Portland (OR) Radical Reference Collective

Welcome to the online home of the Portland Radical Reference Collective! Below is information on meetings, events, and projects we're working on. Please contact radrefpdx@gmail.com for more information.

Upcoming and Past Meetings

March 2nd, 2009 at 7pm: We will meet at the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) downtown (917 SW Oak St. #218) on the first Monday of the month. Minutes are available here.

February 2nd, 2009 at 7pm: We will meet at the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) downtown (917 SW Oak St. #218) on the first Monday of the month. Minutes are available here.

January 5th, 2009 at 7pm: Starting in January we will permanently meet at the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) downtown (917 SW Oak St. #218) on the first Monday of the month. Minutes are available here.

December 2008: We will be meeting at the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) downtown (917 SW Oak St. #218). Minutes are available here.

October, 2008: We met on October 27th at the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) downtown (917 SW Oak St. #218). Minutes are available here.

September, 2008: The second PDX Collective meeting was on September 30th at Anna Bannana's Coffee House in North Portland (8716 N. Lombard). Minutes are available here.

August, 2008: The first PDX Collective meeting was on August 20th at the
Red and Black Cafe. Minutes are available here.


So You Want to become a Librarian... A Free talk at the IPRC Weds 2/4 7pm
Four members of the Portland RR collective will host an informal discussion on the steps to becoming a librarian and what that means nowadays. Please see the flyer for more information.

Bitch Magazine Library Creation: collective members are helping Bitch Magazine catalog and organize their lending library.

iprc-librarian-flyer.pdf1019.57 KB

PDX Collective Meeting Notes - January 2009

Mon., Jan. 5th, 2009 - meeting held at IPRC
Nate [moderator], Lana, Renee, Denise, Emily, Sarah, Ismoon, Joanna, and Charles in attendance

Current Projects:

1. Bitch Lending Library
- Lana updated the group as to the status of the Bitch Lending Library project. All books have been assigned subject headings and are in the process of being labeled. Additional volunteers are needed to label and organize books. There will be a Bitch Library Stickering Party this Sun., Jan. 10th at the Bitch Headquarters starting at 1p. More information is available on the Facebook event page.
- It was also mentioned that Bitch is looking for individuals to join their Board of Directors [will require 10-15 hours of involvement each month]. For more information please see the CNRG listserv posting here.

2. Q Center Library
- Ismoon is working on expanding the Q Center Library, and is in need of volunteers to assist in the labeling and cataloging of materials [library catalog can be seen here], as well as donations of new and academic LGBT books . If you would like to volunteer or have donations, please e-mail her at ismoon.maria@gmail.com.

3. Prison outreach
Inverness Jail
- Renee continues to work with Carol Cook, Multnomah County Library's prison outreach coordinator, to organize Radical Reference member involvement in Inverness Jail's Book Discussion Group and filming project. Anyone interested in volunteering at Inverness should first fill out MCL's volunteer application available here [if you are already a volunteer at MCL it is not necessary to fill out an additional app], and let Renee know which projects you are interested in. She can be reached at rokabiri@gmail.com.

Books to Oregon Prisoners
- Those interested in working with Oregon Books to Prisoners should e-mail Nate at mellingsather@gmail. Nate mentioned possibly having a monthly meet up at the OR Books to Prisoners headquarters if enough people are interested. The first meetup will be held Mon., Jan. 26th, 2009 at 5p.

Information and resources for recently released prisoners
- There was also talk of creating/updating an informational booklet that helps newly released inmates. Denise will be spearheading this project.

4. Workshops
- Renee, Lana, Nate, and Ian will be hosting the first RR workshop at the IPRC. It is entitled, 'How to become a librarian' and will take place Wed., Feb. 4th at 7p. Additional details are available on the IPRC Calendar page.
- Some ideas for future workshops include: Copyright; Fact Checking; Getting your Zines in a Library

5. Wordpress blog
- Lana mentioned sending out Wordpress invites so RR members can create content at the RR Collective blog page.
- The blog will be used as a place to communicate 'dream projects', create an archive, and, as suggested by Emily, post RR-related events and other projects.

Other news:
- Debbie Rasmussen, director/publisher of Bitch Magazine, will be joining us at our February meeting to talk about her involvement with RR and the Bitch Lending Library project!

