Progressive Librarians Guild

Progressive Librarians Guild, an affiliate organization of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association, was formed in January 1990 by a group of librarians concerned with our profession\'s rapid drift into dubious alliances with business and the information industry, and into complacent acceptance of service to the political, economic and cultural status quo.


The development of public libraries was spurred by popular sentiment which held that real democracy requires an enlightened citizenry, and that society should provide all people with the means for free intellectual development. Current trends in librarianship assert that the library is merely a neutral mediator in the information marketplace and a facilitator of a value-neutral information society.


Members of PLG do not accept this notion of neutrality, and we strongly oppose the commodification of information. We will help to dissect the implications of these powerful trends, and fight their anti-democratic tendency.
PLG recognizes that librarians are information workers, communications workers, and education workers, as well as technical workers. Like workers in every sector, our work brings us up against both economic and political issues. Cataloging, indexing, acquisitions policy and collection development, the character of reference services, library automation, library management, and virtually every other library issue embody political value choices. PLG members aim to make these choices explicit, and to draw political conclusions.

PLG\'s Commitment


Progressive Librarians Guild is committed to the following:


  • to provide a forum for the open exchange of radical views on library issues

  • to conduct campaigns to support progressive and democratic library activities locally, nationally and internationally

  • to support activist librarians as they work to effect changes in their own libraries and communities

  • to bridge the artificial and destructive gaps between school, public, academic and special libraries, and between public and technical services

  • to encourage debate about prevailing management strategies adopted directly from the business world, to propose democratic forms of library administration, and to foster unity between librarians and other library workers

  • to consider the impact of technological change in the library workplace and on the provision of library services

  • to monitor the professional ethics of librarianship from a perspective of social responsibility

  • to facilitate contacts between progressive librarians and other professional and scholarly groups dealing with communications worldwide

The web site contains information about their activities, their publication, Progressive Librarian, their email discussion list, a collection of documents and information about how to join.

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