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Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

So You’re a Librarian (or Library), What Do You Do Now? Librarianing in the Time of Political Turmoil

Sometimes inspiration comes in the strangest moments. Yesterday on Twitter I was thinking about what it means to me now to be a librarian. So I started tweeting and ended up with a long string of tweets highlighting the things that I think we – and that we includes me – can do now in light of current events. These thoughts are inspired in part by my mentor who asked me the other day, “okay, so now what do we do?” This question was asked in part because, if we’re being honest, a lot of not normal things are happening at this moment and people are concerned about privacy, about civil liberties, about the quality of and access to information. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about that. So here are some of my thoughts. You probably has some great ones as well, so please add them in the comments.

thingsineverlearnedinlibraryschool



  1. So my fellow librarians, here we are. What can we do:
    1) Print off or create an evaluating media sources page & put it everywhere


  2. 2) Buy diverse books. A lot of them. Put them everywhere. Flood your library with them.
    3) Host diverse or dystopian book discussion groups


  3. 4) Make a super easy bookmark for your local community. Put contact info for reps/senators on it. Websites. Understanding how govt works.


  4. @TLT16 4.) Use a canary for government requests about borrower records.
    5.) Delete all borrower records when the material is returned.


  5. 5) Go right now & make sure your collection is balanced left/right, progressive/conservative Christian, etc. Order accordingly asap.


  6. I mention #5 because as a progressive Christian I can almost guarantee you your collection skews overly conservative.


  7. 6) Don't pretend kids/teens don't know/care about what is happening. Put up a so you want to understand govt. page/display/booklist


  8. 7) Make sure all staff knows phone #/web addresses for things like ACLU, be ready to answer reference questions for help & referrals


  9. 8) Train staff ASAP - again - about freedom of information, censorship, collection development, patron privacy, what to do if records


  10. are requested or books are challenged.
    9) Don't keep patron records. It's a privacy issue.


  11. 10) Don't have a collection development policy or materials challenge policy? Get on that ASAP.


  12. @TLT16 6.) Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Kids need to understand data collection and surveillance.


  13. 11) Remind staff AND public the value, duty and role of the public library. Stress Democracy, education, freedom of information.


  14. 12) Make sure staff knows who to refer public/media questions to, what they can/can not say. Write out a script. Bad info hard to retract.


  15. 13) Keep business cards of PR person and/or director well stocked at every public desk. Tell staff to refer all questions/concerns there.


  16. Our goals:
    Patron access to info
    Patron privacy
    Patron safety
    Library, patron, information advocacy




  17. Remember, education of local communities doesn't mean protecting people from info, it means providing it. How democracy thrives.


  18. @TLT16 Don't forget historical fiction!! We protest today because we know what happened when people didn't in the past.


  19. @TLT16 Community discussion focusing on historical works and why history and historical memory are important. Create oral history projects

 

Comments

  1. Thank you for this!

  2. Above it is written:

    TLT16
    TeenLibrarianToolbox@TLT16
    I mention #5 because as a progressive Christian I can almost guarantee you your collection skews overly conservative.

    As a sister progressive Christian, I still need to ask how contemporary (say, the last 25 years) children’s and teen fiction collections skew overly conservative? These books seem to skew quite liberal.

    • Karen Jensen, TLT Karen Jensen, TLT says:

      Penelope, I should have been more specific in mentioning that I was thinking of the 200s specifically in this particular tweet. That mistake on me, but I find that the Christian nonfiction sections of most libraries do in fact skew conservative. I am a teen services librarian with a minor in youth ministry from a conservative Christian college, so I am also tasked with doing the 200s and it was this area I was thinking of – I should have been more clear in my tweet.

      Karen

  3. Cathy Benge says:

    What a fabulous list — even as librarian at a middle school, there are lots of these I can do!

  4. Please define “Progressive Christian”.

    And just what is it about conservatism – and I mean real conservatism, not the hawkish neo-conservatism promoted by Israel and led by RINOs like John McCain, Paul Ryan, etc. – that frightens you?

Trackbacks

  1. […] Librarian Toolbox tweeted several suggestions, all of which are posted here. Included are purchase diverse books and create source analysis documents for […]

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