I continue my series reviewing libraries in popular culture and highlight a recent chat about the critical role of libraries and archives, and relevant articles and posts in both fields!
Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a great week.
This week I continued my “libraries in popular culture” series, focusing on another animated show: Adventure Time. Unlike some of the other shows I have written about, there is extensive use of libraries in this series, with the library as a specific location that characters go to learn more and helps in the general storyline. Of course, the librarian shushes the characters, a common stereotype used in popular culture (like the Steven Universe episode with a library), sadly. However, their experience in the library is relatively positive and there is nothing negative about the library otherwise, so in that way, it can be praised in depicting a library. In some ways, it is even better than other depictions of libraries I have seen in other media. I may look at other fictional and magical libraries in the coming week, or perhaps I will write about something else entirely. I haven’t quite decided yet.
Additionally, I’d like to share my Twitter Moment which summarized the critical library/critical archives chat on September 24th. Various topics were discussed, like asking how those in both professions, archives and libraries, can generate greater solidarity, the issues with short-term projects, how organizations in both professions can mitigate harm and advocate for workers, how to shift the perception that contingent work is necessary, and how supervisors can help those new to the field.
With that, I’d like to highlight that October is American Archives Month and today is “ask an archivist” day! I participated in the latter last fall, and may see what archivists have to say on the topic. Otherwise, I’d like to share a post on NARAtons, a blog of the National Archives, focusing on how digitized records are added to the National Archives Catalog, and a few posts from Hack Library School. The first of these says you can confront the idea you are an “imposter” in the profession by being confident in yourself, the opportunity of attending a non-library conference, and another focusing on the support systems you can have while attending library school.
Apart from that, I’d like to highlight the huge announcement of Chicago’s public library system going fine-free, a growing trend among libraries, a way to avoid libraries from becoming a way for the poor and disenfranchised to be persecuted. There’s also some interesting propaganda maps from the geography and map division of the Library of Congress over the years, a review of “Musical Passage,” a new digital humanities project focusing on Jamaica and Caribbean culture, by my colleague, Christina Taylor Gibson, and an opinion, in Bloomberg, of all places, about how vinyl, magazines, and books will not go away, despite some thinking they will. There were also stories about a 2011 graduate from the UMD MLIS program doing some fascinating archival work in Mexico and an article questioning the dogma of Banned Books Week. Although I’m not as keen on Foucault as the latter article, I still think its worth highlighting a critique of something promoted by libraries and the ALA without as much as a second thought.
That’s all for this week.
I hope everyone has a great rest of their week!