Thoughts from the Feminism in Library and Information Science Un-Conference

I spent this last weekend surrounded by beautiful, strong, brilliant, feminist librarians at the Feminism and Library Science Unconfrence.

Here are some of the highlights I’m going to keep in mind especially regarding prison library work:

  • Question your motives and explore reasons behind your interest in your work and projects by having an internal dialogue – ask yourself “What are my motivations behind my actions and interest in this?”
  • If there are bans on library books or policies that affect patrons ability to fulfill their information needs, we, as radical librarians, need to tell our patrons about these policies and where one can access what they are looking for outside their library. As prison librarians, this could mean ensuring patrons have access to a books to prisoners organization that they can request books from via the mail if it is not in conflict with the said policy.
  • When assessing the needs of a community, your report cannot be solely  a deficit report; highlight the community’s strengths and accomplishments.
  • Even though librarians might fear that / feel like they are becoming institutionalized by their employer, remember that librarianship is a form of subversive infiltration.
  • Libraries stand for openness, learning, potential, and success; prison is about confinement, control, surveillance, and being kept. So, what does it mean to have a library in a prison?

If you are interested in more about the conference or viewing resources and readings in Feminism in LIS, visit the Unconference’s wiki. You can also view the twitter feed from the unconference at #feminismLIS.

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