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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[edit]

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

TO JOIN: request an invitation to 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).

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[edit]

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 2020[edit]


  • performing a literature review on contingency and precarity (2017)
  • drafting guidelines for designing grant-funded positions (2018-2019)
  • applying for IMLS National Leadership in Libraries forum grant (2018)
  • As part of the Collective Responsibility Labor Forum (2018-2020):
    • conducting a survey to develop a collective understanding of the experiences of grant-funded digital LAM workers
    • constructing best practices, recommendations, and benchmarks appropriate to participating institutions and funders


Minutes page[edit]

Valuing Labor[edit]

Facilitators: Amy Wickner

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)
  • Research projects (2020)
    • To what extent and how are digital LAM workers organized?
    • What organizing and advocacy tactics can be effective while minimizing risk for workers?
    • What are creative and effective ways to share data about digital LAM labor?
  • Bibliography & resource-building: library labor news and organizing resources during covid-19 (2020)