Book Review & Great Images

In honor of Women’s History Month, here’s a related book review and some truly wonderful accompanying images for Denise Kiernan’s The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II.

via Boing Boing.

Women of Library History on Tumblr

logo of the Feminist Task Force of the American Library Association

To wrap up Women’s History Month, we want to point you to this incredible resource from the Feminist Task Force of the American Library Association. Women of Library History highlights a different woman for each day of the month. Make sure you check out their Call for Submissions (2014), too. Is there someone in your library you’d like to highlight?

Women of Library History can be accessed at: http://womenoflibraryhistory.tumblr.com

International Women’s Day 2014

Happy Women’s History Month!

To begin the month, we are highlighting International Women’s Day on March 8. The official United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2014 is “Equality for women is progress for all.” Another theme that sprang from this is “Inspiring change.” Below are some resources and news topics.

How are you celebrating on your campus? What resources have we missed?

CFP: Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies Colloquium

image banner of the Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies Colloquium to be held at the University of Toronto in October 2014

An announcement from Litwin Books, LLC:

CFP:
Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies Colloquium
The University of Toronto, October 18, 2014

Gender and sexuality are two of the critical organizing axes of contemporary life. Alongside and intersecting with race, class, nation, and others, they constitute the ways through which we make ourselves known to ourselves and to one another: as men, women, or one of the 58 new gender options offered by Facebook, and as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, and all the other varied and ever-changing linguistic markers of preferences of physical and emotional intimacy. Just as legal studies, the hard and social sciences, philosophy and literature, information studies is a discourse called to respond to the challenges posed by critical perspectives on gender and sexuality. Perhaps more than any other discipline, information studies confronts the theoretical with the material. How do both the “the archive” and the archive organize, and how are they organized by, gender and sexuality? From the collections we build to the access tools we design to the histories we collect, catalog, and preserve, information studies theorists and practitioners are always engaged in the projects of making and being made.

We invite proposals to join and extend these conversations during a one-day colloquium to be held at the University of Toronto on October 18, 2014. Presentations will consist of individual papers organized around themes that emerge from the submissions.

Suggested topics include:

  • Information studies and its engagements with cross-disciplinary theories of gender and sexuality
  • Practice-based responses to critical theories of gender and sexuality in information responses
  • Critical approaches to cataloging and classification
  • Feminist and queer library pedagogies, both in information studies schools and at the K-12 and undergraduate levels
  • Queer and feminist archival practices, both theoretical and material
  • Sexed and gendered labor in information environments
  • Intersections of gender and sexuality with race, class, and other axes of social organization
  • Critical feminist and queer critiques of the technologies of information production, organization, and dissemination

Please submit abstracts of no more than 500 words to emily.drabinski@gmail.com.

Proposals due May 1, 2014. Notification June 1, 2014.

Thanks to the University of Toronto Faculty of Information for generously hosting this colloquium.

Gender Composition of Scholarly Publications

Researchers at the University Washington’s Eigenfactor Project have produced a gender browser that shows how many female authors were published in JSTOR journals between 1665 and 2011.

A few pertinent facts:

  • For the overall period (1665-2011), only 22% of authorships of any author position are women
  • Women had the highest percentage of authorships (37.3%) for Education
  • Women were the least represented in Mathematics (6.6%)
  • During the period of 1990-2011, the overall percentage of female authors rose to just over 27%. In other words, men were still over twice as likely to be authors than women.

(The Chronicle of Higher Education has a very nice interactive graphic of the results, but you’ll need an online subscription to access it).

Accardi wins 2014 ACRL WGSS Significant Achievement Award

image of Maria T Accardi

Release reprinted from: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2014/02/accardi-wins-2014-acrl-wgss-significant-achievement-award

CHICAGO – Maria T. Accardi, coordinator of library instruction at Indiana University Southeast, is the winner of the 2014 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS) Award for Significant Achievement in Woman’s Studies Librarianship. The WGSS award honors a significant or one-time contribution to women’s studies librarianship.

A plaque will be presented to Accardi at 8:30 a.m. on June 30, 2014, at the WGSS program during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

“The committee selected Maria T. Accardi based on her noteworthy accomplishment, the 2013 book ‘Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction,’ published by Library Juice Press,” said award Chair Jennifer Mayer, associate librarian at the University of Wyoming. “The committee was impressed by her book-length treatment of the intersection of information literacy and feminist theory, which is unique, important and fills a gap in the literature.”

“While theoretical, the book is also an accessible, practical handbook including exercises and assessment strategies,” noted Mayer. “Accardi’s work also helps readers apply and integrate feminist pedagogical approaches in less-likely places—across the curriculum, in online classes, and with students who may not identify with feminism or understand the relevance in their lives. Committee members valued the wide appeal of Accardi’s book. ‘Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction’ is a must-read for any librarian with interests in feminist issues, pedagogy, and library instruction.”

