Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017 EveryLibrary Area of Concern: First Sale, Copyright, and DMCA Reform

EveryLibrary logo
EveryLibrary, the nonprofit Political Action Committee chartered to work exclusively on local library ballot initiatives, has set its agenda for 2017.  On the agenda are 11 items including one on "First Sale, Copyright, and DMCA Reform."  EveryLibrary notes: (hotlinks added)
Libraries exist for two uniquely American reasons: The application of First Sale doctrine and tax policies that fund the common good. EveryLibrary is concerned that the rights of individuals and institutions to own, lend, and share what they buy are eroding and must be restored. Economic prosperity in our country depends on it. Because First Sale, copyright, and the rights of both content creators and content users in the digital area are key to thriving libraries, we will take the following actions in 2017:
EveryLibrary will educate and advocate for a digital first sale for libraries that will maintain the economy of purchases, but also emphasizes libraries’ mission to own, lend, share, and preserve digital materials.
We will join the fight to copyright changes under current law that would curtail libraries’ present exceptions to reproduction and distribution for purposes such as lending, interlibrary loan, preservation, scholarship, or research.
This is an area that is important to me and likely to you.  EveryLibrary hopes to engage allies in efforts to move its agenda forward. We could be allies. We can also be educators to help others understand why advocating for these two efforts is important.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Podcast: Eradicating Library Deserts

You've read my blog post on "Library Deserts," published on Jan. 16.  I'm grateful to the Beyond the Book for the interview they did with me on it.  If your interested, you can listen to the 14-minute interview, by playing it here.  Or you can read the transcript.

Friday, January 20, 2017

ALISE17 : Engaging Communities Through Research and Practice

Community engagement in curricula.  Presenters: Kathleen Campana and Elizabeth Mills

How can libraries continue to built on their current community engagement efforts?
How can we prepare MLIS students to be a part of that engagement?

LIS educators need to:
  • Help students learn how to engage with user communities
  • Allow student to engage with a community of practitioners
  • ....and ...more
Classes at University of Washington:
  • LIS 571: Research in Action - which includes collecting, coding, and analyzing data
  • LIS 598: Community engagement strategies for libraries - including gathering data about the community and doing community discovery
  • LIS 567: Libraries as learning labs in a digital age - used research-based frameworks. Students had access to a community of practitioners.
One of the things these courses taught was the need for librarians to go out into the community, rather than waiting for the community to come to them.  Research-based frameworks made the interactions more structured and fruitful.

What they learned from those classes was used to develop the course LIS 564: Multicultural resources for youth. This class is focused on research through conversations with researchers and scholars.  Students had to create a diversity service project as part of the class.



Questions to ponder:
  • How do you use curricula to support MSLIS students' interactions, with other practitioners, user communities and community partners?
  • How do you bring the community into the MSLIS curricula to underscore the importance of emphasizing community focused thinking and planning when designing libraries' programs and services?
  • What other community engagement aspects are important for MSLIS curricula to emphasize?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

ALISE17 : Preparing MSLIS students for their career

ConfusedI attended a lively session on getting practitioner input on curriculum design.  What stood out to me is the continued need to:
  • Educate students about job opportunities for the MSLIS graduations.
  • Train students to dissect job advertisements so they know better how to position themselves to be seen as a top candidate.
  • Encourage students to take technology-focused classes.
  • Prompt students to have their resumes/CVs reviewed and commented on, so the students knows how to improve them.
  • Encourage students to expand and enhance their soft skills, which include communication, collaboration and leadership skills.
  • Listen to hiring managers and other members of the profession about what skills they want to see in job applicants (and new members of the profession), and use that information when modifying MSLIS classes.
  • Develop course assignments that allow students to develop and use the skills - even soft skills - that employers want.
  • Create ways for current students to network with and learn from members of the profession.
Some of this means getting students to recognize the important of an activity (e.g., developing soft skills), which likely also means getting them to acknowledge the real state of their own soft skills.  That will not be easy. (Trust me.)

