Archive for category PLG Messages

PBP Book Drive Thank Yous – And More

The Prison Book Program in Quincy raised more than 16,000 books during its Great American Book Drive on Saturday. And the PLG helped, by sending over more than 150! We’re proud and honored we were able to participate and hope to make helping collect books to donate an annual event as well.

Some thanks are in order! First, HUGE thanks to the PLG’s REFORMA rep, Sujei Lugo, who , made the fliers and just basically made our mini-drive work. Thank you so much, Sujei!! And also, big thanks to the PLG Community Outreach Coordinator, Hannah Gomez, who rented a zip car and drove around yours truly, trying to find the drop-off point. Thanks so much for doing this and putting up with my map-reading skillz. And thanks to all the PLG officers for offering to help, promoting and everything.

Outside of PLG, GSLIS Assistant Dean of Student Services Em Claire Knowles deserves praise for suggested putting the drop-off box in the GSLIS lounge and donated the first book at that location. And thanks for those Simmons students who donated there; I did get a few good hauls from that box. Somerville Public Library deserves a thumbs up for allowing us to place another drop-off box at their central location – we’d like to especially acknowledge Director Maria Carpenter for her support and to Teen Librarian Ron Castile for his support by donating 10 copies of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

But a big chuck of our haul came from Lugo’s contacts on Twitter and IRL. They are:

her twitterless dad, Pedro Lugo and
her twitterless Qualitative Research professor from the School of Social Work, Johnnie Hamilton-Mason.

We gratefully acknowledge your help in spreading the word and sending us some good stuff!

And thanks to all those who emailed and asked where they could send books or that they wanted to do something similar in their own schools. But most of all, thank you to all you generous donors. And if I’ve forgotten to recognize you, sorry and thanks!

You can still get involved with the Prison Book Program! Radical Reference Boston and PLG are getting a bunch of people together to head over the PBP TOMORROW 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. to help with these recently donated books and most likely other tasks. Email our Social Media Officer, Kittle Evenson at, to join the group or get more info.

And if you want to get in on planning and managing awesome campaigns such as this one, consider becoming a PLG officer. We’re looking for a secretary/archivist and treasurer starting in the summer semester. See here for more info and to apply. It’s fun and great for your resume.

Have a good week – oh, and see you next at the Swap-O-Rama (co-hosted with SCIRRT) —

When: Saturday, April 27, 2013, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where: GSLIS Student Lounge

PLG and SCIRRT are co-hosting a Swap-O-Rama. Clothes, books, electronics, school supplies and more are all welcome to be brought and exchanged. This event can be especially helpful for people who are moving or graduating after this semester. The organizers also hope that more than just goods will be swapped. Bring your ideas and enthusiasm for the profession and share them with your fellow GSLIS students, faculty and staff. Questions? Email Eileen Fontenot at or Eva Rios-Alvarado at

Whew! OK – think that was it!
~Eileen, PLG co-chair

, ,

Leave a comment

Drop Off Books for Prison Book Program Drive at GSLIS Lounge

drop off boxFaculty, staff, students and any interested parties may now drop off their book donations for the Prison Book Program drive at the Simmons GSLIS student lounge (2nd floor of the Palace Road building). We have set up a shiny blue box with attached flyer on top of the filing cabinets to the left of the door as you walk in. The drive itself is April 13, but PLG is gathering books now to bring to that event. So you don’t have to!

For more information about the book drive, click here. For what books are needed (and not needed), see our flyer.


Leave a comment

Bookmaking Your Way

Take a break from your hectic, last minute, end-of-semester duties, if only for an hour of bookmaking fun. PLG is hosting a DIY Bookmaking Workshop from 5 to 6 p.m. TOMORROW, Wednesday, Dec. 5, at P210 (the Palace Road building on campus). Stop by to find out how to make a book for yourself or for someone else as a holiday gift. Questions? Email

Leave a comment

In Summation …

Your PLG has been working hard the past month or so, making connections with other organizations and co-hosting a big yearly event, the Boston Anarchist Bookfair

The second annual Bookfair, which was held Nov. 9-11 at the Paresky Center in the Main College Building, attracted approximately 40 organizations sharing information and art and hundreds of people eager to exchange ideas and learn about anarchy and related topics during skillshares, workshops and films. Musical acts kicked off the weekend on Friday night; some performers included Jake and the Infernal Machine, Evan Greer, Not4Prophet and Adan X of the X-Vandals and Spider Cider. Some highlights included the panel discussions; Saturday afternoon featured Ray Luc Levasseur, Kazi Toure and Ashanti Alston, who discussed The Jericho Movement, which advocates the freeing of political prisoners. On Sunday, members of Maine Earth First!, the Earth First! Journal and RAMPS discussed eco-defense. PLG members hope to meet with the Boston anarchist collective to discuss the success of the bookfair and to also discuss hosting the event again.

