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Radical Reference
January 16, 2010
ALA Midwinter meeting
attendance: Alana, Tom, Jenna, Eric, Mel, Katie, Kasper, Julie, Quinn, Brook, Kathleen, Laurie, Joyce, James, and Jonathan via PiratePad
2. Mel giving an overview of the project for people that are new
RNC 2004--street reference, support of activists and independent journalists, answering questions on website, and skillshares!
local collectives: doing projects of whatever the members are interested in, fosters community
active groups in nyc and boston, philly could be come active with just a little push
passing around booklet of questions
passing around sign up list
question about claiming of questions--in practice we don't use this. hasn't been a problem. 
how are we doing on unanswered questions?  do we have enough active people in certain subject areas?
i just posed your question to the group. 
people asked what we get the most questions on--we get lots about women in prison, due to a local activist/scholar. we would love someone to analyze the questions asked to identify what the majority of the questions are about. 
do we need to recruit more volunteers in some subjects, is what i'm wondering
i think we need more people in general--people who will be brave and answer whatever is out there!
Joyce interested in working on Alternative Libraries pathfinder--suggestion: use slingshot organizer
3. separating to do upgrade to drupal 6x: eric and tom 
4.organic groups discussion
5. divergence.be project--generating and maintaining a list of experts to be consulted to review articles/sources. would a list of local experts be easier to create and maintain? 
but lots of rad ref participants don't consider themselves to have a lot of expertise.(julie gives a general boo to that)
maybe we should leave it for now? 
but, jenna thinks personally, having a way to share individuals areas of expertise, perhaps in their profiles
i'm thinkin yeah, b/c we have so many new people each year that we don't know what languages/subjects they're strong in
more people entered: dave, jane, marie, julie
6. what to do next--building community, both in rr in general and also with local communities
nyc relationships with communtity groups: e.g. grassroots media, indykids (solicited workshop)
question about what the "radical" in radical reference refers to. context of RNC2004. however, we don't take positions on things. 
does rr do anything about social problems, i.e. people living in poverty
answer: not necessarily. our stated constituency is activists and independent journalists. however, if a local collective wanted to work on that sort of project, they could and should. the urbana-champaign collective discussed that topic at their recent meeting
7.what do people in the room want from radical reference? 
*a wants to know what other groups have done, how to make her local collective be viable--not too daunting, compelling
*j wanted to connect names with faces on rad ref. wants for librarianship stronger stand on social justice issues, especially public libraries. interested in the "not taking stands stand." worried about underserved populations, people who don't have healthcare, afraid of libraries, etc. 
*m arts project looking for collaborator (http://artistsincontext.org). one book bookclubs. 
*j supports what rr does. expected library school to be way more progressive, which makes being part of a dedicated collective of radical librarians more attractive. 
*l finding a librarianly outlet for activism
*j to make connections, in 2004 aware of rr but never got involved. active in ALA and SRRT, but rr could be complementary.
*j appreciates rr for the information sharing. rr is like a home base even though less involved now. active in gov docs blogging, likes that fgi gets fed to rr site. would like to encourage others to feed their social networks into rr, connect with rr. ala probably thinks of rr as a small strange group, or outside of ala hierarchy. only 1/10 anarchists, not all! ;) thinks we could reach out to library school groups better. thinks lis students could do more rr projects for school. created library search engine, which includes rad ref. google custom search: http://www.google.com/cse/home?cx=012681683249965267634:qtgsi-qxlku&hl=en (James says: it's at that url but can also be embedded in other web pages. let me know if you'd like the code or would like to help with it in any way. freegovinfo@gmail.com)
*d came with spouse, room has a good feeling in it. loves that there are social activists here. 
*j came to reconnect with people, to be reinspired to participate remotely and answer questions
*k didn't know anything about rr, came to see library :) :) community change looking for help in doing library projects here. books, and also archive of antiracist materials that needs organizing. need help with catalog.
*k knew about rr, went to one philly meeting a long time ago, but didn't feel like she had much to contribute at the time (before in library school). hearing about nyc collective projects. would like to get more involved in website. 
*m to connect with people, to see if people wanted to run with new projects. some things you can't do, aren't part of culture in local public library. supporting status quo is a stand, and not neutral! people in library don't keep up with things. e.g. rda, rss. likes to be around people who care about stuff. 
true that we have peeps from different perspectives...anarchists, pacifists, etc etc
yes! which is why we can't take stands on things. :)
*j :) thx i'm good w/rr, it's always been a great support network & the highlight of ala when i had the travel funds...dont always get to the emails these days, but love the rss for the questions, this helps me spot them quickly...love doing home support when i can too...rnc 04 was a trip!  i love that i can be involved online...hope we can do more online participation in various rr-related activities.
good to be a radrefer in the deep south :)  aka stealth radical
they all laughed appreciatively. :)
*j face to face interaction is deeply valuable. 
8. USSF--description of 2007
rad ref/plg contingent: collected materials for labadie collection, support media justice center--do fact checking, fact checking workshop, survey on infomation seekeing needs of activists
june in detroit this yearyou coming? no sry
some conflict with ALA and USSF this year
ALA is June 24-29 USSF is June 22-26
projects for this year? hopefully more than 7 librarians total from rr, srrt, plg can attend this time.
about five people would like to participate in ussf as activist librarians
i'm up for home support
get lis students in detroit area involved in ussf. 
people express interest in helping researching information seeking behavior of activists project. 
new volunteer says, (paraphrase) "i love that you really do things, not just talk about doing them."
next chances for national/conference meetings: computers in libraries, diversity con, pla, ala annual, etc. 
anyone besides me go to the charleston conference?no one is i assume, cuz everyone said what is that. james is answering. 
alas, they should look it up.  it's a great conference for anyone related to collection development or e-resources
next topic: where to go for a drink!
January 5, 2010
Plan for the day:
  • demo of changes since last session, many behind the scenes, not visible
  • discuss theming, re: answers and how they relate to questions
  • how to set up local collectives--organic groups? 
Gnat (techie) is working on two things:
- giving an Ajax-y ability to the question view so that questions and answers can be on the same page, with a "read more" link to expand answers without having to go to a different page
- improving the titles of Internal Notes (probably so that they can be identified with a number depending on their order in a given question, i.e. Internal Note 1, Internal Note 2, etc.)
Earlier notes and comments: 
Here's where we can discuss stuff during the RR workday on Tuesday. There's a Google Doc here http://bit.ly/4GK5ZU.
yes let's discuss
Just testing this out--looks pretty swift! I'll try to be here on Tuesday.
I've signed in from a different computer. The fact that this isn't tied to an email address makes a contributer's identity a little suspect, yeah? 
I agree re: questions of credibility w/o recognized email address.  Though I am with James I like that it color codes each user. (KK) 
If PiratePad and Google Wave turn out not to be popular, we could also set up a wiki on Wikispaces (www.wikispaces.com). I don't know if we could make our Wikispaces wiki private without having to pay for it.... (KK)
melissa: to edit options for the internal note content type, go to 
once a decision is made on what to call the link operations thingy, go to /rrd6/?q=admin/settings/relativity   to change that text completed (MRM)
We've decided to call the block that lets you create Answers or Internal Notes for questions "Help Answer Me," in the hopes that that will promote collaboration/reduce the "OMG I have to have the perfect answer" fear. (Laura)