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Progressive Librarians Guild:

UA Chapter Newsletter
From the President
Nicole Pagowsky
of collection development, preservation, weeding, and
Welcome to Progressive Librarians Guild: classification all shape the collective memory, and the
UA Chapter’s first newsletter. As the founder and collective memory is what can influence our culture and
current President, I thought I would give you some our society; and providing materials to the public for
background on how we got started, what a progressive self-education can pave the road to a successful democ-
librarian is, and what we are looking to accomplish in racy, because a true, working democracy would be non-
the near future. existent without an educated public.
Our chapter of PLG actually started out as Specific examples of these ideas can be realized
a local collective of Radical Reference, at the end of through what we have accomplished this semester, and
the Fall 2007 semester; although we do still want to what we hope to do in the future.
have ties with Radical Reference, This semester, we attended and
we thought it would be a better briefly spoke at “Of Friends and
move to become an official chap- Whirlwinds: Inquiry, Move-
ter of PLG through SIRLS and ments and ‘Constituent Imagi-
the UA for recognition and fund- nation’: on research and radical
ing purposes. This change took politics”, which was held at Dry
place this semester (Spring 2008), River (p. 2). We also contrib-
and since February, we have been uted two Library of Congress
PLG: UA. Subject Heading suggestions for
So, what is a progressive the Radical Reference LCSH
librarian? A progressive librarian Blogging Party (p. 7). And, our
is an information professional first fundraiser was a yoga work-
who defends and extends the shop held at the main library,
idea of libraries for the people, by led by our Events and Fund-
using LIS education and commu- raising Coordinator, Rebecca
nity ties to champion change for Bliquez, certified yoga instructor
all. (p. 5).
As the PLG parent site states: Next Fall semester, we
“Members of PLG do not accept the sterile notion of have a number of plans, including providing free work-
the neutrality of librarianship, and we strongly oppose shops to the community; organizing events in town,
the commodification of information which turns the such as panel discussions, a Zine Fest, bringing Lost
‘information commons’ into privatized, commercial- Film Fest to Tucson, and organizing a small, non-profit
ized zones. We will help to dissect the implications of library. We also hope to have an official website up and
these powerful trends, and fight their anti-democratic running, aside from our collaborative wiki. If any of this
tendencies.” interests you, and you are a SIRLS student, alumni, or
Progressive librarians are relevant because librarianship Tucson community library worker (at any level), we have
is political for a number of reasons: as information further information on becoming a member and also a
professionals, we can be gatekeepers or distributors of membership form (p. 11).
information, promoting or hindering equity of access We are looking forward to our upcoming proj-
and open access, while fighting censorship; actions ects and hope you will join us!
Of Friends and Whirlwinds Cash, & Kevin Van Meter). Their main page explains
the purpose of the collective as, “to explore questions
Nicole Pagowsky of everyday resistance, mutual aid, the imposition of
work, social reproduction, class composition, commu-
PLG: UA was contacted by Team Colors1 to nity participation and the commons – by creating en-
speak at Of Friends & Whirlwinds, which they had gaging workshops and producing provocative written
organized at Dry River2. The focus of this event was on documents and articles.” Craig spoke about “‘DIY and
the impact of research on social change, with discus- the movement beyond capitalism in the United States’
sion of the schism in activism, pertaining to anti- (An expansion on his essay in Constituent Imagi-
intellectualism and bureaucratic boundaries. We were nation)”. It was interesting to hear effectiveness of
asked to participate because information professionals different kinds of activism, such as the punk and DIY
facilitate research, and our group is specifically inter- movement not posing an actual threat to corporations
ested in activism, so it was a great match. or oppressive government entities. How to potentially
As the Team Colors blog3 says about the event: remedy this was interwoven with Jeff’s discussion of
“A series of talks on inquiry and movements from the “Activist” and “activist”: how often in counterculture
upcoming journal In the Middle of a Whirlwind: 2008 movements in the United States, there can be misan-
Convention Protests, Movement and Movements and thropic tendencies – getting frustrated and fed up with
in celebration of the AK Press collection Constituent the people activists are trying to help is not going to
