I once had an idea for a collection of writings called Writers with Spines. I still may do this someday, but after a series of frustrating encounters where other librarians pretty much told me to keep my mouth shut about racism if I wanted a librarian job, I had the idea for Librarians with Spines. It floated around in my head and I talked to a few people about collaborating, but when Yago and I first talked about the project--it was like music. We jammed out some basic ideas and then I met Autumn--whose artistic and design talents completed our triad and we pumped out Vol. 1. We had some help from generous donors in a crowdfunding campaign and we sent out “golden tickets to librarians we felt should be invited to collaborate and who had spines! Librarians spend so much time fighting for intellectual freedom, yet have almost none themselves--this project is meant to put a dent in that framework and to create space for librarians and others who have been marginalized.
We plan on carrying on this venture as long as possible with the help of creative and brave souls who will contribute chapters. We want people who think, write, exist differently. We want ideas that will destroy whiteness and other forms of oppression. We like funny, serious, academic, street and so many other viewpoints. We want intersections and realize their importance.
We are the alternate narrative in LIS publishing.
Photograph from left to right: Yago Cura, Jason Alston, Mary Reyme, and Diana Lopez at the JCLC in 2018
Meet the Agitators
Max Macias was born in CA. Lives in Oregon. He loves to read, write, draw, play guitar and spend time with his family. He works in the IT field and teaches Information Literacy courses at a community college as an adjunct.
Yago S. Cura
My passion in life is to make strong readers and lifelong learners; whether working with high schoolers in the BX or interpreting “Down these Mean Streets” with college freshman at Kingsborough Community College or working with incarcerated young men and women inside the LA County Jail (Men’s Central, Twin Towers, and Century Regional), my greatest successes have been working with students no one else wanted in environments that most teachers would find beneath them. However, teaching in these under-served communities has given me the greatest acumen about what makes compassionate, equitable facilitators. Books won’t necessarily make you a happier person, but learning to live through books is a transformative experience that assuages all the important questions that guide a good life into existence. I had the honor of teaching the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” inside the LA County Jail and I firmly believe like Mr. Douglass, “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
Autumn Anglin is the freelance artist, graphic designer and web designer behind the Librarians With Spines series. She lives in Oregon on a one acre farm with her two kids, partner, mother, roommate, chickens, ducks, dogs, bunny and cat. She is on the board of the Willamette Valley Mushroom Society, Englewood Forest Festival and the sole proprietor of Grey Girl Graphics, Autumn Steam Ceramics and Dark Emerald Lodge. She loves to read, build things and communities, grow stuff, study mycology, forage and drink coffee.
I am actively unlearning systems of oppression and whiteness. I want to use my skills as an artist to help create anti-racist content and policy that dismantles the systemic racism built into our society. I am not perfect and will humbly try to learn and grow with every mistake.
You can find me on Instagram @autumnsteam @darkemeraldlodge @greygirlgraphics