PLG has also reached out to the Lucy Parsons Center regarding the planning and maintaining of a radical lending library it is undertaking with the Boston Radical Reference collective, whose members are the caretakers of Occupy Boston’s A-Z library. This is still in the early planning stages, so check in with us to find out how this is progressing. Also, PLG wiki/blogmaster Eileen Fontenot is now the GSLIS liaison to the Scott/Ross Center at Simmons. This is part of an on-going effort to partner with other organizations in creating volunteer opportunities and keeping action at the forefront of PLG’s goals. Along with GSLIS, the four other graduate programs at Simmons are uniting to plan volunteer events around the Simmons neighborhood. If you have any ideas or would like to help out, email Eileen at

Finally, if you’d like to become a PLG officer, we currently have three positions open for the spring semester: co-chair, treasurer and blog/wikimaster. Visit our wiki page to put your name down for a position and write a few sentences about why you’d like to join us. We’re planning a DIY bookmaking event later this month and a serving the underserved panel next semester and would love to hear your ideas on what other fun stuff we can discuss and accomplish. If you don’t have time to become an officer, get involved with us in other ways. Check out a book from our pop-up library, design a new logo for us, interact with us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest or meet up with us at our next meeting (date TBD). We look forward to meeting and working with you!

Leave a comment

Pop! Goes the Library


Your faithful progressive librarian students at PLG had a very productive and fun first meeting of the semester September 17th in the GSLIS Student Lounge. Six students, along with four officers, discussed pop-up libraries and their effects on the communities they serve. Using PLG’s Pinterest board as a guide (, we considered their value to their communities and discussed whether or not they are reaching the right people and, if not, how to bridge the gap from reaching those who are already voracious readers and have access to resources to those in who do not have those resources.

But first, how about some background on the Little Free Library (aka pop-up libraries, micro libraries) movement? According to an article in Library Journal (Sept. 1, 2011), two Wisconsin men, Rick Brooks and Todd Bol, decided to top Andrew Carnegie in the library endowment department. In 2009, they began building their 24″ x 24″ x 30″ structures, which cost only about $350, around Madison. In the intervening years, there have hundreds and hundreds more (whose locations can be found on Google Maps

It appears that there’s a good variety of pop-up libraries spreading in both urban, suburban and rural areas. John Locke of New York City has installed many shelving units in the city’s now-unused public telephone booths ( Quite often, children take a hand in building and in the upkeep of these pop-ups, thereby ensuring a new generation of book lovers. What librarian wouldn’t love that?

Circulating books without the aide of traditional libraries and librarians sounds like a fantastic idea, but what are some of the drawbacks? Don’t patrons need the guidance of information professionals in selecting just what they want or need? As one article stated, a rural community started a little free library after their local public branch closed. Hopefully, these micro libraries will continue to enhance and support a community’s public libraries, not be the sole information source. But one thing is for certain: readers who gather at pop-up libraries are sure to benefit from the sharing of ideas and getting to know their neighbors.

Personalizing a pop-up library is part of the fun. Placing it in a location with a lot of foot traffic is quite valuable in catching the attention of your potential users. Then, according to what you believe what your patrons’ interests are, you can make the collection very specialized and unique. (Much like what we are doing with our own; we intend to keep our volumes focused on social justice and radical librarianship.) Also, at times when a patron may feel intimidated in a “real” library, possibly because they are part of a disenfranchised population, stopping by a pop-up library may make them feel more at ease and more welcome in the community. And, after they become more comfortable, these patrons can begin visiting public libraries and enjoy their benefits.

