Guiding Principles

Framing Acknowledgment

Our ultimate goal is to abolish contingent work, but we recognize that it is entrenched in Libraries, Archives, and Museums (LAM). As we work to convert contingent positions into stable, permanent positions and slow the creation of contingent positions, we must look through the lenses of power, labor, sustainability, and solidarity to create tools that reduce harms to contingent workers while dismantling the systems that create them.

Guiding Principles


We must access our individual and collective power to imagine and create a more just and equitable world.

The structural norms of power, privilege, and oppression, enacted through white supremacy, ableism, and neoliberalism, create risk categories across race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and more. As individuals, we must honestly evaluate the power and privileges we each hold, recognizing that power is contextual and relational. Collectively, we must access this power in order to prioritize policies, actions, and tools that dismantle system norms and create more just and equitable environments.


The value that the workforce brings to the workplace exceeds tangible production.

We must center workers over collections and budgets and commit to practicing a feminist ethic of care that values workers’ humanity and agency. Labor is not just “output” or “product,” and all work must be valued and credited. Institutions should design projects and initiatives with more regard for the specialized skills required to implement them and the ongoing labor required for long-term maintenance. Doing so requires a reexamination of the value placed on statistics such as processing metrics and the emphasis that is placed on quantity over quality, or thoughtfulness, of work.


In order to be responsible long-term stewards of the cultural record, we must prioritize worker equity and increase stability for all workers.

Sustainability requires stabilizing frameworks that develop, maintain, and grow institutional knowledge. Workers are the primary communicator of institutional knowledge and, as such, short-term labor threatens our ability to pursue and achieve our mission as cultural memory workers.


We must build solidarity with other contingent and precarious workers in LAM and beyond.

We must imagine empathetic, worker-centered solutions that improve working conditions for both precarious and securely employed workers within and outside of LAM. This means finding common cause with workers across sectors, such as academia, public schools, service industries, and beyond, both nationally and internationally. We need to embrace workers of all kinds that share our concerns, and seek the collective power that comes from finding solidarity with others of across classes, ranks, and institutional contexts.