This issue’s contributors and topics span academic and public institutions, rural and metropolitan libraries, political activism and personal narrative, and programming as well as abstraction. Considering instances of political action and librarianship, Oregon Library Association President Elsa Loftis begins this issue by profiling the organization. She cites its Legislative Agenda and its advocacy body, the Library Development and Legislation Committee, offering resources and steps toward political action that align with such guiding principles as Intellectual Freedom, Equitable Access, and Stewardship of Public Resources. Donna L. Cohen details a series of civic education workshops she has offered in recent months as part of an effort to combat the dissolution of social institutions and relationships that she views as playing a crucial role in forging and maintaining democracy—now losing out to the individualist and fragmentative drives of neoliberalism. Carolina Hernandez also writes about her endeavors to create and provide resources in the wake of the 2016 election, which have entailed improving upon existing fake news research guides by using pressing topical issues to draw connections to the broader importance of information literacy.
Elucidating the importance of progress through failure as well as through success, Barratt Miller and Jane Scheppke offer a vivid account of programming gone awry: an event called Guns in America in Prineville that devolved quickly into a racially-charged shouting match among attendees. Verbal melee notwithstanding, the event left both with a greater sense of how to anticipate and address both implicit and overt bias among patrons, marketing strategies for controversial topics, security precautions, and other contingencies, which they present here in a thoughtful and edifying conversation. Pondering activist tactics on a more abstract level, I contemplate the role of librarians amid political upheaval as well as some of the risks that inhere in democracy and the tenet of access to all, emphasizing the need to historicize contemporary issues and reflect on the shortcomings and successes of Oregon librarians since the state’s segregationist inception. Finally, this issue closes with an elegant, poignant narrative from Victoria Cross that relates her immersion into American culture through the work carpool she joined and all that it taught her: a Russian immigrant’s tale in microcosm.
OLA Today: Oregon Librarians Respond to Changing Times.
© 2017 OLA
Collection Development and Management Commons, Communication Technology and New Media Commons, Education Commons, Information Literacy Commons, Leadership Studies Commons, Political Science Commons, Scholarly Communication Commons, Scholarly Publishing Commons