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

Meeting minutes: February 21, 2018

Note-taker: Amy Wickner. Participant names redacted.

News & Resources

Libraries in the Context of Capitalism

  • This is Why We CAN Have Nice Things: The radical promise of libraries - Barbara Fister
  • Rethinking Value in Academic Libraries - Roxanne Shirazi
  • Organizing for Opposition: How to Build Power to Contest Power - Emily Drabinski
    • Describes how she got involved in a labor organization during walkout at LIU
    • What is actually involved on the day to day of organizing, e.g. details like organizing spreadsheets
    • Ebb & flow of interest: hard to keep people engaged once they have a conctract
    • People’s interests tend to correlate to how much of a crisis there is
  • Friction in the (Unpaid Internship) Machine: An Organizing Brainstorm, presented by Jeanne Swadosh, dues-paying member of the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York (ART)
    • Jeanne has shared research; may add to DLF Labor WG Zotero
    • Should internships circulate on professional organizations’ listservs? How about school lists?
    • Not a lot of oversight about what opportunities get sent to students.
    • Unpaid internships exist on a ladder of precarity, related to contract & term work, e.g. 2-3-year positions
    • Recommendations for ART as to how internships should be posted on job board

Code4Lib 2018

  • Fail4Lib:
    • Slides & readings:
    • half-day pre-conference workshop at the Code4Lib annual conference discussing, dissecting, being open about failure as counterpoint to perpetual pressure to celebrate success in library work
    • labor is labor, whether outcomes are success or failure
    • talking about failure as a different way to value labor
  • Code4Lib community, meetups, annual conference, journal could be good venues for talking about labor in/and digital libraries
    • heterogeneous work & workers all related to digital libraries

Considering Labor Models in Archives Work

  • SAA Issues & Advocacy Section steering committee
  • Research project (likely survey) on experiences of temporary workers in archives
  • Will reach out to committee about whether/how we (DLF Labor WG) can support

Upcoming Events

NYC, February 25, 2018 – ARLIS/NA conference workshop on Advocating for Ourselves: Negotiation Skills and Closing the Gender Pay Gap

Los Angeles, April 27, 2018 – Los Angeles Archivists Collective ArchivesNOW

  • How can we denormalize unpaid internships while recognizing that there's a lot of people invested in maintaining the system?
  • Little data available about how common they are, mostly under the radar
  • How labor is valued at the start of your career stays with you as you advance
  • What tactics are available to us?

Boston, July 20, 2018 – Gender & Sexuality in Information Studies Colloquium on WORK

Project Ideas

Develop a research agenda on valuing labor in digital libraries, akin to ACRL WGSS:

  • What kinds of ongoing research would we like to see?
  • Matching people with comparable or compatible research interests, experience, methods expertise (see e.g. #critlib research interests spreadsheet)
  • Find flexible ways for group members to contribute as available
  • Compile resources in Zotero

Next Steps

Next meeting March 21

Wiki clean-up

Orientation/catch up on working group activities to date

Draft research agenda document