Imagination: Militant Investigations / Collective Theo- help solve the problem. Understanding why people
rization.” are different and how they make their decisions can
Jeff Juris was the first speaker, and he is an promote a more holistic plan for working together; if a
Assistant Professor of Anthropology at ASU West, person’s basic needs are not being met, they won’t have
member of CAROB [Central Arizona Radicals Oppos- as much interest in issues on a larger scale. A discus-
ing Borders] and the ASU West Border Justice Group. sion then formed about what issues within activism
He spoke about ‘Militant Ethnography’, a phrase he are felt to be most important, as well as what connota-
created to describe “a politically engaged and collabora- tions the term “revolution” has for people, as it is often
tive form of participant observation carried out from present in punk and DIY-movement rhetoric. Many
within rather than outside of grassroots movements. participants said the word conjured negative images,
Traditional objectivist perspectives fail to grasp the such as desolation or apocalypse. A lot of interesting
concrete logic of activist practice, leading to inadequate points were brought up.
accounts and theoretical models of little use to activists Progressive Librarians Guild spoke last, with
themselves.”4 The point of this form of research is to myself (Nicole Pagowsky) representing our group.
make findings more relevant to subsequent action for I explained what PLG is and how activism can be a
the groups the information pertains to, and also to dis- large part of librarianship, as well as our present and
tinguish the difference between a ‘capital A Activst’ and future goals. I also explained our roots, which are in
an ‘activist’; the former more prone to self-righteous- PLG (parent organization) and Radical Reference6.
ness, and not being as truly immersed in the relevant The PLG parent organization was started in 1990 by
communities. He also delineated publishing for the information professionals tired of ‘business as usual’,
university bureaucracy in contrast to publishing freely where no one was taking a strong stand on issues. PLG
in regards to ‘copyleft’5, with implications and possible was hoping to ignite progressive change in libraries
cognitive dissonance engaged from the former. A great and dissuade librarians from taking too neutral of
discussion evolved from his talk, including some par- a stance. Since its formation, PLG has participated
ticipants sharing how they felt internal conflict about in activist events, such as taking action or standing
the potentiality of returning to the university. (As the in solidarity with other groups, and publishes the
Team Colors Blog states, Jeff Juris’ talk was “an expan- Progressive Librarian periodical, as well as books,
sion of his article in Constituent Imagination: ‘Bridg- collectively, or by individual members. Radical Refer-
ing the divide between activism and research: Militant ence was formed in 2004 in NYC, in response to the
Ethnography as a tool for social transformation’”.) Republican National Convention. Librarian volunteers
Craig Hughes was the next speaker: a collec- provided ‘street reference’ to activists, which consisted
tive member of Team Colors (Craig Hughes, Conor
of actually getting out into the streets and answering Constituent imagination: Militant investigations//collec-
questions and providing information.7 Radical Reference tive theorization. Oakland, CA: AK Press.
also supplied ‘ready reference kits’, which included city
facts on transportation, emergency phone numbers, and Cash, C., Hughes, C., & Van Meter, K. (Eds). (2008).
other essential information. Radical Reference has now In the middle of a whirlwind: 2008 convention protests,
expanded to include local collectives all over the country, movement and movements. (Available later this year).
as well as some international groups. Services include
community outreach and taking action on local issues. 1
They are probably most well-known, however, for pro- 2 ; also, see pgs. 3 & 5 for a
viding virtual reference services to activists and indepen- community group feature on Dry River
dent journalists through the Radical Reference website. 3
Individuals can ask questions, (mostly) anonymously, join-us-in-middle-of-whirlwind.html
of specific concern to topics pertaining or tangential 4
Juris, J. (n.d.). Practicing militant ethnography within
to activism. See the website for examples of questions movements against corporate globalization. Retrieved
asked. A few of us from PLG also volunteer with Radical May 5, 2008, from
Reference. html/jeff-juris.htm
We were happy to be included in this engaging 5
See: for defini-
and informative event, and if these topics are of inter- tion
est to the reader, the following resources provide further 6
discussion: 7
Yeo, S., Rane, J., Jacobs, J., Friedman, L., & Freedman,
J. (2005). Radical Reference: Taking information to the
Shukaitis, S., Graeber, D., & Biddle, E. (Eds). (2007). street. Information Outlook.

