19 February 2010

Student Organization Highlight: PLG

What is PLG?
The UA Chapter of the Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG), formed in spring 2008, is newest of the SIRLS student organizations. UA PLG members consist of School of Information Resources & Library Science (SIRLS) students, alumni, and community library workers. We are officially recognized by the national parent chapter of PLG, SIRLS and the UA. Similar to the other SIRLS student groups, we organize social and professional development events.

We also collaborate with other community organizations with recent groups being the Dry River Collective and Read Between the Bars. We provide services to the SIRLS, UA and greater Tucson community in the form of free workshops and events, cataloging/basic check-out system help for non-profit organizations and some reference assistance. Last summer we sent four suitcases of books to Belize to build a school library collection in collaboration with Peace Corps volunteers. This past semester, we collaborated with the UA Main Library on a week of events for Banned Books Week including a mini film fest at the Gallagher Theater, a display at the Main Library, a panel discussion and a read-out. Our events even made it into ALA’s November issue of American Libraries.

What is a Progressive Librarian?
UA PLG sees progressive librarians as information professionals who defend and extend the idea of libraries for the people, by using library and information science (LIS) education and community ties to champion change for all. Progressive librarians have a stake in the community, are supportive of like-minded organizations and work with others to achieve a truly democratic society. We promote open access while encouraging scholarship and research. On its website, the parent chapter defines PLG as “a network of librarians and groups and institutions sharing a common commitment to radical librarianship, promoting solidarity and communicating vital information about activities and issues as they emerge.” As progressive librarians, we believe in taking action on important library issues, not allowing the status quo or “business as usual” to proliferate.

How to Get Involved
Anyone can get involved with PLG—you don’t have to be a member to attend our meetings or events. Once a member, you don’t have to be an officer in order to contribute: anyone can be a Project Manager. Is there something in particular that interests you? Let us know and you can volunteer to take a leadership position on organizing an event or project that is important to you.

Are you a distance student? With advance notice, we can hold our meetings online through Breeze. We also maintain a very active wiki where you can leave your feedback and contribute to brainstorming for future projects. We post pod casts of our workshops and presentations on our website. Also, many officer positions, especially Webmaster and Fundraising Coordinator, can be easily held by distance members. We’re also open to contributing to projects outside of Tucson and would welcome distance Project Managers.

Membership to UA PLG costs $20 for a two year membership. As we are a relatively new chapter, members have the opportunity to shape the direction of our chapter. You would be able to participate in creating our newsletter, work with Tucson community groups to create ties and organize events, and get to know fellow students in the SIRLS program, alumni and community library workers. You can commit as much or as little as you would like—there is no minimum time commitment for membership.
For more information about UA PLG or membership please see our website: http://sirls.arizona.edu/PLG/member

We have a fun semester ahead of us and would love to see you at our meetings or events!

--Spring 2010 Meeting Schedule--

We will meet from 5:15pm – 6:00pm on the following Wednesdays in the SIRLS Multipurpose room, unless otherwise noted:
February 24
March 10
March 24
April 7
April 21

If you’d like updates about our social and professional development events, please contact our President, Kristen CurĂ© (kkcure@email.arizona.edu) or our webmaster, Brenda Taylor (bst11@email.arizona.edu) to be added to our listserv.

For more information about UA PLG, please visit our wiki (http://plg-sirls.pbworks.com/) or website (http://sirls.arizona.edu/PLG/index)

Kristen Curé is a SIRLS Master's student and UA PLG President.

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