Accardi received her M.L.I.S. from the University of Pittsburgh and her M.A. in English from the University of Louisville.

For more information regarding the ACRL WGSS Award for Significant Achievement in Woman’s Studies Librarianship, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.

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The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at www.acrl.org, Facebook at www.facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

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For Immediate Release

Mon., 02/03/2014

Contact:

Chase Ollis
Program Coordinator
ACRL
collis@ala.org

Call for Proposals – 2014 WGSS Poster Session

The Women & Gender Studies Section will hold its 7th annual Research Poster Session during our General Membership Meeting at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on Saturday, June 28, 2014, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. The forum seeks to provide an opportunity to present newly completed research or work in progress. Both beginning and established researchers are welcome to apply. Participants may receive collaborative feedback and recommendations for future publishing and/or new initiatives.

The potential scope of the topics includes, but is not limited to, teaching methods, instruction, information technology, collection development, interdisciplinarity, and collaboration with academic faculty.
* For research ideas, see the newly updated Research Agenda for Women and Gender Studies Librarianship.
* This year the committee is especially interested in receiving submissions which highlight the ways in which librarians work with faculty and/or establish faculty partnerships. However, as stated above, submissions are NOT limited to this particular theme.

Applicants chosen to present their work at the poster session are expected to supply presentation materials, including poster boards. Tables for presentation materials will be provided.  Attendees at the forum will find an arena for discussion and networking with their colleagues interested in related issues and trends in the profession.

The committee will use a blind peer review process.

Selection criteria:

  1. Significance of the topic. Priority will be given to Women and Gender Studies Section members and/or women and gender studies topics
  2. Originality of the project

 

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Proposals should include:
    1. Title of the proposal
    2. Proposal narrative (no more than 2 pages, double spaced)
    3. Name of applicant(s)
    4. Affiliation (s)
    5. Applicant Email address(es), Phone number(s)
    6. Are you a member of the Women & Gender Studies Section?
      * If you would like to become a member, go to: http://www.libr.org/wss/join.html
  • Submission deadline: March 31, 2014  
  • Proposals should be emailed to: Beth Strickland, Chair, WGSS Research Committee (stricklb@umich.edu)
  • The chair will notify the applicants by April 30, 2014

Micham wins 2014 ACRL WGSS Career Achievement Award

image of Laura Micham

Release reprinted from:   http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2014/02/micham-wins-2014-acrl-wgss-career-achievement-award

CHICAGO – Laura Micham, Merle Hoffmann director of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture and curator of gender and sexuality history collections in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Duke University, has been selected as the 2014 winner of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS) Career Achievement Award. The award honors significant long-standing contributions to women’s studies in the field of librarianship over the course of a career.

A plaque will be presented to Micham at 8:30 a.m. on June 30, 2014, at the WGSS program during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

“The awards committee selected Laura Micham based on her significant leadership strengths and contributions to the world of archives as the Merle Hoffman Director of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University,” said award chair Jennifer Mayer, associate librarian at the University of Wyoming. “One colleague describes her vision and commitment as bringing the dreams of ‘a vibrant hub of feminist scholarship’ to its current reality. Another describes her ‘unparalleled intellectual grasp of the field of women and gender studies, her boundless energy for programming and her remarkable ability to work with all sectors of the university community.’”

“The committee looked at Micham’s tenure as director and the resulting successful archival programs, instructional offerings and collections in women and gender studies disciplines—all of exemplary quality—developed under her leadership. The committee was also impressed with her proactive work with students–how she makes collections come alive for students, and her passion to connect students with archival resources. During her directorship, the Sallie Bingham Center has grown both its collections and its national profile. Micham is described as an individual who fights hard and fairly—and successfully—for archives. Her work and partnerships with other Duke curators have led to the acquisitions of high profile collections including the Dorothy Allison papers, the Meredith Tax papers, the records of Ipas and many other significant collections.”

Micham received her MSLS with a concentration in Archives and Rare Books Administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

For more information regarding the ACRL WGSS Career Achievement Award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.

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The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at www.acrl.org, Facebook at www.facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

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For Immediate Release

Tues., 02/04/2014

Contact:

Chase Ollis
Program Coordinator

#NotYourAsianSidekick: Asian American feminist online conversations

collage of various images and headshots of panelists for the #NotYourAsianSidekick panel

18MillionRising’s publicity image for the #NotYourAsianSidekick campaign.

