My tombstone, if I were going to have one, would read, "She cataloged zines." And nothing else. I am a very lame, boring, work-obsessed person. That is why I like to profile awesome librarians who do things other than librarianize. Today’s entry is Barbara Fister: faculty librarian, writer, anarchist.
I first encountered Barbara on the COLLIB list, I think. I wrote her a fan email telling her how much I enjoyed her posts about academic librarianship. Like the two people I librarian crushed on previously (Cherie and Julie), Barbara seems to have endless energy. She writes a column called Peer to Peer Review for Library Journal’s Academic Newswire and one called Library Babel for Inside Higher Ed. Both columns are super smart and almost always make we want to shout, “Yeah, what she said!" or “Get ‘em, Barbara!" Her lefty politics are apparent in much of what she writes, but she’s not a dick about it. It’s tempting to be superior and mean, especially online, when you’re right and the other person is an idiot, but Barbara doesn’t give in to that temptation. Not that she pulls her punches when the other person is a conglomerate. I’m not sure if Barbara is still blogging for ACRLog. She hasn’t posted there since August, but she does have 208 posts in the archive, and I’ve gotten to know her a bit more on the Anarchist Librarians list.
But one of the rules for my librarian crushes is that the crushee has to do something outside of librarianship. In addition to all that writing about librarianship and education, Barbara has published three mystery novels, each of which I’ve reviewed here: On Edge, In the Wind, and Through the Cracks. The two Anni Kosinken novels (I look forward to the next one) are about the personal investigations of an ex cop. She’s plenty macho and also tech savvy. A nuanced character, non-white Anni has a brother with autism and is in league with a radical priest. She had a rough childhood and is particularly sympathetic to kids in the ‘hood.
And if all her writing and other good deeds aren’t enough to convince you how swell Barbara is, love her because she’s a cat lady. My cats and her cats were friends on Facebook until I deleted the Catbook app.
I haven’t really done Barbara justice. The above should be a lot more linky, because she is everywhere on the internets. Read her stuff for yourself, and I'm pretty sure you'll want to send her chocolates on Valentine's Day.