Next meeting will take place Mon., Feb. 2nd, 7p at the IPRC.

Bitch Magazine Library


10/1, 5:30: Members met at Bitch and continued to assign books to a category.

9/9, 5:30: Members met at Bitch to view current books in each category.

9/3, 5:30pm: Met at PSU Library (1875 SW Park Avenue) to view taxonomy books and begin building subject thesaurus

8/27: Members met at Bitch to view library collection and break up work. Donna will investigate other cataloging options (including library thing) and all others will begin working on taxonomy

Resources for Thesaurus Construction (especially if related to gender studies)

ACRL Women's Studies Section

Gender Inn

Gender Studies Database

Hope Olson's "How We Construct Subjects: A Feminist Analysis" on B-net

Provision Library's Online Catalog has a pretty small list of subjects, but is a good example of streamlining progressive terms

old-subjects-bitch.pdf30.7 KB

PDX Collective Meeting Notes - April 2009

April 6th, 2009 at the IPRC

In attendance: Renee, Rick, Lana, Liz

Guest Speakers

Marc Parker and Lillian Karabaic gave the group an overview of the IPRC zine library and what all went down at the Zine Librarian UnConference which happened concurrently with ACRL in Seattle. We took a tour of the library and checked out how things are organized in there and also learned about the groups project to create a “non-evil” OCLC for zines so libraries can share records.

Meeting Discussion

1) We had received an email from someone at a local book publisher who wants to donate free books to libraries in need. The sender asked if we could think of a good way to equitably distribute the books. Our suggestions included: linking it up with one of the OLA committees (esp. for rural libraries), posting to Ors-Lib, and connecting with library groups in hard hit areas of the country (i.e. Gulf Coast). Suggestions were passed along to the publisher.

2) We next discussed the function of having physical meetings. Many people are finding it difficult to make it to a monthly meeting but all who attended expressed that they want to continue to have in-person meetings. We decided to try out having quarterly meetings from now on. We’ll skip next May and in June have a mini skillshare instead of a meeting, and then have formal meetings on the 1st Monday of September, December, March, and June.

a. Mini-skillshare on Monday June 1st: In lieu of the June meeting we’d like to have a skillshare where RR collective members can do quick (15 mins plus 5 mins q&a) workshops on library topics to help foster learning among the librarian community. Rick volunteered to teach a storytelling workshop and Lana volunteered to do a community needs assessment workshop. We agreed that we’d do 3 - 4 workshops total so need 1 or 2 more volunteers. Email Lana if you’d like to participate: lanamt [at] gmail [dot] com.

Next Meeting: SKILLSHARE on Monday, June 1st at the IPRC

Since this meeting a couple of other things have happened that are worth noting in the minutes

1) Lana spoke with the new person in charge of the Bitch Library [http://www.librarything.com/catalog/bitchlibrary] and is happy to report that the library is moving along and almost all of the materials have been entered into the library thing catalog. Bitch would like to offer two 3-hour open library hours for the public to come in and browse. They have already found one volunteer to be their librarian. Contact danny [at] b-word [dot] org if you want to volunteer to be a librarian there or do other library work. Lana will keep RR folks in the loop for when the library opening day celebration is.

2) Portland is having its first Anarchist Bookfair on the weekend of June 6th and 7th. http://www.myspace.com/axiominfoshop It will be held at the Liberty Hall (311 N Ivy St). We’ll be tabling there on Saturday. We would also like to teach at least one librarian workshop there. The group putting on the bookfair recommended that we choose whatever topic(s) is most applicable to fostering community independence. Please email Lana if you’re interested in tabling and/or helping out with a workshop: lanamt [at] gmail [dot] com.

PDX Collective Meeting Notes - August 2008

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 at Red and Black Cafe

Approximately 14 librarians and library students attended the first meeting of the PDX RR Collective.
Note: In the future do we want to record names as they do for NYC Collective?

A brief intro on Radical Reference was provided which covered the history and current presence of the group.

