The down side of “fake it ’til you make it”

It’s not an uncommon sentiment to hear people encouraging each other with the saying “fake it ’til you make it.” Most of us would be paralyzed if we didn’t embrace it, but it’s recently occurred to me that there is a pretty major downside to it, and it may just be a contributing factor to the dreaded (and also common) impostor syndrome that plagues us.

I’m a few months into my study leave and have found myself paralyzed by my feeble attempts at understanding critical theory. As I’ve done for 10+ years now, I figured this would just be another hurdle I would stumble through somehow. Instead, I’ve anguished over concepts like the spatial triad as theorized by Henri Lefebvre. I’ve tried to understand social reproduction and reproductive labour over several sittings, only to find my mind wandering and abandoning my books and notes with that awful feeling of failure, that constant refrain in my head “you don’t get this stuff, you never will.” Over a pint, I confessed this self-loathing transgression to the kind ear of a friend who miraculously assured me that SHE FELT THE SAME WAY! She’d managed 20 pages of the Production of Space before re-shelving it with a snicker. This coming from a person who, to me, is an intellectual giant. And then she gave me what I really needed – reassurance that my ideas were good and that they bloody well didn’t need a theoretical framework to prop them up, that I should just get writing and see what comes out in the wash. Take THAT, academia.

I can list oodles of examples of how faking it has created FUD (and for those afraid to ask as I once was, that stands for fear, uncertainty, doubt) in my identity as a professional librarian. Among them, my persistent inability to distinguish between gold and green OA (seriously), my utter lack of comprehension of what OCLC actually does, and really, can someone please explain a triple to me again? Sure, I probably make other people feel better when I admit to my own vacuums in knowledge, but I think we really need to examine why we’ve created this culture where a significant number of us go about our business with half-hearted confidence, afraid to ask questions that we think we should already know the answer to even though we’ve never been given the chance to learn.

Sure, there’s the argument to be made that I don’t actually need to know what a triple is, but as librarians are expected to do more with less and juggle several different balls at once, we need to create a culture of openness and honesty where it’s okay to ask a question like “So, why doesn’t our discovery layer search everything when we call it Search Everything?”* Another example is our over-use of acronyms (see above re: FUD) and assumptions about models of governance. How many of us actually have a thorough understanding of how new programs are proposed and approved in our universities? How many of us can explain the hierarchies of administration and who makes what decision? And, don’t even get me started on general knowledge of data collection practices for the ranking and statistics we invest so much in. Budgets? Mysterious black holes. When we do finally learn some of these concepts, so often they defy documentation and they become innate institutional knowledge. You forget how you learned it in the first place, and are stumped when you need to pass it on. All of this, undoubtedly, leads to way more anguish than is healthy or necessary.

While “fake it ’til you make it” can certainly be an empowering way forward, I don’t think it’s necessarily the wisest maxim to continue repeating. We all need to slow down a little bit and ask whether or not we have covered the basics sufficiently. So, perhaps in the new year, we could all try a bit harder to ask questions without fear, document something you know how to do that you are pretty sure others don’t, and when you are presenting information, check your assumptions. I once spoke at a staff meeting about open source software. It occurred to me that very few people in the room likely knew what that was. So, I stopped, asked, and sure enough, most of them shrugged. I gave a 60 second explanation and we moved on. As librarians, we may know how to find all of the answers, but we really need to work on asking the questions.

*h/t to @archivalistic for this great example. Also, the (simplified) answer is because not all publishers have made their data available to/compatible with our discovery layer vendor.

It’s business time

Libraries buy stuff. A lot of stuff. Not even just books and journal subscriptions, but computers, furniture, and myriad supplies. We are in charge of really, really big budgets. Basic accounting in and of itself is not inherently complex, but long term strategy in how that money should be invested is a big deal … and one that, if done well, should be guided by some pretty fundamental business acumen. And I sometimes wonder if librarians would benefit from some more formal business training (myself included).

I recall a post on The Scholarly Kitchen by Joe Esposito that made a casual reference to the slippery slope of wishing more and more content was available via YBP, thus ultimately creating a “towering giant”. I scoffed at such a notion. Little ol’ YBP? Why, they are barely eeking out a profit! And thus, in February when it was announced that EBSCO had purchased them, I felt a little bit blind-sided, and a lot naive. Upon reflection, and the subsequent announcement that Proquest scooped up Ingram in response, this all makes a lot of sense. I can’t help but think that if I had a bit more grounding in business strategy, I would have seen this coming. A market strategist would spend more time looking outside their own context, and have a better understanding of the general landscape. A simple SWOT analysis of the companies with whom we do business may have revealed this vulnerability.

