Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Special issue of Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship on Models for Copyright Education

The Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship, vol. 3, no. 2 (2019) is a special issue which includes papers presented at the 2017 International Federation of Library Associations’ (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress' Models for Copyright Education in Information Literacy Program.  Articles included are:
The Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship "is a peer-reviewed open-access publication for original articles, reviews and case studies that analyze or describe the strategies, partnerships and impact of copyright law on public, school, academic, and digital libraries, archives, museums, and research institutions and their educational initiatives."  Past issues are available in its archives.
 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

#ALAac19 : Bias, microaggressions, diversity, and inclusion

Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard
Given the conversations in the U.S. since fall 2016 and some of the actions that have occurred, it is not surprising that there were many sessions related to bias, microaggressions, diversity and inclusion. I was able to attend only two. I'm giving you the descriptions because these capture important information.

New Destinations in the Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement of People of Color to the Library Profession

 

Description

In spite of ongoing diversity initiatives and programs by organizations such as ARL, ACRL and other groups, recruitment, retention and promotion among library and information studies (LIS) students and library workers is lagging. Two recent projects, the REFORMA Telling Our Stories: Community Building to Recruit and Retain Latinx to the Library Profession grant and the Hampton University Forum on Minority Recruitment and Retention in the LIS Field grant, both awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), address the need to set new goals and create profession-wide efforts to look at the recruitment and retention efforts if we really want to diversify the profession. Libraries that succeed in recruiting must simultaneously focus on retention and promotion of new hires. Mentoring programs have proven to be effective in supporting new professionals and aiding them to remain in the field. There is a need to develop a climate in the workplace that supports and encourages advancement. The Hampton LIS Forum, held August 1-2, 2018 at Hampton University provided a safe space for the discussion of diversity initiatives and the concerns of people of color within the LIS profession. The forum also created a think-tank to create actionable strategies to address diversity in recruitment and retention. This presentation will discuss both grant-funded projects and the need for continued efforts and research to address the lack of diversity of people of color within the library and information studies field.

Speakers: Miguel Juarez, Tina Rollins, and Tess Tobin

 

Notes


The speakers wanted to spent more of the time having a discussion with the audience, but unfortunately, they spent too much time providing background in this one-hour session.  What is clear, though, from their presentation is that there are areas where we can focus, in order to improvement recruitment, retention, and advancement.  Those areas include two which drew my attention:
  • Mentoring
  • Leadership training
We often have a specific idea of what mentoring is.  However, I like the varied list of what was mentoring can be in the Tomorrow's Professor post entitled "Mentoring and Productivity." Our staff of color may benefit from mentoring that provides one (or more) of the following:
  • Professional Development
  • Emotional Support
  • A Sense of Community
  • Accountability
  • Institutional Sponsorship
  • Access to Networks
  • Project Specific Feedback
  • Role Models
  • Safe Space

Library staff of color need to find and connect with mentors, who can provide the type of mentoring they need.  While a library might provide a mentor, staff should be willing to look elsewhere for additional mentors, who can provide a different point of view and perhaps a different mentoring relationship.

In terms of leadership training, current and future leaders need to be trained on working with diverse staff members, no matter what that diversity might be.  We cannot assume that someone already has those skills.  This training could occur in a number of different ways and might need to occur more than once, since we really don't leave everything about working in a diverse and inclusive environment in one sitting.

Our staff of color should also receive leadership training, because they will be leaders.  Some will become team leaders, managers or directors, while others might lead a project.  They should get into that leadership role with an understand of what it entails and how to succeed as a leader.  They should see leadership as a natural progression in their careers.  Having people of color in leadership roles puts them in the position of being role models for other staff as well as our communities, so we need to help them succeed, rather than setting them up for failure.

An Introduction to Implicit Bias and Microaggressions


Description

The American Library Association commits to ameliorating marginalization and underrepresentation within the Association and the communities served by libraries through increased understanding of the effects of historical exclusion. This introductory training will explore implicit bias and microaggressions. Participants will be able to identify how these concepts create barriers and begin to explore ways to disrupt our biases and respond to microaggressions. This training will be presented three times throughout Annual Conference and is open to all conference attendees.
Speakers: Mee Moua and Michael Wenger

Notes


They noted the history of bias in the U.S., noting that it was used to justify enslavement and conquest.  Some bias has been based on pseudo science.  Some have been quite intentional through federal government actions.

Bias is a preference for - or against - a group of people and it occurs on a subconscious level. We all are biased. We all can learn what our biases are and then be more mindful of how we consciously react in various situation.

One of the exercise we did was to discuss how we would handle the following scenario.
Two groups of students - one predominately white and one predominately black- are sitting at separate tables in the library, and both groups are speaking loudly to each other.  Your colleague walks over to the table that has mostly black students and tells them to be quiet or they will be kicked out of the library.
What message do you think the students at either table received from the interaction?
What would you do or say to the students, if you were the one responding?
What would you do or say to your colleague?

That was a fascinating discussion! Wow.  Did we all read the scenario the same way?  And then what did we decide to do?  You might discuss that scenario with your staff and see what happens.  I guarantee it will be educational.

This session was both informative and fun.  The speakers created good interaction with the participants and assured that we interacted with each other at our tables.

Resources


Thoughts


It is likely that every sessions at ALA related to diversity, bias, etc., began with some sort of an overview of the basics.  While I know having an understanding of the basics is necessary, I wish there could have been a different way of doing it, so that each session could have spent more time one what was unique about that session.  This might have meant creating an introductory session each day, which was marked and promoted as such.  Then the other sessions could have had in their descriptions that people were expected to attend one of the introductory sessions first.  Yes, I know this would be a hassle, but I think participants at these sessions would have appreciated it.

Finally, I want to say that I appreciate ALA having so many sessions on these topics. Now more than ever, we need to be trained and retrained on them.  And then we need to be willing to use what we have learned to make our libraries more welcoming for everyone.

Friday, July 12, 2019

#ALAac19 : Privacy and legal issues

Mobile at the Convention Center made from guitarsI was unable to attend these two sessions, but want to tell you what they were and  point you towards articles about them. Why? Because I believe the topics to be important.

Library Confidentiality: Your Privacy is Our Business


American Libraries covered this session with an article.

Description

Protecting patron privacy has long been a tenet of libraries. In today’s environment of social media dominance, political partisanship, and big data collection and analysis, libraries continue their gate-keeping tradition. Participants in this program will learn about the policies, guidelines, ethics and laws behind the privacy and confidentiality standards that affect their libraries. Attendees will have several opportunities to share and explore cultural and policy approaches to privacy and confidentiality with their colleagues, while strategizing to resolve challenging patron privacy scenarios and policy concerns they may encounter at their own institutions.

Privacy is as much an institutional cultural construct as it is a framework of laws, regulations, and policies. We begin by reflecting upon our own personal concepts of privacy. The presenters will share what students have told them about their privacy fears. You will find that our concerns are surprisingly similar, and yet we wittingly or unwittingly share our private information on a regular basis. As information professionals, what is our role in creating privacy and confidentiality awareness among our patrons and staff? Our examination expands to compare and contrast how we, as a profession, protect the privacy of our patrons even if that is at odds with how our patrons want (or do not want) their privacy protected.

This program makes participants aware of the potential for challenges to patron reading records and models options to be both proactive and reactive, outlines the history and practice of ALA’s ethical and legal response to those challenges, and reflects upon the increasing institutional focus on assessment, data-driven decision making and the use of Big Data to prove our value. Will these new initiatives threaten our patrons’ privacy?

Speakers: Kathleen Ross and Nancy Greco, St. John Fisher College

PLA Legal Issues in Public Libraries Forum



This event was part of the PLA meeting at ALA. American Libraries did an article on it.

Description


Can a patron require us to accept a gift subscription to a publication we don't want? Can I play music during a story hour and have the children sing along? What if we stream the story hour from our website? We notice one patron often comes into the library barefoot. Can we do anything about that? Can "that" group really be allowed to use our meeting room? We have received a list of books for which a number of patrons (there is a signed petition) want restricted access so that children cannot read or check out the books unless there is a parental permission on file. Must we abide by their wishes? The library has a new crafting space, with glue guns, various cutting blades and other sharp objects. Can we have patrons sign some sort of release protecting the library in case someone gets injured? I am reviewing an agreement from a new online content provider. What does it mean when the agreement says the vendor waives all warranties including non-infringement and that the library will indemnify the vendor? Need answers to these and similar questions?
PLA announces a new conference resource and informational session, the Legal Issues in Public Libraries Forum. The Forum is an open discussion venue for legal issues common in public libraries such as patron privacy, challenges to both in-house and online content, patron behavior, copyright and licensing, other liability issues such as those related to maker spaces, and more. Recent cases and legislation affecting libraries can also be discussed. The Forum serves as a resource, a place where issues you may be facing can be vetted in a neutral space. The Forum draws upon the experience and knowledge of your peers, of those in attendance.
Held at future Midwinter and ALA Annual Conferences, the Forum is convened by Tomas A. Lipinski, Dean and Professor at the School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, author and co-author with Mary Minow and Gretchen McCord of numerous books and articles on various legal problems in libraries. Tom, like Mary and Gretchen, is both a librarian and a lawyer. The hope is to always have several lawyer librarians in attendance as well as seasoned library administrators.

Please note this Forum is intended to provide accurate information in regard to the subject matter covered. However it is not a place to obtain legal advice or other professional service. If legal or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

The Standardized Mass Contract

Seth Godin
Seth Godin spoke at the Association for Talent Development conference in May in Washington, DC.  Godin, who knows how to promote himself and his activities, gave away copies of his book Stop Stealing Dreams: What is School Good For? and two of my friends got me a copy.  The book is available online for free in full-text.  Yes this was first published in 2012.

Godin has written the book in a series of short chapters and it is indeed focused on education, both K-12 and higher education.  He does a very good job dissecting what is right and wrong with education today, which makes it a worthwhile read.  In addition, there is text that can be applied to other situations, such as this about standardized mass contracts, which is a quote from Friedrich Kessler (1943):
The development of large scale enterprise with its mass production and mass distribution made a new type of contract inevitable — the standardized mass contract. A standardized contract, once its contents have been formulated by a business firm, is used in every bargain dealing with the same product or service. The individuality of the parties which so frequently gave color to the old type of contract has disappeared. The stereotyped contract of today reflects the impersonality of the market…. Once the usefulness of these contracts was discovered and perfected in the transportation, insurance, and banking business, their use spread into all other fields of large scale enterprise, into international as well as national trade, and into labor relations.
When I read this, I thought immediately of the "click through" (or "click and accept" or"web-wrap") agreements that we are confronted with daily.  These are standardized mass contracts which we cannot negotiate and must accept as-is, if we want to use that service.  We are so used to these agreements - and their long, unintelligible legal text - that most of us click and agree automatically.

I think, too, of the content we use from a variety of different databases and  websites, where we cannot individually easily negotiate a different terms of use.  (Notice the word "easily" in that sentence.  Yes, negotiation is possible.)

Godin would argue that our education system has taught us to comply and to stay with what the larger group is doing. Thus we accept these click through agreements, because it is what is expected of us and it is what others are doing.  In the past, libraries have automatically accepted the standardized mass contracts their vendors have given them, but that is changing.

What do we each need to do to change these contracts that have been standard since the industrial revolution?  How do we create changeable contracts that can be easily altered to meet specific needs? Yes, I know we have the Creative Commons, but I'm thinking of database contracts, for example.  Can we build momentum, rather than having individual libraries seemingly tackling this alone?

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Podcast: How to ensure free speech; and the EU's new copyright directive

RN Future Tense did a 30-minute podcast on "How to ensure free speech; and the EU's new copyright directive." While the later would definitely be of interest to you, the topic of free speech is something that many libraries and other groups are struggling with. 

The podcast is available on the Future Tense website and other places where podcasts are available (e.g., iTunes).

Description

Many Western governments continue to struggle with free speech. It’s not that they’re necessarily against it, it’s just that they don’t know how to effectively regulate out the offensive stuff. Political scientist Katherine Gelber has put forward what she calls the “capabilities-informed approach”. Also, the EU’s new Directive on Copyright — why are the big tech players warning it can’t work?