A young public librarian's account of dealing with the public, navigating important library issues, and not just reading all day.
Rape has become endemic in South Africa, so a medical technician named Sonette Ehlers developed a product that immediately gathered national attention there. Ehlers had never forgotten a rape victim telling her forlornly, “If only I had teeth down there.”
Some time afterward, a man came into the hospital where Ehlers works in excruciating pain because his penis was stuck in his pants zipper.
Ehlers merged those images and came up with a product she called Rapex. It resembles a tube, with barbs inside. The woman inserts it like a tampon, with an applicator, and any man who tries to rape the woman impales himself on the barbs and must go to an emergency room to have the Rapex removed.
When critics complained that it was a medieval punishment, Ehlers replied tersely, “A medieval device for a medieval deed.”
- Half the Sky, Nicholas Kristof
REBLOGGING THIS. x1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
A medieval device for a medieval deed - yes.
This is perfect
BLESS THIS PERSON
I BOW TO THIS INTENTION
Can we talk about how beautifully this turns rape culture on its head? Instead of “If they weren’t dressed like that they wouldn’t have been raped” THIS IS LITERALLY “IF THEY HADN’T TRIED TO RAPE SOMEONE THEY WOULDN’T HAVE SPIKES IN THEIR DICK”*
Why is diversity in fiction important? Because diversity in life is important. And when we exclude—intentionally or otherwise—characters of color from our work, we do send a billboard message to readers. We tell them that people of color aren’t there, aren’t important, aren’t worthy of our stories. That they don’t deserve to be part of the conversation of our books. That reading isn’t for them. That they don’t matter. That they don’t even register on our radar.
I adore teenagers. That’s why I write for them. They’re special and magical and full of life; they’re truly the best of us. As young adult authors, our words have power. The power to entertain. The power to inform. The power to inspire. And most importantly, the power to change the lives of teen readers—to really make a difference. If, as Truby believes, stories express the idea that human beings can become better versions of ourselves, then I want to show YA readers that those better versions look like them, too.
All of them.
“OpenDyslexic is created to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. Letters have heavy weighted bottoms to indicate direction. You are able to quickly figure out which part of the letter is down which aids in recognizing the correct letter, and sometimes helps to keep your brain from rotating them around. Consistently weighted bottoms can also help reinforce the line of text. The unique shapes of each letter can help prevent confusion through flipping and swapping.” This new font was developed specifically to help those with dyslexia.
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.
Even though I work at the children’s desk, we get a lot of adult traffic as well. Some of these adults are parents, others are adults who don’t realize they are at the children’s desk, and others who wander over to us because of our proximity to the photocopier. I never turn adults away when they ask me a question. I will find books or resources for them, help them make photocopies, answer questions about computer classes, and walk them to the appropriate collection area if needed, the same as I would do for any child. My title is Children’s Librarian. Anything a librarian can do, I can do. Answering a reference question, regardless of the age of the asker, is something I should be able to do. I might not be as passionate about some of the reader’s advisory questions I get from adults, but I should know enough to do a RA interview, and I should have a working knowledge of major trends in adult literature. I believe that in a public library, this should be standard. You should be prepared and equipped to serve the public at any and all times, regardless of age, ethnicity, or ability. If someone’s needs absolutely require someone else in another department, please walk the person over, make contact with your colleague, explain the situation, and make sure everything is ready to go before you leave. There’s nothing worse than being passed from person to person and department to department without any continuity or follow through.
Ron Weasley’s character is consciously written as somewhat racist. Not as racist as Malfoy, of course - he doesn’t scoff at mudbloods and halfbloods, and he doesn’t see himself as superior at all. Still, he unquestionably accepts the inferior position of house elves (they love serving), when he finds out that Lupin’s werewolf his reaction is not only scared but also disgusted (Don’t touch me!) and he is clearly very uncomfortable finding out that Hagrid is half-giant (giants are wild and savage).
And this is brilliant. Because it demonstrates that racism isn’t only present in clearly malicious and evil people, in the Malfoys and Blacks - it’s also there in warm, kind, funny people who just happened to learn some pretty toxic things growing up in a pretty toxic society. And they can unlearn them too, with some time and effort. Ron eventually accepts Hagrid’s parentage, lets Lupin bandage his leg and in the final battle, he worries about the safety of the house elves.
Some people are prejudiced because they are evil, and some people are prejudiced because they don’t know better yet. And those people can learn better, and become better people. And that’s an important lesson. The lesson taught about discrimination shouldn’t be “only evil people do it”, because then all readers will assume it doesn’t apply to them. Instead old JK teaches us “you too are probably doing it, and you should do stop ASAP”.
"Er—yes, I think so" said Ron. “I think Mum’s got a second cousin who’s an accountant, but we never talk about him." Literally the first conversation Ron and Harry have, and he says something off color about muggles.