Radical Reference: Socially Responsible Librarianship Collaborating With Community
Morrone, Melissa and Friedman, Lia Radical Reference: Socially Responsible Librarianship Collaborating With Community. The Reference Librarian, 2009, vol. 50, n. 4, pp. 371-396.
To date, the written record of socially responsible librarianship chiefly concerns outreach to previously-disregarded constituencies and the relationship between library collections and the alternative press. Although librarians and activists have long shared a history, descriptions of their collaborations are scarce, and there is little to no documentation of the provision of reference and information literacy services in the context of socially responsible library work. In this article, we discuss the history of Radical Reference (RR), a collective of progressive library workers and students. We consider RR’s evolution from a “street” and online reference collective to one that provides a variety of socially conscious information services. We also explore examples of RR members' forming extra-institutional bonds with activists and independent journalists.