Friday, September 28, 2018

2002: When Hate Came to Library Meeting Rooms

There has been a lot of talk about ALA's (previous) specification of including hate groups in meeting rooms. But while there has been a lot of focus on what could possibly happen if someone tries to hold a hate group meeting at the library, public librarian Lena Gluck pointed out on Twitter that we don't need to wonder - THIS has happened before. To multiple libraries. And she goes into detail about what exactly happened at each one.

With her permission, we've shared her Twitter Thread below. If you would like to see the articles citing these cases, you can check out Safer Library Spaces where they list the articles out and provide brief explanations of each. We also linked her points back to the corresponding source in the message below for your convenience.

Without further ado, let's let Lena Gluck jump us back to 2000-2002:

On the subject of #NoHateALA I want to bring attention to something. The explicit welcoming of hate groups in the meeting room interpretation was justified with cases where libraries were sued by white supremacists. The citations at the bottom of the (now rescinded) revision included cases where white supremacists tried to use library meeting rooms, were denied, sued libraries, & won. 
But what isn’t remarked upon anywhere is that these cases involved the same white supremacist group— They used to call themselves WCOTC and were led by a Nazi named Matt Hale - mentions classifies them as neo-Nazis and they are known for being extremely explicit in their calls for genocide, and enacting those calls through violent hate crime & homicide using public library meeting rooms to hold rallies was their signature tactic in the early 2000s. From 2000 to 2002 WCOTC held rallies in Bloomington Public Library, Schaumburg Township District Library, Wallingford Public Library, Chicago Public Library, Tabb Library, Martin Memorial Library, Baltimore County Public Library, & Lucius Beebe Memorial Library. Make no mistake, this was not a ‘controversial’ group holding quiet meetings, this was literal Nazis systematic co-opting libraries to terrorize communities. 
Schaumburg- one of the libraries whose case with Hale was cited in the ALA document- denied meeting room space because they feared literal *violence.* When Hale won his ‘free speech’ case against the library, he called it: “a great victory for our White Racist Cause.” 
Schaumburg, forced into letting Nazis use their meeting room, tried to protect their community by making them hold the meeting on a Saturday 2 hours after closing. Township officials brought in 250 police & spent $17,000 as a precaution. They were *scared*. The fear was with good reason. York Daily Record reported: “Streets surrounding [Martin Memorial] were barricaded & hundreds of police in riot gear turned out. Police snipers were stationed on roofs overlooking the area authorities feared could soon become a war zone.”
Mark Bray writes in 'Antifa' about how antiracist activists worked with local kids of color to go around the police to reach the fascists as they were leaving the library. One Nazi drove through the crowd of protesters in a pick-up truck— 15yrs before Charlottesville.
Local news reported a young girl was taken to the hospital by ambulance and that a Nazi skinhead pulled a gun on antiracist protesters. Twenty-five people were arrested. Picture living in this neighborhood and the trauma this meeting room reservation caused.
In Tabb, WCOTC had a two-hour long rally in the library meeting room while they were guarded by 170 police officers with riot gear. The entire library had to close and police wouldn’t allow parking within a mile of the library.
Think about this in material terms— to let Nazis use the meeting room, the city spent thousands of dollars and closed the entire library, shut down roads. So, Nazis were prioritized over every other member of the community who needed library service/materials that day. 
This is what it looks like when we prioritize Nazi speech— it looks like denying everyone else’s speech. It looks like silencing and kicking out PoC and Jewish folks. That’s how fascism works on a basic material level, and it’s intentional.
Wakefield Library drew a direct connection between their own experience with this group in 2002 to the well-publicized Charlottesville rally of 2017. Ann McGonigle Santos, a member of the Board said, "Their racist chants, Nazi salutes and messages of hate are remembered by all who were there to witness it... We’re still fighting this fight. And to not have a national leadership that is embracing the fight that our little town of Wakefield did in 2002 is also shocking."
The only reason this didn’t continue beyond 2002 is because Matt Hale got a 40 year sentence for plotting to assassinate a federal judge towards the end of that year. The US judge who gave the sentence was quoted saying: "I consider Mr. Hale to be extremely dangerous."
PoC & Jewish folks in all the communities he terrorized KNEW he was extremely dangerous. Libraries KNEW he was extremely dangerous. Libraries tried to protect their communities and when they were stripped of their ability to, communities were forced to defended themselves.
So when someone argues that public librarians must allow fascists to use our meeting rooms, know that these are the cases they’re referring to. And know that this argument is the exact same one made to deny libraries any agency in protecting their neighborhoods.
It IS important to reference these cases, because it was an absolutely horrific campaign of violence orchestrated within library buildings. But we have a moral obligation to find ways to DEFEND & SUPPORT our libraries, not contribute to their powerlessness in this fight.
We need to pour energy into legally and materially defending public libraries who stand up to dangerous fascist organizers to protect their communities. NOT pour energy into spinning our wheels talking about "slippery slope" hypotheticals. We don’t need to talk about hypotheticals- we need to talk about the material reality of librarians being rendered powerless to protect their communities & communities being traumatized by homicidal fascists. This isn’t a debate about Intellectual Freedom in the abstract this is the decision between supporting public librarians or hanging them out to dry when Nazis come to town. We are talking about the direction of our field as a whole, whether or not we will collectively stand in solidarity with individual libraries who take a stand.
Do we support librarians and communities who fight even in the face of a legal system who won’t consider a fascist “extremely dangerous” until he threatens to kill a judge (after decades of explicitly of threatening to kill Black & Jewish people)? Or do we abandon them? That is the question antiracist librarians are asking of ALA. That is the question that will be answered in the new revision of the meeting room interpretation.

