Thank You!

Late last semester, I did a workshop called “Caring for Your Online Presence” for a group of students in the School of Information and Library Science here in Chapel Hill. I suggested that they all sign up for Twitter because, to quote myself, “Librarians go hard on Twitter.” After yesterday, that laugh line has a whole new meaning for me.

After all the excitement yesterday, I wanted to share a few developments.

The piece Patricia and I posted yesterday has brought over 20,000 visitors to my site as of this morning. Yesterday morning I had exactly one subscriber to my blog so the other 19,999 was y’all getting the word out. Thanks!

As a result of the massive response to the post, there are statements out from ALA, American LIbraries and Gale/Cengage. I’m happy to see that a dialog has opened up and I hope that it will be productive and positive.

I’m so happy that this episode has sparked a broader conversation about the relationships between libraries, scholars and vendors. Each of us have important roles to play in the research process. I hope we can also agree that there are some kinds of engagement are inappropriate and everyone suffers when that happens. With Midwinter, MLA and AHA getting started this week, I think there will be lots of opportunities to have important conversations with each other.

Finally, and most importantly, I want to say that the reason Patricia and I felt like we could say something is because we knew that our local and virtual communities would back us up. I hope that others saw the massive, overwhelming outpouring of support and feel encouraged to speak up if something – anything – doesn’t seem right. The issues that Patricia and I wanted to raise were specific to our experiences but I for one drew strength from years of watching librarians ask critical and difficult questions about librarianship. Calls to engage a broad range of social justice issues in libraries have been deeply inspiring and I hope that yesterday demonstrated how much work we can do together.

I was thrilled to see so many librarians in positions of power show support. This sends an important message to the profession. Even more than that, I was moved by how many people in less secure positions also spoke out. So a special thanks to the students and early career folks. I’m really looking forward to working with all of you for a long time.


2 thoughts on “Thank You!”

  1. For additional critical discussions of librarianship, please check out #critlib (“critical librarianship”) and #critcat (for cataloging/metadata focused discussions). #critlib is a active group, and has regular Twitter chats. The group is a movement of library workers dedicated to bringing social justice principles into our work in libraries with the aim to engage in discussion about critical perspectives on library practice and ultimately effect change.

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