From DLF Wiki
Revision as of 15:19, 24 May 2017 by Ruthtillman (talk | contribs) (Anonymizing and posting the meeting notes from today.)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

DLF WG on Labor in Digital Libraries, Archives and Museums Contingency/Precarity Subgroup

Note-taker: Sandy Rodriguez


5-7 min (2:00-2:07)

Ruth Tillman, Univ of Notre Dame, initiated Labor WG, Contingency/Precarity subgroup Amy Wickner, PhD student & Archivist, Univ of Maryland, co-facilitator of Valuing Labor subgroup Charlotte Kostelic, NDSR resident at Library of Congress, interested in writing recommendations for contingent & precarious positions Sandy Rodriguez, UMKC, Special Collections, interested in writing recommendations for contingent & precarious positions Ethan Fenichel, eResource Access Management Librarian at Florida Atlantic University, interested in learning about this issue as well as how unions can help with the contingency/precarity issues Liza Harrell-Edge, Manager of Digital Initiatives at The New School, interested in recommendations for managers supervising contingent positions

Focus & Goals

23-25 min (until about 2:30)

Topics already suggested

  • analysis of effects on marginalized communities and our ability to hire and retain applicants from those communities
  • apprenticeship (positions and as a concept), pre-professional training, acculturation, student loan debt impact on career
  • Maintenance, gender, race
  • Use of prisoner labor; credential creep
  • Student Labor, Labor Ethics
  • student labor in libraries & archives
  • Labor in digital projects

Goals already suggested

  • creating guidelines
  • Standards and volunteer work on digitization projects
  • Creation of ethics statements

Discussion during Meeting

  • Interest in basic creation of contingent positions.
  • Sense of landscape of what guidance is out there; pre-work informing the guidelines (so a sort of bibliography?)
  • Modern Languages Association has something similar to this
  • NDSR report
  • Are we influencing management in organizations? Survival guides or both?
  • Survival guides are great but puts a lot of the onus on the individual
  • Good place to talk about this. Valuing Labor Group doing a panel at the DLF Forum. Influence management and/or for grant writers to plan the work responsibly.
  • When she was reading the report which came back on the NDSR--it was relevant to the resident experience but there were recommendation which could be generalized. Was in a contingent position supervising contingent staff, an entire team that was grant-funded. Has done a presentation in the past which was focused on the people side/impact on people involved in the positions. Cause complications in managing.
  • One of our to-dos is a shared document of what resources are available. Critique other guidelines that are similar. Pull them together and analyze them.
  • How do we define someone in a precarious position? For myself, in a one year renewable position, but could not be considered precarious depending upon perspective. Perhaps we need to define this first.
  • Differences in position, e.g., tenure-track vs. professional non-tenure track position. Understanding different models and how precarity is interpreted & defined to different people.
  • Challenging the creation of precarious positions for professionals vs. tenure-track. Example: Vacant faculty positions being turned into term, staff position.
  • Experience of having 5 positions eliminated this week messaging and advocacy of value of what we do. Emerging and developing vs. what is core. How to speak about the value of digital libraries. Impacts the ability to get positions that we value and building institutional knowledge.
  • Where does this project-based model come from? Seems to be tied to grant funding. Industries informing models.
  • We can contextualize the labor issues.
  • Zotero group can be used for sharing resources. To store references and comment on them. Google Docs could be used for internal collaboration.


15 min (2:30-2:45)

- Research & Analysis. Create a bibliography of what resources exist, including any pre-existing bibliographies. Assign different resources & provide a summary & analysis. - Definition of Our Working Space. Finding our gap for what guidelines are required. Pinning down a definition for contingency and precarity. Figuring out what those mean. - Case Studies? Scenarios/stories of different people who’ve had different kinds of contingent positions. See if it exists and decided if we want to conduct interviews. - Concern over how we can anonymize the stories. - Questions: Did you get relocation assistance?, etc. Women archivists survey had some of these questions. Should we reach out to them?


Logistics and Resources

  • Twitter and Slack channels
  • Labor Working Group session at 2017 DLF Forum (October 23-25)
  • Lunchtime WG session proposed and will be disseminated when scheduled
  • Valuing Labor subgroup proposing a presentation:
  • Zotero group:
  • DLF working group wiki:
  • Collaboration tools or strategies?
  • Slack or Google Group? Ruth can set up a Slack for the whole group, 2 starting channels for both groups.
  • Breaking down working on particular tasks, but this project might not lend itself so well with that. Start with pulling the resources together first.
  • Ruth: Schedule a follow-up meeting at the end of June.
  • All: Pull together resources prior to our next meeting. Summarize and analyze resources.