It is scary to think this could happen again, just 16 years later. Have you checked your library's meeting room policy? Now is the time to evaluate it and see if you can make your library safer, before someone makes a request. (You can visit Safer Library Spaces for examples of how you can do this.) Let's learn from history instead of watching it repeat itself.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Ready to Go Book Display: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Welcome to our series, "Ready to Go! Book Display." Once a month we'll highlight the latest or greatest for every age group that you can promote within your library or order for your collection. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be coming to theaters on November 16, 2018. Make sure you are ready with these new books from the wizarding world.


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling (Nov 2018)

This second original screenplay from J.K. Rowling, illustrated with stunning line art from MinaLima, expands on earlier events that helped shape the wizarding world, with some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelward: Movie Magic by Jody Revenson (Nov 2018)

Packed with captivating facts and incredible images from the making of the film, this book features kid-friendly behind-the-scenes looks at the characters, magical locations, beasts, and artifacts seen on-screen.

Lights, Camera, Magic!: The Making of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by Ian Nathan (Nov 2018)

This narrative tells the full story behind the film, from script to screen, with profiles of the key characters and revealing insights.

The Art of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by Dermot Power (Nov 2018)

This book takes you through the filming journey of The Crimes of Grindelwald with insights from Stuart Craig and the artists who worked on the film.

The Archive of Magic: The Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by Signe Bergstorm (Nov 2018)

Readers are transported behind the scenes of J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World for an enchanting, close-up look at Newt Scamander and his colorful trove of cohorts - beasts and wizards alike.

Harry Potter Page to Screen: Updated Edition by Bob McCabe (Nov 2018)
In addition to the complete history of all eight Harry Potter films, the book now explores the theme parks in Florida, California and Japan, the sets and props in Leavesden, England, and the House of MinaLima, founded by the graphic designers on the the films.

Harry Potter Film Wizardry: Updated Edition by Brian Sibley (Nov 2018)

This revised edition includes additional pages about the final two film installments.

Harry Potter: Imagining Hogwarts: A Beginner's Guide to Moviemaking by Bryan Michael Stoller (Oct 2018)

This fun, practical guide teaches you to make your own movie set at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With guided activities on every aspect of moviemaking, from creating your own storyboard to making costumes and event postproduction, this book will teach you how to create your movie masterpiece step-by-step.

The Art of Harry Potter: Mini Book of Graphic Design (Oct 2018)

This miniature art book features iconic pieces of graphic design from the pages of the Daily Prophet to the zany creations of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, to the numerous textbooks, posters, and documents created for the Harry Potter films.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic (Oct 2018)

Published in conjunction with the special exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic, this complete catalogue of the over 150 artifacts on display gives readers an up-close look at magical treasures from all over the world.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard: The Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Lisbeth Zwerger (Oct 2018)

A new illustrated edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard contains five richly imaginative stories of adventure, cunning, heartache, and of course, magic.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts: A Movie Scrapbook by Jody Revenson (Oct 2018)

This magical scrapbook takes readers behind the scenes of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, covering everything from how students arrive at the school and are sorted into their houses to the many magical subjects they study while there.

Harry Potter: Creatures: A Paper Scene Book (Oct 2018)

Revisit the magic of Harry Potter through four intricate, multilayer dioramas that capture beloved moments from the films.

Harry Potter: Diagon Alley: A Movie Scrapbook by Jody Revenson (Jul 2018)

This magical scrapbook takes readers on an interactive tour of Diagon Alley, from Gringotts Wizarding Bank to Ollivanders wand shop, Weasleys Wizard Wheezes, and beyond.

Friday, September 14, 2018

How To Gracefully Leave A Job

So you have accepted a shiny new position, and you're super excited about it. Well done, you! Of course, before you can start your new job, you need to leave your old one, and that is never easy.

Because librarians are all about service, we always want to leave things in the best situation we can. Here are some tips that should help ease the transition for you, your employer, and the person who will be stepping into your shoes.

Give Ample Notice

Of course, giving two weeks' notice (at least) is good form, as is making sure that your boss knows before you tell any coworkers, and before you post anything on social media. This is all common sense, but always bears repeating.

It's up to you if you want to let any regular patrons and families know that you will be leaving. If you do, you may encounter unwanted attention or even tears, but not giving notice may leave your patrons feeling confused or abandoned. It's absolutely up to you; I have found that telling people at programs (such as storytime) is a good way to let everyone know, while avoiding making a big show of things. Then again, if you are retiring (or even if you're not), you may want to throw yourself a big party. It's absolutely your call!

It's also a good idea to let any community contacts know that you're leaving. If you're the point person for the local school district, contact them and let them know who they should be speaking with, instead.

Leave Things In Good Order

As public service professionals, a librarian's main concern is the public. While it may be tempting to slack off and not care what happens once we're gone, the truth is that we do care (or we wouldn't be in this line of work). Leaving everything in good order is not just the professional way, it's also just plain considerate. This includes:

  • Make plans for upcoming programs. - Many of us plan programs weeks or even months in advance, and leaving a job with only a couple weeks' notice doesn't give as much time to tie up loose ends as we'd like. Take time to discuss with your supervisor any upcoming events on the calendar. Will they be canceled, or will someone else be able to run them? If a performer is scheduled, be sure to send along any contact information to your supervisor, and alert the performer of correct person to speak in your absence.
  • Make plans for upcoming book orders and subscriptions. - Even the most prepared new hire will need some time to get their feet under them when in a new position. If you take care of any book ordering or subscriptions, make sure they're set up for a couple months after you're gone. (For example, have carts of books ready for purchase with anticipated titles.)
  • Leave a list of passwords and other log-in information that may be needed. - You'd be surprised how often a staff laptop is sitting around with nobody able to log in, or a professional social media account with nobody authorized to run it! If you aren't comfortable leaving passwords (for example, social media is often linked to personal accounts), make sure administrative power is granted to someone actively working at your library. They can always transfer power to a new person later.
  • Write instructions for any quirky things to know. - Sure, you know that when this specific patron comes in and asks for a mystery, they mean the newest Joanne Fluke cozy, but how the heck would anybody else know? Think of as many random tidbits of information you can, and write them down. Save your replacement oodles of time!
  • Leave a note for the person who will be filling your shoes - Every library has its own community and its own likes and dislikes. (My current library, for example, has very little interest in fantasy novels, which is very unusual in my experience!) Make some notes. What has been successful? What hasn't gone over well? What days should you totally avoid holding programs because that's when everyone in town goes to Zumba? If your replacement decides not to use this information, that's their choice, but nobody can say you didn't try to start them off on a good foot.
  • Set up an email away message. - Your work email may be deactivated right away, or it may take a great deal of time, but in either case, it's probably a good idea to set up an away message stating that you are no longer reachable at this library, and letting your contacts know who the correct person to reach out to will be going forward, whether it's your replacement (if known) or your supervisor.

Take Care of Your Own Needs

You've cleaned out your desk and made sure you grabbed all the photos of your cats, that Tide pen that lives in your top drawer, and your Nancy Pearl action figure. What more could you possibly need to do?

  • Copy any digital files you want to keep. - Did you really spend hours making up a Winter Reading Challenge BINGO board, only to leave it behind? Check and see if there are any book lists, information fliers, pamphlets, or the like that you may be able to adapt to your new environment, and stick them on a flash drive. Not sure if you want it? Luckily, digital files don't take up that much space.
  • Clean your workspace. - As mentioned, of course make sure that you get any of your own personal items. Also, make sure you leave everything else in good order. That stapler you borrowed from cataloging? Bring it back. Those genre stickers shoved in your desk drawer? Organize them quickly. Maybe even give your desk a quick swipe down with a bleach wipe. If nothing else, it'll force you to go through everything one last time and make sure you have all your personal items.
  • Go through storage. - I'm always amazed at how many craft samples or program posters I save. Do you want to take these things with you? If not, will anyone else really want to keep them around? Save staff the trouble and get rid of unnecessary stuff, being sure to grab anything you know you want to hold onto. (This will also help you remember things that you personally own that may have been shuffled to storage for safekeeping, like that raccoon puppet that comes out at storytime every year or so, but really belongs to you.)
  • Make a list of contacts you would like to keep. - Whether you're moving to the next town over or across the country, there may be some professional contacts you would like to keep. Send your personal email a list of contacts, so you can easily find that performer you loved, that author who gave the amazing talk, that vendor with the exceptional books. If you never use the contacts list, that's okay, but it's always better to have something and not need it, than to need something and not have it. (You may also want to share these contacts with your replacement.)
  • Prepare for later. - Of course, your new job is going to be perfect and you're never ever going to leave it. But just in case: it can't hurt to get written references from supervisors to keep in your pocket. It also can't hurt to make sure your resume is in perfect order, adding in all your job responsibilities while they are fresh in your mind. If you are leaving for another job, you have likely done this for the job search, but if you're leaving for another reason - to stay home with your kids, or to take care of a parent, or maybe to travel the world - you may not have done this already.