ALISE17 : Juried Papers (session 4.3)

Jessica Hochman - #teachertweets: This is what democracy looks like
@jessicahochman @dorisasantoro @teachertweetspi
Where can teacher talk about their moral concerns?
Q: Who are your activist allies in your school?
A: They are all on Twitter.
How are teachers developing community on twitter, per John Dewey?
John Dewey's concept of community: homophily - people in communities share traits and values. Interact if egoistic and communal tweets make twitter interesting.  Importance of strong and weak ties.
Twitter as democratic space.  Twitter is social and user-driven.  It is a place of dialogue and connection.  Twitter can be a megaphone.
Teachers use twitter for professional development and to create personal learning networks (PLN). 

They have looked at 1.2 millions tweets to date. This study uses 550K.

Looked at words used and words not used.

They found five distinctive communities including:
  • Classroom as locus of control
  • Intersectional and instructional justice: a lens of race, class and gender
  • Civic and democratic justice
  • Communicative action

They looked at the network connections between different groups, and who the connectors were.  

What practices are people using to engage with others who do not have the same values.

  • Teachers are creating demographic communities on twitter.
  • They are talking about their work and what it means to them.
  • They are using moral language.

Amy VanScoy - Listening to a diverse community to create an inclusive understanding of reference and information service

Librarians of color make up about 12% of the profession.  What is the experience of reference work for this community.  They did a small study with 8 participants with a variety of ethnic identities and library environments.  All had reference experience.
They used interpretive phenomenological analysis for their study.  Qualitative, exploratory. Interview-based methodology.
They both interviewed the participants and found it useful to have a multi-ethic team looking at the data.

Master Themes:
  • Uniqueness and difference - librarians of color saw this as a positive and negative (e.g., micro aggressions)
  • Broad range of professional skills - including counseling and listening 
  • Messiness and beauty of the human interaction - the emotions, challenges of communication, the beauty of relationships 
  • Complex job in a web of outside forces - trying to do the work in the web of outside forces, e.g., time, staffing challenges, etc.
  • Learning, growth and change - excited about learning through the work and also important professionally 
 To create an inclusive understand of RIS (reference and information service):
  • Role model, insiders counselor
  • Comfort and trust
  • User development as an information seeker
More information about this study at http://www.amyvanscoy.net/ivlc

They are interested in exploring this topic from the user perspective.

Noted that participants were not in a specific geographic area.

Kyle Jones - Learning analytics in the libraries and the emergence of professional ethics conflicts

Research with Dorothea Salo

What is learning analytics?  He used a definition from George Siemens (2012).

Why use learning analytics? Economic, political/academic,e.g.,increasing graduation rates.  There are goals for th students such as personalization, prediction, and intervention.

Learning analysitcs is a data driven practice.  Dataveillance on campus.  You look for relationships and patterns, and develop hypotheses.

Problem 1: the burden of surveillance
  • All students may be equally surveillance,
  • Some students may become the target of intense surveillance, e.g., student athletes.
Problem 2: the distribution of benefits
  • Whose interests are served and who benefits?
  • Benefits may not redound to students.
  • Benefits may not be distributed equally.
Problem 3: data politics
  • No data is raw.
  • Data empowers and disenfranchises
  • Data analytics is not a panacea
Problem 4: student privacy
  • Because we can doesn't mean we should
  • Privacy helps to build relationships
  • Privacy provides a space for making and learning from mistakes
  • Privacy is a condition that is necessary for intellectual freedom

A significant shift in library evaluation 
A shift from student experience to student achievement 
A move towards data scientism 

This means that libraries need to collect, store and analyze data.  Academic libraries are connecting their systems and data to the larger institutional repositories.

This could move us from anatomized data to data that is not, which allows for specific interventions. Do library specific interventions create more library usage that is impactful on the students?

There are important intersections with great ALA Code of Ethics: intellectual freedom and intellectual privacy.

Does this dataveillance live in harmony with our library ethics?  No.  We may see contexts/reasons that are allowing us to rational our use of dataveillance.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

ALISE17 : Community engagement through the right of access to information: Assuring inclusion of marginalized populations

Laura Neumann, director, Global Access to Information Program, The Carter Center

What is the right of access to information?

