When Reference is Radical: Rad Ref in Make/Shift

The Fall/Winter 2009/2010 issue of make/shift: Feminisms in Motion contains a sort of mutual interview with Radical Reference librarians Emily Drabinski and Lia Friedman, who is make/shift's staff librarian.

They talk about how integral their librarian and activist identities are to each other.

Emily: Connecting people to people, people to ideas, people to information--library work is all activist work to me.

Lia: When I became a librarian it just felt like automatic activism, almost as if being a librarian equals doing activist work.

Of course we all know that not all librarians are activists, unfortunately. They refer to particular projects they've been involved with, including Rad Ref and how even at work they have expressed their values, e.g. with the materials they select.

The piece ends with Sandy Berman and Library of Congress Subject Headings, "'anal fisting' and 'dildos'"have resulted in (among many things) a nice new subject heading for 'strap-on sex,' which unfortunately joins 'self-induced vibration' as a description." and then their own reflections on cataloging and classification structures.

Yay Emily and Lia!