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!
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:
- The People Shall Continue by Simon Ortiz
- Muskrat Will Be Swimming by Cheryl Savageau
- First Americans, series by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
- Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith
- The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
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)