“You may ask yourself, am I right, am I wrong?” – David Byrne
I feel like I can’t get started with “real” posts until I explain myself. Full disclosure: I was the first in line to mock Library 2.0 and the sudden tide of blogs that were being published with a fever c. 2006(ish). Perhaps borne of an indifference to contributing further to opinion-based noise on the web, or of a deep-seated belief that no one would care about what I had to say because “who do I think I am, anyway”, but, here I am with a burning need to share, impostor syndrome be damned.
It’s ten years now since I graduated from library school and have been working at Ryerson ever since. I stumbled into this amazing job with little to no intent on my part. The internship I started out with was one of a rash of jobs I applied to feverishly. It flowed into a contract position that flowed into permanence. Yes, that’s right. My first job out of library school was my last and will likely be my only. Sadly, for an ever growing cohort of MLIS grads who are passionate about academic libraries, positions of permanence and the benefits that come along with them are drying up.
So here I am, an accidental academic (I wanted that title for the blog, but alas, someone beat me to it). I’m not always comfortable with that label; I don’t fancy myself a thinker, but feel strongly that I need to force myself to become one. I need to spend less time leaning on others’ analysis and feel more confident in sharing my opinions on things that I work on everyday. Inspired by brilliant librarians like Jenica Rogers and Barbara Fister (to name a few faves), I’ve come to the conclusion that to have academic freedom and not use it to its fullest capacity is a darn tootin’ shame. Reforming tenure, scholarly communications, licensing, and the general shitty state of the academy (precarious labour, differentiation, neoliberalism, etc.) isn’t going to progress without dialogue and action. I don’t have all the answers, but I sure have a few things to say about them. So, here I go! Let’s make some noise, shall we?