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This is a page for the DLF Working Group on Labor in Digital Libraries. Read an announcement on the group's formation, by Ruth Tillman.

Communication and Shared Working Spaces

  • Listserv: Google Group dlf-labor-working-group. Ask to join.
  • Zotero: Find citations and materials relevant to our work in our Zotero group
  • Slack: To join our Slack, contact Ruth at rkt6 at
  • Twitter: Join the conversation with these hashtags #DLFLabor, #LaborWG, #LibLabor, #LAMLabor, #PrecarityIs

Most of our collaborative writing and meeting minutes are now done using Google Drive. We have also used RiseUpPad for occasions when we want to create a more anonymous context.



Note: as of Feb 2021, Amy Wickner has transitioned off the Valuing Labor subgroup and we're welcoming three new co-facilitators for Valuing Labor. We're planning a whole group meeting to discuss possible new subgroups and one-off projects.

Contingency and Precarity

Facilitators: Sandy Rodriguez, Ruth Tillman

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

Goals 2020


  • 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

Valuing Labor

Facilitators: Stephanie Bennett, Leanne Finnigan, Ellen LeClere

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)