The @ Home Librarian

Welcome to the @ Home Librarian blog! It is put together by me, Tibby. I started this blog nearly a decade ago just after my first kid was born. It was part of a plan keep in touch with the library world while I was home with her. All these years later I am still home with her most days, but have started up with other projects too.

I am passionate about diversifying library collections and encouraging others to do the same. This is part of how I approach anti-racism work.  I think it’s important to acknowledge that I am white, cisgender, heterosexual, and female in a profession that is predominantly those things. I am still very much learning about diversity and how to talk about it.

Most recently I have shifted into reviewing self-published and small/independent press published books almost exclusively. The book industry is predominantly white, cisgender, heterosexual, and able-bodied and those folks serve as gate keepers to being published which is a major issue. It ensures that those characteristics are primarily what is represented in books and seen as valuable in society at large. And yet there is a demand for books outside that narrow definition of humanity. Self publishers and small presses are trying to meet that need, but because they lack both the extensive budgets of the Big Five publishers and are often barred from bookstores, review sources, and even libraries (get it together libraries!) it can be hard for these books to get into the hands of readers who need them most. With my shift into reviewing them I’m trying to get them out there and give them a review by a professional in hopes that maybe that lends them enough legitimacy to get them on book shelves everywhere. It shouldn’t have to be that way, but I’m trying to use my privilege as someone with the MLIS degree to further these amazing books.

At this point my blog has evolved into mostly posts about the books I’ve read. I write them to remind myself of what I thought, but also to offer my thoughts to other librarians who may be considering purchasing books for their libraries. This idea colors a lot of what I say in the reviews. I don’t do much plot synopsis or analysis, unless it will help me (or other librarians) decide if a book is right for their collections. I also like to keep parents in mind too, because I know it can be hard to find good books to have at home.

Occasionally I write about makerspaces and I’ll include reflections on conferences and various other things. While I hope something on here is helpful to people, I enjoy keeping this log of books and thoughts.