Featured Community Group: Dry River Collective

Jacy Bell
The Dry River Collective
is a radical community group
in Tucson which describes itself
in its mission statement as “an
autonomous group of individu-
als working to create a com-
munity based on sustainability,
cooperation, and self-sufficiency.
[They] promote education and
direct action to resist all forms of
oppression and hierarchy.” Dry
River, founded in 2003, initially
got its start as a space as an info-
shop with zines in a small corner
of the all ages venue, Scrappy’s.
In 2006, the Collective found
its own space to rent on Main
Street at University Boulevard,
and that is where the Dry River
Radical Resource Center has
been located ever since, a place its do is offer an alternative to people and provide a space
members describes as “a community arts center for the where different kinds of events can happen that are gen-
rest of us.” Carrie Mott, Collective member, explains erated from the community…We just want there to be
Dry River’s objective, “What Dry River is trying to a place for people to create and do something different,
Continued on page 5
Q & A With “Cat and Girl” Creator Dorothy Gambrell
Q: What is the idea behind Cat and Girl, and how Q: Do you do any other comics, writing, or artwork?
long have you been doing it for?
Dorothy: On occasion. When asked. I keep a miscel-
Dorothy: A large Cat and small Girl live together and lany blog at
sabotage adventure with personal reflection and sabo-
tage personal reflection with puns. The whole mess has Q: I heard a rumor you had been considering going to
been going on now for an unseemly nine years. school for library and information science before de-
ciding to focus just on your comic; want to talk about
Q: Are any of the characters based on people you your interest in that at all?

Dorothy: At this sad point most of the characters pre- Dorothy: I like information. I like knowing how to
date most of the people I know. find information, and I like the different ways systems
seek to manage, control and organize information. And
Q: Tell us about Donation Derby… both of my parents were librarians. I never really stood
a chance.
Dorothy: When people donate money to me I draw -Nicole Pagowsky
a picture of how I spend it, post the picture online
and then mail the original drawing to the donor. How
many cancer research foundations do that?

Continued from page 3
that’s something unique and new.”
Contact Information:
The Dry River Collective is comprised of vol-
Dry River Radical Resource Center
unteers who donate their time and money to keep the
740 N. Main St. @ University Blvd.
space open. There is a core group of people who do-
Tucson, AZ 85705
nate money for rent each month; Dry River also seeks
donations at events and their website’s PayPal account.
They have weekly meetings on Wednesday evenings
which are open to any who are interested; it is at these
meetings that decisions are made using consensus. The
Collective hopes to one day own a permanent space in
But in the meantime, Dry River is an all ages
venue and a drug and alcohol free space that wel-
comes all. As stated on their MySpace page, “NONE
WILL BE TURNED AWAY from any event, class,
or resource due to lack of money…and [Dry River]
welcomes all people regardless of race, gender, sexual PLG Yoga Fundraiser
identity, and age.” There is no fee to use the space and
everything at Dry River is by donation. The Resource
Center functions as an infoshop, music venue and free
school. It is an open space equipped with a stage, a
free store, computer lab, and a small lending and zine
library. They hold a variety of events from benefits
to movie screenings to skill shares and workshops, as
well as offer free Spanish, screen printing, yoga and
self-defense classes regularly. Eric Richardson, another
Collective member, states, “This whole thing is really
an experiment. I think one of the things we’ve done is
opened the doors and gotten the word out to as many
people as we can in the community and sort of let the
people that aren’t necessarily involved in the Collective
decide what they want to happen here.”
PLG’s first fundraiser included a relaxation
Upcoming events include weekly punk shows
yoga class taught by yoga instructor and PLG officer
and a music festival. Dry River also hosts a bi-weekly
Rebecca Bliquez. PLG hopes to repeat this event in
Anti-Civ, Anti-Reading Circle group, and has regular
Fall 2008 and include a discussion about concepts
open hours on Fridays from 12-4pm. Also, PLG will
from the book “Aftershock” by Pattrice Jones regarding
soon collaborate with the Collective on a project to
the relation between de-stressing and physically main-
organize, catalog and update their check out system for
taining balance. The discussion will emphasize the
their zine and color-coded lending library.
psychological and somatic issues relevant to higher-risk
So, if your interest has been piqued, check
them out on their website, MySpace page, YouTube
video, or simply drop in. As Carrie professed what
she likes most about Dry River is that “it’s not limited
to just activists, and it’s not limited to just anarchists
or just people into punk shows. Anyone is welcome

