When libraries and librarians pretend to be neutral, they often cause harm

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When libraries and librarians pretend to be neutral, they often cause harm intellectual freedom, librarianship, libraries

by Meredith Farkas on 11/4/2019 with 4 comments

Two recent events made me think (again) about the toxic nature of “library neutrality” and the fact that, more often than not, neutrality is whiteness/patriarchy/cis-heteronormativity/ableism/etc. parading around as neutrality and causing harm to folks from historically marginalized groups. The insidious thing about whiteness and these other dominant paradigms is that they are largely invisible to …

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 5: Where to From Here?

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 5: Where to From Here? about me, librarianship, mid-career, social software, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 9/11/2019 with 9 comments

This is the fifth in a series of essays. You can access the rest here, though it’s not necessary to read them all or in order. “To me, the only habit worth ‘designing for’ is the habit of questioning one’s habitual ways of seeing” -Jenny Odell, How to do Nothing “We have to fight for this world, but we …

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 4 – The Cult of Productivity: You’re Never Doing Enough

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 4 – The Cult of Productivity: You’re Never Doing Enough about me, career, librarianship, mid-career, social software, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 8/28/2019 with 4 comments

This is the fourth in a series of essays. You can access the rest here, though it’s not necessary to read them all or in order. “These days, I just want to slow down. I want to pull the shutters closed and block out the world… The more time I have, the more I realize that all that …

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 3 – Our Achievement Culture: What You’re Doing Will Never Be Enough

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 3 – Our Achievement Culture: What You’re Doing Will Never Be Enough career, librarianship, libraries, management, mid-career, MPOW, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 8/19/2019 with 1 comment

This is the third in a series of essays. You can access the rest here, though it’s not necessary to read them all or in order. Of all my annoying qualities, my most self-destructive may be that if you put a ladder in front of me, I’ll try to climb it. Doesn’t matter if the entire premise …

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 2 – Ambition: You are Not Enough

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 2 – Ambition: You are Not Enough about me, career, gender, management, mid-career, Work, Work-life balance, writing

by Meredith Farkas on 8/7/2019 with 4 comments

This is the second in a series of essays. You can access the first here, though it’s not necessary to read them all or in order: “So maybe my great ambition, such as it is, is to refrain from engagement with systems that purport to tell me what I’m worth compared to anyone else. Maybe …

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 1 – Letting Go, Questioning, and Pathfinding

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 1 – Letting Go, Questioning, and Pathfinding about me, librarianship, mid-career, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 8/2/2019 with 9 comments

This is the first in a (probably) five-part series of essays. For about two years, until January, I felt a disturbing lack of ambition. I felt directionless and passionless; devoid of my usual neverending energy and interest. I chalked it up to mid-career malaise, but it was more than that. Having only in the past …

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My year in books, 2018

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My year in books, 2018 hi

by Meredith Farkas on 1/3/2019 with 2 comments

I had such good intentions to blog more this year, but the second half of 2018 has thrown me a lot of curveballs emotionally and it’s pulled me away from a lot of the things that keep me engaged with others (funny how that seems to happen when you need people the most).Books are always a …

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“Devaluing” the MLS vs. respect for all library workers

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“Devaluing” the MLS vs. respect for all library workers ALA, librarianship, libraries, library school, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 6/28/2018 with 27 comments

I’m sure some of you remember the big push last year and early this year to require the MLS for the Executive Director of the American Library Association (ALA) — if you don’t, here is an article, column, and blog post about it. One big argument I kept hearing was that we needed someone who understood and …

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We are atomized. We are monetized. We are ephemera. Do we deserve more online?

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We are atomized. We are monetized. We are ephemera. Do we deserve more online? our digital future, social software, tech trends

by Meredith Farkas on 6/12/2018 with 5 comments

In March and April, I took about 5 weeks off from social media. I didn’t post anything to or look at Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. I’d wondered if I’d feel disconnected or feel some irresistible pull like an addict to their drug of choice. To be honest, I didn’t really feel any of that. I didn’t …

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Anxiety, performative allyship, and stepping away from social media

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Anxiety, performative allyship, and stepping away from social media about me, librarianship, social software

by Meredith Farkas on 3/19/2018 with 4 comments

anxiety: HELLO brain: oh no anxiety: SOMETHING IS WRONG brain: what? anxiety: THAT PERSON YOU SAID THAT ONE AWKWARD THING TO THREE YEARS AGO PROBABLY HATES YOU brain: you woke me up at 3am for THIS? anxiety: LET’S THINK ABOUT THE VOID NOW — Christine is on editing hiatus 🖤 (@christineexists) March 12, 2018 Friends, …

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Wayfinding and balance at mid-career

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Wayfinding and balance at mid-career about me, gender, librarianship, management, tenure track, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 2/20/2018 with 9 comments

It’s LIS Mental Health Week; a week focused on raising awareness of mental health. This post isn’t about mental health per se, but something that I think, for me, is very much exacerbated by anxiety and the constant negative self-appraisal that comes with it. Two blog posts really resonated with me recently. Sarah Houghton (who I believe …

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Saying goodbye to the Library Success Wiki

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Saying goodbye to the Library Success Wiki Wikis

by Meredith Farkas on 11/6/2017 with 2 comments

In July 2005, on the heels of the successful ALA Annual 2005 Wiki, I developed the Library Success Wiki. Here’s what I said about it then: “I would like this wiki to be a one-stop-shop for inspiration. All over the country, librarians are developing successful programs and doing innovative things with technology that no one …

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The ballad of the sad instruction librarian

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The ballad of the sad instruction librarian community college libraries, instruction, librarianship

by Meredith Farkas on 10/11/2017 with 17 comments

It’s been a busy Fall term so far and I haven’t had much time to spend on Twitter, but I usually check it first thing every morning. When I did one day last week, this thread caught my eye: Sitting in a FB thread of professors complaining (nicely) about unqualified librarians doing shitty instruction sessions. …

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Whose rights matter more?

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Whose rights matter more? ALA, free the information!, intellectual freedom, librarianship, libraries

by Meredith Farkas on 9/1/2017 with 13 comments

My dad recently shared with me a book, written by a distant cousin who is a professor in Israel, about her grandmother’s immigrant experience and her relatives. Her grandmother just happened to be my grandmother’s first cousin, so my grandmother, great-grand-parents, and great-great-grandmother figure in the book. Given that I knew next to nothing about …

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Framework Freakout presentation and Questions Answered

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Framework Freakout presentation and Questions Answered community college libraries, instruction, librarianship

by Meredith Farkas on 6/6/2017 with 0 comment

Last week, I gave an online presentation about the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for the ACRL Student Learning & Information Literacy Committee. It was entitled Framework Freakout: How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Live with the Framework. Way more people attended than I’d expected (you know how webinars go) and it ended up being …

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The dangers of the backchannel: my observations from the #ACRL2017 hashtag

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The dangers of the backchannel: my observations from the #ACRL2017 hashtag librarianship, libraries, social software, speaking, tech trends

by Meredith Farkas on 3/30/2017 with 9 comments

When I took my current job at PCC almost three years ago, I gained so many things: work I love, amazing engaged colleagues, a mission I identify with, terrific students, and great faculty collaborators. One of the things I lost was sufficient professional development funding. I haven’t attended an out-of-state conference in almost three years, and while …

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Holding to our values during difficult times

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Holding to our values during difficult times ALA, 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 bad about 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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