If any of you in the Simmons community would like to stop by PLG’s little free library, it is located on the second floor of the Palace Road building near the Tech Lab at locker number 121. The combination is 24-48-46. There are a few books there now, and more are on order. To check out what we have and what we will be getting in the future, see our Library Thing catalog page at

We’d also love to see you get involved with the library! We’re working on stocking it with PLG swag, like buttons and bookmarks, but first we need some creative help. If you’d like to join PLG and design us a new logo, we’d love to see your ideas! Just send us an email.

Our mission statement:
The PLG@Simmons Locker Library exists to serve the greater Simmons community. It aims to be dynamic, not static, which means it is always growing and changing to reflect the current interests of PLG and the wider community. In stocking the PLG@Simmons Locker Library with materials not widely available, we support individuals in their pursuit of knowledge and self-edification, champion the freedom of information, and further progressive ideals.

Our etiquette suggestions are:
1. Treat books like you would regular library books.
2. A large proportion of books in this library are out of print, small press, or self-produced. That means they’re basically priceless! Please make sure you return books when you’re done with them.
3. The suggested loan period is one month.
4. If you have a book/zine/other bound set of paper to donate, please fill out the slip and leave it in your donated book so that we can add it to the catalog.
5. For every book you borrow from the library, tell one friend or colleague about it. Help us spread the word!
6. To suggest titles, email or fill out the form: or

, , ,

Leave a comment

Gearing Up for the Fall

Hi, fellow progressive librarian types:

Your new fall officers have been hard at work, discussing events for the upcoming semester. So far, we’re tossing around ideas for another Chewing the Facts session and a pop-up library locker, among others. You can follow Simmons PLG on Pinterest to follow our progress in gathering and examining pop-up libraries that are sprouting all over the world. (And, like us on Facebook, too, while you’re at it. If you haven’t already done so. Cheers.) We’ll be sure to pin anything else that would be of interest to Simmons GSLIS students, progressive and radical information professionals and citizens eager to participate in free, democratic information consumption.

Watch this blog and our wiki page for updates on upcoming events, including the Anarchist Book Fair. If you’d like to attend a PLG meeting, suggest resources or share an idea, submit an entry to this blog about the field of progressive librarianship (You, YES, YOU, can submit to this blog!) or somehow get involved, email us at

Leave a comment

Ominous Taps

Well you know summer is drawing to a close when the taps are switched from Sam Summer to Sam’s October Brew.  Alas!  The end of the summer brings zesty fall air and another exciting semester at Simmons GSLIS.  The Progressive Librarians Guild is rearing to continue Chewing the Facts discussion sessions (monthly), host the Boston Anarchist Bookfair (November),  put together an enlightening panel discussion (TBD),   and more!  Please stay tuned to find out when and where all our great events are taking place!!


Co-Chairs Bryce Kieren-Healy & Joanna Breen

Leave a comment

PLG on Wikileaks

On Wikileaks and the Library of Congress: A Statement by the Progressive Librarians Guild

The Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG) condemns in the strongest possible terms the blocking of Wikileaks by the Library of Congress and rejects on all grounds their arguments in defense of this move.

The action is a violation of American librarianship’s historic commitments to the public’s right to know, to freedom of the press, and to the very essence of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. It is also in violation of the American Library Association’s most fundamental commitments to intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights.

We call on the American Library Association (ALA) to condemn unequivocally this move by the Library of Congress to actively conspire in preventing access to information in the public interest Blocking access to this published information is censorship, plain and simple, and supporting sanctions against reading is endorsing abridgment of intellectual freedom. The documentation’s open publication by
an agency of the free press, Wikileaks, renders its government classification status irrelevant.

For the Library of Congress, blocking access and rationalizing censorship is an unacceptable acquiescence to the government’s abusive attempt to put the genie back in the bottle with regards to leaked documents which, among other things, expose the government’s own malfeasance, malevolence, and even criminality in the conduct of the people’s affairs, in matters of vital public concern, citizen’s fullest
knowledge, and discussion of which are in the interest of democracy, freedom, peace, rule of law, and good governance here, and around the world.

We also call on ALA to oppose the government’s directives barring individuals in other federal agencies, the armed forces, and working for government contractors from viewing published material
discomfiting to the authorities.

We call on ALA as well to join us in condemning the ongoing and escalating U.S. government-led witch-hunt against Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

Progressive Librarians Guild, Coordinating Committee (PLG-CC)
December 4, 2010

Visit that National PLG website at:

Leave a comment