Radical Reference events at ALA Annual in New Orleans 2006


Radical Reference events and events of interest to Radical Reference

  • All weekend: help staff the Social Responsibilities Round Table booth.
  • Saturday, June 24, 1-2pm
    Zine Interest Group, meet at Alternative Press Center booth, #3749 in the Exhibit Hall and pick a spot to talk from there.
  • Saturday, June 24, 3-4pm
    Library Education Discussion on Jobs, led by Heidi Dolamore at the SRRT booth, #3450 in the Exhibit Hall
  • Saturday, June 24, 4-5pm
    Library Education Discussion on Technology, led by Jami Lynn Schwarzwalder at the SRRT booth, #3450 in the Exhibit Hall
  • Saturday, June 24, 4:45-5:30pm
    Hand out flyers detailing Madeleine Albright's bad behavior, Conference Center, Hall F. (NOTE: THE FLYER IS ALSO ATTACHED BELOW)
  • Saturday, June 24, 6:30-8:30pm
    Meeting & Dinner at the Iron Rail Infoshop 511 Marigny St.
  • Sunday, June 25, 12-1pm
    Library Education Discussion on Adjunct Faculty, led by Rita Premo and Maggie Novario at the SRRT booth, #3450 in the Exhibit Hall
  • Sunday, June 25, 1-2pm
    Library Education Discussion on Theory vs. Practice, led by Sonya Green at the SRRT booth, #3450 in the Exhibit Hall
  • Sunday, June 25, 2-3pm
    Library Education Discussion on any/all topics, led by Jonny Cope at the SRRT booth, #3450 in the Exhibit Hall
  • Sunday, June 25, 1:30-3:30pm
    Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL) at 30 Years: Celebrating Our Roots and Visioning Our Future, featuring Rad Reffies Kathleen de la Peña McCook and Shinjoung Yeo.
  • Monday, June 26, 3-4pm
    Library Education Discussion on Quality in LIS Education, led by Danielle Pollock at the SRRT booth, #3450 in the Exhibit Hall
  • Monday, June 26, 4-5pm
    Library Education Discussion on Practical Skills, led by Laura Crossett at the SRRT booth, #3450 in the Exhibit Hall
  • Monday, June 26, 6-9pm
    Free Speech Buffet at the Omni Royal Orlean Hotel, Grand Ballroom (621 St. Louis Street).
  • Monday, June 26, 7pm at the Free Speech Buffet
    Emergency Zine Reading. Featuring readings by Ammi Emergency and a buncha librarian zinesters.

Stay tuned for info on possibly protests of Madeleine Albright and Laura Bush.

albright.pdf157.04 KB

I would say the meeting at

I would say the meeting at the Iron Rail was the best part of the conference, but in general this conference seemed to go well for me because of the RadReffers who were around. The Library Education talks didn't really happen, as far as I saw, but then there's always so much going on, and the exhibit floor doesn't make for the best place to have a nice sitdown discussion -- I think the casual conversations that occurred around the booth were a more welcome diversion from all of the workshops and lectures.

Thanks to everyone for being radical. You make it worth it.

A few things made this

A few things made this conference worth it to me. First, the Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) did a lot of good work (see Free Govt Information for a list of resolutions). I would strongly encourage folks to get involved in GODORT. For $20 a year, you get a decent mag called "Documents to the People (DttP)" and can make your voice heard in an area of librarianship (govt docs) that is the canary in the coal mine in terms of digital information and libraries.

Second, (and this one one was memorable for the wrong reasons) I got to hear Chris Anderson talk about the Long Tail. This is a really interesting concept that Anderson has come up with to explain how the economics of culture has shifted due to Web to Web technologies. What angered me -- and many others in the audience -- was when Anderson was asked about "net neutrality", a key issue if his long tail is to survive, and he said that the "market" would keep large telcoms from restricting the Web. One questioner pointed out that the history of telcoms is to monopolize networks (radio, phone and now 'net) and so Anderson's market-based argument was simply based on blind faith rather than historical fact. Needless to say, there were *many* upset librarians in the house!

Third, I too thought that the radref meeting at the Iron Rail was one of the best parts of the whole hot sweaty trip to NOLA. It's always invigorating to meet up with radref folks and to make connections with local radicals/activists. I hope that the energy and good will generated will continue and that some of the ideas/projects discussed will grow to fruition.

Keep up the good work everyone!

Here's my blog posting about

Here's my blog posting about ALA in New Orleans. (I created this blog for our education students & faculty, but lots of others find it interesting as well.) http://www.bloglines.com/blog/mesoj?id=766

I also had a swell time at the RR meeting. Thanks to all of you for your ideas, your voices, and your work! This is an amazing community, and the meetings are always the highlight of ALA gatherings.


I just, at long last,

I just, at long last, finished putting together the minutes from the RR meeting at Iron Rail, which, as others have said, was definitely one of the highlights of the conference for me. (The other main highlight for me was food, which is what happens when we rural folk get to go to the city.)

Anyway, I was going to post Dena's excellent summary (with a few additions from my notes) of the meeting and, just for kicks, my play-by-play (I'm considering stenography as an alternate career, just in case librarianship doesn't work out), but I was unable to decide on the best possible method of doing so, so I've put the task in more capable hands.

Some other good things about the conference:
*The zine reading at the Free Speech Buffet. Though there's something decidedly odd about having a zine reading in a hotel ballroom, it was still good to get to hear some of what librarians do in the off hours. I left with a copy of Stories Care Forgot, which is an anthology of New Orleans zines dealing with the hurricanes and their aftermath. I also got to talk to some people from the Neighborhood Story Project, which was started by a guy named Abram Himmelstein, who co-wrote a book called Tales of a Punk Rock Nothing with a guy named Jamie Schweser, whom I knew when he was a senior in high school and I was a frosh and we were both protesting the "first" Gulf war. (Incidentally, the closest library to me with a copy of that book is 182 miles away--but then, there are only 58 libraries in World Cat that have copies at all.)

*Hanging out with people at the SRRT booth. Even if the library education discussions didn't take place, it was good to have a refuge in the midst of the wretched excess of the exhibits, a place where you could stop and sit and talk with like-minded people and breathe a little more easily. If the exhibits are Mordor, the SRRT booth, this year, was Rivendell.

*Touring some hurricane-damaged libraries and neighborhoods in Slidell with Heidi Dolamore and a local librarian I met via a listserv.

I didn't get to stay for the Q & A at Chris Anderson's talk, so I'm glad others have written up reports on it, even if I'm sorry to hear their contents. I don't know that I managed to insert a radical perspective at any of the sessions I attended, but perhaps that was in part because I was so busy explaining to people what it's like being a librarian in a town of 351 people. Next year!

As always, it was good to see old friends and meet new ones. If you're ever out west, you know where to find me.

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