Sunday, October 27, 2013

New England Library Association Annual Conference

Portland, MEI attended the New England Library Association (NELA) Annual Conference in Portland, ME this year (Oct. 20-22). The conference was attended by approx. 600 people, including people from across New England and from a few other U.S. states. I went in order to participate in a panel session on Tuesday morning and enjoyed the entire conference.

I tweeted the conference and thus don't have a lot of notes; however, there is a conference blog at Handouts or slides, if available, are at Brian Herzog has also published a recap of the conference.

Rich HarwoodI enjoyed the keynote speaker, Rich Harwood from the Harwood Institute. His presentation about community, and turning outward, built upon what I had heard at the R-Squared Conference last year. At that conference, John McKnight taught us about doing community asset interviews, in order to understand how the library can support the community.  The survey sheet that we used in KcKnight's exercise can be found here, along with the interviewer's prompt card.  (A video of McKnight is below from R-Squared.)  McKnight ties his interviews to the library, while Harwood's focus is solely on the community itself.  He wants us to learn as much as possible about the community, without interjecting how the library might help.  His goal is that we learn, then find the natural connection.  That connection might be something that we do outside of the library or in support of some other group's efforts.

Portland (ME) Public Library Bookmobile
There were several highlights for me over the three days: visiting the Portland Public Library; stepping inside the Library's bookmobile, which was parked outside of the conference on Monday; meeting colleagues from other LIS programs; hearing about an awesome makerspace in New Hampshire; visiting the headquarters of LibraryThing; and making new friends.  I, and five LIS colleagues, spoke on Tuesday morning about LIS education, which is what brought me to NELA.  I now look forward to attending another one in the future!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Copyright for Information Professionals (IST 735), weeks 4-9

So my idea of blogging each week about my copyright class has failed.  My life as both an instructor and director of two programs seems to get in the way of my blogging.  I'm sorry.

THE DMCAThe conversations and information shared over the last five weeks has gotten better, as students understand more about the law and research areas of interest.  I especially liked the conversation during our week on the DMCA, as students found examples of take down notices and other information.  I learned that even Twitter has a way of reporting copyright infringement!

One of my students has been tweeting links to copyright-related web sites and articles, and I've added her to my Twitter list on copyright.  If you're interested, you can follow my Twitter list.  (Note that people do often tweet about other things, including sporting events.)

In talking about the permissions process, I relayed stories of people seeking permission to use photos that I have in Flickr.  Today I received another request, which I granted.  I tell those stories so that students know that people do seek permission and that doing so can be easy.  I've had photos used in hardcopy and online publications, and one used in a national news broadcast!  I've also sought permission to use photos and find that people are more than willing to say "yes".  Of course, using an appropriate Creative Commons license can help people understand what they can do without explicit permission, and that is a big help.

At some point, I'll tell you about the assignments that they are doing this year.  For now, I'll leave you with the mandatory readings for the last five weeks.  (Please excuse any font discrepancies.)

Week #5: Limitations on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives, and other limitations
·         Title 17, Section 108
·         Crews. Copyright Law for Libr. and Educators. Ch. 13 & app. D & E.
·         Hirtle. Copyright and Cultural Institutions. Chapter 6.

Week #6: International copyright & copyright in U.S. government works
·         International Copyright,
·         Pamela Samuelson. Intellectual Property Arbitrage: How Foreign Rules Can Affect Domestic Protections,
·         Frequently Asked Questions About Copyright Issues Affecting The U.S. Government,  - PDF pages 16-28

Week #7: Teaching & the TEACH Act
·         Title 17, Section 110
·         Crews. Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators. Chapter 12 and appendix C.
·         Liz Johnson. Managing Intellectual Property for Distance Learning.
·         Know Your Copyrights, 
·         Syracuse Univ., Using Copyrighted Works in Teaching,

Week #8: Digital Millennium Copyright Act
·         Crews. Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators. Chapter 16.
·         DMCA Highlights,
·         NPPA. Two Easy Steps for Using the DMCA Takedown Notice to Battle Copyright Infringement,
·         Legal How-To: Responding to a DMCA Takedown Notice,
·         File Sharing at Syracuse University,

Week #9: The Permissions Process
·        Crews. Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators. Ch. 18 and app. F.
·         Nolo. Copyright and Fair Use Overview.  Introduction to the Permissions Process,
·         Nolo. Copyright and Fair Use Overview.  Releases,
·         LibLicense,
·         Mary Minow. Library Digitization Projects and Copyright.
·         Hurst-Wahl, Jill. The time and effort to copyright clear materials,

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Webinar Recording: Giving Your First Conference Presentation: What No One Tells You (or When PowerPoint and Good Intentions Meet Reality)

Yesterday (Oct. 8), Maurice Coleman and I gave a one-hour webinar  entitled “Giving Your First Conference Presentation: What No One Tells You (or When PowerPoint and Good Intentions Meet Reality)”. 
Part of your professional development and support of the profession is giving presentations at conferences about your research or new initiatives. This professional presentation should help to propel your career, so how can you create and deliver content that will do just that?
We had over 80 people attend it live and now the recording is available for others to view.  The handout from the webinar is also available.  If this topic interests you, please give a listen.  From the feedback we've received, we know that even those who have done conference presentations will learn something new or be reminded of something that they need to be doing.

Maurice Coleman
Maurice is the host of T is for Training, in which I frequently participate.  Our familiarity with each other and with the topic meant that the conversation was lively! Maurice is also in the process of writing a book on this topic (Crash Course in Presentations to be released in 2014), so his mind is full of advice on this!

We did this webinar as part of the "20 Years Online" celebration in Syracuse University's School of Information Studies. 20 years ago there were no such things as webinars or learning management systems.  We've come a long way with MOOCs now being the rage. (Some do wonder if we're already in a post-MOOC world.)

Friday, October 04, 2013

What ALA Accreditation means

This post is my explanation and should not replace you reading information on the ALA web site or talking to your LIS program about its accreditation.  This post does not reflect the thoughts, knowledge or views of my employer. 

Hinds HallIn a conversation today, I was reminded that most librarians do not know what it means for a library program to be accredited by the American Libraries Association (ALA).  I must admit that I didn't understand it, until I had to get intimate with the details because of my work.  Yes, I went to an ALA accredited program, because I was told that doing so was important.  Yes, even when I didn't understand the details of accreditation, I have counseled people to go to a program tjat is accredited.  Most libraries seek to hire librarans that have an accredited degree.  Without an accredited degree, people often are unable to obtain the jobs that they desire.

What is accreditation?  According to ALA: (bolding added)
Accreditation is a voluntary system of evaluation of higher education institutions and programs. It is a collegial process based on self-evaluation and peer-assessment for improvement of academic quality and public accountability. Accreditation assures that higher education institutions and their units, schools, or programs meet appropriate standards of quality and integrity.

Accreditation is both a process and a condition. The process entails the assessment of educational quality and the continued enhancement of educational operations through the development and validation of standards. The condition provides a credential to the public-at-large indicating that an institution and/or its programs have accepted and are fulfilling their commitment to educational quality.
Notice that accreditation does not mean that every program is alike.  Programs, in fact, can be very different in terms of mandatory classes, exit requirements, and more.

The Office of Accreditation, within ALA, is the group that oversees all accreditation activities. Besides the staff of that office, external review panels (ERP) are involved in reviewing each program.  On a specific schedule an ERP is assembled and tasked with reading the self-evaluation documents created by a specific LIS program and then visiting that program in order to gather more information.  It is the ERP that recommends to the Office of Accreditation if a program should be re-accredited, or if it should be given a conditional accreditation and asked to address specific concerns.

Yes, a program can be given a conditional accreditation (see glossary) and asked to plan how it will improve.  Over the years, many programs have had conditional accreditation, including those that people at the time may have felt were top-notch institutions.  Remember that the accreditation review begins with the program assessing itself.  If the program isn't living up to what it desires, the conditional accreditation provides a time for the program to step up and get itself back on track.

Line-up & WaitIf you have an ALA accredited library degree (e.g., MLS, MSLIS, MLIS), it means that you received your degree from a library program that has gone through an intensive review and that it meets appropriate standards for quality and integrity.  It doesn't mean that you attended the same classes as a person in another program.  It doesn't mean that you learned the same things as someone from another program.  It does mean that ALA found that you program met its standards.

ALA does not act alone.  It is part of an "accrediting community through recognition by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and volunteer service with the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA),"  Therefore, some of what it asks of LIS programs are requirements, for example, from CHEA (e.g., the need to make program assessment data public).

Now that I have become better versed in what ALA accreditation means, I wonder why library professionals rely on accreditation, but don't fully understand it.  Yes...I'm asking that of my former self and I think the answer is that no one stands up and tells us that it is important to understand.  In addition, none of our non-LIS employers or community members ask what it means.  (If they asked, would they sit still for a full answer?)

If you are now intrigued, spend some time on the web site for the Office of Accreditation. If you are connected to an LIS program (alumni or current student), be aware of the program's accreditation and be willing to help as it prepares for its next review.  I am not sure what help you can provide (or what the program might need), but I'm sure they will be happy to hear that you want to ensure that the program remains accredited.