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Privacy Workshop Wrap-up

Hello all!

At the end of last semester the PLG was proud to host the Privacy and Surveillance for Libraries workshop. We have finally gathered all of the information to recap the event, where privacy activists Alison Macrina and Kade Crockford and Jessie Rossman, ACLU staff attorney, spoke to Simmons SLIS students and local library community members on issues of privacy and government surveillance. Specifically, the workshop discussed current issues about privacy and surveillance, legal implications of librarians and practical tools to enhance your own and your patrons’ privacy.

We have available:

  • Alison Macrina’s slides (attached as an .ODP file to this email)

  • a link to the video of the entire event and the ACLU handout, available through the Simmons SLIS Media Lab page here.

Feel free to share the video, slides, and tell people about the event!

Please continue to follow the brilliant activism of our presenters Alison and Kade! (Jessie Rossman keeps a lower profile but her bio can be found here.)

Alison Macrina can be found:

Kade Crockford can be found:

Thanks go to the Simmons SLIS Media Lab, specifically Kristen Weischedel, multimedia specialist, for her work in filming the event and making it available on YouTube, as well as scanning the handout! Thanks also to SLIS PLG members who pitched in to make this event a success.

All the best,

Katie Seitz
Simmons SLIS ’15

Attachment: privacy toolkit for librarians slides


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Anti-Racism Working Group at Simmons SLIS 2013-2014 Retrospective

Hi, I’m Katie Seitz, a second-year archives student here at SLIS. I started the Simmons Anti-Racism Working Group in Fall 2013 to bring existing conversations about racism and racial justice into the SLIS community, and to create community among people who wanted to become part of the larger project of changing LIS institutions and culture for the better.

We had a packed and challenging year. After the initial meeting, we had a succession of speaker events that covered different areas of LIS. Each followed the structure of a short talk, followed by a moderated Q&A. On November 4, 2013, Professor Lisa Hussey talked about her own journey as a white librarian at an event called “Why Talk about Race and Racism in LIS?” Professor Hussey discussed her own journey to racial consciousness as a white woman, her work on the effects of race and racism on the field, and stressed the need for white people to educate themselves around race and racism, especially while they occupy such a huge percentage of positions in the field.

Our next event also highlighted the work of Simmons SLIS faculty. Professor Joel Blanco-Rivera spoke on February 12, 2014 about the role of archives in (re)creating history for marginalized communities of color. He also discussed the impact of racism on archival collections and collection policies, and archivist/donor relations. His talk was followed by an animated discussion between the event attendees that touched on the responsibilities of institutions to grapple with their own legacies of discrimination.

We were lucky enough to find two young adult librarians who had the expertise and the willingness to talk about their work in the context of race and racism. Our two-event series, “Race and Racism in YA Librarianship,” began on February 28, 2014 with Boston Public Library young adult librarian Akunna Eneh. During this particular talk, Ms. Eneh mentioned inequitable division of resources among institutions and neighborhoods with higher populations of people of color, and we believe this is an integral aspect of librarianship and funding for professionals to consider. She stressed that it is crucial to examine the underlying sociopolitical dynamics behind the inequities that exist in librarianship and library services, rather than a more superficial analysis of “diversity” or “multiculturalism.”

Robin Brenner, teen librarian at Brookline Public Library, visited Simmons on April 4, 2014. Ms. Brenner spoke about race and racism in teen literature, namely the major discussions currently happening in the world of teen literature around race and diversity. She covered resources for collecting diversely, controversies and discussions surrounding topics like marketing and cover design, who can/should write what, and how teens themselves react to covers and the racial visibility of authors and creators.

[Note: Unfortunately the camera failed to record during this event and we sadly have no video.]

We were so lucky to have the participation of such amazing professors and professionals, and we look forward to continuing the conversation. By recent numbers, the LIS professions are 88% white, and support for students and professionals of color, combined with awareness of how race and racism affect us in our work, is crucial to changing that statistic. We also need own our power as LIS professionals to shape the information access of all people. By having hard conversations about race and racism impact our work, we can help the arc of LIS bend towards justice.

