Librarians make the future every day: we select and acquire, catalog and classify, circulate and preserve, determining along the way what is worth accumulating, sharing, and keeping forever, and what is not. Every time we decide to purchase one book and not another, we use our power to shape the library of the future. But what happens when we want to use that power for transformative change and not just tinkering? How do we upend our own systems and structures in order to produce more just futures? How can librarians change the world? Drawing on lessons learned from the labor movement, this talk develops an analysis of power as something library workers can build with and for each other. Using tools and techniques we already have in our repertoire, we are well-positioned to make another world possible.
Emily Drabinski, Interim Chief Librarian at Mina Rees Library, Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)