Well, well… just when it seemed this blog was utterly dormant…

We have been quite busy since our last post in, er, February, too busy to post it seems. I thought I’d write a longish update on where we’ve been and in my next post, talk about where we’re going with this project.

Since the last post on building solidarity in academic librarianship, we have not held any further teach-ins or workshops. We got pulled into a whirlwind of writing about this project and decided to go with it. This work helped clarify our principles and goals, and the new research we were doing helped to productively complicate the project as well. And of course simultaneously we’ve been watching the ongoing mayoral drama in our city, the education problems in our province and also in Quebec, the ongoing devastation at Library and Archives Canada, and various efforts to resist austerity across the world. We live in interesting times.

Anyway, in the last seven months or so in regards to this particular project we:

1) Wrote a book chapter for a new Library Juice Press book called Information Literacy for Social Justice:Radical Professional Praxis (eds Shana Higgins and Lua Gregory). The book will be out in Spring 2013 and we’ll share a link to the book chapter at that time. We’re really pleased with how this thing turned out… we did a bunch of reading and thinking about neoliberalism and how it impacts our work as librarians, as well as trying to describe the Occupy your Mind event as the exact sort of IL activity that might disrupt our otherwise techno-managerial positions within the academy and open the possibility of meaningful dialogue and community building in and out of our ivory towers. The chapter is called “The Public Academic Library: Creating Friction in the Teflon Funnel.” Subsequently, we’ve been thinking and talking amongst ourselves about how to bring the public-ness back into the academic library, both in terms of opening access to our collections, but also in terms of being a community reference and referral resource for student/faculty needs beyond the academic. And while thinking about the public library and the academic library, we also found ourselves out walking the line with our striking colleagues at the Toronto Public Library, and writing frustrated letters to the mayor.

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Just a brief update – taking our cue from the Open Library at Occupy Toronto – our current plan is to host a knowledge sharing circle about the Occupy movement here at the Scott Library. Recognizing that people are curious about what it is all about, and that this a great pedagogical opportunity to occupy their curiosity… we’ll invite York people who have been to the occupation to come and talk about what they saw there, why they think it’s important (or not), etc. Very casual, probably held in the collaboratory.  The library tie in is pretty obvious:  knowledge sharing, social engagement of students in particular, York’s social justice focus… perhaps we were overthinking it in the previous post. Or not… the issues raised there will hopefully surface in the knowledge sharing circle.

So, next we have to figure out how to advertise it and who to get out! Excited!

Also stay tuned for our next post on “radical irrelevancy” as professional praxis in librarianship.