Right to access to information

Information takes many forms and contains many different things.
FOI laws in approximately 110 countries.  (We can argue over what defines a country!) over 5 billion people with some right to information around the world. It is an internationally recognized right.  The right to information is separate from the right to freedom of expression.

The value?
  • Allows for citizen engagement
  • Improves trust
  • Greater transparency and accountable
  • And more...!

Additional values:
  • More foreign investment
  • Improves use of scarce resources
  • Anti-corruption measure
  • More job satisfaction
  • Better customer service
  • More equity/fair processes
There are many challenges, which include the will do go through the process to make information accessible.

  • More effective decision making
  • More fuller participation in public life
  • Help people exercise other rights
  • Hold the government and others accountable
  • Bridges gender and class gaps and shifts in power
  • Economically empowering
  • Provides meaningful voice
BTW if you give a dollar to a woman, she will invest about 90 cents in her family.  If you give a dollar to a man, he will invest 25-35 cents in his family.

The  burden of being a woman
  • 70% are impoverished and 2/3rds are illiterate
  • Approx. 35% have experience gender based violence
  • More susceptible to or affected by corruption
  • Limited economic and educational opportunities 
The 7 C's - the greatest challenges facing women:
  • Culture
  • Childcare
  • Cash
  • Capacity
  • Control
  • Consciousness
  • Confidence
Overarching problems: information production, access, and distribution.  Information production may be geared to the needs of men, not of women.

Hypothesis: Women are not able to exercise their right of access to information with the same facility as men.   Did a study across three countries that have freedom of information laws.

Right to access to information

Right to access to information

Right to access to information

Right to access to information

Right to access to information

Wow...85% of women in Guatemala must ask permission in order to leave their homes.
In Bangledesh,the agencies has no public restrooms for women, who often had to wait a long time for the information they desired.

Greatest barriers:
  • Illiteracy
  • Lack of awareness
  • Fear of asking
  • No time
  • Not culturally appropriate 
  • Information is seen as not appropriate for women

What would help?
  • Education
  • Employment / right to work
  • Business/trade
  • Land / property
  • Women's rights 

The Carter Center is working to improve awareness and access.  She spoke about Liberia and Guatemala.

Do other marginalized persons face similar obstacles?
  • Rural populations
  • ...and others.

  • Shifting political landscapes
  • Heavily politicized context
  • Deeply held social-cultural beliefs
  • There is no existing model for doing this work
  • Very little empirical data
  • Poor infrastructure 
  • Difficult security environment
  • Information is not a magic bullet

Lessons learned:
  • Age should not be overlooked as a variable that impacts women's ATI
  • Some obstacles vary by country
  • Change takes time
  • Everyone needs gender sensitization
  • New frontier issues:
  • Open data versus access to information
  • Sustainable development goals
Threats to the right of access:
  • Closing space
  • Naitional security
  • Privacy versus openness
  • Wikileaks
  • Political leaders 

Thoughts for consideration:
  • Who are you not reaching?
  • How can you support women and marginalized persons to access information for more meaningful engagement?
  • What can you do to bridge the gaps?

ALISE17 : Tell Me! These things I need to know about the program accreditation review process