But, what difference does it make? Do we have a choice? It’s not like we are going to drop YBP because all of the sudden they have a different owner. True. However, in the grander scheme of things, I truly believe that we are at a disadvantage when we don’t acknowledge our significant purchasing power, and ergo, our influence that comes with that. If the Rowecom debacle taught us anything, it should have been to diversify our interests. With EBSCO now at the helm of both our subscriptions and our monographs (not to mention many of our databases), it should be a call for concern.

As the so-called culture war embodied in the dust-up after Jenica Rogers’ Charleston keynote demonstrated, there is a significant percentage of us who are convinced that vendors and publishers have libraries’ best interests in mind. I’m firmly in the camp that they don’t. It’s not that they are “the bad guys” – it’s quite simply that they are businesses, we are not. They aren’t in this for values-based reasons. They have to make profit, we have ever-shrinking budgets. These facts alone demonstrate that actually we are not on the same team. They are selling us a product that we can choose to purchase or not. And if we can’t afford what we are selling, then we don’t buy it. It should be as simple as that, but it’s not. Why is that? What is it about the way we do business that sets us apart from that basic economic principle?

Well, I think it goes back to culture. From on high, we are told that vendors are our partners and they are just doing their job. That soldiers buy what the people want – what they need. Budgets that are only growing 2% are failing because they won’t meet the ever-increasing demands of the publisher (Yes, for real. It’s on p. 8 of this report – among other statements, I found this one particularly eye popping). And then, we go to conferences that are heavily subsidized by them, parties where they buy us drinks, and are members of associations who accept their dollars to keep afloat. Shit is fucked, guys.

I once heard of a provost whose reaction to the assertion that his library ranked poorly in terms of money spent on collections, was “Good.” Initially, I recoiled. But, after I thought about it a bit more, I realized, maybe there was something to that. As a budget manager who trots out those stats regularly when advocating for more funding, I think to myself … to what end? To keep the publisher’s coffers overflowing? Or, should I instead be focusing attention on doing the hard work of advocating for a shift in tenure and promotion to embrace OA, and for the library to provide infrastructure to support that? The alternative means that we turn toward the library as Buyer’s Club where a 2% increase is scoffed at. It will never be enough if we just keep asking for more.

Walmart buyers have a reputation for being ruthless in setting their suppliers prices. It may sound like heresy, but we could take a page from that strategy. If your budget is being cut by 3%, why on earth would we accept a 3% increase (as we routinely do, at minimum) from our suppliers? Having conversations with faculty about how much resources cost are difficult, but you’d be surprised how many of them will be receptive once you get started. “Look, we just can’t afford this stuff anymore. Here’s why, and here’s how you can help” is a great way to get started. It’s certainly not the path of least resistance, but it’s the one toward real and substantive change.

Leavin’ to study

There’s more than one answer to these questions pointing me in a crooked line.” – Closer To Fine, Indigo Girls

As of September 1st, I’m fortunate enough to be taking my first study leave (i.e. sabbatical, research leave). I’ll be gone for a full year. This is a benefit that librarians at Ryerson only had afforded to them a few contracts ago and I feel incredibly fortunate to have the support of my administration and colleagues to enjoy the greatest perk I could ever want – time.

I’ve got a few projects up my sleeve to keep me busy. I thrive on routine, so a year of unstructured time ahead of me is actually a little bit terrifying. Here’s a taste of what I’ll be up to:

1. Little Free Libraries and Why I Inherently Dislike Them

This will be my main squeeze. Ever since the LFL “movement” became a media darling a couple years ago, there’s been something that irritates the heck out of me about them. I’ve got a few hypotheses about why that is, and I’m going to explore them a bit more empirically. I’m going to learn how to map socio-economic data and see what’s what in the neighbourhoods where they are most prevalent. I’ll do a discourse analysis of the media coverage of them. And, like any good researcher, I’m going to get up close and personal to my subject and run one myself. I’ll be blogging that project, so if you’re interested, stay tuned! Hoping to get a publication out of this one as well.

