by Christine Anne George
When the Time’s Up movement began last month, I wondered how long it would take to reach library-land. I tracked the growing number of individuals and professions that were called out, growing more fatigued with each announcement but knowing that the moment must be coming. On January 31, shondaland posted #TimesUp on Harassing Your Public Librarian. Even though it is written from the perspective of a public librarian, there are parts of it that ring true for anyone who has worked a public service point. Then a few days ago the story broke about a cover-up in the National Archives. These are important pieces that need to be read and discussed. Conversations need to happen throughout the library and archives professions discussing sexual harassment and how we will deal with it. We need to talk more about the times when we feel vulnerable at the reference desk and know that we have colleagues who will respond to a request for an angel shot if need be.
I tried to write about it, but the words wouldn’t come. Not yet anyway. Instead I’ve decided to follow the example of a podcast I listen to and do a gratitude check. Far more palatable than Pollyanna’s glad game, the gratitude check is a reminder that even during these emotionally draining times, there are still good things out there. In that spirit here are a few things that I’m grateful for.
FeministLawProfs and LadyLawyerDiaries Twitter Accounts
During AALS in January, FeministLawPrfs had a series of tweets directed to men of the legal academy on how to combat sexism. (The tweets were compiled into a blog post.) The tweets were absolute fire and can apply to pretty much any academic profession. LadyLawyerDiaries is pure joy and the bio is the perfect summary: “A forum celebrating and promoting women in the law and their war stories. And occasionally outing stupid sexist stuff.” A prime example is the reaction to Lady Doritos.
The Joy of Knitting
About a month ago, Lauren Rad posted an epic thread on the history of knitting that has since been featured on the ABA for Law Students’ blog Before the Bar and Above the Law and led to the creation of the Legal Stitching Facebook group. I learned how to knit in college and am still in awe of the instant bond knitters seem to have with each other. I was lucky enough to be a part of a knitting group of librarians and administrators at a previous job and like to see how aspects of that community (swapping tips and showing works in progress) are apparent in the Facebook group. I also am in awe of some of the knitting projects people are posting. As someone who has never really gotten beyond scarves, some of those projects are a sight to behold.
Perhaps you noticed a theme with the things I’m grateful for—all are tied into social media. It’s nice to have the constant stream of news broken up by something that makes me smile. These are some heavy times we’re living in and a bit of self-care is necessary.