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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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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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 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 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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“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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Framework? Standards? I’m keeping it local.

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Framework? Standards? I’m keeping it local.assessment, free the information!, instruction, librarianship, libraries

by Meredith Farkas on 2/4/2015 with 8 comments

I’m sure most of you have already heard that the ACRL Board has decided to adopt the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. What I think is more interesting is that they deferred action on the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, choosing instead to take a wait-and-see approach. I think this is a …

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