Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Librarians With Spines is Available here!

Librarians with Spines can be a useful classroom teaching tool for LIS.

It is unique and has a broad range of topics from a diverse group of authors!

Yago, Autumn and I would like to thank the authors and the gofundme contributors for making this project possible!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

How Do the Seven Major Themes about the Algorithm Era Impact LIS?

 How do these themes impact LIS?

How can librarians and other information professionals work to mitigate themes four and five?

How can librarians and others work to increase algorithmic literacy?

Seven major themes about the algorithm era Link to Pew's article Code Dependent:Pros and Cons of Algorithm Age: http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/02/08/code-dependent-pros-and-cons-of-the-algorithm-age/

Sunday, February 12, 2017

To ALA or Not?

Someone on a list I'm on recently posted that they were hesitant to renew their ALA membership because of the recent ALA press release scandal.  You can read about it on Librarian in Black here: http://librarianinblack.net/librarianinblack/alastatements/. The person who posted asked the group what they thought about renewing their memberships.  Below is my response.

I'm not a member of the ALA, but I work with them on issues concerning Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.  I'm on the ALA EDI implementation Work Group and I try to represent marginalized people who can't afford membership or conference participation (among other things).  

I would say that ALA has been made progress due in large part to work by people like Melissa Cardenas-Dow, Trevor Dawes, Martin Garner and many others who are strongly committed to EDI in ALA and in libraries in general. 

I would also say that the constituency should scrutinize candidate's actual work on EDI.

In my blog post on the 2015 ALA election I explicitly state that there was only one real candidate who seemed to address EDI.   

That candidate was JP Porcaro...

It seems that, up until recently, the ALA has not really taken this issue seriously. They have focused on programs that teach marginalized people how to operate in oppressive systems without creating any real change. Instead, there should be a focus on changing the structural barriers and structural racism that exist within the organization. This kind of structural racism has caused the ALA to make little to no progress in the area of ethnic representation in the library field.  Look here for some information on this:  https://lowriderlibrarian.blogspot.com/2014/09/little-to-no-progress-in-ethnic.html .

ALA is too expensive, is too financially restrictive and is too exclusive for many librarians to participate in a genuine and engaged manner. ALA is making slow progress in this area, but it is making progress. I would say that ALA is listening and things are changing slowly.  

Some things that would help ALA create change:
  • Strong leadership who emphasize the importance of, and the dedication to ED,I as an organization
  • Putting more money toward EDI and making it a real priority in the organization
  • A more diverse (in all areas) membership to increase new ideas and development of the organization
  • Structural change that makes the organization more accessible to people who can't go to conferences and who can't pay full membership dues 
  • More discussion before making press statements that seem to support fascism
  • A more meaningful relationship with membership. 
    • It should be something more than just getting a copy of American Libraries in the mail every so often
  • Less of a European hierarchical infrastructure and more of a participatory flat infrastructure 
ALA  and libraries in general seem to be a very classist organizations with the majority of librarians who are 2nd generation of deeper middle class. This impacts work in areas such as community engagement, programming and staff relations. This also impacts areas like LIS research--where there is nary a study on White-supremacy and Information in the US; where the area of Culture and Information Literacy has been hardly touched.  

I am hopeful ALA is changing in the areas mentioned above. 

I'm tired, but there is still a long way to go!


Max Macias 

Monday, January 16, 2017

MLK Day, 2017 #InnovationNOTRepetition

One of the greatest tragedies of the civil rights era was the inability, or unwillingness, of people who achieved positions via affirmative action to create real change for other POC.
  #BougieFucks #TapedMouths #RunAwayFromUS #Vendidos #JoinedTheOtherSide Then those same assholes have the audacity to tell me to act White. They use code-words like Professional and Educated--but what they really mean is try to be White. The best they could do was try to give us tips on how to act White and get money for ourselves. #MLKDay2017 #IDontWantTOBeLIkeYou

 We need change, we don't need to be told how to watch ourselves, how to 'behave' and how to survive in a world dominated by White people.  We need to learn how to change the world into a world that is friendly toward Black and Brown faces...

This is a criticism of the recipients of Affirmative Action. People who are given power,  but are too scared to use it. They have their hands tied because they don't want to lose what they have been allowed to gain. I understand self-preservation, but I don't understand turning one's back on their own people. The New Jim Crow was allowed to happen as a result of their inaction, capitulation and buying into the American Myth that if only you" work so hard--you can do anything--even if you are Black or Brown." Even our Black president turned his back on us. He believed in trickle down benefits to POC...That is a joke! Once people get so entrenched in the Colonial system, they begin to believe in it--in the lies, and are  complicit in the deceit of their own people. We need to create new systems, not teach people how to be successful in a system that won't really ever accept them--apart from tokenization and fetishizing the 'exotic.'

Let us honor the memory of Dr. King and create a new world--a world where "acting White"  and telling lies to our kids and family are unnecessary.  Where working together instead of against one another are the standards by which we live.   


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fake News Stories are Related to Culture and Information Literacy

[This blog post is a sketch of ideas. I plan on fleshing these ideas out.  I want to share them now though.]

Fake News as Related to Culture and Information Literacy:

The recent information that has come out about fake news sites and stories that were shared on social media and influenced the recent elections are directly related to the concept of Information and Culture.  The idea of controlling public perception via the control of media was perfected by the Nazis' Josef Goebbels.  Now the ideas of Edward Bernays have been combined with Goebbels  techniques to manipulate and reinforce the idea of Whiteness in US culture. In many ways, this election was about Whiteness versus the alternative developing multicultural worldview that exist within the USA.  These ideas, because a lack of access to education and publishing by people of color, are still developing.  The pace this development has picked up steam recently. The backlash by the Racists in our country is a reaction to this progress.

As a person of color, I am struck by how similar these fake news sites and stories are to how the dominant culture publishes and diffuses the idea of Whiteness.  This is done by packaging and repackaging the idea that europeans and european culture are the most important things in the world.  Whiteness also sees itself as the epitome of culture.  It sees itself as superior in every manner.  
This message is embedded in our history particularly.  People of color and other marginalized groups have been almost completely left out of history, except for using them as examples of primitive culture or other savageries.

Not only does this apply to people of color, it applies to class, gender, sexual identity, and physical ability and more.

The #Breitbart Nazis and their ilk are good at FAKE news stories. In fact, they proved that people didn't care if the news was fake after the fact. #ACORN story. How do you think their techniques of social control will be incorporated into our educational system?

Our stories, information relevant to our understanding of our history, liberatory information, information that could topple the concept of #Whiteness which is so embedded in every aspect of our culture. We need to tell our own stories and to develop our own ideas about the world without being boxed in by Whiteness.

Purposes of fake news:

The purposes of the fake news sites and stories seem to be to form and shape (CONTROL) public opinion about particular political and societal viewpoints.

Social control

Promotion of Whiteness as the norm.

Purposes of fake information in libraries and education:

The purposes of the fake news sites and stories seem to be to form and shape (CONTROL) public opinion about particular political and societal viewpoints.

Social control

Promotion of Whiteness as the norm.

We have been living with Fake News and Fake Books, and Information for a long time in the USA.


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