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This is a page for the DLF Working Group on Labor in Digital Libraries.

Working Group on Labor in Digital Libraries, Archives, and Museums

Read an announcement on the group's formation, by Ruth Tillman.

TO JOIN: please sign up for the Google Group.

As of April, 2017, this group is forming two smaller working groups with two facilitators each, based on themes pulled from member introductions and responses to the initial interest survey (now closed). Join a sub-group by filling out this form.

Both subgroups are collecting citations, related groups and initiatives, and materials relevant to their work in a Zotero group and resource table (also available as a list).

Contingency and Precarity

Facilitators: Ruth Tillman, Sandy Rodriguez

Topics: Grant-funded & term positions, organizing workers, digitization & labor (including labor of incarcerated workers), labor and digital scholarship, internships, credential creep/credentialism

Goals 2019

As part of the Collective Responsibility Labor Forum:

  • developing a collective understanding of the experiences of grant-funded digital LAM workers
  • constructing best practices, recommendations, and benchmarks appropriate to participating institutions and funders


Goals 2018

  • finalizing the guidelines for grant-funded positions
  • applying for IMLS National Leadership in Libraries forum grant
  • conducting a survey on the experiences of grant-funded digital LAM workers


  • guideline publication through DLF

Goals 2017

  • organizing and setting up logistics for communication;
  • performing a literature review on contingency and precarity;
  • analyzing and sharing readings to determine scope of work;
  • drafting guidelines for designing grant-funded positions


Minutes page

Valuing Labor

Facilitators: Amy Wickner (Melissa Chalmers, on leave)

Topics: Organiz(ed/ing) labor, (in)visibility, maintenance, emotional labor, classification of labor, transitions across categories of labor, worker-centered assessment, hiring and retention practices especially re: members of marginalized communities


  • Collaborate on a research agenda for valuing labor in digital libraries (2018)
  • Host working conversations to highlight advocacy, research, and skills of relevance to working group members (2019)
  • Create a list of groups and campaigns also working on labor issues (2019)