it is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.

Archive for November, 2013

why can’t they dance?

privilege may be defined as any unearned benefit or advantage one receives in society by nature of one’s identity. examples of aspects of identity that can afford privilege include: race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, class/wealth, ability and citizenship you’re committed to social justice, it is important to be aware of and regularly check your own privilege — because systemic oppression hurts everyone.

aamer rahman’s thoughtful piece serves as an entertaining reminder.


hang @ your library


via designtaxi

books as building blocks


Librarians are charged to develop collections and provide access to materials. Weeding is an essential aspect of this process. While specific criteria vary, weeding policies are usually based on circulation, physical condition, and accuracy. In order to reduce waste, discarded books are often resold, donated, or recycled. As LJ reported, Dalhousie University Libraries recently partnered with a local community resource center to repurpose their discards in an innovative way.

The Blockhouse School Project is based on principles of permaculture: caring for the earth and people via sustainable systems. Dal delivered 10,000 discarded books to the Blockhouse School to use in insulating the building. They were stacked into a wall of books and covered with a mixture of clay, sand, and straw.

Blockhouse School also hosted a New Life for Old Books exhibit and asked community members to develop more repurposing ideas via art, craft, garden, construction, installations, performance — anything else you can think of!

the people shall continue


For decades, November has been known as Native American Heritage Month. During this month, lots of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Many books depicting this holiday emphasize a meal shared between Pilgrims and Indians devoid of indigenous perspectives. Fortunately, esteemed scholar Debbie Reese has put together a helpful list of books to counter this omission:

  1. The People Shall Continue by Simon Ortiz
  2. Muskrat Will Be Swimming by Cheryl Savageau
  3. First Americans, series by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
  4. Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith
  5. The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

i find the term ‘perfect child’ to be an oxymoron



Dear Barbara Park,

Thank you  for sharing your talents via children’s literature. Thank you for entertaining and encouraging millions of readers. Thank you for helping us better understand stupid stuff.


Junie B., First Grader et al.

for some reason i’ve never felt grown up

The Jewish Museum is hosting an exhibit on the art of William Steig, author of Shrek! which includes a delightful and informative online feature.


currently operating in solidarity with…

I work with several knowledgable and dedicated colleagues as part of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign LGBT Ally Network Training Committee. Each month we offer training events open to faculty, staff, and students on campus and beyond–including folks from the community and affiliates of other universities in central Illinois.

At training sessions, we discuss recent history and current LGBTQ issues and provide opportunities to consider new perspectives. For example, when did you choose to be straight? In addition, there is usually lively discussion about definitions and roles of allies. We talk about allyship as a process of learning and being involved (e.g., by debunking myths, expressing support, advocacy, etc.). This sort of dialogue is also encouraged at our local UP Center.

As Mia McKenzie describes, allyship is a practice. It’s an active thing that must be done over and over again, in the largest and smallest ways, every day.  


Out @ Lunch – Illini Union (fall 2012)