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…librarians are more freedom fighters than shushers. - Carla Hayden, Ms. magazine New Jersey Library Association April.

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Presentation on theme: "…librarians are more freedom fighters than shushers. - Carla Hayden, Ms. magazine New Jersey Library Association April."— Presentation transcript:

1 …librarians are more freedom fighters than shushers. - Carla Hayden, Ms. magazine New Jersey Library Association April 28, 2009

2 Mission Statement Radical Reference is a collective of volunteer library workers who believe in social justice and equality. We support activist communities, progressive organizations, and independent journalists by providing professional research support, education, and access to information. We work in a collaborative virtual setting and are dedicated to information activism to foster a more egalitarian society.

3 Community Needs Assessment 1. Who are our patrons and how do we know who they are?

4 Community Needs Assessment 1. Who are our patrons and how do we know who they are? 2. What do our patrons want?

5 Community Needs Assessment 1. Who are our patrons and how do we know who they are? 2. What do our patrons want? 3. Who are we and what can we offer?

6 Community Needs Assessment 1. Who are our patrons and how do we know who they are? 2. What do our patrons want? 3. Who are we and what can we offer? 4. Where, when, and how can we work together? The Importance of Community Needs Assessment in Activist Work by Heather McCann and Lana Thelen:

7 1. Who are our patrons… - activists - independent journalists and media makers - progressive organizations - other members of the library community

8 …and how do we know who they are? RNC - Connections to other groups - NYC Grassroots Media Coalition - Anarchist Bookfairs (NYC, Bronx, Mid- Atlantic) - Anarchist People of Color - Wetlands Preserve - Library school students

9 - Self-identification when asking a question: - My video collective is making a documentary (Aug. 04) - I am working on a zine and I need a little direction (Aug. 2004) - I need some information on the Military Commissions Act of 2006 so I can defend my abhorrence of it in a knowledgeable fashion. (Oct. 2006) - Im trying to get some skillshares started at my library school. (Feb. 2009) - Im preparing a presentation on the global financial crisis for community organizations in Philadelphia. (Feb 09) - Im researching the countercultural implications of the LES music scene between (Mar. 2009)

10 Collecting patron info? - Location - or phone # - Urgency - How did you hear about us?

11 2. What do our patrons want? - Access to trustworthy information, though they may be wary of experts - Opportunities to find answers themselves - Information & opportunities where they are: - in the street - online - in the classroom

12 3. Who are we and what can we offer? Radical Reference volunteers include: - Degreed librarians - Library workers - Library school students

13 Radical Reference volunteers work in and/or engage with: - Academic libraries - Public libraries - Special libraries - Archives - Other information centers

14 The Activist/Librarian Context Blogs: librarian.net, Librarian Activist, Library Juice, RR member blogs

15 4. Where, when, and how can we work together? - In the street (reference) - Online (reference) -In the classroom (instruction) For some activists, we become the default local librarians.

16 In the street (reference) - Home base librarians and street librarians - Ready Reference kits and handouts -Maps and travel info -Organization contact info -Legal info -Basic medical info -Calendars

17 Other virtual question-answering services

18 Online (reference) - Highly collaborative, multilingual volunteer community using open source tools - Reference as a constantly evolving conversation (experts for people who inherently distrust experts)

19 Other online features - Archive of answered questions - Reference Shelf - Blogs - Tag cloud - Facebook (yes its true)

20 In the classroom (instruction) ALA: skillshares at SRRT booth Anarchist Bookfairs (NYC, Bronx, Mid- Atlantic) NYC Grassroots Media Conference Women & Media Conference

21 What motivates this kind of service? Something within the profession? Does it happen via collectives or other extra- institutional entities? Is it personal/individual? Local collectives = community


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