All introduced themselves and provided background on why they came to the meeting and what they hope to accomplish as a collective. From these discussions, 20 ideas were generated which fall into the following 7 categories:

1) Advocacy
2) Library / Archive Creation & Maintenance
3) Media
4) Outreach
5) Professional
6) Research / Reference Support
7) Workshops

The ideas are:

Advocacy: Public (and other) library funding: one specific example being the pending Clackamas County Library closures

Library / Archive Creation & Maintenance: Archive assistance and records management; establishing radical subject thesauri and other cataloging projects; Bitch Magazine cataloging project

Media: Fact-checking workshops with Indymedia and other independent journalists; teaming up with Independent Publishing Resource Center and other independent publishers; Media literacy, critique, and deconstruction

Outreach: Ways to assist, help, and collaborate with underserved communities; linking up with other radical groups to provide library / information services; connecting with local on-profits to offer grant help and business information; outreach to increase people of color in library and information science (LIS) field (including outreach to paraprofessional staff); literacy work; creating local fact sheets

Professional: Issues of race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, and more in libraries; union support; LIS and feminism: introducing pedagogy and critical teaching to library practice and education; Library of Congress Subject Heading critiques

Research / Reference Support: Reference projects for activists seeking sensitive information (i.e. potentially illegal activity); bicycle law support

Workshops: Library and reference skills workshops in activist communities / skillshares

It was decided that the group will use the Radical Reference wiki to host documents. The main RR website is a wiki and there is also a mediawiki installed. You need to create a free user account to use either.
I think to keep things simple we should just use the wiki function directly on the RR site, i.e. how I entered the minutes (Lana)

A listserv will be created; all attendees and those who requested to be kept in the loop will be added to facilitate communication.

It was decided that we will meet monthly and will rotate the day, time, and city quadrant to facilitate greater access by all involved and interested in the collective.

Current Projects and Subjects for Next Meeting:
Lana is currently working on a project to help Bitch Magazine catalog their collection and create a lending library and would love other folks to help out. All interested in helping, please email: lanamt [at] gmail [dot] com

We will work towards establishing guidelines and best practices with regards to time spent on projects and criteria for accepting or denying projects at the next meeting.

People should feel free to use the listserv and wiki if they want to spearhead a project listed above or propose a new one.

Next Meeting: Date and Location TBA – update will be posted here and sent to the listserv.

PDX Collective Meeting Notes - December 2008

December 2nd, 2008 at the IPRC

In attendance: Nate (moderator), Renee, Laura, Lana, and Rick

Workshops at the IPRC

The IPRC is happy to host Radical Reference workshops. Ian, Lana, Nate, and Renee will be doing a “How to be a librarian” workshop in the next few months. There is a need for other workshops, especially on copyright, fact checking, and research. Workshop content and any fees you want to charge is up to the presenter. Please email Ann Marie at iprcworkshops [at] gmail [dot] com for more information.

Prison Projects

Renee has been working with the prison outreach coordinator from MCL and we have been invited to participate in the literary discussion group at the Inverness Jail. RR members may select the book and lead the discussion. The groups are divided by gender and currently the male group is reading Maus and the female group is reading an Oprah book club selection. Get in touch with Renee if you want to be involved. You have to submit paperwork in advance and clear a background check to participate.

Additionally, Nate will be posting info to the listserv / blog [see “generating involvement”] soon about a group volunteer night at the Oregon Books to Prisoners program where RR folks are invited to informally gather and send off requested books to prisoners throughout Oregon.

Generating Involvement

Nate suggested that we create a Facebook group to announce events, keep in touch, and expand the group’s reach. Laura will put together the group so look for it on Facebook soon.

We also decided that it would be useful to have a blog where we can communicate ideas, connect with each other, and have an archive of events and ideas. Lana created the blog at http://pdxradref.wordpress.com/. Rick will post some of the dream project ideas [see “other business”] he had to the blog.

We also talked about having a speaker come before some of the meetings. All agreed that this will be a great way to enrich the monthly meetings. Lana will speak with Debbie, the producer of Bitch magazine, about speaking at the January meeting. Other guest speakers mentioned include Carol Cook from MCL, the zine librarian at IPRC, and perhaps someone from OLA.

Nature of the Collective

Lana wanted to check in with folks to see how they feel the collective side of the group is going. All agreed that in order to keep a healthy collective we should continue to support projects that fit different interests and offer various levels of involvement, i.e. the Bitch project is more long term and involved, whereas the Books to Prisoners project is a just show up and help while you can venture. We also want to be sure and have projects that fall under different interests so someone who is interested in helping teens, for example, can find something to connect with. If you are interested in leading a project, please post your idea to the blog and/or listserv to find other folks who may be interested in helping out. As it is a collective, all are encouraged to take the lead with a project and use the group as a support system.

