We met while studying at the School of Library, Archival, and Information Science (SLAIS) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2010, and came to the agreement we needed space to talk about library issues while also considering how other demands on our lives, namely (un)employment related, shaped our responses to these issues. The Progressive Library Guild of Vancouver 2010-2014) consisted of four members, we gathered together on a biweekly basis, and used our collective energies to form closer bonds with one another while demanding of ourselves a righteous critique of memory institutions.

Our statement of interest:

We combat the notion that librarianship is neutral: how can it be when the means used to search for materials, by cataloguing, derives from a structure that marginalizes/d people by their gender, race, class and political view point? Logical structures condition user behaviour to perpetuate static relationships outside of the search, often unintentionally. We are interested in cataloguing systems that can remain ordered and metastasized; the act folds meaning back into thought and back again, challenging standards of accessibility and common sense.

Does “the public” exist anymore? We defend the library as one of the last public spaces where we can go and not be defined by what we consume (or whether we borrow a book or not). It becomes a major conceptual quarry when what was once thought to be common space is rapidly gentrified and turned into private property. We are responding.

This blog space now acts as an archive of our discussions together. We are pleased to have advanced the PLG statement of purpose as their Vancouver student chapter and now look forward to new activities from students of the iSchool@UBC.

In the struggle,

Danielle LaFrance, Sarah Tarcea, Milena Varzonovtseva, and Cristina Freire

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