Description:  Accreditation is a process of self-evaluation, which provides a unique opportunity for a school to assess the quality of its academic program and public accountability against ALA standards. It is a voluntary, collegial undertaking that involves peer- and community-assessment of the program and its outcomes. A school engages deeply with a range of communities (e.g., faculty, students, alumni, and employers) during the evaluation process to assess program outcomes. So, what does accreditation self-evaluation and assessment process entail? What are faculty roles and responsibilities during the accreditation review process? What strategies should a school use to prepare its program and communities/stakeholders for continued accreditation? What are the roles and responsibilities of school program administrators? How are you planning for the ALA accreditation review? What are the perspectives of ERP (External Review Panel) members? What’s the best that could happen and what to do next? What’s the worst that could happen and how to plan for the next step?
Dania Bilal - Univ. of Tennessee
  • Have you ever wished that your program was not ALA accredited?!
  • She was an interim director, who then had to oversee the process.
  • Many of the efforts were underway already.
  • Established a Steering Committee and a Data Managmenet Task Force.
  • They has a committee for each chapter: faculty, staff, students, and advisory board members.
  • They had to collect more data (missing data).  How do you show that you are doing something when you don't have the data to show.
  • She found the resources on the Committee on Accreditation (COA) web site to be extremely helpful.
  • They prepped faculty, students and staff before the ERP visit.
  • They put all of their supporting materials on a Sharepoint site, which ERP members could access.
  • She found it very helpful that she had gone through information about the program over the last seven years.
  • The ERP visit is not the end.  There is also the meeting with COA members at the ALA conference.
  • She felt that she learned a lot by going through the process.
Heidi Julien - University at Buffalo
  • Accreditation is about two things: evidence and relationships.  She is focusing here on relationships.
  • Faculty - 
  • Engage faculty early and thoroughly.  Talk about the process and take away the mystery. Educate them.
  • Provide monthly assessment updates.
  • Ask faculty for feedback on the biennials.
  • Making the program presentation collaborative,p is helpful, in her opinion.
  • Also need to prepare other stakeholders:  Faculty, staff, students, alumni, practitioner community, dean/provost, advisory board, custodial staff
  • Engage in a process of deliberate conversation with the stakeholders about the process.  Ask them for feedback and support.  Clarify your expectations for their involvement during the visit.
  • Emphasis the importance of the process.
  • Emphasis the importance of active and positive participation during the ERP visit.
  • UB crested a high profile Accreditation Advisory Committee.
Vicki Gregory - Univ. of South Florida
  • She has been on both sides of the process: as part of program going through the accreditation process and as a member of COA and ERP.
  • She sees problems in how people use the data from their outcomes to show how they are improving their program.
  • It is up to the program to make their program understandable to the ERP.  For example, limit your acronyms or have a thesaurus.
  • Don't try to hide your flaws.  They will come out.  It is better to address them upfront.  Talk bout what you are doing to make it better.
  • Thoroughly explain the curriculum and how it fits together for the students. Panel members don't necessarily understand certification issues as they pertain to your state.  Anything that is specific to your location must be adequately explained for outsiders.
  • Always have someone around you who is knowledgeable enough on site to gather and present data at during the ERP visit.
  • Don't schedule every moment of the ERP's time.
  • Know that COA looks at everything in detail.  They will ask detailed questions.  They will find and raise their own concerns.
  • The process should help you understand the resources your program needs, and make a case with your administration for those resources.
Denice Adkins and Sanda Ezdelez - Univ. of Missouri
  • Missouri was on a conditional and then they lost accreditation , and this is where the story states.
  • Don't panic.  Assess your situation calmly.
  • Do be prepared for emotion.  Dont do anything you will regret later.
  • They had to tell their faculty and their larger community.
  • Their alumni were able to explain the value of the program in the state to the school administrators, and really supported the program.  The administrators were then able to sell the argument to other people.
  • Do seek support of your university administration as you go through the appeal process.
  • Don't ignore your public relations and social media presence.
  • Do control the messages you send out, to make sure they're positive.
  • They worked with the legal counsel for the university.  The legal counsel asked that the limit how much information was shared.
  • They did road trips across Missouri to talk with people face-to-face about the situation.
  • Do review all the documentation related to your case.
  • So seek legal counsel.
  • Do read the documentation about the Appeal Process.
  • Reach out to other programs who have been in silimiar situations.
  • Talk to previous COA members,who have been through the Appeal Process.
  • Be sure to follow the process.
  • Do review the AP3 prior to your hearing.
  • Do review your documentation and LAN your strategy prior to your hearing.
  • Don't attend your hearing alone.  They had about eight people attend the meeting.