Other Business
We talked about some dream projects which are projects we’d love to do but don’t currently have the time to spearhead / work on. We will use the blog to announce these projects and keep a list of them as well as connect with other interested parties. Some of them include:
1) Creating a list of collective member’s skills (i.e. screenprinting, copyright, etc) and interests so folks who are looking to work on a particular topic know who might be interested or can help
2) Help provide information to sex workers on where to go to find free health services
3) Provide support to local companies that are coming under attack by national chains (i.e. Whole Foods possibly suing New Seasons)
4) Having a Rad Ref presence at Library Legislative Day in Salem (March 5th, 2009)
5) Poster session at OLA on the projects we’ve done / are doing

Next Meeting: Monday January 5th 7pm at the IPRC

PDX Collective Meeting Notes - February 2009

February 2nd, 2009 at the IPRC

In attendance: Nate (moderator), Ian, Ismoon, Kirk, Janet, Lana, Laura, Renee, and Sarah.

Guest Speaker: Debbie Rasmussen from Bitch Magazine
Debbie Rasmussen, Publisher of Bitch Magazine stopped by to discuss the state of independent publishing. She echoed sentiments that many small magazines are seeing a decline in interest for print and a need to reinvent themselves to survive in a more digital age with small presses folding left and right. She also talked about Bitch becoming a non-profit and how this is part of their strategy for sustainability and continued presence. She also requested help from us Rad Reffers, please see the note below:
"the staff/board at bitch are strategizing to find a sustainable publishing model in today's media environment -- and are always looking for thoughtful advice about fundraising, increasing subscriptions (especially on campuses and in libraries) and just finding ways to keep print alive in the land of digital if you want to get involved, please email danny [at] b-word [dot] org!"

Prison Update
Renee update folks on the status of the prison project. Unfortunately due to budget cuts at MCL and the Inverness Jail we are unable to participate in the book discussion groups [see December minutes]. Renee will continue to follow this and update all as soon as we can participate again. Denise is working on a list of resources for those transitioning out of incarceration.

Library Project Updates
Lana talked about the very successful Bitch Library work party with about a dozen volunteers coming in to help. We finished stickering all of the books and placed them in their proper locations. Bitch volunteers will now catalog the records in LibraryThing and RR volunteers will then help out with outreach and awareness once the library is up and running. If you'd like to help out with cataloging the books, please contact danny [at] b-word [dot] org.

Ismoon and Sarah talked about their work on the Q Center Library. Ismoon will be scheduling multiple work days were folks are encouraged to stop by and help sticker books for their lending library which includes a large transgender reference collection. For more information please email ismoon.maria [at] gmail [dot] com. The Q Center Library also has an Amazon wish list for books they'd like to add to the collection.

IPRC Workshops

Renee, Ian, Nate, and Lana will be presenting a workshop on "How to become a librarian" at the IPRC on Wednesday February 4th. They have created a wiki with resources they will be presenting available here.

The IPRC would love to host other Radical Reference workshops. There is a need for other workshops, especially on copyright, fact checking, and research. Workshop content and any fees you want to charge is up to the presenter. Please email Ann Marie at iprcworkshops [at] gmail [dot] com for more information.

Next Meeting: Monday, March 2nd, 7pm at the IPRC

PDX Collective Meeting Notes - March 2009

Mon., March 2nd, 2009 - meeting held at IPRC
Nate [moderator], Laura, Ian, Lana, Renee, Denise, Ismoon, Martha, Kristen, Mark, and Sylvia in attendance

Past Projects:
1. 'How to become a Librarian' workshop
- In the beginning of February, RR members gave a talk on 'How to become a Librarian' at the IPRC. A general outline of the talk is available here. It was a great success! Attendance was high and several people left on account of the meeting room being full. Future talks on the same topic were suggested, as well talks on fact checking and copyright. If you would like propose a workshop topic contact Ann Marie at the IPRC [info@iprc.org].

Current Projects:

1. Q Center Library
- The Q Center Library is moving locations. Once the move is complete Ismoon will be in need of volunteers to assist in the labeling and cataloging of materials, as well as donations of new and academic LGBT books . If you would like to volunteer or have donations, please e-mail her at ismoon[dot]maria[at]gmail[dot]com.