2. I’m taking a course! A real live course!

I haven’t taken an actual course since I graduated and swore off formal education forever. Another amazing benefit of working at Ryerson is free tuition, so I shall also avail myself of that and am enrolling in the introductory course on Mad Studies. We’ve started working closely with the Disability Studies department with exploring Special Collections in this area, and I’d like to get more grounded in their approach to activism and research. Figured it was a good start (also, super interesting).

3. Self-guided study

I’m going to read. I’m going to listen to audiobooks. I’m going to tinker with technology. All of the theories and philosophers whose names get bandied about so casually by people I work with and admire – I’m going to get a base level of knowledge of what the heck they are talking about. Or, I’m going to try anyway.

4. I’m going to be a mom and a wife

Last, but not least, I’m going to turn my attention toward my family. I went pretty hard at this whole work thing when I got back after mat leave. I don’t regret a thing, but I am most certainly intent on dialling things back a bit now that my son is developing permanent memory. I don’t remember the last time I didn’t have a work trip planned. It feels good. I’m going to walk my boy to school everyday, and be there to pick him up. I’m going to do little things to make my husband’s days a bit easier, just as he’s done for me. As a family, we are goinjournalg to take it easy and live the good life for a while.

I bought this journal while I was in Portland. I’m hoping to fill it up with all of the thoughts I’ve got time to think, and with any luck, by the end of it, I’ll be a bit smarter, a lot more rested, and ready to tackle whatever the next chapter in my career might be when I get back to the grind … whatever that may entail.

My tour of duty on CLA Executive Council

Sometimes your cards ain’t worth a dime, if you don’t lay ’em down.” – Truckin’, Grateful Dead

I’ve written this post a million times in my head over the course of the past year or so. In some versions, it’s a multi-part rant, in others, it’s a short book. I’ve settled on keeping it brief(ish) and constructive. If our myriad associations are going to stay alive (which I have serious doubts about – and not just CLA, but that’s another post), I feel like we need to have some honesty out there about what is really involved in running them. So, here goes – the unvarnished truth about my experience on CLA executive council. Take this to heart if you intend to stand for an association council, or if you enjoy calling them out from the sidelines – it will be relevant to both camps.

It’s a lot of work. Like, A LOT. And if it’s not a lot of work, you’re not doing it right. What struck me was the stoicism of my colleagues as we all sat around board room tables for multi-day meetings that started on Sunday morning. Granted, this was only a few times a year, but depending on your role on council, this was a common occurrence. Weekends, evenings, holidays… doesn’t matter. The work of the association chugs on. Because it’s never enough. The work will never be done. The action lists are behemoth to behold, and no matter what does actually get done, there will always be loud voices calling out what isn’t done. It’s exhausting, defeating and demoralizing.

You will work with (and occasionally disagree with) powerful people. Like it or not, seasoned administrators often step up for the leadership roles – there’s a reason for that. Being an association leader usually requires institutional support in terms of funding for travel, and for the time that needs to be invested. This sort of work is often expected of administrators, and less so for those who are newer or less established. “But, but … SKYPE.” Yes, the panacea that is tele-commuting. It doesn’t work to run a large association. Certainly there are many tasks that can (and are) done via teleconference, but there are fiduciary duties as well as employee relations that simply cannot be done on the web. If your association has a board president and a treasurer, they will be required to travel – a lot. And that costs money. As we well know, associations don’t have a lot of that, ergo, we have people of privilege running them. Do I wish it was different? Absolutely.

But here the’s thing – powerful people are still just people. If you’ve got something to say, they will listen to you (and if they don’t, keep repeating yourself until they do). They didn’t get where they are by not experiencing dissent and consensus. Speak your truth – it’s yours and you have the right to defend it, just as others on the board do. That being said, inclusivity of varied views sometimes means watering down the message. To assume we are all working from the same core values is naive; being a librar* does not implicitly mean that you’ve signed on to a shared code of ethics. Not only is a board made up of different representatives of various sectors and roles, it’s also made up of different people. Humans gotta human and emotions are involved. We will not always agree. If you’re not okay with that, don’t sign up. But … speak up. You still have the opportunity to have your voice heard. And every now and then, you’ll get a win. You’ll still lose sometimes, but at least you’ll be on the record.