Kristin Eschenfelder - Univ.of Wisconsin-Madison
  • When should you collect date?  All the time!
  • What should you collect? 
  • They have to develop a culture of assessment.  You are collecting data all the time and seeking to use the data to support/improve your program.
  • Step 1: understand/set program level learning outcomes, strategies goals.
  • Have a way of knowing if your strategic goals (priorities) are measurable and if you can say if your met them or not.
  • Step 2: data collection
  • Systematize it.  Make it part of the work that is done.
  • Don't just collect it.  Know how you will label it and how you will find it.
  • They have an ongoing assessment committee.
  • Step 3: They have an annual assessment report, which includes short term analysis. She sees this as an intermediate step to the biennial report.  Their assessment report is posted on their web site.
  • Step 4: decision-making.  You should use the data to make decisions and then document the decisions.
  • She collects information in bins organized by the standards.
  • They collect many student data.
  • Data around the curricula and how it relates to stakeholders,employment needs, etc.
  • There is some data they collect annually and some that is collected on a rotating basis.
  • Document your improvements based on data.
Dos and Don'ts:
List of do's and don'ts for going the the ALA accreditation review. #alise17
Resources for the ALA accreditation review. #alise17
Q& A:
  • What data managment or accreditation management system are people using?
  • What is the role of the Accreditation Steering Committee?
  • Comment  - Have someone who will keep accreditation in mind as decisions are made, and who will look at those decisions from an accreditation point of view.
  • Vicky, what are exemplary or positive experiences you've had as an COA or ERP member? When the document is is good shape, before you arrive. Usefully a positive experience.  Eileen Abels, former ERP member, says a stressful period is when you ask for data close to the visit.  Helpful if everything says cordial.
  • Comment - The end point of the process should be mechanical.  Collect data and documentation along the way.
  • Comment - The ERP fact checks the program.  It does not make a recommendation.  It is up to the COA to review everything and make a decision.
Presentations from today will be made available. (I believe on the ALISE web site.)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Library Deserts

Harold Washington Library Center
Harold Washington Library Center
A November 2016 iSchool@Online post notes that the United States has 30.35 libraries per 100,000 residents. That statistic is based on data from OCLC and the World Bank. When I first read that, I thought it sounds like a lot of libraries, but the reality is that the U.S. ranks 62nd. (I'm shocked!) The top 20 on the list is dominated by Eastern European and Scandinavian countries.

Ranked first, Slovakia has an estimated 5.5 million people and 7,551 total libraries:
There is 1 National Library, 8 scientific libraries, 33 academic libraries, 2,598 public libraries, 357 special libraries and 4,554 school libraries in Slovakia. (link)
Meanwhile, the United States has 325 million people (2016) and an estimated 119,487 libraries (2015).  While the math says nothing about access or if the person is closest to an appropriate library for the person's request, a library in Slovakia serves 728 people, while one library in the U.S. serves 2,719 people.1 [The iSchool@Online post stated 30.35 libraries per 100,000 residents which equals one library for every 3,295 people.  In my mind, not wildly different that using the ALA and U.S. Census data.]

More libraries in the U.S. than McDonald's Restaurants!  This is a statistic that gets tossed out because there seem to be many McDonald's.  Those modern or traditional golden arches are easy to spot and we often use them as landmarks when giving directions. You'll find a McDonald's in highly trafficked areas, with mini-locations in places like malls and airports.

The U.S, also has more libraries that the number towns and cities recognized by the U.S. Geological Survey (over 35,000).

Where are the libraries?  Often they are in the center of their town, village, campus or school. They may not be in high traffic areas and some aren't well served by public transportation.  Our libraries generally do not have flashy signage which beckon people towards them.  Rarely do you find branches in bus or train stations, or airports.  Yes, a few do exist in malls, but that is not the norm.  Yes, I recognize that libraries are not evenly distributed. 

My thought is that with a library in the U.S. for every 2,719 - 3,295 people, even if they are not in high traffic areas, libraries should stand out in our minds.  But do they? And are all of the people in a library's service area using the library? Yes, I've just stated a problem that we all know.  For me, the problem is made more real through statistics.  And sadder given our need for information literacy training, access to reliable, verifiable information, and safe space for all people.

