Announcing Our Keynote Speaker: Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz (Cataloging Queer Library Issues Symposium)

Shawn Smith CruzWe are delighted to announce that archivist and curator Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz (NYU Libraries), will be the keynote speaker for our August 12 half-day virtual symposium, “Cataloging Queer Library Issues: A symposium to honor Walt ‘Cat’ Walker.”

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz is an assistant curator and Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Engagement at New York University Division of Libraries. She is a recipient of the 2020 WGSS Award for Significant Achievement in Women’s & Gender Studies in Librarianship sponsored by Duke University Press, administered by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Libraries Association, for her work archiving and exhibiting the Salsa Soul Sisters, the first lesbian of color organization in the country. She is co-editor for an upcoming publication, Grabbing Tea: Queer Conversations in Librarianship, Litwin Books. She is a co-coordinating volunteer archivist at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, co-chair for the board of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) and chair of the CLAGS Archives committee. Shawn has a B.S. in queer women’s studies from the CUNY Baccalaureate Program, an M.F.A. in creative writing/fiction, and an M.L.S. with a focus on archiving and records management from Queens College. She is also a visiting assistant professor at the Pratt School of Information. Shawn is currently interested in critical race theory and its intersections with queer narrative formation, specifically as it relates to the silencing of Black lesbians, their herstories, and their spaces.

In addition to our keynote speaker, we will have presentations by representatives from the Homosaurus, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at USC, and the ALA Rainbow Roundtable. We are currently building the symposium website and will have more information about additional speakers and registration coming later this month. To be added to an email list and notified of future news regarding this event, please fill out this brief form.

Reminder: Call for Proposals

We are still seeking proposals for lightning talks for “Cataloging Queer Library Issues: A symposium to honor Walt ‘Cat’ Walker,” a half-day virtual symposium to be held online August 12, 2021.

Lightning talks should be approximately 5 minutes apiece, and can focus on topics relating to any aspect of queer librarianship, especially at academic libraries, including but not limited to:

  • collecting and providing access to materials on LGBTQ+ topics;
  • providing services to patrons from LGBTQ+ communities;
  • archival resources on LGBTQ+ issues and history;
  • metadata and cataloging;
  • activism in library work; etc.

To submit a proposal for consideration, please complete this form with your name and contact information,  and the title and abstract (maximum 500 words) of your proposed presentation. Submissions should be submitted by Friday, June 11. Accepted presenters will be notified by Monday, June 28 and will be asked to provide a slide deck by Friday, July 30.

About the Symposium

This virtual event will highlight various aspects of queer librarianship, including programs, projects, outreach, and initiatives, from areas of academic library and archives work. Information regarding online registration will be forthcoming. We plan to make this event free to as many attendees as we can support.

Walt, better known to friends as “Cat”, was a cataloger and activist, a long-time librarian at Loyola Marymount University, a notable member of ALA’s Rainbow Roundtable and of OLAC, and an editorial board member for the Homosaurus. In hosting this symposium, we hope to honor these aspects and areas of Walt’s life and work.