Universal design for work? librarianship, libraries, management, slow librarianship, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 5/12/2022 with 3 comments

I’ve had migraines for over 20 years. I didn’t seek workplace accommodations for them until this year. The biggest barrier to getting accommodations at work was my own internalized ableism, but of course I came by it honestly in our society. There were two elements holding me back. The first was shame about my limitations. …

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So I’m a conspiracy theorist now? A call for retraction

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So I’m a conspiracy theorist now? A call for retraction free the information!, librarianship, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 3/19/2022 with 11 comments

I know a lot of librarians get mad about poorly informed articles about libraries all the time. It’s rare that I ever really get truly angry about an article. I expect nothing less from the NY Times at this point than both-side-ism and “Nazis! They’re just like us” articles. I expect too-late, tone-deaf statements from …

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“Listening theater” and employee voice

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“Listening theater” and employee voice libraries, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 12/5/2021 with 10 comments

I’ve been reading a lot about employee voice and silencing in organizations and there’s a phenomenon I haven’t really seen discussed explicitly in the literature, though it’s possible I’ve missed something since I wasn’t doing a comprehensive lit review (apologies if I missed something!). I don’t know if I am coining a new term here, …

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Saying goodbye to American Libraries magazine

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Saying goodbye to American Libraries magazine about me, ALA, american libraries, career, librarianship, writing

by Meredith Farkas on 5/31/2021 with 1 comment

I’ve been pretty good about not making big life changes during the pandemic. We didn’t get a pandemic dog, even after finally getting our yard completely fenced-in last August. I’ve tamed many, many impulses I had during the pandemic because it seemed like the wrong time to make or unmake big commitments. I didn’t want …

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In all the bad… some good things

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In all the bad… some good things hi, libraries, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 12/29/2020 with 2 comments

Wow, this has been a hard year. No one’s life has been untouched by 2020 between the pandemic and unrelenting proof that the social safety net has been dismantled by late-stage capitalism, the state-sanctioned murders of black and brown people and ensuing protests, the horrendous wildfires that felt like horsemen of the coming climate apocalypse, and a stressful election. It’s horrifying. …

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Making Customizable Interactive Tutorials with Google Forms

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Making Customizable Interactive Tutorials with Google Forms free the information!, Higher Ed, instruction, librarianship, online education, reference, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 11/5/2020 with 3 comments

In September, I gave a talk at Oregon State University’s Instruction Librarian Get-Together about the interactive tutorials I built at PCC last year that have been integral to our remote instructional strategy. I thought I’d share my slides and notes here in case others are inspired by what I did and to share the amazing …

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The crushing expectations on working women and where’s my fucking village?

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The crushing expectations on working women and where’s my fucking village? career, libraries, management, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 8/3/2020 with 9 comments

On Friday and Saturday, my Twitter feed was full of anger and frustration over a blog post on the ALSC (Association for Library Services to Children) Blog. Entitled “How Motherhood Has Influenced Me as a Children’s Librarian,” the post was problematic because it suggested (probably unintentionally) that childless children’s librarians could not connect with patrons as much or have …

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Recognition doesn’t have to be a zero sum game

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Recognition doesn’t have to be a zero sum game librarianship, libraries, management, speaking, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 5/18/2020 with 1 comment

As usual, the week the 2020 Library Journal Movers and Shakers were announced, I saw plenty of complaints about the award and, in some cases, awardees. I’ve been reading this sort of hurtful negativity since 2006 when I was named a Mover and Shaker (and a friend of mine wrote a blog comment calling us “the …

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Thoughts on work, well-being, solidarity, and advocacy in our current… situation

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Thoughts on work, well-being, solidarity, and advocacy in our current… situation ALA, hi, librarianship, libraries, management, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 4/8/2020 with 3 comments

I have been wanting to blog for weeks. I have several blog posts I started that I just couldn’t get through. My attention span reminds me of my son’s at age 5 when his teacher delicately suggested we should have him assessed for ADHD. It rapidly jumps between various tasks at hand, my family, my …

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#LISMentalHealth: That time my brain and job tried to kill me

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#LISMentalHealth: That time my brain and job tried to kill me about me, classic blunders, librarianship, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 2/18/2020 with 6 comments

Happy LIS Mental Health Week friends! I want to start this post by recognizing someone who has done a great deal to support library workers’ mental health in the face of toxic workplaces, Kaetrena Davis Kendrick. Kaetrena has done some incredibly valuable research on low morale and toxic workplaces in librarianship and has created an awesome …

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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 9 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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