Rad Ref online reference on hiatus

Since 2004, Radical Reference has been providing online reference services to activists, journalists and researchers who requested help looking for information and resources. Over the years, we've answered questions that have ranged in scope from mail tampering in prison to the history of radical education to the future of librarianship. Yet as we’ve evaluated the quality and efficacy of this service, we’ve been confronted with difficulties of providing in-depth answers in a timely way. As a result, we've decided collectively to suspend this service indefinitely.

Starting a Local Collective

Radical Reference local collectives are independent from one another and from the international group, which admittedly, is mostly dormant right now. (That could change; all it takes is people to make it go!)

Each group can activate/resist/support as it wants, as long as members act by the Rad Ref Points of Unity. Following this photo of some cuties in the Boston collective, here are some general guidelines for getting started:

Organizers with Organizers Zine

The NYC local Rad Ref collective has created a zine! Organizers with Organizers: A Guide for Info Workers, aims to help us think about how the skills that information workers have can be useful in community groups, organizing contexts, etc.

Download two PDF versions of the zine (one to print, one for easy-reading on a screen) here!

Shoutout to Alex Provo of NYC Rad Ref for conceiving of and wrangling contributions for the zine, and to all of the NYC Rad Reffers who helped with writing, compiling, printing, pasting up, stapling, and distributing. THANK YOU xoxo

NYC Rad Ref Supports the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act

NYC Radical Reference members have written a letter in support of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, which is pending in the New York State legislature. For more information, see the work of the New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement at nycaic.org/legislation.

We are writing as librarians and other library workers in support of the passage of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act (A. 3080 / S. 4784). Thousands of people, disproportionately Black and Latinx, are in solitary confinement in NY prisons each day, which means 22 to 24 hours a day in a cell without any meaningful human contact or programs. These conditions are recognized—including by the United Nations—as torture. The HALT Act would include restrictions on criteria for placement in solitary confinement, alternatives to isolation, and a 15-day limit on solitary confinement. Advocates note that states that have reduced the use of solitary have seen a positive impact on safety for both incarcerated people and corrections officers.

NYC-area radical librarians at Women's March NYC

Under the loose auspices of Rad Ref NYC, we fielded a contingent of radical librarians and their friends & family at the 2018 NYC Women's March. Here's how we were:

NYC RadRef meeting: January 23 @ 7 PM

The next NYC radical reference meeting will take place on:

Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 7:00-9:00 PM
Center for Jewish History (15 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011)

The meeting will be held in the Chapel Room, which is on the second floor. It is wheelchair accessible via an elevator. Just a reminder, there is airport style security upon entering the building.

NYC RadRef meeting: December 14 @ 7 PM

The next NYC radical reference meeting will take place on:

Tuesday, December 14, 2017, 7:00-9:00 PM
Center for Jewish History (15 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011)

The meeting will be held in the Chapel Room, which is on the second floor. It is wheelchair accessible via an elevator. Just a reminder, there is airport style security upon entering the building.

We will be also writing holiday cards to LGBTQ Prisoners, courtesy of Black & Pink. Bring colored pencils and stamps!

NYC RadRef meeting: November 1 @ 7:15pm

The next NYC radical reference meeting will take place on:

Tuesday, November 1, 2017, 7:15-9:00 PM
Center for Jewish History (15 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011)

The meeting will be held in the Chapel Room, which is on the second floor. It is wheelchair accessible via an elevator. Just a reminder, there is airport style security upon entering the building.

New York Capital District Radical Reference Collective

Please ping manycolored if you live in/near Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs... any reasonable distance to travel for a get-together.

Next NYC RadRef meeting, September 12 @ 7:30pm

The next NYC radical reference meeting will take place on:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 7:30-9:30 PM
Center for Jewish History (15 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011)

The meeting will be held in the Chapel Room, which is on the second floor. It is wheelchair accessible via an elevator. Just a reminder, there is airport style security upon entering the building.

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