Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Twitter. Flickr. End of eras.

My use of social media is change and it's time to admit it.

I joined Flickr in 2005 (May, I think) and have nearly 5000 photos in that service. Over the years, I have used Flickr to share photos with other people. It's also been one way that I've been able to find my own photos, because I've been good at organizing photos in Flickr. Flickr also helped me forge relationships with other library folks, because we looked at and used each other photos. And in 2007, I got a ride from an airport to a conference center because I knew another person on the flight through Flickr. (Very cool!)

But the last photos I uploaded to Flickr were in September 2020. And while I do search Flickr for photos to use that have a Creative Commons license, often what I'm looking for isn't there. It just isn't the place that supports me the way it used to. Ugh.

And then there is Twitter. We are all watching the "dumpster fire" that Twitter has become. Some wonder if it will survive the week, since valuable members of its support staff are now gone.  After its recent acquisition, by E.M., I looked at my Twitter usage and realized that it isn't the news source it used to be for me nor the place where I interact with lots of people in the library and information communities. It's not a back-channel for conferences, for example. It is no longer essential.  With folks deleting their accounts or just relying on other services instead, its era is over.

I have already decreased by usage of Twitter by deleting apps and not signing in automatically on my computer.  And I'm getting ready to downgrade to the free Flickr subscription, which will then delete many of my photos. Yes, that will ruin blog posts where I've embedded my photos. Honestly, older posts are snapshots in time. If I find myself updating any of them (which can happen), then I'll update any broken photos too.

BTW...oddly...I don't feel sad. Tools come. Tools go. We shouldn't think that any of them will last forever, right?

So where can you find me? I've been using LinkedIn more. While it doesn't replace Flickr or Twitter, it has become a good spot for sharing work-related thoughts and information. You can follow me on LinkedIn without us being connected. (I try to connect with only those folks I know.)  You can also follow me on Instagram, if you're  interested in what I'm generally thinking or doing.

BTW some folks are moving to Mastodon. I haven't explored it, but it's been noted as being siloed and clunky. Perhaps I'll join in the future, but being untethered is a nice feeling!

Below is a version of last thing I uploaded to Flickr in 2020.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Blog post: New eBook Protection Software Gaining Popularity Among Publishers and Libraries

If you're interested in digital lending in a controlled environment or other areas where you might need DRM, you'll be interested in this about Readium LCP.

Readium LCP was developed five years ago to protect digital files from unauthorized distribution. Unlike proprietary platforms, the technology is open to anyone who wants to look inside the codebase and make improvements. It is a promising alternative for libraries and users wanting to avoid the limitations of traditional DRM. 

For more information, read the entire post.


Tuesday, November 08, 2022

#NYLA2022 : "They don't need you" and other lessons from the Annual Conference

Board and staff are representative OF our community. Programs are cocreated BY our community.  Organization is welcoming FOR our community.

Last week was the New York Library Association (NYLA) Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. Saratoga is a gorgeous community and always a great place to hold the NYLA conference. This conference was our first "normal" conference since COVID turned everything upside down. There were no restrictions and registration was close to what it was in 2019. (The conference in 2020 was virtual and it was scaled back in 2021, due to COVID restrictions.) 

There were many enticing sessions - often at the same time. Rather than writing about each session, I want to capture a few highlights and share some resources.

Courtney Harge: The Beautiful Revolutionary Future

The keynote was given by Courtney Harge (she/her), who is the CEO of OF/BY/FOR ALL. OF/BY/FOR ALL helps to equip "civic and cultural organizations to become of, by, and for their communities." Her slides are available and I recommend looking at them. Included in her presentation was an overview of their Change Network system.

What stood out to me is how they coach organizations to reach out into their communities, recognizing that gathering information and building relationships is paramount. Harge noted that we often rush to present a solution without knowing what the community wants or truly needs. People want to be listened to, heard, understood, and partnered with. Rushing in with a fully formed idea means that we are saying that we know best, even if we know nothing about that group or community.

Harge did say, "They don't need you." Those folks and groups who aren't using the library are existing without the library. We might rush in and exclaim, "you need us" or "we have a solution", but do we really know what those folks need? Spending time - a lot of time - getting to know the community and its sub-communities is vitally important. 

How do you get to know your community? Attend their events (without talking about the library). Walk through the neighborhoods and visit different businesses (and don't talk about the library). Perhaps try different places in those neighborhoods for coffee or lunch. Ask your staff to introduce you around, if they are willing. However you do it, Harge noted that we cannot immediately pitch an idea, rather we need to listen and learn. We need to understand what our community wants, rather than focusing on the solutions we already have. We need to focus on building trust.

Her presentation was full of wise words (many captured on her slides) including, "Make sure your space isn’t actively harmful.” For me, this also requires a lot of deep listening. Your staff and patrons need to trust you in order to tell you why your organization is actively harmful (if it is) and that trust does not occur overnight. It takes time.

There is a saying, "work at the speed of trust." Trust allows things to happen faster. However, trust takes time to be established and it can be ruined in an instant.

Creating Remote Access to Library Collections

John Raymond, Matthew Kopel, and I did a session on "Creating Remote Access to Library Collections," where we talked about digital lending in a controlled environment. Good to see public and academic librarians in the audience, who are interested in using Copyright Law (Sections 107 and 109), digital technology, and DRM to provide digital access to some of their print collection. We provided lots of information and emphasized the details of CDL (controlled digital lending) including maintaining the owned-to-loan ratio.

NYS Minimum Standards for Public Libraries

I found the session on the New York Public and Association Libraries Minimum Standards to be eye-opening and helpful. While I've studied the minimum standards, it was useful to hear others talk about how they are applied and what happens if a library is not meeting one (or more) of them.

One eye-opening tidbit is that all public library trustees need to fulfill the annual NYS mandated sexual harassment prevention training requirement. If a trustee takes this training in their workplace, they can use that training to fulfill their requirement as a trustee. Not having to take the training twice is good news. The bad news is that some of the sexual harassment training that is being used to fulfill this requirement is structured to meet the requirement and not to be truly helpful (in my opinion).

Mary Lou Carolan, from the Newburgh Free Library, shared their strategic plan during this session. (Having a strategic plan is one of the 14 minimum standards.) I like looking at library strategic plans and this one contains interesting activities.

Carolan noted that the Newburgh Free Library serves a community that is 50+% Hispanic. By hiring someone from the Hispanic community, translating the website, etc. into Spanish, & better outreach, they have increased the number of people from the Hispanic community who are engaged with the library. 

Combating Racism in Libraries: Creating Spaces to Educate and Inform Our Communities

I believe these archived webinars were mentioned in the "Reinventing Ethnic Library Services."  On this page are:

  • Community and Communication in the Dialogue on American Racism - Past, Present & Future
  • Using Collection Development and Readers Advisory to Introduce Race Relations 
  • Inclusive Programming - Every Race, Every Month 
  • I Write about Race - a panel discussion
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in Human Resources & Microaggressions in the Workplace
  • Teaching Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and American Culture in ESOL Classrooms 

And on this page are:

  • Let's Talk About Anti-Asian Hate
  • Reintroducing R.A.C.E. with Teens (Racial Awareness and Community Education)
  • Evaluating for Inclusive Programming
  •  Impact of Racism on Community Health
  • Microaggressions in Academic Libraries

Little Free Library for Banned and Challenged Books
Good Weather, People, and Food

The weather this year was warm and gorgeous, and everyone took advantage of it! So nice to not have to take a winter coat or worry about rain.

One of the benefits of being in Saratoga is all of the good food. I didn't have one bad meal! Since NYLA will be in Saratoga again next year, I look forward to visiting places like Walt Cafe and Darling Doughnuts again. 

Of course, NYLA brings people together from across NYS (and beyond) who are interested in the sessions and then who find a myriad of other library-related things to talk about. The sessions and the conference structure become the backdrop for powerful conversations with existing and new library buddies.  I'm thankful to have seen folks whom I only see at NYLA and to make new friends!

Future Conference Locations

Finally, here is where the NYLA Conference is scheduled for the next five years. Yup, alternating between Saratoga and Syracuse!

2023: Saratoga Springs, November 1-4
2024: Syracuse, November 6-9
2025: Saratoga Springs, November 5-8
2026: Saratoga Springs, November 4-7
2027: Syracuse, October 27-30

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Collaborative Problem Solving! : 2022 Miami University Libraries Copyright Conference

Copyright symbol made from puzzle pieces

When the Miami University Libraries Copyright Conference ended, I set an intention to get notes up quickly on the five sessions. Clearly life intervened. I'm sorry.  Finally, here are the notes to the last session, which occurred on Sept. 16.  A recording of the session and slides are available.


Bring your copyright questions to this session! Our group of panelists will demonstrate the various ways copyright librarians often work together to think through and address copyright issues.


My Summary:

The three topics were: Copyright Claims Board, ILL, and preservation. Yes, three very different topics and all quite interesting. One thing that stood out to me - across the board - was libraries to think beyond the norm. With the CCB, that showed up in libraries taking the step of opting out even if others felt they didn't need to. With ILL - to me - it was the recognition that CONTU was created in 1979 and the world has changed a lot since then.  In terms of preservation, it was the idea (and complication) of preservation being done across country boundaries.

Many interesting details and worth a listen!


  • Crews noted the importance of each word in the session title. Collaborative. Problem. Solving. 
  • Crews started by saying that they would be providing new problems for us to solve.
  • Ana Enriquez talked about the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) and her institution's (Penn State) efforts to get the word out about it. (See slides)
    • Her presentation included an overview of the CCB and contained lots of good details,including thoughts about sovereign immunity and whether there could be a constitutional challenge to the Copyright Claims Board.
  • Cindy Kristof talked about CONTU – ILL and Resource Sharing (See slides)
    • She begin with quick comments about the Copyright Claims Board and opting out, and the complication of doing so at Kent State University Libraries.
    • She provided interesting pre-history to CONTU as well as links to presentations, etc., on alternatives to CONTU.
    • There have been no lawsuits associated with Section 108.
    • Kenny and Cindy talked about the cost of copyright fees versus the cost of a journal subscription. The specific examples given were fascinating and not something I would have considered, given that I do not do ILL.
  •  Crews talked about preservation activities within libraries.
    • Preservation activities are collaborative because they are about acquisitions, borrowing, collection development, donor agreements and licenses, etc.
      • An agreement may impact preservation, if it is restrictive.
      • An agreement can be neutral, restrictive, or generous.
      • He talked through the language in 108 and provided interesting questions. For example, what does damaged mean? What "judgment calls" must we make?
    • Can we preserve works before they are destroyed?
      • What happens is preservation means moving a work across country boundaries?
    • These are questions that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is thinking about. Crews noted that new information from WIPO on this topic is coming.
      • Will there be a treaty or will there be guidance?
      • He encouraged folks to work through their professional organizations in order to know what is happening and to contribute to the WIPO discussion.
  • Q&A
    • Ana Enriquez reminded us of the breadth of fair use and also that the usage details matter.
      • "Fair Use-y"
      • "What if..."  "It depends"
      • What are the institution's standards?

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Article: Everything dies, including information

 This MIT Technology Review article reminds us what we know, but may have forgotten:

Everything dies: people, machines, civilizations. Perhaps we can find some solace in knowing that all the meaningful things we’ve learned along the way will survive. But even knowledge has a life span. Documents fade. Art goes missing. Entire libraries and collections can face quick and unexpected destruction. 

Digitization was seen as a way of extending the life of information, but we know that a digital collection can be lost in seconds. Just think about what has been lost in Ukraine that was in physical or digital form. 

This article doesn't provide a solution. Joe Janes from the University of Washington, notes that we do "try to extend the normal life span as far as possible through a variety of techniques", but that is no guarantee against eventual failure and loss. 

Perhaps keeping information alive for as a long as we can is all we can do and realize that "forever" is a dream.