About DLF and the Organizers' Toolkit

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“Use this federation, this DLF. It is yours. Its whole purpose is to be a framework for what you need. [Use it] to create—or resist.” —DLF director Bethany Nowviskie

Table of Contents

  1. About DLF and the Organizers' Toolkit
  2. Working with Team DLF
  3. Starting a New Initiative or Working Group
  4. General Facilitation and Goal-Setting
  5. Facilitating for Diversity and Inclusion
  6. Communications and Consensus
  7. Preventing and Managing Burnout
  8. Gathering Info/Building Enthusiasm
  9. Planning an In-Person Meetup
  10. Setting Up Year-Round Meetings
  11. Planning Virtual Meetings and Webinars
  12. Talking and Writing
  13. Organizing and Sharing Your Work
  14. In a Nutshell


The Digital Library Federation is committed to supporting inclusive, equitable, and highly effective communities of practice. We strive to be a welcoming organization and the focal point for a digital library culture that is actively anti-racist; that values evidence, expertise, and the diversity of human experience; that recognizes the intersectional effects of systemic oppression of all kinds; and that works compassionately across difference toward shared and inspiring goals. We invite everyone who shares our goals to learn more and join us.

Pragmatic, compassionate, skilled, and energetic people, both within and beyond our institutional membership, use the DLF as a platform for getting things done.

Together, we advance research, learning, social justice, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies.

Fostering a culture like this requires ongoing collaborative work—and deep care for those organizing and performing that work.

We believe that the best problem-solving, critical thinking, technical development, and community-based action happens when people with the widest possible array of experiences and perspectives come together as peers—working transparently and without heavy bureaucracy across institutional lines, and maintaining a level of comfort, safety, respect, and trust that supports honest exchange and allows the sharing of failures alongside success. And we offer this Toolkit in that spirit.

Thanks and Next Steps

The DLF Organizers’ Toolkit is shared and editable. It is meant to improve our documentation of evolving community norms, contribute to best practice and institutional memory, and provide tips and resources to those who want to use the DLF to advance the field. This is your Toolkit for starting new initiatives or working groups, facilitating ongoing projects or connecting existing ones, and using the DLF as a platform to lift up anything from small conversations to sweeping movements.

We thank past and present DLF staff and community organizers for their contributions to this document, and invite more! Please feel free to make suggestions or create an account and add content directly to the wiki.

Now... go on to "Working with Team DLF."