Progressive Librarians Guild
radical views on library & info issues


Frequent Asked Questions about PLG


What is "progressive" about "librarians" in a "guild"?

Progressive (always changing, moving forward, never standing still; revolution and transformation, not evolution and reform; activist, putting ideas into action).

Librarians (enablers and facilitators of democratic public information spaces guided by community; professionals and allies within librarianship; professional, para-professional, support, community educators, cultural workers, and friends; working in places where human beings — as individuals or communities — enter into contact with knowledge without any mediation, but with the help of a professional collective called "librarians" working in public, academic, school, special, and archival settings, in dusty yards, with backpacks or bike panniers full of books, in rural, suburban, urban communities, in places called libraries whether a simple shed or a grandiose palace).

Guild (collective of ideologically consistent social change agents; often with international links to like-minded comrades and fellow-travellers around the world; focused on social change and change within the profession).

See PLG's statement of purpose.

How much does it cost to join PLG?

Regular membership in PLG is $25 annually, student/low income cost is $10 per year.

What are the benefits of membership?

Membership in PLG comes with a subscription to Progressive Librarian: A Journal for Critical Studies and Progressive Politics in Librarianship, access to fully participate in the PLG email discussion list, opportunities to contribute to the development of a social justice-focused and activist librarianship, connections to and support within a community of like-minded library workers.

I'm a member of ALA. Can I also be a member of PLG?

Yes! Progressive Librarians Guild is a separate entity from ALA, so you'll not see PLG as a choice on your annual ALA dues renewal. That said, PLG is an affiliate of ALA's Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT), which enables us to have a presence and be active at ALA's midwinter meetings and annual conferences. We welcome new members, regardless of other affiliations.

How is PLG different from ALA-SRRT?

SRRT is an official unit of ALA, and in order to be a member of SRRT, one must also be a member of ALA. PLG is an affiliate of SRRT, we have a representative on SRRT's governing Action Council, and through that affiliation can hold meetings and programs at ALA's national gatherings. Information about SRRT can be found here and here.

Are there local chapters of PLG that I can get involved with?

Yes. A list of regional and University chapters (both active and dormant) can be found here.

I know several librarians in my town who are interested in PLG. Can we form a local chapter of PLG?

Yes. Guidelines for organizing a chapter can be found here.

Does PLG espouse a particular political ideology?

PLG has no affiliations with any political party or ideological tendency. PLG does, however, hope to embody the spirit of liberation movements that, throughout human history, have stood in active opposition to tyranny and exploitation. Under PLG's banner, we've marched against the WTO in Seattle, in support of Mumia Abu Jamal in Philadelphia, in opposition to U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and #BlackLivesMatter and the Womxn's March on 21 January 2017. PLG is anti-capitalist, opposed to neo-liberalism, and stands in favor of democracy and socialist ideals for a sustainable and fair economic system for all. PLG members use our professional skills and standing to act in solidarity locally, regionally, and globally with all who insist that every being deserves opportunity and an environment within which to realize their full potential. PLG members continuously seek to expose the myth of neutrality espoused by our profession. PLG's statement of purpose can be found here.

What is the Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize, and who was Miriam Braverman?

The Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize is awarded each year by the Progressive Librarians Guild for the best paper written by a LIS student about some aspect of the social responsibilities of librarians, libraries, or librarianship. Papers related to archivists, archives, and archival work are also eligible. More information, including details about submissions, can be found here .

More information about Dr. Braverman here, here and here.