Archives, libraries, and storytelling

10 wonderful articles which cover a swath of topics across the library and archives fields.

Hello everyone! I have a number of articles I’d like to share with you apart from my new fiction story, covering a number of library and archives topics. Enjoy!

  1. Archivist Ruth Miller of the Center for Jewish History in New York City is described as researching the story of a gay Jewish bullfighter from Brooklyn, showing the power of archives in uncovering new stories about the past!

  2. Sandra Dick writes about a story of an elephant once kept in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland has emerged when looking at the archives of the city, with letters of complaint, petition, and so on. It tells the story of “the misery of an Old Town baker whose life and business was being wrecked by a very unwanted upstairs guest” and the elephant’s importance to history later on.

  3. SBS News has an article about a “treasure trove of Indigenous recordings contained on magnetic tapes by the National Archives of Australia (NAA)” which must be digitized by 2025, or else they will be unlistenable, meaning that “preserving the remaining 127,000 hours of material yet to be digitised is the archive's number one priority.”

  4. Conrrado, an online MLIS student at the University of Washington, has an article about the changing nature of libraries, saying they are no longer just “repositories of books” but are living rooms of sorts, meaning that there are major issues concerning “what personal information we [as information professionals] were allowing vendors to access.” They go onto say that while “the public library needs to provide as many as possible to help it’s patrons” but they should also “educate the public we serve.” It’s a balance, between providing services to the public and ensuring that people’s privacy isn’t violated, that public libraries and other institutions have to straddle.

  5. Christine Ro notes how libraries across the country have been “providing refuge from searing heat and humidity,” resulting in higher visitor numbers and they also are fountains of knowledge on climate change, providing “community-level examples of resilience” as the ALA acknowledges.

  6. Karla J. Strand has developed a wonderful reading list of resources titled “Disrupting Whiteness in Libraries and Librarianship,” which is not only helpful for those in the libraries field, but also in archives and elsewhere. It is still being added to and updated, so feel free to contact her if you have any further resources you would add to the list.

  7. ABC, an Australian broadcaster, recently showed a color news reel of part of the goodwill mission by Apollo 11 Astronauts to Australia, obviously finding it in their archives. Again, the importance of archives cannot be overstated.

  8. Paul T. Jaeger and Natalie Greene Taylor write in American Libraries, an ALA publication, about how misinformation can affect the future of policy, and how information professionals should take action.

  9. Hanna Roseen writes about her experience studying abroad as an MLIS student on Hack Library School, the benefits and challenges that a student could face. Another interesting article.

  10. Veronica Douglas speaks about rebuilding structures which shape teaching and information literacy, with librarians having a role in not upholding existing systems seen as oppressive and instead being educators which help build new systems. A thought-provoking talk, whether you agree with it or not, as she is part of those that engage in what they call “critical librarianship.”

- Burkely