And even if you’re not on the board, you can still disagree and take part. Send email. Write blog posts. Use social media. Talk about what you want to see happen.Talking to people is almost always more effective than talking about them. Executive can’t fix what they can’t or just don’t see – you’d be surprised what gets missed in the maelstrom of everyday business, especially when most of the board are also leading large organizations. Shit gets overlooked. It’s not necessarily intentional ignorance, as fun as that narrative seems to be for a good yarn and some faves/clicks, it’s often simply that they haven’t gotten around to it yet.

I decided to run for CLA council because I was disillusioned and couldn’t understand why it was so dysfunctional. I needed to see how it worked. I understand a lot more now, but still remain somewhat disillusioned. Do I regret it? No. I forged relationships with some pretty incredible people, and got to have experiences that would have never happened in my regular professional life (*cough* met Bob Rae *cough*). Would I do it again in the future? Yeah, probably not. It’s thankless work and sucked up way more of my emotional energy than I was happy about. But I can at least say that I gave it a go, and am a better professional for it. After all these years, though I was tempted many times, I did not break up with CLA. I probably still won’t because I genuinely believe a national association is a necessary body. There remain many systemic issues with the organization that I hope to see addressed, and I don’t think bailing will help it on its way. And so it goes.

Indeed, what a long strange trip it’s been. Thanks for the memories, CLA.

So, that happened.

“And when it comes it’s so so disappointing.” – Let Down, Radiohead.

I spent the better part of a year focussing a lot of my mental energy on a contributed paper for the ACRL conference. While it was certainly a worthwhile experience, I can’t shake the feeling of letdown that I felt once it was all said and done in twelve short minutes. Now what?

I think part of this mini-existential crisis can be attributed to the fact that the first day of the conference, I attended a panel that presented the precise opposite of my thesis, titled ever so charmingly “The Neoliberal in YOUR Library: Resisting Corporate Solutions to Collection Development.” I attended because I felt that I could learn from those who did not hold my opinion. It was the subtitle of the presentation that hooked me. Trouble was, they never really got around to talking about resistance. Instead, the audience heard straw man arguments premised on several false grounds. For my very first “peer-revered” ACRL presentation ever, I was pretty deflated.

Citing Chris Bourg at the outset, the first assertion I took issue with was the position that libraries are not economic realms. While I understand the issues with the neoliberal university pretty well, I think that to dismiss the millions of public funds that flow through library acquisitions budgets as a non-economic realm is false and perilous in terms of carefully examining how that money is invested. I prefer Jenica Rogers’* take on the issue wherein she suggests that libraries could do better if librarians recognized the economic force that they are, rather than willful denial of a matter of fact. For example, the team I lead is charged with spending $4 million of my universities funds on collections for the community. That’s a lot of dough and a lot of responsibility for me to not approach it as an economic realm.

Secondly, I was gobsmacked to see two articles** that I cite heavily in my paper (for an apparent misunderstanding of the function of demand driven acquisitions***) frequently used throughout the panel – for the exact opposite reason I cite them. The peer-reviewed journals that originally published them in all their fear-mongering “librarian as threatened expert” glory was galling enough, now here they were being repeated back as gospel. Let’s dispel a few of those straw men, shall we? Fact: there is no “request to purchase button” as suggested in the panel; discovery records are invisible to the patron – they look like any other record. Fact: the free market does not determine what is going into a library’s catalogue – the librarian does. Fact: publishers/vendors cannot force discovery records higher in a search – the only difference between an owned record and a discovery record is a locally determined fixed field. Fact: perpetuating misinformation does not move the conversation about collection development tools such as approval plans and DDA/PDA forward. I wish we could move past these hollow claims so that we can have a real conversation about the (legion) issues inherent in modern collection development.

Thirdly, collection development as taught in library school was fondly recalled by a panelist as a thorough education in the finer points of building enduring research collections through deep knowledge of one’s subject area’s publishers and scholars. The panelist was confused upon getting her first job and realizing that what she learned at library school had little to no relevance to a world that had been outsourced to vendors. I had a similar experience. Approval plans garnered nary a mention in my collection development class. However, instead of laying the blame at the feet of the libraries using these tools, I posit that perhaps library schools should be doing a better job at educating students on the tools that are actually used. Which brings me to my final point…

When we got to Q&A, the first person to speak was a rep from YBP. He wondered why approval plans, designed and maintained by librarians, were undermining the work of the collection development librarian as had been suggested. The response was a bit of an a-ha moment for me – apparently the intended message of the panel was not that the tools themselves were the problem, but that librarians are so far removed from them that they don’t know enough about how they work to question them. The fact that this thesis was only revealed in a response to a question was deeply disappointing to me. I completely agree with it – but the trouble is, they didn’t actually speak to it, preferring to speak in hyperbole that denied fact. I likened it to listening to anti-vaxxers at an esteemed medical conference. I didn’t get it.