2. Prison outreach
Partnership for Safety & Justice

- Denise has contacted Partnership for Safety & Justice to find out if they are interested in working with RR. Possible projects include answering questions from inmates' letters and creating information packets for frequently asked questions. It was suggested that RR creates a wiki page where questions can be posted and RR members can answer them on their own time.

Inverness Jail
- Due to budget cutbacks all new projects have been put on hold and no additional volunteers are being accepted at the jail. According to Carol Cook, Multnomah County Library's prison outreach coordinator, this may change in the summer. Renee will remain in contact with Carol and will contact her in May to get an update.

3. Public Library Support
- Due to the nationwide economic crisis many libraries have been subjected to severe budget cuts and staff lay-offs. The Oregon Historical Society's impending temporary closing and staff cutbacks along with the Oregon Trail Museum's closing were discussed. Lana suggested RR find a way to support these libraries as well as inform the public as to the importance and role libraries play in communities today. Suggestions included outreach through podcasts and blogs; letters to editors of small papers; RR cheerleaders, 'Ignite'-like slideshow presentations, and Portland Community Media collaboration.

Other News:

Google Books Settlement
- Laura has provided some links on the Google Books Settlement, which may be discussed at the April meeting.

ALA Midwinter Conference Notes

Simple summary of Google Books Settlement

Georgetown University talk on Google Books Settlement

Cites and Insights

Emily's blog post on this issue at "In the Library with the Lead Pipe"

PDX Collective Meeting Notes - October 2008

Radical Reference Meeting Notes---10/27/2008-- 7:00pm at IPRC

In attendance: Lana, Nate, Ian, Renee, Denise

The low down on the Bitch Magazine lending library project:
All books have been grouped into the category headings created
Currently waiting for shelving units that are to be provided by Bitch
Donna is to meet with Debbie at Bitch to discuss online cataloging options beyond Library Thing

Nate provided information he had gathered in regards to Rad Ref Involvement with Oregon Prisons.
For more information e-mail Nate: mellingsather@gmail.com
Possible projects include:
-Adding more resources to Partnership for Safety and Justice- Support Directory
-Adding resources to Transition Directory, especially resources outside of I-5 corridor
-Teaming up with Books for Oregon Prisoners in some capacity

Renee/Ian/Nate are working on this.

Lana proposed teaching workshops at IPRC or through Free School.
The IPRC would advertise workshops and put in there calendar.
Everyone present was interested in leading/creating a “How to Become a Librarian” presentation.
Likely an hour in length and IPRC can host it at some point between December and March.

Finally the group discussed future meeting times.
Currently IPRC is the new home… and it is an awesome place.
Beginning December meetings are the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm @ IPRC
IPRC cannot host a meeting for us in November.
Group proposed using November to nail down a day and time that will work for more interested parties now that we know our meeting location.
Proposed alternatives to 1st Tuesday were: 1st Monday, or 1st or 2nd Thursdays
We will communicate via listserv.

PDX Collective Meeting Notes - September 2008

Wed., Oct. 1, 2008 at Anna Banana's Coffee House

Lana, Renee, Donna, and Nate in attendance

Briefly went over Radical Reference mission and gave background information for new members and those who missed last month's meeting.

Donna shared copies of the article, The Government Domain: Political Fact-Checking Websites, which is also available online here.

Discussed having someone volunteer to be permanent moderator at future RR meetings.

Lana informed the group that the Independent Publishing Resource Center [IPRC] will be permanently hosting RR meetings the first Tuesday of every month, starting in December.

Current projects:

Cataloging of the Bitch magazine lending library is going well. Many of the books have been reorganized using new categories. Donna is researching sites/software to catalog the materials. We hope to have this project completed within a month!

Possible future projects:

- Multnomah County Library's Target Language Practicum [see attachment for more information]
- Involvement with Oregon Prisons and the literacy & information needs of prisoners
- Workshops and talks at the IPRC [ex. 'How To Be a Librarian in Portland']

Also, Donna suggested CNRG to find new members and post about future RR projects.

We talked about possibly putting together an info/FAQ webpage for RR projects. The page would set some guidelines for taking ownership of projects, and would also provide information for those interested in collaborating with RR on what the group does and does not do.

Target Language Intern fact sheet v. 2.doc75.5 KB