The Beta Phi Mu Omicron Chapter’s Fall, 2016 Lecture, “Librarians as Labor: Lessons from the LIU Lockout,” was held on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at Rutgers University, Alexander Library, Scholarly Communication Center, 169 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ.
The featured speaker was Emily Drabinski, Coordinator of Instruction in the Library at Long Island University, Brooklyn. In her talk, Drabinski reflected on lessons learned when LIU locked out its Brooklyn faculty on September 2, 2016, days before the start of the fall semester. Librarians, who are members of the faculty collective bargaining unit, were at the forefront of the faculty response, doing what librarians do so well: organizing and communicating.
Drabinski provided an overview of the issues surrounding the labor dispute and described the events and campus reaction over the twelve days of the lockout. Her talk helped the audience understand the challenges of labor disputes, a topic not often discussed within the context of academic librarianship. She concluded with a list of lessons learned and an impactful quote from Martin Luther King, “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
The lecture was co-sponsored by the Rutgers School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University, the Rutgers University Libraries and the New Jersey Center for the Book.