Tuesday, August 9, 2022



Thursday, September 8, 2022 @7:30pm EST

As with other industries and occupations, unions play an important role in libraries all across the country. Being able to use a collective voice to bring about positive change has empowered library workers to not only improve their wages, hours, and working conditions but to be stronger advocates for defending, improving, and expanding one of the most democratic institutions in the the US – the library. This work has become even more crucial in recent years.

Please join unionized library workers, organizers, activists, and scholars for a discussion of what the future of organized labor in libraries might look like, and what the movement to organize library workers seeks to accomplish.


Meredith Kahn, LEO-GLAM, AFT-MI Local 6244, University of Michigan libraries

Andrea Lemoins, founder of Concerned Black Workers at the Free Library of Philadelphia, AFSCME DC47 Local 2187

Michael Torres, AFSCME DC962 Local 3395, Indy Public Library.


Saturday, August 6, 2022

Thunder Bay, Ont.- Union representative condemns hire of former board member as new CEO

 The incoming head of the Thunder Bay Public Library says he's going to look to the community to chart the institution's future.

After Richard Togman officially becomes the library's chief executive officer in September, he intends to lead fresh public consultations that could take the library in new directions.

"Not quite back to the drawing board," Togman said. "We have a lot of good foundations at the library but I think opening up the conceptual terrain so to speak and saying: 'We don't have to be limited by what is. We can imagine something different and then work towards creating that.' And I think that's including all stakeholders."

On July 19, the Thunder Bay Public Library Board announced that "an extensive national search," led to hiring Togman, who had served on that board for nearly five years. He will replace nine-year CEO John Pateman, after the board decided not to renew his contract in March. 

John Pateman praised: 

(17) TBT News Clips: Library CEO John Pateman stepping aside - Mar 31, 2022 - YouTube 

John Pateman is author of Developing Community-Led Public Libraries

Union calls out hiring process 

Togman's hiring did come with a bit of controversy, within an hour of the City of Thunder Bay announcing Togman's appointment, the union that represents library staff issued a statement condemning the hire.

CUPE Local 3120 president Margaret Demillo pointed out that the board on which Togman served oversaw pandemic layoffs affecting, "most of the library workforce" in 2020. Twenty of those positions were permanently eliminated.

"Mr. Togman could have had access to information that would have given him an advantage over other candidates," Demillo says. "We find it curious how he plans to provide leadership to an organization when optically, it's questionable."

During Togman's time as a board member, he was holding staff working groups about workplace culture concerns and operational issues but never about library vision or direction.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Andrea Lemoins will be 2022-2023 : Chair of the of the ALA-APA Standing Committee on Salaries and Status of Library Workers.

Andrea Lemoins

  will be 2022-2023 :
 Chair of the of the ALA-APA Standing Committee on Salaries and Status of Library Workers.. In announcing her appointment Lemoins noted:
 I'm looking forward to promoting unionization and equitable pay for all library workers, especially Black and Brown front line staff. 

Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers

During the 2002-2003 ALA presidency of Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman, the ALA Better Salaries and Pay Equity for Library Workers Task Force accomplished many activities that laid the foundation for the Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers and its subcommittees.

The ALA-APA Bylaws state that “there shall be a standing committee of nine members, appointed by the ALA-APA Board of Directors, to guide ALA-APA activities in support of better salaries, comparable worth, pay equity, and similar programs related to the status of librarians and other library workers. This committee will report to the ALA-APA Council at each regular meeting.”

Charge (approved January 22, 2007)

To provide training and information, recommend standards, suggest strategies, and undertake research to:

Acting as a resource on the pay equity issue for the American Library Association:

  • Maintaining a liaison from the Standing Committee to the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE)
  • Maintaining an active network and database of resources in support of these issues
  • Supporting equal employment for all library employees

To promote and advocate pay equity and equity in the workplace as it affects all library employees by:

All in support of and promoting the larger goals of the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association.

Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers (ala-apa.org)

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Nora Wiltse has new position-Chicago Public Schools-


Less than two months after receiving a pink slip, Wiltse said she has accepted a position at King College Prep High School in the North Kenwood neighborhood of the South Side. 

Wiltse has been outspoken against cutting librarian positions, even serving on the union’s bargaining team in the 2019 labor contract negotiations. It’s this advocacy that earned her the 2020 (Tribune article/ maybe paywall) Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award from the American Library Association.

Friday, July 29, 2022

U. of Michigan Librarians- New Union and 17% Salary Increase

All librarian, archivists and curators will also be considered faculty, which offers them the “right to academic freedom,” the release states. This means access to guaranteed funds for professional development and agreed-upon guidelines for workload and remote work, the release states.

 ANN ARBOR, MI - University of Michigan and its union of librarians, archivists and curators reached its first-ever bargaining deal Friday after months of negotiation.

GLAM, the librarians, archivists and curators branch of UM’s Lecturers’ Employee Organization, announced a deal with UM through 2025, according to a July 29 release.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Erin Overbey, Archivist at New Yorker, Fired for Speaking Out on Equality Issues

Experienced archivist, Erin Overbey, was fired from The New Yorker.

She tweeted on 7/27/2022:

So the @New Yorker has fired me, effective immediately. I’m speaking with the union about potentially filing a grievance on the termination.

It is a long twitter feed, but w/in it she notes she is earning 20% less than her predecessor who did not have archival experience.

Overbey notes: 



 is, in many ways, a wonderful institution. But it’s also ground zero for a kind of regressive literary gatekeeping, class exclusivity & old-school cultural thinking that simply no longer have any relation to, or frankly relevance in, the modern world as we know it.


Overbey has been calling out the New Yorker for a good while:

“This shit is just embarrassing”

The New Yorker’s archive editor breaks down the print mag’s dismal diversity stats

“As someone who’s done the research, seen all the numbers, I can tell you that things are simply not changing quickly enough to present real, concrete progress.” 

In Intelligencer, 9/14.2021:

The New Yorker Archivist Erin Overbey on Her Byline-Diversity Project

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Tribute to Gerald William McEntee (1935 – 2022) President of the AFSCME-1981 to 2012.

Gerald William McEntee (January 11, 1935 – July 10, 2022) was an American trade union official. He served as president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, from 1981 to 2012. 

Tribute from AFSCME