invisible to highly visible, on which the risks of visibility and invisibility can be situated. Some observations, with particular reference to library development in South Africa, follow on how librarians see themselves and their institutions in relation to the communities and societies they serve. This paper concludes that the risks of invisibility outweigh those of visibility, but that the political awareness, engagement, and commitment of the library profession are critical.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Library Workers at the Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women

Image of the Atlanta March logo

CHICAGO - ALA invites Midwinter attendees and Atlanta-area library workers wishing to participate in the Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women to gather in Hall A3 of the Georgia World Congress Center for poster making from 10:30am-12:30pm on Saturday, January 21. 
The Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women will be a peaceful demonstration of solidarity bringing together members of underrepresented communities, women, and their allies in Georgia and nationally.  
You do not have to be registered for Midwinter to attend the poster making session. Maps of the March route and directions to the Center for Civil and Human Rights will be available.  People who wish to travel together to the march are encouraged to gather at the poster-making session by 12:15pm.  A limited amount of poster supplies from the Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services will be available, please consider bringing supplies to share. 
If you’re interested in joining discussions and getting updates about library workers’ participation in the march, please join the Facebook Group

World Report 2017: Demagogues Threaten Human Rights

In the 687-page World Report, its 27th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries.
World Report Cover 2017

World Report 2017: Demagogues Threaten Human Rights

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Civil Rights Training at Nashville Public Library.

In light of recent and continuing conflicts between citizens and police across the nation, the Nashville (TN) Public Library (NPL) has partnered with the Nashville Police Department on a groundbreaking diversity education initiative that aims to improve understanding and communication between police forces and citizens. The program, Civil Rights and a Civil Society, uses NPL’s Civil Rights Room collections to spark dialogue and learning among the officers. 
Interview with Andrea Blackman

Hughes, K. . (2016). Civil Rights Training at Nashville Public Library. Public Libraries, 55(6), 32-33.

Andrea Blackman gave a tour of the Civil Rights Room at the Nashville Public Library. She used historic images and videos to talk about the civil rights movement in Nashville, and spoke about why the city became a model of integration for other Southern cities in the 1960s.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Database of atrocities in the Syrian war

The Syrian Archive is an initiative launched by a collective of human rights activists dedicated to preserving open source documentation relating to human rights violations and other crimes committed by all sides during the conflict in Syria.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Jimmy Carter Library

Carter transformed American foreign policy values, albeit briefly, by holding military dictatorships accountable for human rights - See more at:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Kuskokwim Consortium Library is applying for a Jesuit Volunteer to help Bethel's homeless population seeking shelter

The Kuskokwim Consortium Library is applying for a Jesuit Volunteer to help Bethel's homeless population seeking shelter from the winter cold....Under a plan approved by the Bethel City Council this week, a Jesuit Volunteer couple help the librarians meet the growing needs of the town's homeless at the cost of $12,000 per year. Orutsararmiut Native Council pledged to pay $6,000, the library will pay $1,000, and the city has agreed to cover the remaining $5,000.