Old Books in Lockhart, Texas Library


Paging through the time capsule at the Lockhart, Texas branch, I was inspired to consider what happens when libraries cull their collections. Often I encounter the sales in the spring or summer when old books are placed on carts for 10 cents or donated to the goodwill. Obviously these books aren’t getting burned, but these sifting practices take a bit of the history out of childrens collections. Made me really wonder about all the interesting questions kids might ask when confronted with more books from older generations. Also made me think about all the opportunities for critical history and literacy we lose when we avoid or eliminate everyday old books from shelves. Just a few skims and cover reviews, provoked so many questions for me about changes in technology, propriety, regionalism, conceptions of diversity. These older editions are maintaining some of the history in Lockhart and making updates and shifts in history visible. What happens to older texts when librarians update collections in big city libraries I tend to frequent? I wonder how it varies. I’m guessing economics has something to do with it, but I think this is one of those situations where the upside down economics might have been worked with intelligently. There was a huge collection of childrens books in Spanish and a whole room dedicated to young adults with YALit and computers. How are the collections revised in your local library?

From One Home to the Next

Me 10 years ago before NYC made its mark.

Me 10 years ago before NYC made its mark.

Tonight I counted ten days until I leave NYC for the next installment of life in Austin, Texas. In honor of this epoch, I am riffing off of this picture a TA took of me our first night of CT5000, the doctoral core course that started me on my journey to professordom. We had just watched an excerpt from Whale-Rider, thought about culturally situated values and norms for participation and gender. I had never seen the film, but was awed by its beauty and themes. Everything looked intriguing. Thinking about critical, sociocultural, and eventually post-structural theories of curriculum, literacy, and subjectivities felt so “natural” AND new to me. It was like I had found a place that I’d always wanted to find, but didn’t know I was looking for. I felt alone and at home. I felt like a baby that desperately wanted to learn how to speak the language that would give me power in such a space. It was like, for the first time, I was deciding who I wanted to become. English literature had always been a fall back and teaching was, at first, an afterthought. This had been intentional, worked toward, and planned. Ten years later this day seems like 3 people ago, but I know that things felt exhilarating┬áthen and still do now. To Be Continued…