Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Digitization 101 email subscriptions moving from Feedburner to Feedblitz

If you have an email subscription to this blog, that subscription is either through Feedburner or Feedblitz. At some point, I registered to use both of those services, but now Feedburner (owned by Google) is changing. By the end of this week, I will move all of the Feedburner subscriptions to Feedblitz. Yes, I'll email people so they know it is happening, but also thought it best to post something here.

Yup... Ch-ch-changes.

Monday, June 21, 2021

In the reading mood? Here are some book recommendations

Brattle Book Shop

Today is the summer equinox, which means that summer really is in full swing. For many - especially those of us who have received the COVID-19 vaccine - the pandemic restrictions are lifting, and that means we might be looking for books to take to the park, beach, or a coffee shop. I don't do many book recommendations here, but thought I'd stop for a moment and recommend these below. I'll describe why.

  • Kenneth Crews. (2020) Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators: Creative Strategies and Practical Solutions 4th Edition. As I continue to speak, teach, write and focus on U.S. copyright law, this book, written by Kenny Crews, remains my "go to" resources when I want to understand how someone else has discussed an element of the law. This edition was a long time in the works, which actually benefited the text with the edition of changes made to the law in 2019. If your library or educational institution is talking at all about copyright, I think you should have this book on your shelves.

  • Paul Signorelli (2021) Change the World Using Social Media. This is another book that was in the works for a few years.  Paul, who is a colleague on the T is for Training podcast, interviewed a wide range of people for this book, which covers various social media tools and what they can do for you. This book is truly focused on how these tools can help you change the world.

  • Tom Haymes. (2020) Learn at Your Own Risk: 9 Strategies for Thriving in a Pandemic and Beyond. Tom is another T is for Training colleague, who is passionate about the systems and techniques teachers and trainers use when delivering materials to their learners. This book was born out of what occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and how it impacted teaching, training and learning.

  • Matthew Desmond. (2017) Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. This week, I am helping to facilitate a library book discussion on this book. This book connects with some of the volunteer work I do with the Poor People's Campaign. This was a timely read because it helped me understand some of the housing problems that are occurring in my community. Now I see poorly maintained housing as part of the "eviction industry" (my own phrase).  Desmond is an academic, but this book is the story of specific people and the impact evictions had on them and their community.  There are some statistics sprinkle throughout the book, which support what was occurring in the lives he followed.

  • Karen Renee Weaver. (2020) Reaching Up For Comfort: Caregiver Experiences, Questions, and Prayers. This book is not like any of the ones above, because it is for people who are going through care-giving experiences. Karen is a cousin who I first met two years ago and I hope this book of hers does good in the world.

That's it! People are always exchanging book recommendations, so - tell me - what are you reading this summer? 


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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Wayback Wednesday: Building a Team

Innovation Studio rules

In 2018, I wrote a blog post that was really for my new student workers.  It was entitled "Building a Team." Honestly, putting something in writing to guide my new team in how to work with me was one of the smartest things I've done. And it is something that all teams should do, in some fashion.

Recently, Anthony Brooks-Williams wrote a post on Medium entitled "Want People to Understand How to Work With You? Write Them a Manual." If the idea of writing tips or a manual to help people understand how to best work with you is something you want to pursue, then the questions Brooks-Williams has in his article will help to guide you. Really, this could be the best thing you do, especially as your work transitions this year to whatever the "new normal" is.

Oh...let me say that in 2018 I gave that post to my student workers and it really did help guide us.  It also had us think about how to keep some conversations out of email. We adopted Slack for most of our communications and it worked really well. Besides in-between meeting communications, Slack was a great way of sending meeting reminders or sending a quick update when someone was running late.  Slack may not be the best tool for everyone, but it worked for us.

Finally, I've asked a few people some version of "how do you work" and it is a foreign question. However, if we really want to work together - and work together well - we need to be able to tell each other how we each work. Again, the questions Brooks-Williams asks can help all of us answer that.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

New Maryland Legislation on Ebook Licensing

 The Maryland State Legislation passed SB432/HB518, which (synopsis from the Senate bill):

Requiring a publisher who offers to license an electronic literary product to the public to also offer to license the electronic literary product to public libraries in the State on reasonable terms that would enable public libraries to provide library users with access to the electronic literary product; authorizing the license terms authorizing public libraries to provide access to electronic literary products to include certain limitations; defining "electronic literary product"; etc.

Many people worked on this bill, recognizing its importance to libraries. While others opposed it, the bill became law!  It was not signed by the Governor, which I think is unfortunate.  Rather he allowed it to become law without his endorsement.   

Why is it important? As Andrew Albanese states:

SB432 requires any publisher offering to license "an electronic literary product" to consumers in the state to also offer to license the content to public libraries "on reasonable terms" that would enable library users to have access. The bill is scheduled to take effect in January, 2022.

Yes, libraries will have access to the same ebooks that are offered to consumers. Amazing that this isn't already being done, right? But publishers wrongly see libraries as being in competition with them, and so some withhold their ebooks from libraries. This practice harms our communities. As Jonathan Band stated in his written testimony about this bill, "In other words, the bills prevent unreasonable discrimination against public libraries." (Quoted by Matt Enis)

Please note that this bill - and similar bills being introduced into other state legislatures - do not affect copyright. Rather they are looking to state law to create a level playing field for libraries.

I encourage you to read the Maryland bill and then look to see if groups in your state are advocating for something similar. Note that legislation has been proposed in New York and Rhodes Island.  I think as bills are proposed, each will learn from what happened in another state. For example, the Maryland bill may not have everything that another state would want. And every state will have to wrangle with the publishers and their interests, as they work to balance the interest of libraries and constituents. How will that affect wording, etc.? We will have to wait to see.


Webinar: Frequently Asked Questions About Controlled Digital Lending, June 10

On June 10, 12 noon ET, I am part of a webinar entitled "Frequently Asked Questions About Controlled Digital Lending." Registration is now open.

Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) is a widely used library practice that supports digital lending for libraries of all sizes. Even though CDL is used at hundreds of libraries around the world, questions remain about this important innovation in digital library lending. In this session, we'll be tackling the most commonly asked questions surrounding CDL and answering some of yours. Bring your thoughts and ideas – it's the summer of CDL. 
This session is co-sponsored by EveryLibrary, Internet Archive & Library Futures.

The session will be recorded and all registrants will receive a followup email with a link to the video, so go ahead and register, even if you can't make the synchronous event.