The Pagan Librarian

Friday, August 26, 2005

Preserving our past

A big "thank you" to Chas for donating some of his rare Pagan magazines to the American Religions Collection. Magazines offer us a glimpse into Paganism's past. Articles offer great information, and yet even tidbits such as advertisements, personals and other end matter often let us know what was happening in the Pagan community at that point in time. Coupled with other printed matter from the time (books, letters, etc.), we get a rich view of the Pagan community.

I have begun the offical processing of the Eponian collection, and will be doing so in the upcoming months (in my spare time). I hope to have a searchable pathfinder in the future, to be placed on the Valdosta State University Archives page, alongside other Pagan items such as the Babylonian clay tablets.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

PUCK is up!

PUCK, the Pagan Union Catalog Kiosk, is now able to be searched without having to log in. There are currently five contributing collections, and the searchable entries are rather limited. However, this is an important step in the organization of information on Paganism.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Eponian Collection

I apologize for not updating this in so long, but I have had good reason...

I received a large collection of documents, annuals and periodicals from the High Priestess Epona, the matriarch of our tradition. They fill a total of 18 standard archival boxes, and three oversized boxes--a lot of material. For the past few months I have been cleaning and preserving these documents. Some of them include original correspondence between various Pagan/New Age groups and our tradition's founders.

Currently this material is on deposit at my library's archives. This means that Epona still retains ownership of the documents, but they're now housed under archival conditions (proper temperature, humidity & light control), which they weren't getting in her house!

I must say that I have stumbled upon some information gold while sifting through all the documents, and look forward to getting them cataloged for everyone to see! This will take several years to do, but I believe it to be well worth it.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Response from a Pagan Librarian Guild officer...

The Pagan Librarian asked: I know that since I'm physically removed from the PLG, there's not a lot I can do at this point...but any thoughts for Pagan 'Brarians further removed from the DC crowd?

OF COURSE! There's plenty to be done to help get this Pagan Librarian movement moving.

1) Joining and supporting PLG: The Pagan Library Guild is not just a mid-atlantic regional thing. We have a national and international focus, and that will become more and more apparent as time goes by. The main reason why we've been growing locally, is because that's where we've been working diligently to get these Pagan Libraries built up, and also where we have professional infrastructure to support them. By joining PLG, your membership will help projects like the Pagan Union Catalog Kiosk, and maintaining the website, which will only grow in functionality.

2) Network locally: Go to your local Pagan Prides, and get the word out there that Pagan Librarians and Pagan Libraries are organizing professionally. Find out if local covens / groves / moots, etc. have collections, and what they're doing with them. Help encourage them to bring professional attention to their collection, and operate their small library as the big libraries do.

3) Make yourself and your skills known: This is similar to networking, but different. If you are a professional librarian, volunteer your time to help get local collections built up and organized properly. Get the word out that you have a specialty and people will contact you.

4) Encourage professionalism: Especially for larger organizations, encourage them to have a professional look at it, and put it together in a way that makes it even more valuable for them. Proper organization, evaluation for holes, creating a collection development policy, discussing budgeting, etc; all of these topics will help these Pagan organizations realize that running a library is a professional service, that requires hard work, proper training, dedication, long term planning and a bit of business sense. If they're already running the rest of their organization with those qualities, carrying them over to the library will be an easy sell. If not, this may help them realize that those sorts of qualities could be valuable in other ways to their group.

5) Encourage cooperation: The creation of the Pagan Library Guild was to meet a need that we saw coming at the Mid-Atlantic Pagan Leadership Conference nearly 3 years ago. Library work is a daunting business, but when working cooperatively and collaboratively, that burden is eased a great deal. By encouraging borrowing among specialty collections, and shared workload in things like cataloging and other types of processing you can drastically reduce the amount of work that each library needs to do. That's always a big selling point.

That's just the stuff I can rattle off the top of my head, but those are the main points.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Indexes

We all know that there are a great many serials produced by Pagans. Everything from Church newsletters, to local periodicals, to national and international glossy magazines. And yet, for the most part, this information is never preserved, abstracted or indexed.

The only index that I know that that covers some of these materials is the Alternative Press Index. You can view a list of the currently indexed serials here.

Does anyone else know of indexes that cover Pagan periodicals?

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Physical Pagan Libraries

I noticed that a search for "pagan library" provides mostly booklists and bibliographies--there are very few physical Pagan libraries that I have been able to find.

I stumbled upon the New Alexandria Library and Resource Center, located in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. Their website seems to show their latest activity in January of 2004. I'll see if these folks are still going.

I know that my own chuch, Church of the Spiral Tree, has its own Pagan Library. They offer services to all church members, and have quite an eclectic collection, based on the donations of church members.

The Lancaster University Pagan Society has its own library as well, available to members.

PagaNet, Inc., located in Virginia has a library available to sponsors. You can view their catalog here.

If you know of any other physical library collections by or for Pagans, please let me know!

Academic Study of Paganism

The call for papers is out for the Conference on Contemporary Pagan Studies, so send in your proposals. In addition, this year the AAR has a Contemporary Pagan Studies Consulatation, so you have twice the oportunities to get your proposal approved!

The Pagan Leadership Conference has a track for librarians, in case your interested. Those of you familiar with the Pagan Library Guild will recognize some of the same names.