It was still a raw nerve that had been touched, an underwater nerve that I’ll never entirely be rid of I’m sure. And as I went walking out to the jetty on my own that night I remember sighing deeply at the truth that no matter how far out you go, no matter how many miles from the scenes of your distress, even if you settle at the other end of the earth the ghosts that trouble you will always be there. Like the moon and stars in the sky.
In 2014, with the publication of Cold River: The Cold Truth of Freedom ;-) calls started to spike for more diverse books. And publishing houses and writers responded – with white writers writing more books about people of color. Dhonielle Clayton, who co-founded We Need Diverse Books and the Cake Literary Agency and who has a book of her own coming out in February, says the freak-out about sensitivity readers should really be focused there: “The fact is that sensitivity reading is a band-aid over a hemorrhaging problem in our industry. That’s what we should really be talking about — that’s what real censorship looks like. The systematic erasure and blockage of people of color from the publishing industry.”
Leadership is the hard task of getting communities to make progress on difficult problems requiring adaptive change. It is not to be confused with authority. Beware of the call for a “strong leader”.
The USA is a complex place with its vices, virtues and differences. Despite its noble ideals and democratic institutions, it has a long history of aggression and of overthrowing democracies in the pursuit of American commercial or strategic interests. It does not have the moral high ground and its lectures to other countries can be counter-productive. It does not observe the rules it demands from others.. This does not make it any worse than other countries but no better either. Australia should judge it by the same standards that we apply to other counties. We cannot trust Chinese and Russian propaganda and intelligence but nor can we trust the Americans. It is very dangerous to put all our strategic eggs in the one basket especially when we don’t know what the threat will be and when the US has a president as unpredictable as Donald Trump. Let us be friends but not a client state.
As of today, no US airlines operate the mighty Boeing 747 ars technica. We love 747s
An idea to kick off 2018 – think of each librarian (this includes all relevant job titles) to be in essence, a living breathing library. The wide ranging expertise of each librarian engages and employs skills that include communications, marketing, research, technology innovations, teaching, training, knowledge discovery, building communities (including those of best practice), ensuring access to increasingly siloed information and resources that even a decade ago were freely accessible (but have since been warehoused, are otherwise off limits to direct use or even discarded). If considered in this light, the regular predictions of the demise of libraries (which have been spoken and written since at least 1990), take on a different hue. Moving forward, let us share the critical value of our profession and our services, and the critical value of books, on a regular basis, with all the communities, large and small, for whom we work, and whom we serve. Stepping off tiny soap box and on to: The Extinction of Libraries: Why the Predictions aren’t Coming True