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

Archive for January, 2014

’tis the season for book awards

In the world of books, these are exciting times. Many awards are announced during the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. This excitement reaches far and wide via social media as well as mass media – and as committees announce their recommendation lists and top picks.  From time to time, new awards emerge too. Other groups involved with book reviews also share fun favorites and offer suggestions for special populations such as young people living in poverty, on the streets, and/or in custody.

In 2014, the American Indian Library Association announced the recipients of their Youth Literature Awards – presented ever other year. These texts are particularly important as they provide opportunities to consider current and historical issues that are often portrayed through dominant perspectives.


Award-winning books and their reviews are enjoyable to read. That said, even our award winners may harbor dominant perspectives as evidenced by this year’s Caldecott Medalist, Locomotive.

Congratulations to all the authors, illustrators, publishers, reviewers, librarians, parents, teachers, and others who contribute to the joy of books!


LGBTQ Users SIG formed @ IFLA

In December 2013, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) approved the creation of an LGBTQ Users special interest group (SIG):

As part of our professional commitment to provide access to information, librarians are charged to support the full range of users’ informational needs including those of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) people. That said, substantial discussions of issues related to library services for LGBTQ community members have not taken place at IFLA. The LGBTQ Users SIG will address this gap in professional knowledge by offering opportunities to engage in discussions about this often-invisible user group. This SIG will enable librarians to consider topics including professional attitudes, outreach, privacy, programming, and effective practice in acquiring and collecting materials of importance to LGBTQ people and allies. This includes literature, academic texts, materials for LGBTQ youth and families, and other works that encourage thinking critically about issues of sexuality and gender identity. Dialogue to support librarians in addressing concerns raised about LGBTQ library services will also be encouraged within the SIG.

Lucas McKeever and I will co-convene the first meeting of this group later this year at the World Library and Information Congress in Lyon, France. More details and the CFP are posted here on the IFLA website.

March 2014 Update: Session details are now available.

August 2014 Update: Session program and photos from our first business meeting are now available. And Frédéric Malenfer sketched us!

IFLA LGBTQ Users SIG First Business Meeting Sketch by Frédéric Malenfer.

IFLA LGBTQ Users SIG First Business Meeting Sketch by Frédéric Malenfer.