We, the workers of Dartmouth College Library, are proud to announce that we are unionizing with AFSCME Council 93. By unionizing we can better advocate for ourselves and for the communities that we serve.
Our work is critical to the mission of Dartmouth College. Library work demands that we constantly adapt to changes in the information environment and in the needs of our students, staff, and faculty. Despite the crucial role we play in supporting education and research at Dartmouth, we remain understaffed and under-compensated. In the last few years alone, we have dealt with wage compression, library closures, and the removal of any systematized professional advancement structure. Though the library administration has taken steps to address some of these issues, others are out of their hands. As information professionals, we have assessed our options and come to the same conclusion as our colleagues at other institutions – in recent years including Northwestern University, MIT, and the University of Vermont – that a union is our best option for a better workplace.
We are organizing because we want compensation that makes living in the Upper Valley viable, and clear paths to advancement for all staff. It is critical that we have a seat at the table when it comes to our workplace. It is the workers who understand the operations of the Library best. We believe that collective bargaining is the way to create a transparent and sustained dialogue between College administration and library staff that is sorely needed and long overdue.
As library workers, we stand by the Dartmouth Library’s stated values and hope to strengthen them through unionization. This effort is rooted in the deep trust and respect that we hold for each other, and in a genuine belief in the importance of what we do. Libraries are places of curiosity and service. That must extend not only to our patrons and larger community, but to imagining what we need in order to do our jobs well, and then advocating for that future.
In unionizing, we stand in solidarity with other established unions and organizing efforts on campus: Local 560 (the Service Employees’ International Union branch that covers hundreds of Dartmouth employees including Safety and Security and the Hood Museum visitor services guides), IATSE 919 (theater and production technicians), the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth (Dartmouth Dining Services student workers), and the Graduate Organized Laborers at Dartmouth.
We, the workers of Dartmouth College Library, ask for your support in our effort to form a union.