Book Reviews terrorism as vehicles for intimidation and arrest.
-Nicole Pagowsky
Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? : Reflections on the The No-Nonsense Guide to
Liberation of Animals World History
Edited by Steven Best and Anthony J. II Nocella Chris Brazier
This book chronicles This book lives up
the beginnings and cur- to its title... it really is a
rent state of the Animal no-nonsense guide to world
Liberation Front. This is history. Brazier gives an
an anonymous group of excellent overview with just
individual “cells” of activ- enough detail to keep the
ists who commit to no vio- reader engaged. This version
lence against any animals of world history also exam-
(human or non-human), ines information left out via
and use direct action to white, Christian, upper-class
rescue and protect non-hu- male privledge (terms to describe those who usually
man animals from condi- wrote history), and fills the reader in on what women
tions they are in, such as were doing and how some Europeans created opinions
mink farms, medical and and “facts” about non-white groups to justify brutal-
cosmetic testing labs, and factory farms. Eco-terrorism ization and pillaging, while providing further informa-
and animal-enterprise terrorism are terms thrown tion explaining the truth about these civilizations and
around often by the government, especially after 9/11, their advancements. The book is living and breathing-
and these essays debate whether direct action by the -not stale--and provides an excellent overview of the
ALF to rescue animals being used and abused for history of our world. -Nicole Pagowsky
vivisection, factory farming, the fur industry, and oth-
ers can truly be considered terrorism or not. The main The Bachelor Girl: 100
focus here is a discussion on if destruction of property Years of Breaking the
should be considered terrorism, and if aiming to only Rules - a Social History of
rescue these non-human animals consists of trying to Living Single
terrorize human oppresors. Comparisons are made to Betsy Israel
the Abolitionist movement, feminism and women’s
rights, and actions taken against Hitler’s Nazis by Jews I spotted this book on
and other groups. It is oft a delicate situation to com- the sale table at the ASU
pare anything to the Holocaust or slavery, but if one bookstore and decided,
views animals as living, breathing creatures with feel- hey, why not. It was only
ings, both physical and emotional, what we as humans $5 and had cool action
do to exploit these non-human animals can be shock- figures on the cover! All
ing. Because there are people who feel non-human joking aside, this book is
animals are objects belonging to humans to exploit, a fascinating read. As the
there are also essays discussing, philosophically, how title suggests, it chronicles the lives of single women
and why animals should be considered comparative to and perceptions of single women throughout the span
humans, and why it is then possible to relate animal of American history. What I especially loved about
exploitation, torture, and slaughter to the aforemen- this book is the way it describes of single and work-
tioned historical events, issues, and movements. This ing women incorporating impressions from a variety
book is fascinating and really explores issues involved of sources including personal diaries, the press, film
in the animal rights movement, its connections to and other popular media. Very cool and interesting to
other movements, and how far the government should note the different stereotypes about singles, working
really be allowed to go in using the terms terror and
girls, spinsters, “Old Maids,” etc. Reading this book describes a trend in libraries (both U.S. and abroad) of
made me realize that society’s perception of the single destroying paper copies of historic journals and news-
lady, although very different from the 19th century, papers and replacing them with microfilm or scanned
is still laced with stigmatization. I still see a lot more copies. The Library of Congress and British Library are
concern and hand-wringing over the “singleton” status both cited as “culprits” in this document destruction
of ladies than that of guys - even from the most liber- effort. According to the author, the microfilm copies
ated of quarters. A great read, highly recommend it! are often incomplete, difficult to read and deteriorat-
-Rebecca Bliquez ing from exposure to light, fungi or poor storage with
no original paper copies extant to replace them. The
Double Fold: Libraries author argues that the justifications for paper destruc-
and the Assault on Paper tion such as lack of storage space and cost-effective-
Nicholson Baker ness, are inadequate. I found his research and argu-
ments to be very compelling and as a future librarian,
This book is actually a I found the “gorey” scenes where original documents
required text for my IRLS are hacked apart in warehouses by “guillotines” to be
541 Preservation class pretty disturbing. Another great read! -Rebecca Bliquez
but it’s definitely worth
a read for anyone that is
interested in history and
the preservation of mate-
rial culture. This book

