Rockstar Librarians

flaming guitar image

If you don’t want the responsibility that comes from having power, get off the effing stage. There are so many people who do want it and who will use it well. And if you choose to keep the power, without being responsible, then understand: many of us will turn our backs on you. We won’t come to your talks, follow you on social media, work for your organization, or vote for you when you want to govern our associations—whatever form of power you have been granted, it will fade if you are not responsible. I, for one, am tired of granting power to people who don’t deserve it. I won’t do it anymore, and I hope others will join me in that. Continue reading

Need to tell a bunch of coworkers unpleasant tech-related news?

Test sites with

So, here’s a thing I don’t see many people posting about: how and when it’s best to share unpleasant technical information. It seems really relevant today, when most of the web (well, OK, all the stuff I bothered checking) seems to be patched up after Heartbleed (more on that below, if this term is new to you), and therefore everybody ought to be changing all of their passwords soon. We had a discussion, in my department (Systems), about how best to share this information—and whether sharing it was the right call. There’s an argument that we should have waited for … Continue reading

Code of conduct pledge and cosigner list

Although I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, informally, I would like to more publicly/formally talk about my participation in the Code of Conduct Pledge (#CoCPledge) movement—and hopefully add value to the movement with a sortable list of co-signers. (I’m not using this post to make all the arguments about why codes of conduct are important, but I’ve written about it before, and I will again.) Now, I’m no John Scalzi, and I know there aren’t any events/organizations that would miss me so much that they will drop everything to develop one of these statements (and the buy-in and policy … Continue reading

In defense of Women in Tech (WiT) groups


  I’ve been rolling this post around in my head for a couple of days, in between attending conference and binge-(re)watching Firefly. It turns out, I have put a lot of time and effort—and, more importantly, thought—into creating and running a WiT group, so I have a lot to say on this topic. Also, Rebecca Stavick’s post isn’t the first anti-WiT-post I’ve read by a woman (great response to that one, here), never mind dealing with men’s arguments against these groups; so I’ve had time to think through a lot of these issues.   Myth #1 – Meeting as a … Continue reading

Social media – best practices and “libraries doing it right”

I Like

I’m pulling together my thoughts for a panel on social media* aimed mostly at small libraries with small staffs. If we’re Twitter friends, you’ve seen me asking for libraries on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr who are doing a good job. (OK, I also asked for YouTube, but nobody had suggestions.) If we’re not Twitter friends, here I am. I did this because “Follow other organizations with similar missions and successful social media” is my first piece of advice, when it comes to best practices. As one of my coworkers has said, rather wryly, “Learning to be hip and fun … Continue reading

Identity – developer, information scientist, librarian


Professionally, I’m in kind of a weird place, right now. (Feel free to make an Alaska joke, here, but that’s not what I mean.) I’ve finally come to understand that I enjoy and am pretty good at programming, and I want to improve those skills, which is something I’m working on. But, more broadly, I’ve also belatedly realized that what I really wanted to be, after library school, wasn’t so much a librarian as an information scientist, and I’ve been unconsciously approaching the entire profession from that perspective (when I don’t go full-on-IT, anyway). I realize perhaps this reads like … Continue reading

Impostor syndrome


I’m going to say something I probably shouldn’t (for, indeed, what other purpose do blogs have?), but I hope that doing so will help other people, if they’re having similar issues. My admission: I’ve been feeling like an utter fraud and a complete failure at a significant portion of my job. (Spoiler: It’s better now!) I’ve been beating myself up for literally years, because I didn’t think I had an acceptable level of technical competence—specifically, coding prowess. And while there are legitimate disagreements about coding in the library profession, I think we can agree: most web librarians need a certain … Continue reading

#LibTechGender, Intersectionality, and Backup

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There’s a pretty fantastic discussion happening in the library blog world, right now, spurred by the fabulous Cecily Walker’s post On Privilege, Intersectionality, and the Librarian Image. The also fabulous Andromeda Yelton adds her view in #libtechgender: the dangers of a single story (by the way, the video she embedded is pretty great). I’ve heard rumors that more posts are coming. I hope this post adds to the discussion, as well. Intersectionality I commented on Cecily’s post, kind of to this effect, but I’ll put it here, too: maybe #LibTechWomen’s expansion into #LibTechGender isn’t going far enough, and we might … Continue reading

Arguing for inclusivity


A surprising* number** of people*** are upset by the idea of a Code of Conduct/Statement of Appropriate Conduct/Anti-Harassment Policy (which I’ll refer to as “a CoC” or “CoCs” for the rest of the post). And, although I am unequivocally in favor of CoCs and generally frustrated when they are received poorly, still, I sometimes get little flashes of insight into the minds of people who fight against them. And I want to see if I can translate for them, maybe address some of their concerns/arguments. (I am trying to address the tech community, the library community, and the library tech … Continue reading

Invisible disabilities and healing


I started to write this post as a Facebook update, but (well, for one, it’s long, but more importantly,) it’s actually pretty relevant to my recent professional life: it’s one person’s set of anecdotes about an Issue In Our Field, if you will. Although it’s hard, I think writing it is the right thing to do. I feel like I owe this post to other people who have been brave and made posts along a similar theme. (I hesitate to link, based on the subject; but please let me know if you’d like to do more reading, to get others’ … Continue reading