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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

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Logo Contest Commence

The Progressive Librarians Guild (or PLG@Simmons) needs a logo. Badly.  We know you’re all busy, but we figure, while you’re putting off that Moodle discussion post you could design the next PLG logo and win $25 to Revolution Books or the Lucy Parson’s Center, orrrrrr even the Curious George Store


Deadline: Monday, November 26th (11/26/12)

Submissions should be made to

Design must include “PLG” and “@Simmons”

Submit logo designs in .JPEG format

Multiple designs may be submitted

Submission should include contact information

Voting will take place the week of submissions

Winner will be notified by email

Questions may be sent to  



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Opportunity for Instruction Experience Coming Up

Dear GSLIS Community,

As some of you may remember last fall the Progressive Librarians Guild hosted the first Boston Anarchist Book Fair–and we are very excited to do it again this year!! There was one main thing missing last year:


This is an excellent opportunity in a safe welcoming environment to:

Improve your public speaking skills! Practice user instruction! Share your knowledge! Bolster your resume!
**Show librarians are key in every context!**
Compile extraordinary bibliographies! Eat food and buy books ♥ ♥

(You don’t have to be an anarchist to participate, obvi.)
This is an official call for workshop proposals to be included at the 2012 Anarchist Book Fair AND a request for bibliographies submissions to be available for workshop attendees.

Submit proposal by: October 17th
Hear back about it by: October 24th
Book Fair Date: November 10 & 11 (Sat & Sun)
(**Your workshop will only be on one day)

Please include:

Your name and contact information
Working title of the workshop/lecture
Summary of content/intended outcomes
Anticipated duration (max 1hr, minimum 30min)
Any other information you feel is pertinent to expressing the idea (noooo more than a page)
Email to: (Joanna Breen, PLG Co-Chair)

****Bibliographies do not need to be proposed, please just reply to this email stating you will prepare a bibliography on X topic, and then send it to me as a completed PDF by November 1st

If you and three other people want to each make fifteen minute presentations on related topics, propose it. If you want to be informal, propose to present a poster in the Paresky Center where the book fair will be taking place. Some made up examples to get your imagination flowing:

Lecture on Intellectual Freedom
PATRIOT Act impact on libraries
Library history – Library Awareness Act, libraries and political movements
Current state of intellectual freedom and privacy issues
Bookbinding, bookmaking on a shoestring
Politics in children’s lit
Themes of independence in YA lit
Libraries as cornerstone of democracy
Best practices for records management for activists
Bibliography of political research tools / demonstration of searching for political, census, governmental, NGO, non-profit information
Bibliography of conspiracy theories, activist resources, environmental terrorism, anarchist fiction, political memoirs, etc etc

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Contact Joanna Breen:

Looking forward to hearing from you!


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Join PLG for a chat about pop-up libraries, some snacks, and the unveiling of our own little library!!

Monday, Sept 17th

GSLIS Lounge


See ya then!

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Libraries and Labor Unions: a Panel Discussion

November 18th, 7-9pm

MCB C101

Join PLG@Simmons as we examine the role of labor unions in the library & information science fields. How do unions operate in the library workplace? How do they affect our mission as information professionals? Can they be a vehicle for social justice librarianship? Joining us will be Colin Wilkins (Brookline Public Library), Ann Langone (Brookline Public Library), Emily Drabinski (Long Island University), and Geoff Carens (Lamont Library-Harvard University). We hope that you’ll be part of the discussion, too, as we tackle this important subject!

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Boston Anarchist Bookfair

The Boston Anarchist Bookfair is this weekend, November 11-13 in the Paresky Center at Simmons College.

The PLG will be tabling all weekend for your information needs! Please contact us if you’re interested in volunteering.

For more information on vendors and workshops, visit

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The Audre Lorde to Howard Zinn Library @ OCCUPY BOSTON

Faithful members of the Progressive Librarians Guild, the Boston Radical Reference Collective, and others have worked tirelessly to create a valuable resource at Dewey Square–a library!

For more information, or how to get involved checked out the wiki on the Occupy Boston site:

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