Ten years perspective

About ten years (and two weeks) ago, I went to the first Seeker class with the group I would later join. It met in the back room of a coffee shop that isn’t there anymore, and several of the teachers left the group a few months later for various reasons.

It was not my first introduction to Paganism, or Wiccan-based practice, or magic. After all, I’d been reading fantasy books with characters who were Pagan for quite a while. I’d had some powerful experiences in college that lead me to explore some basic magical concepts like centering and grounding.

And I’d always believed that the Gods were many and varied, notes and strands of melody singing out in the cosmos in infinite combination, as only someone who was raised on daily stories of Greek mythology can.

I’d also taken my time.

I’d been an active Catholic throughout high school and … Continue reading

On what we’ve lost, and what we’ve gained

I just made a post elsewhere online I wanted to share here. I’d talked about how we’d lost a lot, as a culture, when we had mass-accessible written material (sometime after the printing press: I tend to think it’s around 1600-1650, when you start getting lots more broadsheets and other materials that are inexpensive enough that most people can get a look at them if they like.)

Someone else in that conversation went “Hey, wait. You’re a librarian and you’re saying this?” And she’s quite right, but I had to explain where we’re coming from. Here’s my explanation:

I explain:

I think we lost stuff. I think we lost *big* stuff, with the loss of a commonly held oral culture and the skills needed to maintain it.

I think we gained a lot with written culture, and on the whole, those gains are worth the losses. But it’s not … Continue reading

New page..

As I wrap up my spring break this week, I did manage to get some writing done. A lot of it is focused on coven materials (and I’ll be doing more of that tonight!) but I did also manage to write up something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: a guide to asking better questions.

http://gleewood.org/threshold/seeking/the-smart-way

The introduction explains the origins of the document (and I do intend to work up some good and bad question examples – feel free to contact me with your favorite examples.) This page is linked under my Seeking section, for easy reference, too.

Banned Books Week Four:

Wow! I notice that Chris Crutcher has linked here with glowing compliments. Thanks! (And for folks not familiar with him, check out some of his letters to people about censorship issues here.)

For folks who might be new over here, I go by Jenett online. I’m a librarian in Minnesota, and I think knowledge is power. This blog is mostly about my religious life and group work, but every year during Banned Books Week, I’ve made a point of posting a series of posts about freedom of information access issues. (And I always do a special focus on religion and freedom of information access issues.)

Please feel free to ask any questions. Just be aware I may be a little slow to get back to you, as I’m on the board for a sizable public community event this weekend, and will be away from my computer much … Continue reading

Banned Books Week 3: Context

Part of my continuing series of posts on Banned Books Week, which calls attention to information access, censorship, and other related issues.

Today, I want to talk about context – in two different ways. One is about what the resource is used for, and the other is what the resource is about.

Use:

I’ve been seeing a trend in recent challenges – a number of recent ones are challenges to a book as a required reading (class assignment), reading list selection (where students pick a book off a list and read it) or a suggest reading list (like over the summer.)

In the first choice, students don’t have much option in the assigned title. In the other two, they do – but you’ve got a few other challenges.

But, at the same time, when you’re teaching it in a class situation, you;ve got a lot of potential opportunities for conversation … Continue reading