Radical Reference Library of Congress Subject Headings

Blogging Party
Nicole Pagowsky

Jenna Freedman of Radical Reference (http:// organized a Library of (
Congress Subject Headings Blogging Party in April. As blogging-party.html) follows:
stated on the site, “Do subject headings still matter?
We say they do. Does the Library of Congress always “Dear Library of Congress,
identify accessible and appropriately named headings
and implement them in a timely manner? We say not Progressive Librarians Guild: UA Chapter would like
always.” you to please add both Bollywood Films (proposed
How this blogging party worked was that anyone inter- by Sanford Berman 14 August 2007) and Freeganism
ested could either write a blog post, make a comment (also proposed by Sanford Berman, 28 June 2007).
on the original post on the Radical Reference site, or
send an email, discussing at least one suggestion for This post is part of the Radical Reference Library of
a new or revised subject heading or cross-reference at Congress Subject Heading Suggestion Blog-a-Thon.
the Library of Congress (which obviously also has a far
reach, as many institutions go by the LCSH, and do 1. Bollywood Films
copy-cataloging). These suggestions could be original When searching LC’s online catalog, you have 103
or come from a list proposed by Sandy Berman (http:// entries for the keyword “Bollywood”. According to ). Wikipedia, it is one of the biggest film producers in
Our chapter of PLG participated in this by the world. Many of your collected materials even have
submitting two subject heading suggestions from the term Bollywood in the title, such as Bollywood: the
Sandy Berman’s list. We proposed “Bollywood Films” Indian cinema story by Nasreen Munni Kabir.
and “Freeganism”; our blog entry Continued on next page
Continued from previous page
keyword “vegan”, and 212,000 en-
tries on Google for “freeganism”.
The site, explains the
movement as,
“Freeganism is a total boycott of
an economic system where the
profit motive has eclipsed ethical
considerations and where massive-
ly complex systems of productions
ensure that all the products we
buy will have detrimental impacts
most of which we may never even
consider. Thus, instead of avoid-
ing the purchase of products from
one bad company only to support
another, we avoid buying anything
to the greatest degree we are able.”
Considering the increase of people
interested in socially responsible,
green living, it would be an im-
Foyer of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
portant topic to be able to re-
Photo credit:
search. Even Oprah had a segment
From the publisher’s description, “Culture and Global on Freegans!
Change presents a comprehensive introduction to
the cultural aspects of third world development. It Most of the publications about the topic seem to be
contains 25 chapters from leading writers in the field blogging and articles, yet not many books, but hopefully
which each offer their own particular take on ‘culture’ that will change in the near future. Having a subject
and explore the significance and meaning of cultural heading for it might influence more non-electronic-only
issues for different people in different parts of the con- publications.
temporary world... this book considers the relationship
between culture and development within a truly global Sincerely,
context.” This describes Culture and Global Change PLG: UA Chapter”
edited by Tracey Skelton and Tim Allen. If Bollywood
is an important cultural issue and has had a part in The blog party was listed in Library Journal and
influencing development in the Indian subcontinent, two of our suggestions were noted in the brief list of
it should be substantial enough to warrant a subject examples.
heading. As Jenna continues on the Rad Ref site, “All you
have to do is spend one day behind a reference desk to
2. Freeganism see examples of biased, non-inclusive, and counterintui-
Although a neologism, it still is not too new of a term tive classifications that slow down, misdirect, or even
to include; it began, officially, in the mid 1990’s. This obscure information from library users. As librarians
not only describes a movement, but an important ex- and library workers, providing access to information is
tension of veganism, which “although the term “vegan” important-and classifying it in ways that are inclusive
started in the United Kingdom about 50 years ago and intuitive strengthens our egalitarian mission.”
with the formation of the Vegan Society, the practice All results were posted on the website (http://radicalref-
of not eating animal products actually began long ago.”, along with the re-
(from VeganNet) sponse from Library of Congress.

There are 124 entries in the LC online catalog for the

PLG Welcoming Social Event!
PLG members and friends met on 9 April 2008 at Bison Witches for food, fun and drinks! This was a
great opportunity for members not only to mingle and get to know one another, but for prospective members to
meet current PLGers and learn a bit more about the new club. We’ll keep you posted for the next social event!

