Thank You!

SXSW Badge
Thank you so much to everyone who has been so wonderful in supporting our presentation at SXSW. We are incredibly excited about this event, excited, nervous, a wee bit overwhelmed, but mostly excited.

We are already getting some good press and even wrote a shiny new manifesto for the occasion. We are going to not only be presenting but also will be taking the VLB out into the street and doing adult storytime. It is gonna be great!

Our fundraising campaign is almost halfway there. We are so grateful for the kindness that people have shown. If you have not donated we appreciate any support we can get. If you have donated thank you, thank you, thank you, please spread the word a little. This is a HUGE tech conference, any help we can get is deeply appreciated.

Send the VLB to SXSW


Posted in Uncategorized

A Librarian’s Manifesto to SXSW Interactive

Hello from the quiet profession. Hello to all you beautiful dreamers, you benders of time and space, you visionaries of the bright technological future. We love your leaps forward, we love the things you have made possible and we love you for the barriers you will lift away in the days to come.


We welcome you to our journey, the great shift of information and entertainment to people, every people, all the people, everywhere, for free. You create games, design communications interfaces, make work go faster and smarter. You find ways to parse data for the next generation. You make information and entertainment accessible for people.

Librarians have been doing these same tasks for years. We give people knowledge, entertainment, skills, inspiration. We are both outlet and portal. We are the human interface on the great sum total of (wo)mankind’s knowledge and sometimes we can offer that little bit of knowledge that will save your fucking life. If not your life than that of someone you know or someone they know or somebody NOBODY knows but they still found their way through our doors.

While our image may often be dusty and bespectacled there is an innate trust in our brand. If a librarian told it to you then it is probably true. That trust can extend to your idea if you convince us that it works. Everyone can access us and most everyone trusts us. It is an amazing network to use to get the word out, your word, any word whatever word that may be.

Libraries have always been tech friendly. We created MARC and OPAC and we did it fifty years ago. In the new paradigm libraries are increasingly active in knowledge acquisition using direct training and resources to grow job readiness, small business growth, and personal development. We don’t just sit there and wait for people to come and pull down the knowledge to their best abilities. No in the modern library we take an active part in training and the intellectual development of our users.

Find a librarian at SXSW Interactive, there are going to be a lot us there. Your perceptions and expectations of the profession will be challenged. There is a good chance that the librarian you meet will be cooler than you. Think about how you are going to deal with that. Open your perceptions, show us your library card and impress us with just how wonderfully beautifully fantastically brilliant you are. Then let’s use that to MAKE something and to impact our communities for the better.infomedic



Posted in Uncategorized

Difficult Decisions & Necessary Testimony

Urban Librarians Unite supports the decision to sell limited library properties to address the Capital Budget shortfall. We see this as a difficult decision and a last ditch remedy to a problem that has been decades in the making. This problem has gotten so bad that real solutions must be found. While there is still much discussion to be had about the particulars of each location these plans ultimately offer an immediate practical solution which will afford the best result for the most library users.

While we wish that this was not happening we see it as a painful but necessary choice.

Download (PDF, 91KB)

Posted in Library Advocacy, Uncategorized

Get your Katniss on with ULU

(Of course, we will all totally be this classy!)

Yeah that is right: archery tag. It is perfectly safe, perfectly fun, and a perfectly great way to liven up your October. It is pretty much like the name says: dodgeball with bow and arrow. Come run around like an idiot, meet some fellow ULU-ans and have some laughs with us.

Indoor Extreme Sports
47-11 Van Dam Street
LIC, NY 11101
7 train to  33rd and Rawson

Thursday October 17th at 8pm
Tickets are $25

Once you have purchased a ticket, please fill out the waiver here, and print it to bring with you on the day of the event.

Posted in Events!

What? Why on earth would we be ok with that?!

Last week the Wall Street Journal published an article detailing how many NYC schools are in violation of state regulations requiring a school librarians in each secondary school. It was quickly covered by other outlets as well.

Wall Street Journal
The Atlantic
Epoch Times

The NYC DOE has certified school librarians in only half of the city’s secondary schools. Rather than fix this glaring problem, the NYC Department of Education is now requesting a waiver from the state so that they will not have to meet this standard. Obviously school librarians are essential components of any school, most especially moving forward with the common core curriculum.

You can help. We have started a petition to send the state education commissioner and the Board of Regents, I hope you will sign, and pass it on to your colleagues and friends to sign as well.

Our letter to Commissioner King at the Board of Education.

Download (PDF, 156KB)

Our students deserve school libraries.


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Posted in School Libraries