Here’s the thing – I get that the corporatization of education is a problem. I read and loved Karen Nicholson’s recent piece on the McDonaldization of Academic Libraries. I get it. But there’s nuance in these issues that are skirted over when we make sweeping generalizations. Tools like DDA/PDA can co-exist with serendipity and critical IL. About 75% of my reference transactions end with me directing students to browse the physical stacks despite the fact that our collection policy features DDA quite extensively. I have one of the least critical IL ready subject areas (Marketing) but I still manage to sneak in some points about the commodification of information in my classes. The existence of one does not preclude the other from being used or discussed.

I carried on through the rest of ACRL feeling sort of disillusioned. I was heartened by a couple of great sessions on diversity, but otherwise, I just wasn’t feeling it. Maybe it’s just run-of-the-mill academic isolation. Maybe I just need a new topic or area of focus. Maybe I need a break from library conferences. I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure I’m all out of patience for hand wringing without meaningful calls to action.

*I’m paraphrasing from Jenica’s CLA 2013 Collections preconference keynote.

** See Walters and Sens and Fonseca as cited in my bibliography.

***See also this post from Ian Gibson, inspired by a reading of the Sens and Fonseca article. Ian also articulates the issues surrounding DDA/PDA that I believe should be the centre of the conversation.

How I learned to be a leftie (and still am)

When you see a hand that’s held out toward you, give it some love, some day it may be you. – Janis Joplin, Down On Me.

The hot topic of last week was radical librarianship – what it is and what it isn’t. There was a general consensus (in my echo chamber, anyway), that crossing a picket line wasn’t a particularly radical act. There was some discussion about how one comes to know that – it’s not tacit knowledge for a lot of people. This got me pondering my own path along the political spectrum. It goes a little something like this:

I was raised in a pretty (small c) conservative family. My mother fancied herself a flower child and listened to a lot of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and so on. But really … my dad worked for IBM, we had two cars and I was indoctrinated with a libertarian ethos that those who work hard will prevail and those who don’t get what they deserve. Unions were frowned upon and tax bills grumbled about.

Thus, progressive politics were not my default. When I started working at Ryerson, I agreed to take on Rep’s Council duties for my faculty association. It took me a couple of meetings before it dawned on me, “Hey, wait a minute…. this is a union meeting! And, I’m a … union rep?” It was a long time before I wrapped my head around that, never mind how long it took me to able to articulate what the librarian’s role was in the association. If you had asked me even seven years ago if I would cross a picket line to attend an event, I wouldn’t have been able to give you a quick answer. Maybe I’m just a slow learner, but it’s taken me a good ten years, with a fair amount of involvement in the faculty association, to really be able to understand academic labour issues, and in turn, social justice issues and the vocabularies of resistance that accompany them. And, I’m still learning all the time.*

The way I see it, I prefer to be on the side of the argument that is fighting for the greatest good, for the greatest number, regardless of ability, wealth, or class/race/gender. Often, that side tends toward the left. I came to understand that being progressive means looking for ways to champion policy that will make the world last a little longer, and make it a more pleasant place to live in for everyone. Sometimes that means challenging assumptions, asking questions, and being willing to speak out when you see imbalance in power being wielded in an unjust manner. Granted, this is much more in reach for an individual of great privilege – as I have – but we won’t progress as society unless those who do have that privilege recognize it for what it is, and work toward sharing it. Could I do more to become more radicalized? You bet. Am I working toward that? Indeed. There’s always room for development, and it’s okay for you to change your mind. Just because you used to think one way, doesn’t mean you can’t think a different way today, or even tomorrow. You just may help make the world a little bit better for a few more people.

*Major influences include being part of PLG-GTA. You should check them out!