Clockwise from the left: Paulita Kewanwytewa, Sho Ikeda, Danielle Stanley, Lisa Dillivan, Nicole Pagowsky, Arvey
Basa, and Jacy Bell.

Considering membership with PLG: UA? Here’s a run-

down on joining our chapter!
1. WHO CAN JOIN PLG? zation, please go to their website for more information
Library and Information Science students at SIRLS, on dues and benefits:
alumni of SIRLS, and current library workers in Tuc-
son at any level can join.
$20 for 2 years of membership As much or as little as you would like. We have bi-week-
ly meetings, collaborate on our wiki, and promote dis-
3. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF JOINING? cussion through our listserv. We don’t require a certain
PLG: UA is one of only six student chapters of PLG amount of participation, but do encourage at least some.
in the country, and currently the newest, so you would However, if you choose to run for an officer position,
have the opportunity to shape the direction of our most will require a substantial time commitment.
chapter and help build our programs, events, and
structure. You would be able to participate in creating 5. WHERE DO I SEND MY DUES?
our newsletter, work with Tucson community groups You can send them C/O our Treasurer to the SIRLS
to create ties and organize events, and get to know fel- building:
low students in the SIRLS program, alumni, and com- School of Information Resources and Library Science
munity library workers. Please complete the member- PLG: UA Chapter -- C/O Treasurer
ship form and pay the appropriate dues to join. 1515 E. 1st St.
Tucson, AZ 85719
If you are interested in joining the PLG parent organi-
Continued on next page
Continued from previous page
-Checks should be made out to -- 10. I’M NOT A LIS STUDENT, ALUMNI, OR
“Progressive Librarians Guild: UA Chapter” WORKER; HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE?
We are unable to take individuals as members who do
6. WHAT IF I’M A DISTANCE STUDENT IN not fall in the above categories; however, we are very
THE SIRLS PROGRAM OR AN ALUMNI WHO interested in collaborating with community groups, so
HAS MOVED OUT OF TUCSON? please do get in touch with us if you are with another
Distance members are able to attend meetings through group!
Breeze, collaborate on the wiki and through the list-
serv, and contribute to our newsletter. Distance stu-
dents can also run for certain officer positions (Web-
master/Newsletter Editor, Events Coordinator, and
Fundraising Coordinator). PLG: UA Officers


Because we are a University group, only students can Nicole Pagowsky
run for officer positions; however, any paying member
can become a “Project Manager”. A Project Manager
(PM) takes the lead in organizing a particular event, Vice President & Treasurer
and reports information to the Events Coordinator. Rachel Cannady
There can be more than one PM per project.


No; you do not have to be a “seasoned” activist to join
PLG: simply an interest in progressive librarianship Webmaster & Newsletter Editor
and hopefully a willingness to participate and collabo- Sho Ikeda
rate with us is all we ask.


That’s okay -- you can still join the listserv and come to
our meetings to get a feel for PLG to see if you want to
become a member. To subscribe to the listserv: Fundraising Coordinator
Send an email message to: listserv@listserv.arizona. Rebecca Bliquez
edu with an empty subject line, and with the following
as the only line in the body of the message: Faculty Advisor
subscribe UA-PLG Yourfirstname Yourlastname Tom Wilding
Because the list engine registers your email address as a
subscriber instead of your name, only the email ac-
count you registered will be allowed to receive postings
or to post messages. You may register all of your email
addresses. We discourage students from subscribing
with a Hotmail email address as this has caused prob-
lems the LSO listserv in the past.

Progressive Librarians Guild: UA Chapter Membership Form

Name: ___________________________________

Email Address: ____________________________

Mailing Address: ___________________________


Student – Expected Graduation Date: _______

Are you a virtual student? YES NO

SIRLS Alumni – Graduation Date: __________

Current Library Professional – Library: __________________________________________________

Areas of Interests/Specialization: _________________________________________________________




Membership Dues:

$20 for 2 years of membership

Please make checks payable to “Progressive Librarians Guild: UA Chapter”.
Send checks and membership forms directly to the UA Chapter.

Submit Form and Dues to:

School of Information Resources and Library Science

PLG: UA Chapter -- C/O Treasurer
1515 E. 1st St.
Tucson, AZ 85719


Entered into Database – Date: __________



Check - Check no.: ___________________