Shaking Things Up: Progressive And Radical Librarians

Shaking Things Up: Progressive And Radical
Librarians,
Marylaine Block, Ex Libris
‘In
many ways, you have to be some sort of a radical to be a
librarian,’ anarchist librarian Jessamyn West tells Marylaine Block
in her website Ex Libris. ‘Start out super-smart, get
a lot of education, then devote yourself to a low- to middle-paying
social service job where even your friends make jokes about your
co-workers–if not you directly–and think you can be replaced by a
computer. It’s no wonder a lot of us have something to say on the
matter.’ From the Lipstick Librarian to the Street Librarian,
West’s Ex Libris interview shows how many librarians are
anything but sweet little old ladies in comfortable shoes. West
breaks radical librarians into two main categories: those who want
to change the way the profession is perceived, and those working to
change the system from within. West mentions the Modified
Librarian, who combines the beauty of body modification and the
pursuit of knowledge, and Sandy Berman, who ‘has lobbied the
Library of Congress to include more realistic subject headings like
Gay Poets and Lesbian Detectives.’ Block, herself a librarian,
created Ex Libris as a research tool for others in her
field. The site is a great reference for anyone searching for
information or just curious about fringe librarians.
–Sara V.
Buckwitz
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