Last Thursday, January 16, 2014, 18MillionRising (18MR) had its first public forum online for their  #NotYourAsianSidekick campaign through Google Hangouts. The topics: the #NotYourAsianSidekick trend on Twitter, which started in mid-December 2013, women of color and feminism, and using social media for activism and community organizing. The forum consisted of Asian American panelists, moderated by PaKou Her, campaign director for 18MR. Featured speakers were writer and activist Tanzila Ahmed, Soya Jung from ChangeLab, originator of the #NotYourAsianSidekick hashtag Suey Park, comedian and activist Kristina Wong, and Miriam Yeung from the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF).

Subtitled “The Past, Present, and Future of Asian American Grassroots,” the online public forum focused on necessary conversations we must have with each other, our friends, family, and colleagues. Topics such as race, gender equality, and political engagement may be difficult to talk about, but they must be discussed. The #NotYourAsianSidekick Twitter trend and the subsequent responses signal the need for such conversations.

The energy and interest generated through social media present many opportunities–to engage youth in political and civic matters, to educate and inspire others, to connect, to facilitate ideas and thoughts into meaningful action and change. The list goes on. A very descriptive summation of the discussion generated by the forum was provided by Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed: “Activism isn’t just about the dramatic shift. It’s about the 1-on-1 conversation.” Such gems were tweeted and retweeted by forum participants, reaching those who follow #NotYourAsianSidekick on Twitter and other social media outlets.

Two useful lists mentioned by participants of the forum:

A second online public forum for the #NotYourAsianSidekick campaign is in the works. It promises to be another stimulating discussion about grassroots activism, the intersections of race and gender, and social change.

Working It Out

book cover of Working It Out: 23 Women Writers, Artists, Scientists, and Scholars Talk About Their Lives and Work

Working It Out: 23 Women Writers, Artists, Scientists, and Scholars Talk About Their Lives and Work. Image from Amazon.com

Last week, I came across a really interesting book, Working It Out: 23 Women Writers, Artists, Scientists, and Scholars Talk About Their Lives and Work (edited by Sara Ruddick and Pamela Daniels). It was published in 1977, some 37 years ago. The edition that we have at George Mason University Libraries was a gift, and on the inside, someone had written “Dear Claudia, I loved this book and thought you would too. Happy 40th Birthday! Love, Carol.” These kinds of inscriptions in gift books always feel a little weird to me, like I’m intruding on something that’s too private, but in a way, it seems oddly fitting for this particular book.

Working It Out is a collection of 23 essays by women scientists, scholars, artists, and writers; most of whom were in their 40s at the time. Most of these essays are memoirs, discussing problems or issues that the authors had with their own career endeavors and “women’s work” in general. The personal nature of these essays is emphasized by the fact that each includes a photograph of its author, as well as their signature at the end. Many of the authors started their careers in the 1950s and 1960s and, in some ways, their experiences seem very foreign to me. For instance, Evelyn Fox Keller writes about her Harvard professors telling her that she couldn’t do theoretical physics because she was a woman (one of her professors even decided that she didn’t know how to dress properly and assigned one of his male students to show her how). In turn, Sara Ruddick and Marilyn Young both write about their respective experiences as “faculty wives” at Dartmouth College, which only admitted male students at the time. In reading their accounts, I’m heartened by how much has changed in the decades since.

At the same time, many of the issues that the writers discuss are still quite relevant. For instance, there is the problem of finishing one’s dissertation. Sara Ruddick describes feeling “paralyzed” and writes that she “was unable to read or talk about anything relating to my thesis, let alone to write about it” (Working, 129). Virginia Valian described a process that she developed to combat her own “work problem” – by breaking her dissertation down into short periods of timed work, she was able to get past her fears and anxieties long enough to finish it (I actually found out about Working It Out via a reference to Valian’s essay in a Chronicle of Higher Education piece (Joli Jensen’s “From Predator to Pet: Three Techniques for Taming Your Writing Project“)). There are still relatively few women in science (theoretical physics or otherwise), and balancing family, work responsibilities, and our own expectations continues to be a challenge for many women.

Perhaps one indication of the power of this book is that I found myself Googling many of the authors to see how they were currently doing. Many of them went on to do some really interesting things in their careers, including becoming bestselling fiction authors (Alice Walker), winning MacArthur Fellowships (Evelyn Fox Keller), and having scholarships named after them (Pamela Daniels). The book itself appears to have been well received — over 1,000 OCLC libraries have it in their collections and it was reviewed in several venues, including the New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Newsweek, and CHOICE.

I would recommend acquiring it if your library doesn’t already have it (and if it does, Working It Out is well worth a browse). Unfortunately, it is not available as an e-book, but is available used on Amazon and other used-book retailers.

Working It Out: 23 Women Writers, Artists, Scientists, and Scholars Talk About Their Lives and Work. Edited by Sara Ruddick and Pamela Daniels, with a forward by Adrienne Rich. New York: Pantheon Books, 1977. ISBN: 0394735579 (paperback; a hardback edition was also published).