Keynotes are infotainment at its worst

 I feel stupid and contagious, here we are now, entertain us. – Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Let’s talk about keynotes. Thought Leaders ™, Social Media Gurus, Librarian Rockstars. Or … whatever the heck you want to call the folks who tend to pop up at what seems to be every bloody library conference. How did they get to be on that stage? Because, my friends. We put them there.

are-you-not-entertained

Conference planning is a sticky wicket. There’s constant pressure to change things up, do things a little bit differently, but very little consensus about what, exactly, that should look like. The folks who are tasked with actually putting it all together are constantly dealing with tight deadlines, dwindling resources and apathy in leadership. Despite all great intention to radically shake things up, so often the status quo is maintained out of necessity. The show must go on, right? So, we fall back on what works.

Sometimes there’s a pleasant surprise and the audience is delighted by an unconventional (read: non-librarian) choice and everyone goes home happy. But… what’s it all for? I was a Superconference planner the year that Chris Hadfield came to speak. I felt like the only person in the room who was completely underwhelmed by what he had to say. He told a room full of librarians to sweat the small stuff or else shit will explode and cracked a couple fat jokes. Ok, the dude sang with the Barenaked Ladies from space and was super famous and stuff, but he just churned out the same damn speech he had delivered a zillion freaking times that year. I left early, no better or worse a person than I was before, though slightly bloated from lunch.

But then there are times when there is no budget for the Chris Hadfields of the world. Sometimes there is profit to be made. Here’s a dirty little secret – almost all conferences are “for-profit”, not just the ones that are pretty blatant about it, but you can bet that pretty much any association conference is keeping that organization afloat for another year. Sometimes, the coffers are pretty paltry and they call on the people they know who will show up or who they can afford. And… lots of the time, they really aren’t that great and we’ve heard their schtick before. Sure, they’ve got a command of the stage, have access to flashy stock photography and know how to turn a catch phrase like nobody’s buzzness (see what I did there?), but generally speaking, they aren’t changing people’s lives. They aren’t even really making a dent (unless you include offending them … zing!). But hey – if we predictably give them a platform and an honorarium, why the heck wouldn’t they keep coming?

In my history of conference attendance, the only keynote that actually left a lasting impression on me was Daniel Caron (CLA 2012). It was relevant and outrageous, and boy did it give us a cause to rally around. And it was free. Do you know how expensive it is to book a speaker? Have a look-see (browse by fee range). Go ahead. I’ll wait. You’re back? Are you appalled? I was. Who the hell thinks that paying some blowhard twenty large is a good idea? This is not money well spent, my friends.

So, we should stop.

From the conference planning perspective, start with scrapping keynotes as we know them. We know that they don’t make or break a conference, so why bother at all? Save the money and the time for something that people actually come to conferences for – to learn from their colleagues in order to do their work better. If they want to be “inspired” by a sage on the stage, have a laptop in the corner looping Ted Talks. It’d be cheaper and would likely fulfill the same number of people who are genuinely inspired by keynotes. Or, if we must have them, pluck from within our community of practitioners who have talent, skills and great ideas that could use the exposure.

From the attendee perspective, stop going. Seriously … just stop. Let’s stop feeding the fire. Even if you aren’t going to boycott the entire conference, at least skip the keynote (I’ve skipped more than I’ve attended) and leave feedback about why you did. Planners will never be able to make meaningful change if we all keep filling the aisles, clapping politely and laughing on cue.

Choose your conferences wisely. Try to pick the grassroots ones or those that support an association you really care about. The awesome PLG-GTA is working on a tool to help you pick. Still in progress, it will scrape the programs of popular library conferences to help us understand similarities and differences. Notice that one organization invites the same swath of white dudes year after year? Don’t go. Pick the one that seems to speak to you. Volunteer to help plan conferences, and submit proposals. Support diversity by speaking out for it. We don’t go to conferences for entertainment, we go to grow and develop as professionals.

P.S. Joe Murphy, if you are reading this … drop the fucking lawsuit. Damage is done, bro. #teamharpy*

*UPDATE: it has come to my attention that this lawsuit has been settled and the accusation that led to it retracted. I firmly believe in dialogue to discuss problems and not lawsuits, but I also retract my statement in accordance with what has been requested.

Further reading:

Against shiny | Free Range Librarian

How did we get here? The rise and fall of rockstar librarians | bossladywrites