Holding to our values during difficult times

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Holding to our values during difficult timesALA, free the information!, intellectual freedom, librarianship, libraries, open access, our digital future

by Meredith Farkas on 1/3/2017 with 0 comment

I write a lot in my American Libraries column about library values, particularly those around access and privacy. My latest column (Jan/Feb 17), which should be out soon online just also came out this morning, is a love letter to critical librarianship in which I share my conviction (shared by many) that libraries are not …

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2016 wasn’t all bad

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2016 wasn’t all badabout me

by Meredith Farkas on 12/29/2016 with 3 comments

As I alluded to in my last post, this year was a difficult one for me personally that ended up turning out for the better. I know that many of us have felt dispirited and beaten down since the election and feel like 2016 was a flaming dumpster fire of a year, so I’ve decided …

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My year in reading 2016

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My year in reading 2016hi

by Meredith Farkas on 12/28/2016 with 4 comments

2016 has been one hell of a year. It started out for me with optimistic giddiness, then crashed into the land of extreme stress and fear and stayed there rather longer than I would have liked. But what I’d thought was the end of so many good things in my life actually marked the beginning …

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Is the Framework Elitist? Is ACRL?

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Is the Framework Elitist? Is ACRL?ALA, free the information!, instruction, librarianship, libraries, online education, open access

by Meredith Farkas on 10/18/2016 with 21 comments

Many of you who read my blog already know that I came to librarianship from social work, where I was a child and family psychotherapist. As a therapist, one of our major guiding documents (whether we liked it or not) was the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The DSM determined what things …

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Choose your own professional involvement adventure

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Choose your own professional involvement adventurelibrarianship, speaking, tenure track, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 9/6/2016 with 2 comments

Last month, I had lunch with two friends who are also in academia. We talked a lot about professional ambitions and “extracurricular” professional involvement. One of them is starting a new book and the other is thinking about doing consulting as a side-job. In every job I’ve had (even before librarianship), I’ve been focused on …

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Appreciate your speakers

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Appreciate your speakersfree the information!, librarianship, speaking

by Meredith Farkas on 3/16/2016 with 3 comments

I have been very fortunate to address librarians nationally and internationally as a speaker. I love sharing my ideas, experiences, and things I’ve learned and meeting other librarians. I have gotten research ideas, column ideas, and made friends through my travels. I have visited places I’d always wanted to visit. I am not nearly as …

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Playing the super-productive librarian. My #LISMentalHealth Week post

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Playing the super-productive librarian. My #LISMentalHealth Week postabout me, libraries, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 1/19/2016 with 12 comments

I know a lot of librarians who’ve suffered with depression or anxiety, take psychotropics, or who go to therapy. It makes me wonder if people with mental illness are drawn to librarianship in greater numbers than other professions. I was very happy — and a little trepidatious — when I saw that two fantastic librarians …

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Reputation is everything: On problematic editing and sponsored content

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Reputation is everything: On problematic editing and sponsored contentALA, american libraries, librarianship, writing

by Meredith Farkas on 1/5/2016 with 6 comments

First, full disclosure: I am a columnist for American Libraries. They pay me to write columns every other month in which I state my opinion on various things relating somewhat to technology. What I’m writing here is my own opinion and represents me alone. As a professional librarian and a writer, I take my credibility …

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My year in reading, 2015

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My year in reading, 2015about me

by Meredith Farkas on 12/27/2015 with 4 comments

I’ve learned over time that work/life balance not only looks different for every person, but looks very different for an individual from one moment to the next. The needs you and your loved ones have and the things that give you the most pleasure can radically change over time. This year, I really tried to …

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Should the horrible first job search be seen as a rite-of-passage?

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Should the horrible first job search be seen as a rite-of-passage?about me, career, free the information!, job search, librarianship, libraries, library school, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 11/9/2015 with 13 comments

I felt really sad when I read Kyle Shockey’s post on the Librarian Burnout blog about feeling burnout after library school and being in the midst of the job hunt. By all indications, he is one of those rare recent grads who followed the advice so many of us give to LIS students — don’t …

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The Next Librarian of Congress?

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The Next Librarian of Congress?ALA, free the information!, intellectual freedom, librarianship, libraries, management, open access

by Meredith Farkas on 10/6/2015 with 0 comment

Late last week, I received an email from the culture editor at the New Republic about writing an article on the next Librarian of Congress. It was the first offer I’ve ever had to write for a non-library-centric publication and the New Republic has a political bent I really respect, so it was an offer …

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The insidious nature of “fit” in hiring and the workplace

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The insidious nature of “fit” in hiring and the workplacelibrarianship, libraries, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 9/28/2015 with 12 comments

Organizational culture is a very real and a very powerful force in every organization. I have worked in a variety of different organizations and each had had its own rituals, norms, values, and assumptions that influenced the way people worked together, shared information, and got things done. Culture is this weird, powerful, unspoken thing that both impacts …

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Are online MLIS degree-holders “less than?”

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Are online MLIS degree-holders “less than?”library school, online education, our digital future, tech trends

by Meredith Farkas on 6/22/2015 with 41 comments

When I graduated from library school, I worried about anti-online-degree bias. I worried that people would think my degree was somehow “less than” because I’d done it fully online. I remember being asked some questions about it at one interview that made the search committee’s biases pretty clear, but the people who eventually hired me …

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You could learn a lot from us: community college librarians at ACRL

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You could learn a lot from us: community college librarians at ACRLassessment, community college libraries, community colleges, free the information!, instruction, librarianship, libraries, open access

by Meredith Farkas on 4/9/2015 with 8 comments

ACRL was ridiculously amazing this year. I feel energized, affirmed, and hopeful (and completely exhausted and sick since it ended). The programming was so high-quality and relevant that, in most cases, I had at least four options in every time slot on my planner that I wanted to attend. Luckily, ACRL records all the sessions …

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