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Libraries = Empowerment

How Libraries Empower Women, Strengthen Healthcare, and Bridge the Education Gap – from the Gates Foundation

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miscellaneous

Don't Get Angry, Get Crunk

This is one of the greatest moments in television punditry. Melissa Harris-Perry goes off on a panelist who dared to make the comment that being wealthy is riskier than being poor. That moment reminded me of a quote I read in a piece by the Crunk Feminist Collective:

One of the ways White supremacy and sexism works is through a putative disavowal of emotion as a legitimate form for expressing thought. Women and Black people are overly emotional, so the conventional wisdom goes. We have been taught to overcompensate for this stereotype by being overly composed, even when anger is warranted. And we are wholly unprepared when our emotions start to split the seams of our tightly put on public selves. Perhaps it’s time to change clothes, and intentionally put on something that gives us room to breathe.

For me, that has meant embracing my own crunkness. Why go off when I can GET CRUNK? And by that I mean I can make an intentional choice to use my legitimate and righteous anger in an honest and compassionate way that is potentially transformative.

The Crunk Feminist Collective

This is something I struggle with quite a bit at work. I’m one of two black librarians at MPOW, and sometimes I think what some colleagues read as anger — because I don’t frame my arguments in a dispassionate, remote manner, and because my true feelings are always written all over my face — is read incorrectly because it’s different, because I’m different. We talk about diversity in the workplace, but it seems that there still is only one right way to present a position, and more often than not, I feel as if I never get it right. I wonder if I were in an environment where my minority status wasn’t quite so obvious if I’d still face the same challenges, or if there would be enough cultural shorthand and similarity going around where people could shrug off my “passion” and get to the heart of what I’m saying. I don’t suppose that’s something I’ll ever know, what with living in Vancouver and all.

So instead of getting angry, I’m going to learn to GET CRUNK about the changes I’d like to see. I’m going to learn to harness eloquent rage, even at the risk of alienating others. Part of this process of learning to evangelize myself is learning how to speak the truth without fear.

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Coder, Teach Thyself?

As someone who has struggled with developing my coding/programming skills past a certain point, Andromeda Yelton‘s post about coders needing to self-teach (and the false dichotomy therein) feels like the right answer at the right time. G’wan. Read it.

Categories
social media

University Admissions Offices & Social Media

Check out the University of Chicago’s College Admissions Tumblr. It’s a great mix of official and zany. And I’m no expert or anything, but I think they may have won the unofficial “Call Me Maybe” meme contest.

It is possible — and desirable — for traditional institutions like universities and libraries to take a lighter approach to interacting with the public. It humanizes the organization, and shows that while we take what we do very seriously, we have a sense of humor about it.

Worth noting:

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  • St. John’s University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of the Arts
  • Categories
    libraries

    Recherchez des Livres

    We launched Bibliocommons in French, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish today. Custom menu items we created haven’t yet been translated into Chinese or French, but that’s on the way.

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    Uncategorized

    Spotify in Canada?

    Spotify says a Canadian launch “could happen before the end of 2012“. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Categories
    blogging

    The New Blog Order

    In case you’re wondering what’s going on around here these days, I’ve decided to split my blog into two domains. I’m planning to use this space to talk about professional pursuits, librarianship, digital services, and content strategy. If you’re interested in the personal side of Cecily (including bikey posts) head on over to Skeskali.com.

    A few days ago, my friend Erica wondered what it would be like if all us old heads who have been talking and thinking so much lately about blogging started to actually do it, so I’m trying to rise to the challenge.

    Categories
    asides

    Q&A

    The LIS Stack Exchange is boring, sayeth the Loon.

    Categories
    asides

    Legal Digital Downloads @ Your Library

    The Iowa City Public Library came up with a really cool way to bring digital music content to their patrons.

    Categories
    asides

    Stray Thought While Singing in the Shower

    Perhaps someone with a better understanding of these things can help me understand why Songza and Rdio work in Canada, but Pandora and Spotify do not.