Reminder: Proposals for PLG Edmonton Organize and Assemble Symposium Due November 11


PLG Edmonton and PLG Calgary invite submissions for our fifth annual symposium, Organize and Assemble V, taking place on February 27, 2016. Practitioners, scholars, activists, students, and other members of the general public interested in library, archival, and allied information services are asked to speak on topics pertaining to this year’s theme: gender and sexuality and the information professions.

Gender and sexuality have dominated public discussion in both Canada and the US this past year, with devastating high profile rape and sexual harassment cases, heated battles over women’s reproductive health services and efforts to provide consent education and LGBT support groups in schools, the dubious rise of men’s rights activism, challenges to women’s safety online, and with transgender rights issues more visible than ever before – the list goes on. Looking within the information professions, it is clear that issues around providing gendered services and being gendered workers have also come to the fore. We see challenges to a public library boys-only robotics program, we hear public outcry against sexual harassment at professional conferences, and we find successful advocacy for gender neutral bathrooms at the 2015 ALA Annual conference.

PLG Edmonton and PLG Calgary are joining together for the first time to host a one-day refereed event in Edmonton that will focus on how issues of gender and sexuality are playing out across the information professions – in the services we provide, in our professional relationships and institutional structures.

In keeping with the theme, we request proposals for presentations on the following possible topics, which include but are not limited to:

  • Gendered labour (representation in unions/associations, negotiating shift work and parenting responsibilities, sexual harassment, representation in leadership, what are/should be the challenges and priorities of a feminist, pro-LGBTQ labour politics in the information professions?)
  • Sexual harassment in public service roles
  • Gender in the children’s library (gendered literacy : “getting boys to read,” programming for fathers)
  • Sex education in the library (programming, services, policies and/or outreach in school, public, academic, special libraries and government, LGBTQ and/or gender-based community archives)
  • Sex in libraries/archives (pornography, erotica, sex workers etc.)
  • Gender, sexuality and cataloguing (discovery and accessibility issues, sexual politics of subject headings, what is missing?)
  • Gender, sexuality and collections (what are we collecting? How and for who? What is missing? Readers advisory)
  • Intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class and/or colonialism in the information professions: spaces, services, collections, policies, advocacy, outreach, hiring practices
  • Gender politics in non-traditional/emerging information professions (the IT department, the tech industry, educational technology, knowledge management, digital humanities)
  • Online privacy and gender-based trolling
  • Professional conference codes of conduct
  • Gendered stereotypes and/or the sexualization of librarians and other information professionals
  • History of gendered labour in the information professions – where have we come from?What have we fought for? Where are we going? What has been limited by our history? What does our history make possible?

Please submit proposals (not to exceed 500 words) for individual and group contributions (e.g., papers, debates, round-tables, critiques, panels, posters, exhibits, manifestos, lightning talks and mini-workshops) via email to plg.edmonton [at] gmail [dot] com by midnight November 11th, 2015. Submitters will be notified of their acceptance by the end of November 2015.

The PLG supports progressive and democratic activities in the area of information services, and the Edmonton Chapter’s Program Committee will review all submissions that recognize (or challenge!) this stance and the PLG statement of purpose more broadly: