Thursday, August 25, 2016

WLIC2016 : IFLA Wrap-up

IFLA signage outside the Columbus Public LibraryThis was my first International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) conference.  I had no idea what to expect. All I knew is that if IFLA was coming to the U.S., I should go.  IFLA moves its conference around the world and it only comes to the U.S. about once a decade and its last stop in the U.S. was in 2001.

I am impressed in the fact that the conference - the World Library and Information Conference - is truly an international conference.  Not only do people travel from approximately 120 countries, but some of the sessions are simultaneously translated into other languages (English, French, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, and German).  Participants were encouraged place a sticker on their badges to signify which language other participants should approach them in.  This allowed participants to easily acknowledge language difference.

The content of the conference is also international. Sessions frequently contained speakers and perspectives from several national and cultural points of view. This was not a U.S. conference with some international conference. This was an international conference with some U.S. specific content.

Silent dance partyThe Cultural Aspect: Unlike other library conferences I've attended, IFLA has a strong cultural component. The opening session was all about the U.S. culture and lots of Ohio history.  It was very entertaining! While some of the cultural history was shown and not explained, it taught me things that I didn't know and which I appreciated.

The Tuesday evening cultural event at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) contained food and entertainment from five regions of the U.S.  Yes, the food and music were good, and COSI is an wonderful facility.  It was also fun watching people try some of the science experience, do country line dancing, and even partake of the silent dance party where participants listened to the music on headsets.

Dress with the AfLIA logoAfLIA: I was really taken by members of the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA), who had clothing made out of fabric that contained the association's logo and name.  What an advertisement for their association and what a commitment by them!  Could you imagine the ALA, SLA or some other library association logo made into clothing?  I can!  I can only hope it would be as stylish.

Why go to IFLA? Next year's IFLA is in Poland and then it moves to Malaysia in 2018. Traveling all over the world to be involved in IFLA and to attend the conference is a huge financial and time commitment. Clearly there are people - including retired librarians - who believe in having an global impact and doing it through IFLA.  If you want a peek into that world or if you want to be a part of that world, then this is the conference for you.

I highly recommend attending this conference when it comes close to you (and close is a relative term).  You will find it engaging and informing.  You will leave with new enthusiasm and with new contacts that you would not have met otherwise.

Yes, this is a conference for K-12, public, academic and special librarians. No matter your focus, there is content in this conference for you, as well as people that you should meet.  So start saving your dollars. And talk to your boss about what you could learn about and bring back to your organization.  Yes, start that conversation now, even though getting to IFLA may be a few years in the future.

IFLA 2016 logoList of blog posts: Below is the list of posts I wrote about the conference.  You will notice a large number of photos, which you may need to click on in order to read. Why so many photos?  Some of the content moved quickly and it was easier to take and include photos than to try to type.  It also ensured that I captured some of the content correctly.
Addendum (08/27/2016):I want to note that the people of Columbus, OH were very welcoming to this international conference.  In particular, the bus drivers on the transit system are friendly and extraordinarily helpful, which you don't find everywhere.

As for food, yes, lots of good places to eat and drink including:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

ALCTS Webinar on "Creating Effective Webinars"

Earlier in the summer the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) approached Maurice Coleman and I were asked to present a webinar for ALCTS members on how to create an effective webinar.  After giving the one-hour webinar last week (Aug. 17), it is now available for anyone to view.  All of the materials are available at and below:
After attending the webinar, it is hoped that ALCTS members might be inspired to give webinars and to:
  • Design better presentations
  • Understand how to prepare for delivering the presentation (producer/tech support)
  • Better engage the audience
  • Prepare for the unexpected, technical and otherwise, during the webinar
  • Understand some of the basic features of “web conference” software and how to use them to your advantage
You will notice - even if you look at the handout - that we covered a wide range of topics. Throughout the webinar, we encouraged people to tell us what questions they had.  One of the questions was about sample speaker agreements.  Every speaker agreement may be slightly different.  Be sure to look for text that acknowledges that the content belongs to you (the speaker).  If that text is not in the agreement (or in a series of communications between you and the organization), state that the materials are yours.  (You might do this by saying that you are confirming your assumption.)

Here are links to two SAMPLE speaker agreements:
In addition, this article may be helpful: "Speaker Agreement Essentials",

Maurice and I really enjoyed giving this webinar! We are both passionate trainers and we want to help others excel at providing webinars.  If you're interested in giving a webinar and don't know how to construct one, please give this one-hour webinar a listen.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

WLIC2016 : Digitization Vendors at IFLA

DLSG Booth
DLSG Booth
When I started this blog in 2004, digitization was a growing area in libraries. For some, it was still something new, while others had and were embarking on massive projects. New hardware and new projects/programs garnered attention. For me, Google Book Search ushered in a huge possibilities. Over the years, I've been heartened by the advances in technology, the breadth of projects (even digital collaborations like those discussed at WLIC), and the number of cultural heritage institutions that see digitization as part of what they do.

At the World Library and Information Congress, I was impressed with the number of digitization hardware vendors in the exhibit hall.  Among them were: (this list may not be complete)
For any librarian interested in digitization, this was a plum opportunity to talk with vendors and to look at hardware.  Yes, there was an impressive array of hardware on display for librarians from around the world.

In talking with a representative from one of the companies, we went over some of the acquisitions that have happened in the industry.  We also talked about where in the world the big scanners are being sold.  Not every institution can afford these large, expensive equipment but some institutions can put together programs that are large enough and funded well enough to afford a piece of equipment that costs over $100,000 (U.S.). 

One positive that has happened over the years is that the technology is less expensive - more affordable - equipment has improved.  Look, for example, at the microfilm readers that are also scanners.  Look at the equipment meant for end-users (library users) which many institutions have been able to purchase.  Yes, even look at the equipment that many of us have at home. While these printer-scanners are not what a large digitization program would use, they put an ability into our hands that can be used to digitize materials and share them on a personal level.

Yes, this was an amazing opportunity for the librarians at WLIC and I hope some took the time to look, talk, ask for a demo, or obtain information to take back home.  Seeing this variety of hardware in one spot may not happen soon.

Crowley Booth at WLIC
Crowley Booth
Versascan large format scanner

Thursday, August 18, 2016

WLIC2016 : Privacy Law in the Digital Age: Governments rethink the meaning of information access policies

Roberta Shaffer (moderator) - we've come a long way historical. The right to privacy is not a new one.   The right of privacy is infused with many type of relations.  She questioned whether we can be forgotten, which is part of the right of privacy.  It may not be technically possible.

Dennis Hirsch - blending the European and American approaches

Different privacy regimes

In the US, privacy is often controlled by the Federal Trade Commission.

In Europe, the right to be forgotten.  In Europe, the right to be forgotten makes a lot of sense.  In the US, we see this as true information, which should be available.  He mentioned lawsuits in France and Italy, where the right to be forgotten or the right to privacy had been upheld.

Is US privacy law adequate when dealing with data sharing across country boundaries.  People in other countries are not covered by the Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue,but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This conflict is relevant outside of the US and Europe.  Many countries has adopted the European model.

How to think about this conflict?  One way of thinking about it in terms of economic competition.

Economic competition

GAFAM = Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft.

In Europe, the privacy regulations are seen as protectionism.

But the US and Europe have two different cultures of privacy.  Europe is focused on dignity, while the US is focused on liberty. 

Two cultures of privacy

There is a long tradition in Europe of reputation and honor; your public face.  This was a right of the noble classes, which became a right of everyone.  It became a human right.  Each has a right to personal dignity. 

In the US, we got rid of the monarchy.  We believe that we have the right to make decisions free of state interference.  Our anxiety is that the government would get a hold of all of our private information.  We do not want an overbearing government in our private lives.

In the US, we don't want the government to limit what we can know.

How dose resolve the conflict over privacy?  Both come out of a western tradition.  Can we blend dignity with liberty?  Perhaps there is something in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

What about intellectual privacy? There is a book on that.

Make sense of differences in legal regimes

IFLA statement

Anne Klinefelter - Privacy law in the digital age: information access and the US law library

The privacy of library users is shrinking.  The private information of individuals, whom a library user might be researching, may be increasing.

Privacy of USA Law Library Users is Shrinking

We want to increase the privacy of our users as well the privacy of the people on our content.  We want to increase access to content.  We want to limit surveillance, including watching what people are accessing.

Areas affecting privacy:
  • Privacy of law library users
  • Library laws and ethics
  • Attorney-client confidentiality
  • Judge/legislator traditions
In the US, privacy laws are at the state level.  Some were passed in the wake of the Freedom of Information Act.  Laws in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and attorney general opinions form the basis for this.

Some states have laws about digital book services.  There is a new law in Delaware, for example.

Legal research itself is part of the client-lawyer confidentiality.

ALA and privacy

Privacy as shrinking

Data shared with any third party in the US can be monitored without a warrant.  There is a thin barrier between what Google knows and what the US government knows.  (The Third Party Doctrine)

There has been growth of data brokers, who combine information from across the web, and then sell the resultant information.  Data brokers may create discriminatory sounding categories, which can harm a person's dignity.

Privacy rights expanding

Adam Eisgrau - ALA Office of Government Relations

They address key library legislative issues with Congressional representatives.

What data does the US government get? They get it all.  He noted that USA PATRIOT Act and how much was lost in terms of civil liberties.  Librarians took exception to one section, which has become know as a library provision (the national security letter).  (Section 215)

Section 215 expired briefly and then was renewed by the USA Freedom Act on 2015.  This Act ended the bulk collection of the NSA, but requests can be made.  The gag order of Section 2015 now is subject to judicial review. 

The secret court rarely said "no" to requests.  Now advocates/watchdogs can be at the proceedings.

The cybersecurity Information Sharing Act now makes the NSA the collector of information, she something fishy happens,and that information is shared with other agencies.

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act - This act was passed in 1986 and it has not been amended since then.  In 1986, people dod not store long term.  If data is over 180 days old, a warrant is not needed.  There is activity in a congress to change this act, however, people are also looking to expand the PATRIOT Act.

What about encryption or digital "back doors"? This is a huge debate currently in the US.  People want stronger encryption. The government wants to get around encryption.  Can the government compel a company to break encryption?  Will the government study this to death?

Student Privacy and FERPA - The real action around student privacy has been in the states. One of the leading states on this is California.


He noted that the President in the US can issue an Executive Order, which can impact privacy.  He mentioned Rule 41, which is about hacking.



  • Hirsch - in the privacy of readers, dignity and liberty are combined.  When it comes to content, dignity and liberty are in conflict.  We need to find creative ways to synthesize liberty and dignity.
  • Eisgrau - expunging versus contextualizing.  What about providing more information in order to provide context?  Given our technology, is an expunging possible? 
  • Shaffer - there is a balance in people's minds between privacy and convenience.  In the US, we have felt that the government would protect our privacy.  However, security breaches in the US demonstrate that the Government is not protecting our privacy.  In Germany, they do not trust the government and felt that corporations would protect their privacy.  However, breaches show that corporations are not adequately protecting people's privacy.
  • Hirsch - privacy has political and cultural contexts in different countries.