BLOSSOM Conference Response

Last week, I attended the library conference BLOSSOM, “A free 3 day virtual symposium for library staff focused on their health and wellness.” I was also on the panel “Reframing Library Work: A Discussion on Centering Staff Agency, Advocacy and Well Being.” It was, in my opinion, a great panel. My co-panelists were honest and well-spoken and we discussed some heavy, important topics. After the panel, we debriefed an incident that happened in the discussion (I tweeted about it here) and our use of swear words. We all seemed to feel positive about how it went down. I walked out of the conference feeling invigorated and empowered.

Earlier this week, Bobbi Newman, one of the conference organizers and the moderator (and I use that word very loosely) on our panel, sent out an email requesting attendee feedback. I submitted positive feedback as an attendee. (As of now, the morning of April 1, she has not sent out the panelist survey that she said she would.)

Then yesterday afternoon I encountered Bobbi’s blog post that was in part about my panel. I’ll get into the details of the post in a moment, but the summary is that she felt the language I and another panelist used was inappropriate and “excessive” and that audience feedback indicated that some attendees were also “uncomfortable” with our use of profanity.

Okay. So.

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ALA Annual Conference 2019


This was my second time attending the American Library Association Annual Conference – thank you day job for paying my way! I attended a lot of great panels, got a few books signed, and met friends old and new.

As per usual, there was a tidal wave of microaggressions and casual racism both directed toward me and that I overheard. But what can you really expect out of a conference that chose a slaveholder for its logo (not to mention picked “Back on the Chain Gang” by the Pretenders as the first song to play during the opening session).

Also, too many panels were all or mostly all (as in 1 POC) white or white passing. These aren’t new issues by any means, and it’s frustrating that ALA can’t seem to get it together. Individually, great work is happening, but overall there is a lot of problematic shit ALA and librarianship as a whole are hand-waving away.

Despite all that, I enjoyed much of my time at ALA (as a queer WOC, I’m used to compartmentalizing my experiences). It’ll be a while before I’m able to scrounge up the ridiculous sum of money it takes to go to ALA, but I’m glad I went this time. To sum up, here’s the list of everything I attended and the books I picked up at the conference.

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WorldCon 76 – Day 4


Sunday was yet another day of too many amazing panels, from disability in SFF to diversity in the future to young adult fiction. Although I could not stick around for the Hugos or attend the final day of the con – have to work tomorrow, unfortunately – I still count this as a hugely successful weekend.

To everyone I finally met IRL, hi! To those I just met, I hope to see you again.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

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