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No holiday has ever been as good as the Easter in 2008 where I decided I wanted to visit The Snake Farm and then go on a fake safari so I could feed some zebras out my car window. 
After that, I got out of the car and went and talked to a giraffe for a while even though he didn’t talk back to me :( 

No holiday has ever been as good as the Easter in 2008 where I decided I wanted to visit The Snake Farm and then go on a fake safari so I could feed some zebras out my car window. 

After that, I got out of the car and went and talked to a giraffe for a while even though he didn’t talk back to me :( 

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Debated long and hard about what notebook I’d buy myself as a celebratory gift and I picked this one. 

Debated long and hard about what notebook I’d buy myself as a celebratory gift and I picked this one

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Last night I discovered some hateful messages about me. Not to my face, of course. 
And it just reminded me why I feel strongly about supporting and encouraging other women, rather than spending my time tearing them to shreds. 

Last night I discovered some hateful messages about me. Not to my face, of course. 

And it just reminded me why I feel strongly about supporting and encouraging other women, rather than spending my time tearing them to shreds. 

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On the blog, I’m talking about my choice to change careers and some of the triumphs and challenges I’ve had working in libraries. 

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Remember when Lana gave us a new song and video to kick off the week and how that was a forerunner of an awesome week? 

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A Tired Rant About “Female” Writers

roxanegay:

I have seen this list of 21 women authors you “should be reading,” passed around. I  have thoughts about the composition of the list, though I am thrilled to see Elliott Holt named because I loved her debut novel last year.  

No two lists will ever be the same and this list at least makes an attempt at diversity, albeit a… hmm… narrow sort of diversity, right? Like, no African American women? No Latinas? No South Asian writers? And at what point do we stop using Amy Tan and Louise Erdrich as the sole beacons of literary light for people who look like them? To be clear, these women are absolutely women of color (along with Smith, Adichie, Danticat, Selasi) you should be reading, but they are not the only ones.

We shouldn’t be reading anyone JUST because they are a woman or black or Asian or queer or any other mark of identity. We should be reading such that we can look at what you consume and recognize a diversity of perspectives from writers hailing from a diversity of backgrounds and ways of seeing the world. 

I have also been thinking about the ReadWomen2014 campaign. I have been thinking, “What a sad state of affairs it is, that people need to be reminded or instructed to read women.” If you need this reminder or instruction, I mean, come on! What is going on there?

It is exhausting that we are still trying to convince a certain segment of the population that women are equal to men, that women deserve respect and fair consideration in all professional and creative and personal realms. It is especially frustrating in the literary community, because I am part of this community. These are my people, or at least, that’s what I would hope.

I cannot believe we need to count and point out worthy women writers like we’re begging for scraps at the table of due respect and consideration. 

Sadly, we are there or we wouldn’t be reminding each other to Read Women and look at this list of great women and that list of great South Asian writers and this other list of queer writers you should know. And I, for one, will continue to read these lists and learn from them and contribute to them because the need is significant.

In a better world though, we wouldn’t read a woman writer because we’re women or ::insert identifying characteristic::. We would read a writer because they might be awesome or terrible or they might intrigue or infuriate us and we want to know more. We would take a fucking chance because that’s so much of what we do when we read. We take a book into our hands. We turn the first page. We wait to see where a writer will take us, what they will show us. We hope for the best and sometimes we’re disappointed and sometimes our faith is rewarded and sometimes when we are luckiest, we are utterly transported. Reading is the one realm where I am an idealist.

I look forward to the day we can stop obsessing over the tour guide and surrender to the sights. 

Shorter version: be better readers.

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"When you grow up as a girl, the world tells you the things that you are supposed to be: emotional, loving, beautiful, wanted. And then when you are those things, the world tells you they are inferior: illogical, weak, vain, empty."

— Stevie Nicks (via angelingus)

(Source: bmurguia, via drivinon9)

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We got feedback from those who shared it about our panel at PLA on teen programming. The program was standing room only, over 300 people. We got 14 people who filled out the responses with more information.

But I’m angry.

I’m really angry. And it’s not specifically at some of these responses, but it is about some of these responses.

This presentation included 5 female panelists. We represented a wide range of libraries, budgets, and experiences with teen programming. We all happen to be bloggers — which is how we met — and we all happen to publish pretty well on topics of librarianship and programming specifically.

Our presentation was 50 minutes long, which included time for questions from the room.

During the discussion, we took the opportunity to talk about our blogging and publishing credentials, not just as a way to say who we were or what our experience was, but more as a way of telling the room that we have 50 minutes here, but if you want more information, we provide it. For free. In depth. On our blogs or in these journals — where you can find even more excellent information.

Two out of the fourteen responses said we were smug and proud. That we talked about ourselves and our work too much. One said that our moderator should have shut up — despite the fact she, too, had plenty of valuable things to share about her experiences and none of us on the panel felt talked over. 

We do this work for free on our own time, publish and share, and hell yes it’s something we’re proud of. But we don’t do it for the pat on our backs. We do it so other people can learn from our successes and failures and adapt for their own libraries as they see fit. It would be a hell of a lot easier to not bother writing anything. To keep our experiences to ourselves and shut our traps. 

And to those who think it’s wrong to be proud of what you do because you’re among the few who do it? 

I guess next time we’ll just show up, put some pictures on the screen, and look real pretty without opening our mouths.

Because the truth is, if it were five men who did that same presentation on teen programming, they would be damn heroes for what they do. They’d be “saving” the profession from us females who so dare be “smug” about the accomplishments and setbacks we’re willing to share with the rest of our field. 

Tags: personal
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Didn’t even get to close the search string before I was told I was wrong. 

Didn’t even get to close the search string before I was told I was wrong.