Saying goodbye to American Libraries magazine

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Saying goodbye to American Libraries magazineabout 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 thingshi, 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 Formsfree 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 gamelibrarianship, 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… situationALA, 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 meabout 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 harmintellectual freedom, librarianship, libraries

by Meredith Farkas on 11/4/2019 with 7 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 Enoughabout 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 Enoughcareer, librarianship, libraries, management, mid-career, MPOW, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 8/19/2019 with 2 comments

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 1 – Letting Go, Questioning, and Pathfinding

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 1 – Letting Go, Questioning, and Pathfindingabout 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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“Devaluing” the MLS vs. respect for all library workers

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“Devaluing” the MLS vs. respect for all library workersALA, 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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Wayfinding and balance at mid-career

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Wayfinding and balance at mid-careerabout 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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The ballad of the sad instruction librarian

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The ballad of the sad instruction librariancommunity 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 Answeredcommunity 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 hashtaglibrarianship, 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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