In Conclusion

Easing the transition for yourself and your replacement has no downside. If you can think of any other tips, please let us know here in the comments, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Weeding Challenge: Business Books

It's that time again. Summer Reading is over, the holidays have not yet begun, and  -- it's time for another weeding challenge!

This time, let's take a look at the business books. Sure, technology moves fast, but it's not like management or general office skills change that much, right? A book on resumes is a book on resumes! Maybe not so much.

Weeding Generalities

As we discussed in our other Weeding Challenges (Cookbooks and Craft Books and Staying Trendy), and in our popular Weeding 101 article, the main things that most librarians look for when weeding a collection are condition, age, usage statistics, and usefulness. Of course, when there is ample shelf space in one area and another is bursting at the seams, weeding of the roomy section can be often overlooked, even when more relevant titles have been added.

Things to keep in mind when weeding:

  • How long has it been since this book last went out?
  • Are other/better books on these topics available either at this library or for purchase?
  • Do we really need books on this topic? 
  • Do we really need THIS book on this topic?
  • Is this laughably outdated? (If it is, send us photos!)

The CREW method of weeding (Kat's personal favorite weeding method) recommends that computer books are replaced when they are 3 years old, regardless of how often they go out. Considering how much of business is now online, I'd argue that business books should be held to roughly the same standards.

Specific Things to Look For

Once you've gotten the obvious problem items taken care of, it's time to dig a little deeper. Here's a handy list of things to check for when deciding whether or not to keep a business book that looks okay.

Lack of Websites and Technology

As we all know, everything is online now. General usage doesn't hyphenate "on-line" anymore, so that word right there is a nice red flag for you to think closely about keeping a book.

 How to Get a Job NOW! Six Easy Steps to Getting a Better Job
by J. Michael Fort, published 1997

This book doesn't look too bad, but when you flip through, you'll find that you need to look for a job by "knocking on doors" and flipping through the classified ads. Literally nobody does that anymore.

Resume Writing: A Comprehensive How-To-Do-It Guide
by Burdette E. Bestwick, published 1990

As you may be able to tell from the cover, this book recommends that you write out your resume long-hand, and then go type it up where you can use a computer.
The Enterprising Woman by Mari Florence, published 1998

This one doesn't look too bad! There are plenty of books about women wanting to get into business. Of course, it is 20 years old...

And it has this page in it:

If you can't read the writing, please enjoy these direct quotes:

"Putting up a Web site is becoming as important as advertising with newspapers, television stations, and billboards."

"Companies such as America Online offer free Web sites to their customers."

"Some entrepreneurs are getting their sites into search engines, which basically serve as a Web directory."

Century 21 Accounting: A First-Year Course by Robert M. Swanson, published 1982

Accounting never gets old! Except, instead of using online software and spreadsheets, you use a big ol' notebook and a pencil.

Irrelevant Skill-sets

Gregg Shorthand
newly updated for 1971!

Shorthand and stenography is a neat skill, but maybe not one that we need to have multiple books about?

 General Age and/or Level of Bias

The Change Masters by Rosabeth Moss Kanter
published 1983

This one looks brand new! Unfortunately, that's because it hasn't been used much. Book on innovation are always good, but one from 1983 might be a little bit behind the times.

The Woman's Guide to Management Success: How to Win Power in the Real Organizational World by Joan Koob Cannie, published 1979

This is far and away my favorite book that I found. Look at her confident expression as she casually leans on the Twin Towers...

Knock Em' Dead 2000 by Martin Yate, published 2000

Anything with a date on it that is over 5 years old, is ready to be retired.

In Conclusion

This is a gentle reminder to go ahead and check your shelves, and see what may need to be taken care of. My library has many wonderful business and resume titles available for public use. We just also have a few that may be ready to go.

Let us know what you think here in the comments, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter.