Monday, December 11, 2017

Net Neutrality and HOV Highway Lanes

Net NeutralityOn Dec. 14, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote to restore Internet freedom.  This is seen as an attempt to alter what is referred to as Net Neutrality. According to Wikipedia:
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. For instance, under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.
When we talk about eliminating net neutrality, we talk about some web sites or services (e.g., streaming movies) being treated differently than other sites.  This means that my web site might be given a lower priority and a person might find that it loads more slowly than another site which has been given a higher priority.  However, it is hard for any of us to imagine what this might actually mean, which brings me to two analogies (which are likely not original).

There is one place where some of us have experience being in the fast lane and that is on a highway.  Around major cities or on heavily traveled interstates, there are high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.  In some place, like near Washington DC, the driver pays to be in those lanes which are moving much faster.  As a person in the slow lane, I am being negatively affected by the traffic around me.  In addition, the highway system is not compelled to do anything that might speed-up my trip.  And while I can see the HOV lanes, I cannot get into them because I have not complied with the requirements for using those lanes.  If you understand that, then you can understand what will happen if net neutrality is eliminated.

If you have not experienced HOV lanes, it is likely you may have experienced the Fast Pass at Disney World, or heard friends talk about them.  The Fast Pass allows you to skip ahead in the line at the rides of your choosing.  If net neutrality is eliminated, some Internet sites will have Fast Passes, while the rest of us will be stuck in line.

Now...I have heard good arguments for allowing some services to have faster access or more priority.  For example, should we give emergency services faster or higher access to the Internet?  And if we did that, would that lead to?  Could that lead to giving faster access to the military or government?  For me, that would be a slippery slope and something we (Internet users) should think seriously about.  However, that discussion should happen after we have moved beyond this current net neutrality vote (and hopefully with net neutrality intact).

If you want to contact the FCC on this issue, you can do so through the FCC web site and through other sites like Battle for the Net.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

SWFLN webinar recording: Oops Embracing Training Failures and Learning From Them

Yesterday, Dec. 6, Maurice Coleman, Paul Signorelli and I gave a one-hour webinar entitled "Oops Embracing Training Failures and Learning From Them."  We talked about problems that a trainer might experience and how to mitigate them, as well as tips for learners.  (By the way, as a trainer, you might listen to those tips for learners and use that information to help you provide tips to keep your learners on track.) 

Thanks to Aaron Blumberg at SWFLN for arranging the webinar. Thanks, too, to Deb McClain who provided sign language interpretation (ASL).  The webinar is also closed captioned.  


Friday, November 24, 2017

Talent Development in Libraries

I recently came across this 2015 article entitled "Unlocking the Talent Development Puzzle" by Laurie Miller.  The article is based on data collected by the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and Rothwell & Associates.  In the article, there is a list of 39 functions an organization might engage in which relate to talent (employee) development.
The 15 functions that the majority of professionals identified as core components of a talent development structure are change management, coaching, compliance, employee engagement, evaluating learning impact, executive development, instructional design, leadership development, learning technologies, managing learning programs, needs assessment, onboarding, performance improvement, performance management, and training delivery.
That list interests me because I doubt that most libraries think that they should be doing each of those activities in order to develop their employees.  I know of job applicants who have sought out library employers who would support their growth.  I doubt that those applicants had these activities firmly in mind, yet they knew they were looking for some sort of a commitment to professional development.

As you think about your organization, can you identify where those 15 core components exist?  And being just existing, are those core components being truly supported by the organization?  If you answered "no" to either question, then I hope you'll work in the coming year to improve the situation.

And if you need help, there are library consultants available to work with you!


Saturday, November 11, 2017

#NYLA2017 : Recruit, Retain, Repeat...Again

Barbara Stripling and Jill Hurst-Wahl

This was a continuation of the discussion begun last year at the conference on recruiting people - especially K-12 teachers - who would like to become school media specialists (a.k.a. school librarians).  In NYS, there continues to be a shortage of school media specialists.  Every school media students is able to get a full-time job as a school librarian before graduation!  The question is how can we (the LIS/school media graduate programs) attract more students who are interested in this career option?  The answers are complex.

After a lively discussion, we invited each person to decide what s/he would do over the next eight months (in other words, before fall 2018) to recruit someone into the profession.  We asked that when a person does what s/he promised to do, that the person post the "what" and the result (if appropriate) on the NYLA/SSL Facebook page.

By the way, the need to recruit more people to become school librarians exists in other U.S. states. 

#NYLA2017 : "Nevertheless, She Persisted," Women's Leadership Panel

Leadership panel photo by Rebecca Rodd
Leadership Panel
Panelists were:
  • Lauren Comito, Queens Library
  • Carol Anne Germain, University of Albany
  • Jill Hurst-Wahl, Syracuse University
  • Mary Fellows, Upper Hudson Library System
  • Sandra Echols, College of New Rochelle
This was a Q&A session on leadership with  discussion of leadership, the work environment, inequality in pay between men and women, and micro-aggressions.  The Twitter hashtag for the session was #NMNWomen. 

After the session, one person said that the session had been depressing.  Yes, going through a situation can be depressing.  Yes, recognizing that these problems still exist in 2017 is depressing.  However, we each need to feel empowered to:
  1. Work on our own situations and make them better.
  2. Work on changes that will improve the situation everyone. Start with your own institution and work from there.
I once met a librarian who had worked in the same library system for a several decades and admitted to not liking that work environment.  It saddened me that the person had not worked to change employers.  It also saddened me that the librarian didn't speak of efforts to change the environment.  This person had persisted in an environment that the person didn't like.  Don't do that! Take matters into your own hand. 




I'm sure there were questions from the audience which were not addressed.  I hope those people will contact the panelists and setup a time to get the needed answers.

#NYLA2017 : Listen Like a Librarian

Elena Falcone and Hannah Ralston

They begin with a two-minute listening exercise.

Your body language can have a big impact on how well you listen.  Recognize that there can be cultural and situational differences.  Keep in mind that your body language also changes you and your outlook.

Use cows as a model: they are curious, no judgment, focus, and are serene.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.  They’re either speaking or preparing to speak.  They’re filtering everything through they own paradigms, reading their autobiography in other people’s lives.” - Stephen Covey

What am I bringing into this situation which will change how I listen?

Your feelings affect you as the listener.  The feelings of the speaker will affect that person.


People don’t always want solutions, they want to be heard.

H - halt whatever you are doing and offer your full attention.
E - Enjoy your breath.
A - Ask yourself if you really know what they mean.  If needed, ask for clarification.
R - Reflect back to them what you heard. Use their words first, then, if needed, reframe to move toward a solution.

We all have equal opportunity to pause, marvel, and smile.

Additional resources
Additional Resources

Friday, November 10, 2017

#NYLA2017 : Big Question, Big Data, and HathiTrust

Mike Furlough

HathiTrust shows how libraries can collaborate.  Over 130 members - academic/research libraries. Member fees support 100% of operational expenses.  Fees begin at about $9500 in 2018.  They do not see themselves as a subscription service.

HathiTrust has a portfolio of work:
  • Collection development
  • Preservation
  • Use
  • Rights management
  • Collection management
  • Computational research 
15.8 million digitized items
  • 7.8 book titles
  • 430k serials
  • Over 1 Million federal government documents 
  • 5.96 million open for reading
Some materials are not fully viewable outside of the U.S. due to differences in  the public domain.

Access in a nutshell
Anyone anywhere can search
Anyone can read public domain works
Can engage in text mining

Members can replace lost or damaged works from the collection (Section 108 exemption).
For someone who is print disabled, member institutions can make any work available.   There is not direct access for students currently.        

Collection Action: Copyright Review
Systematic manual review of copyright registrations to determine status of portions of the HathiTrust a collection, supported by IMLS.  Trying to work 10-15 minutes per item.  Have reviewed 700K items over 8 years. Over time, 100+ people at 30 Institutions have down this work.

Shared Print Monograph Program
Just launching this year.  Phase 1.
49 retention libraries proposed over 16 million commitments.

U.S. Federal Documents Program 
The goal was to digitized as many as possible.
Are creating a federal documents registry of documents since 1776.
They are beginning to do gap analysis and target collections for digitization.
They have set priorities.

“Non-consumptive” Research: The HathiTrust Research Center
Non-consumptive is text mining or data mining.
Indiana University and University of Illinois are cohosting this center.
Analytics portal
Dataset distribution 

HathiTrust has gone through six stages beginning in 2002. They worked on infrastructure first.  
What is different now?
Membership diversification
Organizational maturity
Mass digitization is assumed and non-controversial 
Legal challenges have ended, but questions remain 

Don’t mess up what you do well.
Keep building the collections and do it faster.
No strong impetus to expand collecting focus. 
Quality is important.


#NYLA2017 : The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Library Director

Cassie Guthrie 

Guthrie discussed these five rights of the library director:
  1. A Fare Wage - Finding and retaining the right library director means attracting the right candidates, which means providing a fare wage.
  2. Feedback - You need to give regular positive and negative feedback.  You should give an annual evaluation.  However don’t wait for the annual review to give feedback.
  3. A Unified and Loyal Board - Board members need to respect the collective decisions of the board.  When a library director makes a mistake, the board needs to remain loyal.
  4. Freedom from Meddling - Two most difficult: special treatment requests and overstepping bounds (micromanaging).  For example, the board should not manage library staff.
  5. A Free Hand in Personnel Management - Trustees supervise only one person: the director.  Trustees need to be careful in talking to staff about the library director.  Trustees should not undermine the director’s ability to manage the staff. Recognize that when you (board member) walks into the library, you are not an average patron.  Be careful with how and when you give feedback or input.
The Library Trustee’s Declaration of Expectations:
  • A Hard Day’s Work - In return for a fare wage, the trustees expect the director to do the work.
  • Effective Personnel Management - Trustees should support professional development requests to receive more training in Personnel Management.
  • Options, Not Ultimatums - Give the board all of the available options they need in order to make strategic decisions.
  • Loyalty - The Director needs to be loyal to the decisions of the trustees.
An idea is to have library board training as a part of the monthly board meeting.
If necessary, bring in a third party to help with specific situations.

The Pyramid of Public Library Transformation
  • Traits of trustees who transform 
    • Curiosity
    • Courage
    • Aspirational
    • Politically aware 
  • Good and honest communications
  • Trustees and director understand their roles
The board governs, the director manages.

The Regents see the role of the trustee to be care, loyalty and obedience.


The director is the chief executive officer of the library.
Trustees are the chief governing body.
Trustees do not do operational work.
The trustees plan for the library’s future, development policies.

Recorded webinar “The critical partnership” - Jerry Nichols (handout)

The library Board President is the liaison between the board and the director.  The library board meeting is key for communications. 

The library director should update the board at the board meeting.  Send in advance, so the board can read it and be ready to ask questions.

If the board does not like how the director is doing his/her job, that conversation  needs to happen in a board meeting.

Hold board meetings when the community can attend.
Adhere to the open meetings law.
Be open and honest with the community.
Be fair and consistent with your policies.
The board should understand the library’s policies.  The policies need to be good. The policies need to be followed.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

#NYLA2017 : New Web Literacy Skills for Learners

Matthew Kopel and Davis Erin Anderson

This was a VERY interactive session.  Matt and Davis taught us about teaching others about web literacy through games and other exercises.  There was no lecture, just lots of fun.  

The work they have been doing has been funded by IMLS and led by Mozilla Foundation.  The project launched in January 2016 and has 8 pilot sites.


They noted that there are many learning activities at https://learning.mozilla.org/

Also see copies of their one handout.


#NYLA2017 : Legal Issues in Financing and Building Libraries

Robert Schofield, Esq. and Ellen Bach, Esq.

Schofield and Bach walked through different scenarios and fielded questions from the audience.  This is a session where the information and the answers are specific to specific library types in NYS.  In order to understand these issues, a library needs to understand how it is chartered and then the NYS laws that relate to that charter.  Recognize that if the library is a public entity, what drives the project will be different from a library that is a private entity.

Besides the law, consider talking with an attorney versed in library law and/or a public finance adviser. 

If the library is part of a larger entity (municipality), that entity may be able to provide funding.

They noted that libraries can often set money aside and designate it for a specific purpose.  Both said that the money must be set aside for a declared reason. If it is just “extra money”, the  state may ask why there is extra money.  If the funds are from collected taxes, taxpayers could argue that the taxes should be lowered.

Is your need a true emergency situation?  If yes, some avenues may be own to you.

Very interesting that public entities must pay prevailing wages.  That is not just for construction.  Prevailing wage laws may touch other aspects of the library (e.g., building services). 

Zoning laws are rules adopted locally.  Zoning laws touch every type of library.  True government libraries may be able to claim zoning immunity.  They also talked about zoning deference.



#NYLA2017 : An Adventure in Inspiration: Advocacy with Soul

Dr. Camila A. Alire

She started with a story about front line, on the spot, at a moment advocacy. This is not advocacy with elected officials, but with the people we come in contact with every day.

Do you understand who is in your entire community?  If a percentage of your community isn’t using the library, that likely means you do not understand your community and their needs.

Everyday advocacy is showing people how the library can help them.  It is also showing how people can easily advocate for the library with their larger community.

35% of NYS population is non-white. Of that 44% is African American, 23%Asian, 24% other races,  etc.  That 35% does not include Hispanic/Latinx. 

If you include Latinx in the breakdown, 44% of the NYS population is Hispanic/Latinx. 

NYS college students: 53% white, 47% minority students.

NYS public schools: 45%white, 55% minority students.

If the non-white members of your community are not coming to the library, can you bring the library to them? Can you make the library staff reflect the demographics of the community by making it preferred that new hires represent your minority communities?

Everyday advocacy is telling people what you support and why.  It helping people understand and learn about those things you are supporting.

Understanding these percentages is important because we believe in equity of service.  We need to work with all of our communities, not just a certain segment.

The five common excuses people frequently make about engaging in advocacy:
  • I’m too shy. It could be that people aren’t shy, but that doing this work isn’t comfortable.  Begin with someone you’re comfortable with.
  • I don’t know what to say.  Start by talking about your passion.
  • I don’t have any interaction with the library’s non-users, including those from non-white backgrounds.  Fine...advocacy to those who you have exposure to, which might be teachers, principals, library leadership, etc.  The more you talk to people, they more you are able to inform and persuade them.
  • There are people who already do this.  Not really. They are doing it at a different level and with different people.
  • I can’t make a difference. Yes, one on one you can.  Yes, your one action will help.

Q&A:
  • The growth rate of the white and non-white groups was missing.  Could she share it? While she knows the growth rate is high, she did not have that data for NYS.  The growth rate has tremendous implications for the next 10+ years.
  • Why does our reflection not reflect our communities?  Are there states which are solving this problem?  Some LIS programs are engaged in specific recruitment efforts.  She advocates for outreach to find prospective LIS students.  
  • Someone made a comment about translating library card applications into non-English languages.
  • One person commented that another under served population is our veteran population.  Alire said that what she said today can be applied to any under served population.





Friday, November 03, 2017

Moving to "Platform" Thinking

ChangeSharon Yang, in her 2013 article "From integrated library systems to library management services: Time for change?" wrote:
According to OCLC, an estimated 50 percent or more of a library's collections are electronic resources, and 65 percent or more of the materials budget of libraries are spent on e‐content today (Burke, 2012). Based on this rate, by 2020, an estimated 80 percent of the materials budget will be spent on e‐books and e‐journals (OCLC, 2010). In spite of these trends and changes, libraries are still using outdated systems to manage modern collections.
Two things stand out to me from this quote.  First, the increased amount of money which is and will be spent on digital resources. Yes, we know this and it is impacting every library budget.  Second, the phrase "libraries are still using outdated systems to manage modern collections." I'm sure library vendors do not believe this is true, but I wonder if they - and us - are thinking big enough about the problem.

As emphasized in the IMLS event on the National Digital Platform (relevant blog posts), libraries, museums and archives need to create better platforms for the work they are doing.  In my mind, these are platforms which would allow for better discovery and sharing of material.  These are platforms that would adhere to specific standards, so the sharing of data, as well as material, can be done easily.  These platforms would be built to support the processes our cultural institutions have in place, rather than our institutions needing to radically modify their processes in order to use the software.

I like that vision and there are people already working on it, and systems already being built. What we need, though, are people - who are emerging from their undergraduate/graduate programs - who are willing to carry this work forward.  We need people who will support this work over the course of their careers.  That may mean helping to build and maintain, or it might mean being willing to break with the status quo and use these new systems, OR it might mean working with/for our software vendors to bring them on board.  This means breaking with the way things were done before, even "before" means literally yesterday.

Are you on board?

Thursday, November 02, 2017

The Web of Web Definitions

Chatting with a colleague yesterday brought up these terms and reminded me that talking about the invisible web - what's in it, who is using it, how to get at it, etc. - is not necessarily entrenched in LIS education.  We teach students how to search online databases and the surface web, and likely don't mention that most of what is available is hidden, either because it has been purposefully hidden or because it just isn't connected to the Internet.  Consider if 3% of the Internet is findable, that is like being surrounded by 100 people, but only being able to see three of them. Scary, yes?

And so as a reminder - and perhaps to peek your interest - here are some definitions.

Clear web, surface web, or clearnet:
...the region of the Internet that most of us are familiar with, this is publicly accessible web pages that are largely indexed on search engines. - MarTech
Typical search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing actually access only a tiny fraction — estimated at 0.03% — of the internet. The sites that traditional searches yield are part of what’s known as the Surface Web, which is comprised of indexed pages that a search engine’s web crawlers are programmed to retrieve. - OEDB
Invisible web (includes the deep web and the dark web):
Quite simply, it is made up of information that search engines either cannot or will not add to their web indexes.  - The Guardian
Deep web:
The 'Deep Web' refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find. - IDG
Dark web or dark net:
The Dark Web is a term that refers specifically to a collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers. - IDG
The dark net generally means using the internet in a manner that is difficult for authorities or non-state actors to monitor. This is usually achieved through encryption or by layering networks. - Australian Broadcasting Network

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

NDSA Report: Staffing for Effective Digital Preservation 2017

The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA)  has released its report on "Staffing for Effective Digital Preservation 2017."  The 57-page report is rich in details and worth both skimming (to quickly find data to feed your burning issue) and a deep read.  These quotes stood out to me (emphasis added):

One of the main focuses of the survey is on staffing levels. In response to these questions related to staffing levels, organizations reported an average of 13.6 FTE working in digital preservation activities. However, respondents indicated they would double that to 27.5 FTE in ideal circumstances. They expressed a particular need for more digital archivists, software developers, and cataloger/metadata analysts. Most respondents’ organizations (68%) retrained existing staff for at least some digital preservation functions, while 42% also hired experienced digital preservation specialists.  (Page 4)
 ...the possession of specific degrees was once again rated “not very important...In 2017, the five “not at all important” qualifications included: Degree in Computer Science, Budget management, LIS degree, Certificate in Digital Preservation Curation, and Leadership...(Page 45)
Also on page 45 is a list of the top six important qualifications:
  • Knowledge of digital preservation standards/best practices
  • Communication
  • Passion and motivation for digital preservation
  • Collaboration
  • Analytical skills
  • Project planning/management 
Last night, I spoke to a group of graduate LIS and museum studies students.  I mentioned that there are many digitization efforts occurring and many where people with their skills are not involved.  We do not have the "corner" on digitization or digital preservation.  That makes the information on the LIS degree not being important of even more interest to me.  How could we make the LIS degree more relevant, while satisfying the needs of our accreditor (ALA) and those students who will not go into digital preservation work?  In addition, four of those top six skills would be useful to every LIS student.  How do we ensure that they receive them, either as part of their coursework or through non-credit experiences?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

#NDPthree : Wrap-up

Yesterday's National Digital Platform at Three (#NDPthree) was an event that I wish all of you could have attended. Yes, there is the report, the seven-hour archived video (below), and the tweets, and there will be a report from the event. However, there is something about being "in the room" that cannot occur when you are at a distance.

In that room were some amazing thinkers. IMLS brought together people with different points of view and different library/museum situations, including a museum startup, a 501(c)3 academic library,  a tribal library, a broad range of academic and public cultural heritage institutions, library-related associations, and a few faculty.  Regretfully, a one-day event did not allow us to deeply tap into the wisdom of the room.

My big take-aways, at the moment, are:
  • The need to talk about libraries, archives, and museums using the word "platform."  In this meeting, we talk about libraries as a digital platform.  However, libraries are platforms for other things in our communities.  The word "platform" is a way for us to get away from talking about specific services and thinking about a bigger picture and different impacts.
  • The need for our cultural institutions to work together to build a platform, i.e.g, a shared way of thinking about an approaching our digital capability and capacity.  Working together means working across institutions types and sizes.  In means engaging the smaller institutions, so they are not left behind.
  • Some libraries and museums are developing creating approaches and "pushing the envelope."  What they are doing is not a secret, but most have not likely heard about it.  We need to get what they are doing known by more.  That might mean getting people to present webinars, speak at regional conferences, or write for our trade journals.
  • Funding continues to be important.  It is also important that funders be willing to take risks with their funds.  That may mean streamlining applications so that institutions can apply for funds more easily.  It could also mean providing funds to for-profit  cultural heritage institutions, who need assistance to preserve what they have and make that content more widely available.
  • We need to push for more open resources (e.g., software, platforms), which will help this effort.
  • We need to instill our MSLIS students with the knowledge and attitude which will allow them to be a part of developing, maintaining, and pushing forward the idea of libraries as a platform.  This means that students need to be able to:
    • Understand  and explain the bigger picture.
    • Have the technical language and knowledge to be able to participate in discussions and the development of solutions.  Technical knowledge does not mean that they need to be able to "do", but they do need to understand what is happening (or not) and why.
    • Relate what is occurring in for-profit organizations to the needs of our cultural institutions.
    • Create project plans and grant applications.
    • Track impact.
    • Collaborate across space and time with other organizations.  These collaborations could be with non-profit and for-profit entities in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.
    • Act entrepreneurial by taking risks and be willing to work towards a l-o-n-g term goal.  
    • Be a part of the conversation, whether the conversation occurs in-person, through virtual platforms, or using asynchronous methods. Listening is a virtue as is providing your own opinion and knowledge.
Finally, I want to promote a comment made by Luke Swarthout (NYPL), who said (paraphrased):
If our work results that people can get to the Internet to view fake news and pop up ads, then our work is not done.
Here are links to all of my #NDPthree blog posts:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#NDPthree : Going Forward

Ashley Sands, IMLS - Moderator

This panel was asked to look foward.

Kate Zwaard, Library of Congress - she works in the National Digital Initiatives Division
She has four broad points (her ideas):
  1. Modern manuscript collections - ephermal manuscripts in ephermal media.  The platforms are evolving faster than we can understand how to archive them.  Personal digital archives is part of this.  Education is not the answer.  There needs to be a tech solution.
  2. Libraries as Platform - We need to involve users more centrally in conversations about this. Are we presenting data in ways that are useful.  New or complex metadata standards are barriers to use.
  3. The problem of scale - As we scale up, how do reconfigure the structure of our institutions and our field to support this.  How can collaborations occur in a peer to peer basis?  How do we blend the wisdom of cataloguers, the wisdom of the crowd, and technology?
  4. Skills building and our patron base - She notes a benefit of demonstration projects and the need to promote the work that is similar to what are users are doing.
Loretta Parham, Atlanta University Crnter Woodruff Library - She talked about the progression of projects.  A small digital project to a larger one to preserving institutional digital records to scholarly record to audio/video digitization to a project for GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums).  Working to create object-based learning pedagogy.
In terms of need, need IMLS to exist and to thrive.  Need grants to smaller and minority institutions.   Small institutions need help acquiring skills that they do not have in house.  Institutions need help understanding how to reorganize to take advantage of opportunists.  Need conferences/events where like institutions are the majority of the attendees.  Continuing education is important.  The effectiveness of collaboration needs to be taught.  They need help in policy development, especially with born digital and records management. They need the support of public programs so that content is used.  

Chris Bourg, MIT - The biggest ROI is on shared solutions to shared problems, e.g.,  community source software development.  The challenge is that you need expertise in staff during the development.   Be willing to let go of an obsession with quick wins.  Be willing to make long term, patient investments. We need to invest in ways to make our content usable in ways we cannot anticipate. MIT is making hackable libraries, which means people can use them how they want to use them.  Finally, what are the challenges that libraries have and how can others help?  For example, MIT imaging technology that can read through closed books.  Right now the tech can only read through nine pages.  How cool would it be to digitize books without opening them?  Having that in portable technology would be a game changer.  

Cliff Lynch, CNI - He noted the report that IMLS produced on the “National Digital Platform at Three.”  He sees similarities between what IMLS is doing/funding and other efforts (e.g., DPLA).   What is on the cusp of big wins?  He mentioned several things including open educational resources (OER).  Concerns? Sustainability.  Small institutions with limited resources.  Privacy.  The life cycle of scholarly work.  Big data and especially in museums and scientific collections.  Preservation, e.g., ebooks.   News archiving.  Social media and personalization.  Do we need to rethink how we do archiving in these areas?  In the move to digital, libraries are systematically getting squeezed out of content.

Q&A:
Jim Neal - The impact of policy issues that are or will be made at the federal level, e.g., copyright, privacy, network neutrality, etc.  Not to speak of federal funding for libraries. 
Cliff - What Jim said! The NDP can have an impact on these issues.

Question - The need for communities of action.  We need investment of time and resources. However, funding for those cannot currently occur though grants.  How can we encourage the funding landscape to change to meet our needs?
Chris - It is a sociological conundrum.  We need to be clear about vision and mission, and use those to build trust so people will work together for a common purpose.  However, we don’t have a common agreement on what our missions are.  We are in the middle of disruptive change.  If your mission is to serve your primary community, you will need do the things your community needs for the long term.

Kate - We need to come together with a shared goal and purpose that is achievable.

Cliff - Reuse of data is overly simplified.  Some data cannot be made open.  Libraries are often uncomfortable with content whose sharing must be limited.  
Katherine Skinner - We do not have funding for the glue.  For that which will hold us and our collaborative efforts together.  

Mark Parson - The successful networks are tied to big infrastructure.  What can we do to insure that all data networks are tied to infrastructure?
Erin - People love core facilities.  Most research core facilities are domain specific.  Libraries cross disciplines.  What would a core facility for libraries look like?  How could we do?

Kate - She noted the importance of ebook usability. It is what she believes our users would want us to work on.  

Ashley - How do measure if something is sustainable or not?  
Cliff - Sustainable to some extent is related to up-take. If enough people are using something, we can figure out how to sustain it.  How do you predict sustainability in advance?  Many funders struggle with this.

Loretta - We sustain a lot of stuff that we should not be sustaining.  We need to change what we’re doing.  

Chris - We have no idea what the sustainable business model is for open access publishing.

Kate - We need to turn things off when they need to be turned off.  We all have a pilot that last too long.

Ashley - What is. A grand challenge that is pressing?

Chris - Digital preservation

Kate - Getting the word out about our collections

Loretta - Isn’t someone working on a list of all these things?  

Chris - MIT is going to have a summit on what the grand challenges are and develop white papers. Open scholarship, digital preservation, and discovery.  Imagine a discovery device that mimics how we think.

Comment - Metadata and discovery.  Linked data.  Interoperability.

Question - We spend a lot of time looking at discovery.  It isn’t about discovery, but about getting to that “thing.”  It is about getting to stuff, which is in different systems, networks, etc. what do we call this?  It is the same problem as the number of clicks to download an ebook.
Chris - Known item searching. The sense of anxiousness that faculty are missing things related to their research.  Can you help me find what I don’t know I’m looking for?

Loretta - Can the information find you?

Chris - How do we do personalization and still respect privacy?

Ashley - one more remark...

Kate - It has been an insightful day.

Loretta - How do we make mileage on solving some of these thing?  Let’s not forget those with limited resources.

Chris - How can we use our resources for the public good, but in a way that allows for the library to center itself and its perspective?

Cliff -  We spend a lot of time worrying about improving technical skills.  We also need to deal with imparting the judgment and knowledge about how to make decisions about the responsible use of technology.

Concluding Remarks: Robin Dale, IMLS
  • She noted the importance of our input, questions and answers
  • Glad to see familiar face and thrilled to see new voices and hear new voices
  • What’s next?
  • Grand challenge?

A report due in early 2018.

#NDPthree : Museums and the National Digtal Platform

Paula Gangopadhyay, IMLS - Moderator
Museums and libraries have their similarities and uniquensses. There are some different IMLS grants for museums. In 2017, that received nearly 900 grant applications.  Two priorities: professional development and digital projects. 70% of the grant recipients have been art museums. A high percentage of those (40%) are around digital asset management.  However, the vast majority of small and mid sized museums are behind the curve.  She noted three challenges including the absence of a skilled workforce. There is a need to collaborate across sectors. 

This panel was more free flowing.  The panelists were:
  • Greg Albers, J. Paul Getty Trust
  • Samantha Blickhan, Zooniverse and Adler Planetarium
  • Michael Edson, Museum for the United Nations 
Where have you seen the biggest ROI for museums services in the last three years?
Samantha - They are offering support to museums in building crowd sources projects.  The biggest ROI is the application of digital tools in unique ways, such as in accessibility.  Visualizing data in new and specific ways, e.g., dome-casts in planetariums. They want to get to a place of being software neutral.  In terms of Zooniverse, she talked about a project builder that allows more projects to be built.
Greg - What came to his mind was the word “open.” Open access.  Open data.  

Michael - A move from focusing in technology to focusing on social impact. How do you put tech to use for something that matters.

Samantha - How do you create tools that support the use of data/digital assets?

Michael - Need to use the word “platform” more broadly. He pointed to Zooniverse an their work to help people do work faster and at scale.  Good technology is rooted in good human interactions.

Greg - It is hard for museums, etc., to compete for staff with for profit companies.

Michael - People - perspective employees - need to see cultural heritage institutions  as places that is making a difference.

Michael - What are the super practical things that have changed? 

Greg -There is an understand of what makes up a digital museum, although smaller institutions cannot do it.

Samantha - One institution has a VP of user experience.

Michael - It used to be “illegal” to talk about Wikipedia in museums, but not talking about Wikipedia is normal.

Where do you see the biggest gaps, needs and challenges over the next 3-5 years?

Greg - The capacity is people.  He is interested in top to bottom digital literacy at the Getty.  People who are focused on the digital are throughout the institution. Because they are spread out,they are not good at talking to each other.  They share baseline skills and a language for talking about things. Literacy can include being aware of “X.” The digital share is a full day staff retreat.  All people focused on the digital come in the spring and must share.  (You can come, but you must share.)  All people need to have a shared understanding.
Samantha - Zooniverse worked to produce data and analysis after Hurricane Irma.  Great work that needed more publicity.

Greg - People are willing to share, but the institution needs time to do the sharing.

Greg - How does the Getty decide what to do? Now have a VP level digital content person, who has a team of digital architects, including metadata creation.  They are updating their governance model in recognition of the digital work they are doing,

Paula - Some of the work Getty is doing could be scaled down and be used by smaller institutions. Digital is not the responsibility of one person or one department.
Michael - Step 1 is that someone somewhere in the organization is focused on digital.  Step 2 is that a department somewhere  in the organization is focused on digital.   Step 3 is that the department in charge of the organization's digital presence/content has been more purposefully selected.  Step 4 is that there is someone in upper level management who is focused on the organization's digital content/life.

Samantha - The Department of Citizen Science is also where teen programs are housed.  This means that design and use are in the same department.

Greg - When a smaller institution can’t grow to build a department, it needs to look for cross fertilization.

Michael - Do what you do best and network the rest.  Are there members of your audience who are doing what you need to do?

Q&A:
What are the intellectual property issues?  
  • Greg - Look for low hanging fruit.  It is becoming more acceptable to put things online.  Take advantage of Fair Use.  
  • Samantha - Doors open when you start with the access that you have.  Show what happens - positives - when you provide access.
What are some of the opportunities and resources that museums should be leveraging?
  • Michael - Super serve your niche.  Focus on basic access and basic service.  How do our museums help us make good decisions about our future?
  • Samantha - Talk to your user base because they are the ones using your collections/projects. You have to give them the opportunity to share their ideas.
  • Greg - We need to connect with each.  Both in connecting with people and interoperability. 
How do you assess where your social impact is? 
  • Michael - Sometimes the last e where the social impact will be is baked into the project.  Where will meaningful change occur?  Most change happens in small local groups, not online.

#NDPthree : Opening Scholarly Communications


Ashley Sands, IMLS - Moderator

This conversation was mostly on gaps.

Ixchel Faniel, OCLC - Comes to this as a person who studies research data management issues.  (1) Continued education for librarians an archivists - There have been studies on this in Europe, Australia and the U.S.   Librarians are interested in this.  Existing staff are being repurposed and they need the correct training. There needs to be an investment and a clear return in investment. There needs to be a more concerted effort conceptually. (2) Meeting researchers needs - Expect to see a big return here.   Expanded data and new methods of collaboration.  Sharing data and reusing data.  How do activities in the data life-cycle influence each other?  We need to consider the full life-cycle. What and who are touching the data?  What is the result of those touches?  How are downstream activities impacted?

Mark Parsons, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - He comes from a data perspective, although new to RPI and IMLS.  He is skeptical of the term “scholarly communications” although he likes the broad definition in the NDP report.  Infrastructure is a body of relationships.  Libraries and museums are mediators and thus part of the infrastructure.  In terms of mediation, we are not done until people can use the data to improve their lives. We need to focus on users and providers.   Mediators need to work from different perspectives. We need radical collaboration and radical trust.  We need to develop standards.  He believe the big gap is around economics.  Scholarly communications needs reciprocity.  We need to share.

Merce Crosas, IQSS, Harvard University - IQSS develops tools which help in research. They help with data management, FAIR data plans, data citation principles.  (1) building communities - Bringing together the users and e developers.   (2) supporting larger data sets -These needs to be done in the cloud. Your work will be in the cloud. It could be an open cloud.  (3) supporting sensitive data - Sensitive data sets exist now.  How can they be made usable?  What privacy tools are needed? (4) intregration of the data life cycle - It needs to be easy and interoperable. 

John Wang, University of Notre Dame - Example of a book that included multimedia.  Researchers are incorporating various data/artifacts in their work.  How do you preserve these materials?  How do you assure continued access?  The problem of interconnected objects.  Preservation is often an afterthought.  Many faculty do not understand that librarians can help solve these problems.  And they do not engage librarians early enough in the process.

Sayeed Choudhury, John Hopkins University - From innovation to impact.  Think of return on impact, not just return on investment.  The infrastructure is invisible until something goes wrong.  If someone uses data in your institution without your help, that is impact.  If someone uses data in unanticipated ways, that is impact. One way of having impact is to use as librarians what others have created.  He noted that using content is continual and creation is continual, which causes problems and concerns.

Q&A:
Ashley -  What is the most pressing problem or concern?  
  • Sayeed said that IMLS has a probing of view that no one else does. What is IMLS seeing? 
  • Mark’s answer was trust.  Can IMLS help to steer the conversation in the academy, especially in terms of what publications are (format) and how they are rewarded? 
  • Ixchel wondered how we work collaboratively.  What changes are needed?  
  • Merce said that IMLS needs to recognize the changing output of funding efforts.
Comment - In the arts - digital arts - some of these topics have already been discussed.  Can we learn from them? 

John - There are different ways of thinking about value that occurs much further upstream.  We cannot plan for the unanticipated, but we can facilitate it.

Emily - Have you had success in working outside the library environment?  What was needed? 

Mark - You need lots of time to build relationships and trust. You need to make a commitment. 

Merce - Spoke about collaborating across cultures and borders.  Everyone needs to have some sense of ownership.

Roger Schonfeld - He noted the breadth in the definition of scholarly communications.  For profit investments in end to end scholarly communication workflow. Is it less about communications than research workflow? John’s answer spoke to partnership.

#NDPthree : Expanding Digital Cuttural Heritage Capacities

Emily Reynolds, IMLS - Moderator

The overarching questions in the session were "What has made a difference?" and "Where are the gaps?"

Bergis Jules, University of California, Riverside - Talked about the forum that is getting a diversity of voices at the table to discuss community archives and preserving local cultural heritage. These forums are creating new space for new voices.  The forums help to broaden knowledge.  They also help to envision radically inclusive processes for the field.  What they have learned has not yielded any surprises.  Mostly about funding and labor.

Karen Cariani, WGBH Educational Foundation - Return on investment: Two page submission form which helps in a number of areas including collaboration.  There is more support for collaborations. She noted that some of the tools needed already existed, e.g., open source speech to text tools. Benefiting from the work in NLP (natural language processing) and efforts of linguists. National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) programs are benefiting young professionals and host organizations. Trying to give more knowledge and experience to the next generation of professionals. Local collections have the biggest gaps - they need funding for digitizing and digital preservation. Another gap is that computational researchers are used to biggest funding and they see the IMLS grants as being too small.

Thomas Padilla, UNLV - His project is trying to think through how to make collections computational amenable.  It is a broad area that could have far ranging impact.  Gaps:
  1.  Need programs to help existing professionals to build the knowledge and skills needed in this area. What can be done to encourage local organization success? 
  2. Need to encourage projects that are cross disciplinary and with different orientations?  How can we go for the difficult wins, not just the easy ones?  
  3. More collaborative funding opportunities and opportunities that are international.  Can we have private-public sectors exchange of staff, so we can learn from other private sector colleagues (e.g., Twitter)?
Jefferson Bailey, Internet Archive - (1) Noted the importance of systems interoperability and the need to have funding that seeks pieces that are able to work together.  We need glue rather than spokes. The need to promote data exchange through APIs.  There are industry technologies that could be adopted for the needs of digital cultural heritage.  (2) There has been success in collection development and we need to continue to think locally, as well as collection building in new domains (e.g., Twitter) and fast moving events.Risks:
  1.  Grant funding around big projects with established institutions.  Funders need to take more risks with their funding.  
  2. Need to lower the barrier of entry.  
  3. Shared infrastructure beyond the application layer, e.g, storage.  Could we have a non-profit cloud?
Q&A:
Emily Reynolds - Question about funding models.  Bergis said he has no specific solutions.  What if funding targeted specific opportunities, rather than a general call for applications?  What if funding was available to those who are non-profits? He mentioned a Native American boarding school with tremendous archives, which needs help in preserving their collections. Karen said that when you include smaller institutions in your grant, it takes time to manage the efforts of those smaller institutions.
Comment - Comment about the trust factor needed.  Smaller institutions may not immediately trust.

Question - Large cultural institutions don’t always have the ability or motivation to step up.  Yes, larger institutions should help smaller ones, but they also need to help themselves.  Do they have enough institutional support?  Thomas said he doesn’t know what the solution is that provide larger institutional support.  Need to create and support new positions in emerging areas.
  •  Karen said that they are an organization between a bigger one (Library of Congress) and smaller institutions.  How do larger institutions be more than users of the smaller institutional collections?  
  • Jefferson - Can there be cost sharing?  Can larger institutions provide the capacity and smaller institutions provide the expertise?  
  • Thomas -What does big and small mean?  Some smaller institutions have having an incredible impact.
 Rhiannon Bettivia - Comment - Metadata and data model. There is a cost and need to structuring the data.

Emily - The need to create our own Amazon web services for libraries.  

Bergis - Who legitimizes our history?  Who ensures that history is preserved?  We need to broaden who is part of the conversation and what is preserved.  We need to be radically inclusive.

#NDPthree : Building Equitable Digital Communities

On Oct. 17, 2017, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) held a one-day event to discuss the National Digital Platform, review efforts to increase the digital capacity of libraries and museums which have occurred over the last three years, and look towards to the future.  Approximately 85 people attended the event in-person, and many others attended through a livestream or followed the event through Twitter (#NDPthree).  In the room were an amazing group of people from libraries and museums.  It was an impressive group, in terms of knowledge, that was quite willing to engage and share.  Everyone had received the NDP at Three Report, which provided a backdrop for the live discussions.

There will be a report from this one-day event and I believe it will be issued in early 2018. If you are interested in contributing your thoughts to the discussion, consider doing so through Twitter.   I wrote five blog posts about the event and I will admit that I did not - could not! - capture everything.  So these posts are a snapshot.  Perhaps they will spark you to want to know more or engage these people in a deeper conversation.

Event Welcome:  Kathryn Matthews, IMLS
Where have we succeeded and progressed?  Where does additional work need to be done?  Where do we need to be collaborating?  What should IMLS be doing in this area?
Time to look back and look forward.

Overview of NDP: Emily Reynolds, IMLS
The NDP represents the combination of software applications, social and technical integrations, and staff expertise that provide digital content, collections,and services to all library and archive users.
Approximate $11 millions in funding for each of the last three years.  However, over those years the number of grants has increased, meaning that the funding is being spread further.  Trends:
  • Building equitable communities
  • Expanding digital cultural heritage capacities
  • Opening scholarly communications 
She highlighted the following projects out of 111:
  • Design for Diversity, Northeastern University Librsries
  • ePADD Phase 2, Stanford University 
  • Creative Commons Certificate for Librarians, Creative Commons
Overarching questions:
  • Where have you seen the biggest return on investment in NDP funding in the past three years?
  • What do you see as the biggest gaps, needs, or challenges for advancing NDP over the next 3-5 years?
The day will be comprised of five panel discussion.

N.B. - At this meeting were James Neal and Jim Neal, both librarians who finally met each other in person at this event.  You will see both names in my notes.

Building Equitable Digital Communities 
James Neal, IMLS - Moderator

Bonnie Tijerina, Data and Society - The growth in privacy and intellectual freedom concerns. Worked on a collaborative project in NYC. Trained hundreds of staff in the NYC area.  Attracted the attention of the NYC mayor, which brought attention to the role of libraries in this area. Guides, etc., are being used by other libraries across the U.S. Privacy needs to be part of grants and efforts growing forward because of its importance.  Are our products and services adhering to our patrons’ privacy needs?

Sharon Strover, University of Texas at Austin - Has done research on hotspot loan programs.  What does access mean for library populations? What is the return of investment?  Where do people go for access: library, McDonalds, WalMart?  Borrowing a hotspot gives people access like others have. In rural areas, libraries are a key part of the infrastructure.  In rural communities, libraries need to work with others such as schools or statewide tech service centers in order to be successful.  She talked about the importance of erate, but noted that not all libraries are able to take advantage of it.  She also mentioned the role that private businesses play in this area.

Don Means, Gigabit Libraries Network - Libraries as early adopters.  Fiber to the library has allowed for the growth of libraries to provide WiFi.  Look at http://giglibraries.net for additional info and data.

Luke Swarthout, NYPL - Talked about work to address the ebook market and making it better for patrons.  There is a user experience problem. For example, too many clicks to download a book. Libraries as owners of the patron relationship.  Libraries do not currently decide on the patron’s relationship with ebooks.  Libraries need to own the infrastructure.  Referenced IMLS 2012 report on digital inclusion.  He noted that the report is his “favorite thing.”  If our work results that people can get to the Internet to view fake news and pop up ads, then our work is not done. So... the user experience needs to be better.  We need to build the tools to control how libraries interact With their patrons.  We need to get ebooks and digital content in more hands, not just for those who are well off.  
Kelvin Watson, Broward County Library - We need to focus on partners who can help create standards.  He noted a gift of tablet computers given after Hurricane Sandy, but that the gift came with no internet access.  They coupled those with the lending of WiFi hotspots and saw an increase in the number of loans.  His examples demonstrate his belief in collaboration. He talked about lending devices which have apps on them that help people interact with the library.  He noted the need for standards that transcend vendors.

Q&A:
Jim Neal - Comment around economics and preservation.  Luke noted the need to talk with publishers about economics.  Also talked about the need to think more about preservation of digital books. 

Question - Using the current state of Puerto Rico as an example, asked about WiFi and digital white space.  Don noted the need to design for portability and rapid redeployment.  In Sharon’s work, they were looking at hotspots that use cell service.  Don’s project is not using cell service, but radio frequency.
Question (from a tribal library in southwest New Mexico) - Not easy to get college textbooks in ebook format.    

Question - How are librarians prepared to teach digital literacy and privacy?  Bonnie talked about the curriculum they created.  Foundational learning. Need to understand how the internet works to then understand how to protect your privacy and data.  Curriculum and more at DataPrivacyProject.org

Monday, October 16, 2017

Talk the Talk: Genericide

Are you interested in trademarks? The linguistic podcast, Talk the Talk, has an episode on trademarks  which become general terms for the products they represent.  The discussion on “genericide” begins at the 10:30 minute mark.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Smithsonian: This Replica of a Tlingit Killer Whale Hat Is Spurring Dialogue About Digitization

This is a  worth reading story about a Tlingit Killer Whale Hat and it is replica.  I don't want to give away any of the details, but it is interesting to read about the use of the replica.  This video provide use visuals about the digitization process.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Updated Version of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition

On Sept. 29, the Acting Register of Copyrights Karyn Temple Claggett released an updated version of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition.  The Compendium is the administrative manual of the Register of Copyrights concerning the mandate and statutory duties of the Copyright Office under Title 17 of the United States Code. Quoting the Compendium:
It provides instruction to agency staff regarding their statutory duties and provides expert guidance to copyright applicants, practitioners, scholars, the courts, and members of the general public regarding institutional practices and related principles of law.
21 sections of the Compendium were revised.  Information on those revisions is in the Federal Register.  A complete list of all sections that have been added, amended, revised, or removed is posted on the Office’s website. In addition to the revisions, the Compendium has been reformatted for readability and access to linked information.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Fall 2017: Jill's Presentation and Travel Schedule

Cafe au lait and Beignets at Cafe du Monde
Coffee and Beignets
As we head into autumn, this is where my speaking and traveling schedule is taking me through the remainder of 2017.  As always, if you're in the same location as me, I hope you will say hello. If time permits, let's have a cup of coffee together!
  • Oct. 17 - Attending "NDP at 3: Envisioning the next 3 years of the National Digital Platform" hosted by IMLS, Arlington, VA. (Part of the IMLS Focus Series.)
    Description: As IMLS concludes its third year of NDP funding through the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, we will revisit what has been accomplished so far and explore future directions for this work. Meeting attendees will include a broad range of representatives of the country’s libraries, museums, and affiliated organizations. We hope to capture input that will help us move forward together, and to highlight areas where federal investment can most effectively support broad access to digital materials for the American people. We aim to identify concrete insights, including priority areas for funding, topics for future research, opportunities for collaboration, and other tangible outcomes. 
  • Nov. 9-11, New York Library Association Annual Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY
    • Nov. 10, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Presenting "Recruit, Retain, Repeat...Again" with Barbara Stripling.
      Description: The number of school librarians available is not keeping pace with the need. Enrollment in graduate programs leading to school media certification has substantially declined over the last decade, but school library vacancies are abundant throughout NYS. During NYLA 2016, participants noted many barriers to recruiting prospective school librarians and suggested courses of action. This session will provide an update on efforts since then. Participants will brainstorm additional ideas that can be used to recruit school librarians. Participants will also discuss possible advocacy efforts which might have a positive impact on the pathways to certification.
    • Nov. 11, 9:30-10:30 a.m. - On a Women's Leadership Panel to discuss "Nevertheless, She Persisted" with Lauren Comito, Carol Anne Germain, Mary Fellows, and Sandra Michele Echols.
      Description: A forum for women in all areas of librarianship to discuss their experiences and challenges in the profession, and how to empower the next generation of female library leaders.
  • Nov. 15, 12:00 p.m. ET - Presenting "Getting the most out of your MSLIS program" (webinar) for the Syracuse University iSchool.
    Description: Congratulations, you are now in a Master’s of Library and Information Science program and working quickly towards becoming a professional librarian. The time you are spending in your MSLIS/MLIS/MLS program will go by quickly. What do you need to be doing to ensure that you get the most from it? This one-hour webinar will give you actions to take to position yourself for success in your program and afterward as an LIS professional. By the end of the webinar, you will have a series of tried and true steps on which to embark.
  • Dec. 6, 2:00 p.m. ET - Co-presenter of “Oops: Embracing Training Failures and Learning From Them” (webinar) for Southwest Florida Library Network. I'm pleased to be presenting with T is for Training colleagues Maurice Coleman and Paul Signorelli.
    Description: While every one of us who serves as a trainer-teacher-learner in our library settings dreads that moment when something goes wrong, we also know that what goes wrong often leads to something tremendously right: effective learning. In fact, we realize that failure is an integral part of the learning process. In this highly-interactive webinar focusing on the importance of “failure” in learning, the panelists will discuss real-world common and uncommon training mishaps and pitfalls; encourage participants to focus on what has come out of their own failures and those of their learners; and help participants walk away with concrete strategies to implement as they prepare their next learning sessions.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

You and the Internet of Things

 This fall, the SU iSchool has begun to offer Graduate Immersion Milestone Seminars. The first one is on the topic of "You and the Internet of Things."  Graduate students across the iSchool's graduate programs are in attendance, including MSLIS students.  

From my perspective, the the pros, cons and pitfalls of Internet of Things (IoT) is not a topic that is widely discussed in library circles.  Yes, we recognize that devices are capturing information, but:
  • Do we think deeply about what data is being captured by or in the library? 
  • Have we thought about how the Internet of Things can make libraries better?  
  • Have we thought about how the collected data is being stored and secured in the cloud?  
  • Have we thought about what could happen if our data is hacked?
The speakers this morning were not focused on libraries, but that doesn't mean we can't apply their topics to our library environment.  Below you'll see I've inserted some "library thinking" into my notes.  Please add comments if you have information to add or questions to ask.
 
Megan Snyder - Internet of Things and Cyber Security

Concerns:
"Things" can live long, software does not.
  • New vulnerabilities are addressed with new software
  • While you might replace your phone, for example, every two years, it will receive several software updates during that period.  Of course, people might not apply all of the updates, which could leave a security gap.
  • Imagine people being able to hack into a car or other things, which could be used to do harm
Things with sensitive data are connected
  • While you immediately think of banks, there are low tech devices which can capture sensitive data
  • Securing sensitive data
    • proactive ethical data stewardship
    • end to end security processes
    • innovate with new technologies 
Things are making decisions
  • Think about smart locks, smart homes, and smart grids
    • need built-in monitoring and then identifying of risks
  • There have been attacks on infrastructure worldwide, which was done by attacking the software
The future of securing IoT
  • Both customers and businesses need to focus on this
  • Need to look at the entire supply chain
While Snyder did not talk about libraries, consider that libraries are using software which is stored in the cloud or software as a service (SaaS).  That software could be storing information on library users/patrons, including private information such as books borrowed.  A security breach could make that information public.  Or a security breach could be used o alter the user data or alter the information on the library's collection.

Is the personal data stored in libraries a vulnerability that needs more attention?
  • Imagine a child changing his/her personal information so the person can check out adult books.
  • Imagine someone hacking an library system and wiping out fines.
  • Imagine a library's collection information being altered or deleted.
  • Imagine the software being delivered as SaaS being altered at the source, rendering all of its implementations useless.
Snyder noted that the U.S. Is behind in passing laws which would cause non-for-profits to pay attention to their cyber security concerns.

Radhika Garg (@gargradhika) - Does privacy disappear with IoT?

Are the implications that we as consumers are not aware of, in terms of cyber security?

IoT is not a single technology,  it is a combination of sensors, devices, networks, and software that work together to unlock valuable, actionable data.  If you are interacting with any part of that ecosystem, you should be concerned with cyber security. 

Garg asked if people use Dropbox and then asked if people know where the data is actually stored.  We use Dropbox to store a variety of different data, but we have no idea where that data really is and how it is being secured.

Data in the cloud can be used by the cloud service to learn about you, and then use that data, for example, to send you advertisements.

IoT dilemma - the information collected by sensors can be used for services that benefit and simplify people's lives, or it can be used for data mining and other use cases that raise security and privacy concerns.

Imagine the habits that your sensors know about you.

Garg noted that a sensor may only collect data, but then transmit the data to the cloud where it can be analyzed, shared, used, and abused.  Once the data is in the cloud, you have no idea what third parties that data might be shared with.

Although we do anonymize data, data gathered on a person from different sources may contain enough information to de-anonymize all of the data.

Can we collect less data?  Is there a minimal amount of data that is needed for a specific function?

While Garg talked about sensors, it occurred to me that video cameras in our cities and buildings are collecting our images.  Software can be used to identify people in those videos and it can be done automatically.  Software can also then track where people are traveling and when.  Imagine combining that information with sensor data, which could disclose more about your state/health when you were traveling through and between locations.

Garg noted that companies assume that people do not read privacy policies.  She also asked how are we expected to read the privacy policy on sensors, if sensors do not have screens?

Both Garg and Snyder noted that the privacy rules in the EU are better than in the U.S. The EU rules do affect U.S. residents because of U.S. companies doing business in Europe and needing to comply with EU policies.

In the U.S., state and federal laws are not harmonized on what is personal data.  We need to harmonize our laws in the U.S. and then harmonize our laws with the EU.

Next steps for organization in IoT ecosystem include:
  • privacy by design
  • privacy notice and transparency 
Garg ended by talking about the right to be forgotten, which has been written into EU law.

Kim Rose - How hospitals are embracing IoT

Rose talked about privacy legislation related to healthcare, such as the HITECH Act.

Medical devices inside the hospital
  • vital sign monitor
  • surgical procedures
  • intelligent bed
  • medical imaging
Outside the hospital
  • home sleep study
  • CPAP machine
  • cardiac monitor
  • diabetes blood sugar monitor
IoT has changed how medicine is being practiced.

Rose didn't connect her talk to libraries, but I can imagine a patient opting in to having their medical data shared with the hospital's medical library.  That would allow the library to deliver information to a patient which relates to the person's reason for being in the hospitals. Yes, that would raise huge privacy concerns.  Would the benefits outweigh the risks?

The talks this morning have made we wonder about cyber security, the Internet of Things (IoT), and libraries. Is this an area that we're really talking about?  Who are the library leaders in this space?  What conferences are talking about this?

On Twitter (#IoTSUiSchool), Jason Griffey said he is writing a library tech report right now on sensors.  It should be available late 2017 or early 2018.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

So you don't want to be a manager...

Conductor
Conductor, Manager, Leader
At the start of a new academic year, new MSLIS students begin to explore more about the profession, while also stating what attracts and repels them about librarianship.  One job which repels some students is being a manager.  This is not new. Every year there are students who state firmly that they do not want to manage other people or oversee budgets. I think this view of working in a library is shortsighted and self-limiting. Why?
  • Every librarian manages projects, processes, or events.  That includes digitization programs, summer reading programs, advocacy events, renovation projects, and more.  Some of those projects, processes and events may be small, and they still require someone to be in charge.  That person could be a seasoned librarian or someone who is a new professional.
  • Many library positions have management related responsibilities in their job descriptions, even lower level positions.
  • In smaller public libraries, a new librarian may be hired as the library director.  This tosses that person immediately into the position of being in charge and having to draw upon management-related training gained in graduate school or management-related experience gained in non-LIS positions.
  • If a librarian wants to have a positive impact on the community the person serves, that librarian will need to be involved in decision-making, planning, and implementation.  That person will need to take on responsibilities...and...yes...manage a project, a process or an event.
  • To earn more as a library and information professional, a person needs to take on more responsibility.  More responsibility means taking on managerial tasks.
Let's explore that last bullet point a bit more using the following scenario:
Three LIS graduates all begin similar library jobs at the same time. Two of the LIS graduates shun any work that seems related to "management."  The third person looks for opportunities to manage projects.

One year after their graduation, the graduate who has gained some management experience is promoted, receiving additional responsibilities and a pay increase to go with it.  The other two remain in their same original positions and only receive modest  cost of living pay increases.

Another year goes by.  One of the two LIS graduates, who had not wanted to do anything that seemed like "management," had decided to take on managing small projects.  That person receives more responsibilities and a pay increase to go with it.  This leaves one LIS graduate who is still shunning anything related to management.

A few more years go by. The one LIS graduate who received additional responsibilities after being in the profession for one year is now managing a branch library and being compensated appropriately.  That person has taken on very interesting projects at the branch, which has required being able to create project plans and project budgets. These projects have allowed the person to interact with a number of other librarians and has bolstered the person's reputation.

The LIS graduate who began taking on management responsibilities after a year in the profession has continued to take on more responsibilities.  This person has become known as an effective team leader, who leads without others feeling led.  This person is now looking to move to a different library, which would open up additional opportunities.

The third LIS graduate stayed true to the intent of not taking on any work that involving managing anything. This person did not manage any projects, programs, or events.  This person never handled a budget and was never in charge of any people.  This person never opened or closed the library, because that required managerial skills (and making decisions).  The person never served on any committees, because that could require being in charge at some point.  This person has received modest cost of living raises, but had not received any significant pay raises because the person had not taken on any responsibilities.  This person has watched the other two LIS graduates move into new positions, while this person stayed in the same position.

Do you want to be that last librarian? Why?  Why not?

{Thanks to Susan Mitchell, executive director for the Onondaga County Public Library. for prompting this scenario.}

If you are interested in being a manager or a leader, great! We need you!  If you are not interested in managing or leading, please take a moment and think about what that will mean for your career.