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In 1972 the librarians were revolting.
October 7, 2002 9:49 AM   Subscribe

In 1972 the librarians were revolting. Now they're at it again. Katia Roberto and Jessamyn West are compiling a sequel to the famous (or infamous) classic of radical librarianship. [more inside]
posted by IshmaelGraves (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Finally available online after many years out of print (I obtained a copy, appropriately, via inter-library loan), Revolting Librarians is a collection of short pieces by radical librarians such as the ubiquitous Sandy Berman on everything from homophobia in subject headings to 22nd-century information systems. It has been called a fine example of the best and worst of '60's thinking.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:50 AM on October 7, 2002


these are great links. i love the underground press style (there i'm thinking mostly of the Berkeley Barb) that seemed to be pretty common in the sixties: yes, at times, it was absolutely terrible, but also, occasionally, it was fantastic fantastic writing.

sort of (and, yes, i'm *ducking* a bit here because of my lack of familarity, so pardon any off comparisions) like today's zine scene. I mean, you've got fantastic zines like "cometbus", and then, uh, well, i don't really read bad zines, but apparently they're out there.

someone may want to mirror the site you linked, it appears to be a personal site that may have a transfer limit.
posted by fishfucker at 10:06 AM on October 7, 2002


Strange. I always thought the words "radical" and "librarian" were always mutually exclusive.
posted by pemulis at 10:07 AM on October 7, 2002


i always found our high school librarian pretty revolting.
posted by quonsar at 10:08 AM on October 7, 2002


You'd be surprised, pemulis. I worked in a library for my first year as a taxpayer, and while the ladies I worked with were for the most part in their mid thirties, several years out of style and very, very single, they were also some of the most spirited and thoughtful coworkers that I've had to date.
posted by SpecialK at 10:15 AM on October 7, 2002


some of the most spirited and thoughtful coworkers that I've had to date.

The missing comma between "had" and "to" makes this sentence rather, special SpecialK. ;]
posted by thomcatspike at 10:36 AM on October 7, 2002


I know some really cool people who work in libraries....
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:37 AM on October 7, 2002


You haven't met enough of them, pemulis. I know a couple of librarians here in Seattle, and I've met Jessamyn a few times; "radical" might not be the first thing that comes to mind but it certainly doesn't take long.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:03 AM on October 7, 2002


Some librarians are radical, and some are not, but most of the ones I've met are certainly quirky and iconoclastic. There is a strong progressive contigent even today, although it's certainly a different thing than it was in the early 70s. Viz. the Progressive Librarians' Guild, librarian Mark Rozenzweig's campaign to get the Library of Congress to give the Communist Party of the USA its papers back, Rory Litwin's Library Juice, etc. And that's not even getting into the fairly uncompromising interpretations of the First Amendment that are de rigeur in the library world.

Personally I'm excited to see how Revolting Librarians Redux will differ from the original Revolting Librarians, given the fairly significant cultural differences between 1972 and 2002.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 12:37 PM on October 7, 2002


some of the most spirited and thoughtful coworkers that I've had to date

Actually, thomcatspike, you can't put a comma in there, which makes the sentence even more special -- as fine an example of inherent ambiguity as I've seen in many a moon! (Time flies...)
posted by languagehat at 1:54 PM on October 7, 2002


I'm excited to see how Revolting Librarians Redux will differ from the original Revolting Librarians

well, ours will be a bit longer, for one thing. Second it doesn't have that Moosewood-y Cookbook hippie drawing feel to it; it's a lot of dense footnoted articles, some good strong rants, a bibliography [or two] and some other good stuff. A comic from Alison Bechdel, more from Sandy Berman. A lot of good information from a lot of people you haven't heard of but might like if you got to know them. You know the drill. Estimated publication date is something like mid-2003. Let me know if you want to be on the annoucement list when and if it ever comes out.
posted by jessamyn at 6:24 PM on October 7, 2002


laguagehat you got me again,. With the pause missing I like how it read. And yes after I posted, thinking ",to" looks wrong for sure. I should of just said, are they still hiring?
posted by thomcatspike at 2:18 PM on October 10, 2002


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