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DLF WG on Labor in Digital Libraries, Archives and Museums: Valuing Labor Subgroup

Meeting minutes: March 21, 2018

Note-taker: Amy Wickner.

Discuss Draft Research Agenda

Overview of the sections, rationale for each

  • Relationship between Categories of Labor and Workers & Managers?
    • Categories is about how labor & workers are classified
    • W&M is about relationships / transitions between categories or types of classification
    • Next steps: organize & clarify these sections
  • How to sequence topics - table for future meeting

Organizing references

  • Footnotes may not work in a wiki (would be more like endnotes anyway)
  • In-line citation to works in a standalone references section
  • Add references to Zotero as they come up
    • Thank you, Todd, for starting the process!
    • Final reconciliation between the document and Zotero library will still be necessary
  • LIS v. non-LIS references
    • Keep predominant focus on LIS to understand the landscape of LIS research on relevant labor topics
    • Include relevant material from other disciplines, especially to highlight where gaps exist in LIS research

Research agenda timeline

  • Continue editing, discuss again at April meeting
  • Working meeting (May/June) to resolve comments & write/edit together
  • Open document to wider DLF community for feedback (summer/early fall, definitely before DLF '18)
  • Where will this document eventually live?
    • DLF wiki one possibility

Guests: SAA Issues & Advocacy Section Steering Committee

Steering Share: Considering Labor Models in Archives Work

  • Talking about expanding the scope of I&A to include issues such as labor, wanted to touch base with Labor WG, share ideas, explore possibilities for collaboration
  • At least 2 steering committee members are especially interested in labor & have written blog posts about it
  • Currently brainstorming about some kind of data collection around temp labor in archives, coming up with best practices document, probably similar to best practices for grant-funded positions document (Contingency & Precarity sub-group project)
  • I&A is pretty open in terms of what issues interested in taking up
  • Timeline for collaboration would be at least year & a half based on terms of chair & co-chair

Proposed project: Survey

  • Very little research at the moment about temp labor, internships in archives
  • Main point that comes up in conversation: we all know things are going on but would really like to get hard data to support it
  • Unclear who would do this survey
  • Lots of tension in trying to research unpaid internships re: role of professional organizations, which represent both workers and management


Q: Is this SAA expressing interest or individual members of I&A?

A: I&A members. SAA has so far not been open to talking about labor; there's no standalone labor group for example. Don't feel we need to ask permission to do this work, although might reconsider if we get pushback.

Q: What kinds of responses to the blog post?

A: Mostly social media likes, has sparked conversation among I&A steering committee but so far not many conversations. Blog feels a bit limited in what we can do.

Q: Current status of this project? Ready to start developing survey questions?

A: Probably ready to start developing questions, already brainstorming but nothing solidified at this point. Will share background & call for participation on email list for this group.


Let’s find a new, probably later meeting time! See Google Group for poll.



  • Abstracts
  • 1-day miniconference sponsored by Los Angeles Archivists Collective, UCLA Information Studies, UCLA Libraries
  • Spotlight voices of students & new professionals, issues in LIS that are of interest to them or uniquely affect them
  • Talks related to labor:
    • Wages for Intern Work: Denormalizing Unpaid Positions in Archives and Libraries (Karly Wildenhaus)
    • From Student to Accessioning Archivist: Changing Roles and Responsibilities in a Changing Department (Jessica Maddox)
  • Shout out to the group if you're attending!

Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies Colloquium

  • Abstracts
  • Theme is labor, what work does gender do?
  • Shout out to the group if you're attending!

DLF Forum 2018