This has also been made more real for me because in December, I joined the Board of Trustees of the Onondaga County Public Library (OCPL).  OCPL operates the Central Library and ten city libraries, and serves 21 independent libraries in suburban Onondaga County. With an estimated 468,500 residents, we have one public library for every 14,640 people. Yes, there are also school, academic, medical, law and other libraries.  While counting them makes the ratio better, not every library is open to everyone.  In addition, some special topic libraries (e.g., medical) may be difficult for someone to visit.  This is a fact not only in Onondaga County, but also in other parts of our world.  Not every library is open to everyone.  Sadly, there are areas of Onondaga County that are library deserts, meaning that there isn't an available library within a reasonable distance.

Portland (ME) Public Library
Public library in Portland, ME
Library deserts.  When I first looked at the infographic below, I thought about the strength of a country's education system or if cultural institutions - including libraries - were being destroyed due to conflicts.  I thought about the big picture, in terms of specific countries.  It was not until I sat with the data and looked at it differently that I thought about service areas and visibility.  I've spent some time thinking about towns I've driven through and realizing that their libraries blended in, unlike McDonalds.

In 2017, we have more people making decisions based on information that they do not understand and do not even know if it is accurate.  Libraries of all kinds need to make themselves better known and help people sift through fake news, verify details, and build knowledge.  Libraries need to find ways of bridging their deserts, perhaps by creating innovative information pathways.  Libraries need to create safe, multi-cultural, multi-lingual spaces.  (Our communities are multi-cultural and multi-lingual, so should our libraries be that too?)

The clock is ticking.  Let's get started.

The above infographic and data analysis was created by Syracuse University's School of Information Studies master of information management program. Thanks for prompting me to think about this!

1. Divide the population of Slovakia (5,500,000) by the number of libraries (7,551) equals one library for every 728 people.  In the U.S. (population of 325,000,000), there are 119,487 public libraries, or one library for every 2,719 people.  The iSchool@Online blog post stated 30.35 libraries for every 100,000 people in the U.S., or one library for every 3,295 people.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Article: The Purpose of Copyright by Lydia Pallas Loren

This article by Lydia Pallas Loren (Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College) provides a useful overview of copyright and its purpose. I like that she even talks about the "dark side".  Loren notes:
This dark side, this pervasive misconception, is turning copyright into what our founding fathers tried to guard against - a tool for censorship and monopolistic oppression.
The article is written so that one does not have to be a copyright expert to understand it. It would be a good article to add to an academic reading list on the topic.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Academic Copyright Resources

I just want to share a few copyright resources at academic libraries, which I've come across in the last year:
Yes, there are more out there, so there is a starter list.

Monday, January 09, 2017

The web site "Teaching Copyright"

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a web site called "Teaching Copyright." Geared for students in grades 9-12 students, the web site has five one-hour lessons that teachers can use on:

Teaching Copyright is one the 10 must-have teaching copyright and fair use resources for teachers listed on the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning web site.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Article: The challenge facing libraries in an era of fake news

Literacy mountainInformation literacy is increasingly in the forefront of our conversations.  Among the articles on the topic is this one from Donald A. Barclay, who looks at the challenges facing libraries.  I think this quote gets at the heart of the challenge:
In such an environment, how is a librarian or faculty member supposed to respond to a bright student who sincerely asks, “How can you say that a blog post attacking GMO food is less credible than some journal article supporting the safety of GMO food? What if the journal article’s research results were faked? Have the results been replicated? At the end of the day, aren’t facts a matter of context?”
The article is worth a read and I think you'll be intrigued by the scenario he opens with. 

Thanks to Chris Kenneally for pointing me toward this article!

Monday, January 02, 2017

Report: Future Skills: Update + Literature Review

In 2016, the Institute for the Future (IFTF) published the "Future Skills: Update + Literature Review." IFTF notes:
This Future Skills report is a comprehensive literature review that highlights eleven future skills. Each skill includes a definition and attributes, ways for acquisition and development, and means for assessment and evaluation. 
The report is 42 pages and there is a one-page infographic.

We are always thinking about the skills our library workers need. This is a report that could help inform our conversations.