radical reference

Radical Reference Conference Call 8/25/13

On August 25th, 2013, we had a conference call to discuss the future of Radical Reference. 8 members participated in the call.

These are the action items created during the meeting:
Action item: Jessica will draft language for sending out on the list and putting on the website (re: suspending reference question answering on the site)
Action item: Asking James or another website-savvy person about disabling or altering the submission form.
Action item: Looking for someone to put together the website-focused call, ideally with folks with tech experience and an interest in working on the website
Action item: Send out a call for FB and Twitter updaters.

Library Established at Occupy Boston

Metacomet Books, in collaboration with the Boston Radical Reference Collective and the Simmons Progressive Librarians Guild, has established a new, leaderless, collective library at the Occupy Boston

website redesign project

David Walczyck's Pratt Institute Information Architecture & Interaction Design class, which is using Radical Reference as its web redesign client this semester has requested that we provide them a list of sites that we admire--not necessarily library related sites--for their design, interaction, or community aspects.

Please list yours here, with annotations if possible--either in this post or as a comment:

Answer: QUESTION: What kind of questions are asked at demonstrations


Hi Elena,

In my experience, and I hope others will weigh in, the typical questions we get while doing street reference at demonstrations are from reporters and bystanders, "What is the event?" "Who organized it?" We sometimes get more in-depth questions, like this one about the electoral college system. For a question the street librarian can't answer on the spot, she will call a home support librarian. I haven't done much street reference since smart phones came out, and I don't have one anyway, so I'd probably still call for help, but someone with an internet connected phone might be able to answer a research question without help. At first we hoped that we could wear Radical Reference hats that would make us as recognizable as street librarians as the bright green hats National Lawyers Guild legal observers make them. We found that it was more effective to wear tape or patches that say some variation of "Ask Me: Radical Reference."

Although street reference was the primary idea that sparked Radical Reference, as we've developed the service, it's probably the smallest component of our work. Questions and answers on our website, and also Reference Shelf resources are more prominent as far as time spent by Rad Ref librarians on a regular basis.

For those of us in areas with active collectives, local activities like work projects and peer education events are central to our involvement in Rad Ref.

Related Question

RR email lists have moved!

Our email lists have all migrated to a new server, and now will be hosted throught the radicalrefence.info domain. All subscribers to the various lists should now be subscribed to the new lists.

Radical Reference at NJLA, April 2009

Radical Reference
presented at the 2009 New Jersey Library Association conference
Tuesday, April 28, 4:30-5:20pm

NY Area Spring 2009 Radical Events Page

  1. Bronx Anarchist Fair
    April 4th, 11am-6pm, Brook Park

Rad Ref blogged on The Ericson Edition

I learned courtesy of a Google Alert of this nice blog post about Radical Reference, "File Under Progressive: Radical Librarians Catalogue for the Cause."

Radical Reference Presentations

Members of Radical Reference have done presentations and conducted workshops all over the United States and Canada.

Radical Reference Discussion at Thinking Ahead 2008

As I noted in my last post, I lead a discussion section at Thinking Ahead, a small conference at the Sal

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