First reviews for Libraries amid Protest

Today, the first two reviews of the book crossed my social media feed. I am elated that these reviewers took the time to read the book and to write so thoughtfully about it.

From Cherilyn Elston in Full Stop: “What is original about LIBRARIES AMID PROTEST is Frances’ decision to foreground the library not as a distraction from the “real work” of the occupation but as a key component of its politics.”

From Margaret Sylvia in Library Journal: “A stirring book, with plenty of food for thought; recommended for those with an interest in activism and protest.” (Nov 2020, p.97)

New class! ENGL 390.01, Libraries & Communities*

ENGL 390 promotional graphic. Image text repeated below.

Please join us in exploring the benefits and controversies that libraries bring to their respective communities. We will address public and university libraries, but we will also spend considerable time investigating “outsider” libraries. These include the Underpass Library under a Canada freeway, the BiblioBurro delivering books by donkey in Chile, and the trash library built by sanitation workers in Turkey. How do these non-traditional libraries both form and inform the community? What do they say about our relationship to reading, freedom of information, and the durability of the book?

Special for Fall ’20: We will partner with Saginaw’s Roethke House Museum library for some hands-on experience, and we will also Zoom with a variety of librarians throughout the fall. This will be a small class, so we will meet twice weekly in a traditional face-to-face (LEC) format. I am VERY excited about the opportunities we have this fall.

If you are interested but want more detail, or if you want to make any suggestions as to the content we cover, please email me at I will be finalizing the syllabus in a few weeks.

*ENGL 390 is a special topics class, so technically this is a new topic and not a new class. But it is the first time that this topic has ever been offered.

Counting the days: Zero hour.

Several years ago I began a blog to document my pursuit of a math degree. I was sidetracked by other things more closely job-related (I wrote a book about libraries, among other things.) It has been three-ish years since I took my last math class. That pursuit, though not abandoned, has been tabled indefinitely. I’m renaming this site to something more generally professional where I can post things related to more than math. Although when math returns, this is where you’ll see it. This little note to for the few of you connected to this site, and serves as the milestone marker between what began here and what lives here now.

Calculus: Formula for inspiration

I started Calculus I this fall.  We’re six weeks into the semester, and I just passed my first test (a surprise, considering I could only remember one formula so I used it on every single problem).  I haven’t posted since the end of last semester because, honestly, I just wasn’t sure until today that I was going to keep going with this math shenanigan.  This is a huge expenditure of time and, despite my enthusiasm, it still does not come naturally.  And there are so many things going on.

But this morning a girlfriend told me today that I had inspired a mutual friend to take a class next semester.  This made me happy to hear.  I was flattered.  My ego got a little bigger.  My guess is, though, that this mutual friend would probably have taken the class anyway, because he’s that kind of person.

Then this afternoon, I ran into a math classmate on campus and we had a brief exchange about the class–she is struggling, too, but has to complete this class in order to get into grad school.  And she inspired me, even though I’m (obviously) already taking the class.  Inspiration is a funny thing.