Radical Reference Dream Projects

This site is dedicated to Radical Reference (RR) dream projects. Since RR was launched, numerous great project ideas have emerged. We hope RR dream projects will turn into reality in the near future and the first step is listing those dreams. Please feel free to pursue any of our dream projects and/or list your dream project(s) on this page or submit them to RR Web administrators who will post for you. When you list your dream project, please note your contact information. Someone might volunteer to help your dream come true!

  • (Added November 29, 2006) create a resource shelf for anti-racism resources--books and articles, training groups, etc.
  • (Added November 29, 2006) develop a Radical Reference guide to library schools. It seems like every year or so someone queries the Anarchist Librarians list about this topic. It would be nice to have a place to point to.
  • Library Stop Words: Provide a list of words -- along with alternative definitions or terms -- that are common or have become buzzwords in the library field that undermine a library as a public sphere. ie., clients, marketing, branding, etc. Contact ShinJoung Yeo (sjyeo at illinoisalumni DOT org)
  • Library Industry Corporate Watch: To collect and provide information on the social/political/environmental impact of corporations in the information industry. Libraries deal with many information corporations, but there is little publicly-available knowledge on their business practices. For instance, NARA has hired Lockheed Martin to help with preservation of digital information. Contact ShinJoung Yeo (sjyeo at illinoisalumni DOT org)
  • Indexing of the Pacifica Radio archive in order to provide better access to the archive. Contact ShinJoung Yeo (sjyeo at illinoisalumni DOT org).
  • (Added Sept 13, 2006) collaborative Web collection development with delicious. Radical reference has a delicious account (radical_reference) so it'd be great if you find some web resource of interest to the community, tag it with the "for:radical_reference" tag. This will send it to us so we can integrate it into our virtual reference shelf. But what I'd really like is for a group of us to go through all the questions/answers on this site and tag all the resources that we've suggested over the last 2 years. This would quickly build us that lovely virtual reference shelf that we've (ok I've!) always wanted. Contact James if you're interested (radlib AT ucimc DOT org).

In spring of 2006 members of Radical Reference were asked what activities they think this group should work on in the future. Here are the responses:

  • Organize and take action around issues of employment opportunities and salaries in librarianship and the question of librarians as "professionals."
  • Start Radical Librarian groups in library schools that would encompass library staff and students. Organize and become a greater presence through skill-shares, mentoring, providing support for Radical Reference (at protests and such) and radical librarianism in general.
  • Make Radical Reference accessible to teens and even younger kids. Connect with elementary and high schools
  • Develop advice for those starting local Rad Ref collectives, or trying hard to.
  • Create more reference shelf pages and pathfinders on the Rad Ref site.
  • Do outreach:

    * to students and faculty in LIS programs
    * to other academic departments such as English, history, philosophy, political science, architecture (green building), engineering (green technology), and many others... (distribute Rad Ref materials in departmental mailboxes at colleges & universities; ask the professors/GTAs to mention the service in class [or even volunteer to come in to talk])
    * in university and public libraries
    * at the local radical bookstore/infoshop and by extension all the places it has a presence, like zine and craft fairs and music shows
    * if local infoshops have a newsletter, ask them to plug Radical Reference there
    * in activist spaces (like in Pittsburgh, the Thomas Merton Center)
    * through Indymedia chapters, including the local Indymedia radio show (a PSA for Rad Ref, perhaps?)
    * in campus papers and free alternative newsweeklies
    * include sample questions in outreach materials so people might feel more inclined to use it and participate in it

SEE ALSO our Internship Ideas page