February 7, 2016
Robbie Franklin of McFarland Publishers was generous in his advice when I was first starting Library Juice Press back in 2005/2006. So I have often thought of his press in relation to books we’ve been working on. In 2010 and 2011 there was a project we had gotten going on Generation X librarians and the issues they face. The project was in the works for a few years, at a time when people were still talking about Generation X, and Millennials had not quite yet taken their place in the world. They were thought of as students, while generation X-ers had come back from their post-college slacking in the former Czechoslovakia and were in the workforce, dealing with Boomer supervisors. The editors of this collection of chapters pulled it all together and sent it to me, and at the time I was unhappy with it. I was interested in sociological studies about what made Gen Xers different, and the book ended up emphasizing case studies and personal reports of workplace issues. I was not happy with that, but I had also grown somewhat bitter about the discussion of generational issues in general, and increasingly skeptical of that discourse. So I decided not to publish the book, and I suggested to the editors that they take it to McFarland. McFarland published it in 2011, and I think it was a successful book for them. (It is still in print.)
I now regret not publishing the book, because I find myself bothered by the way my generation seems to have been forgotten. The discussion is all Millennials versus Boomers now. Boomers used to be very anxious about Gen-Xers and what our differences implied for society. There was a discussion in librarianship at the beginning of the internet era about the “new breed” of librarians, who had tattoos, etc., and who were more connected to technology. Now that we are no longer the new breed, it has become less clear what we represent. Part of the Gen X discourse in the 90s and early 2000s was about how we were getting the short end of the stick economically, and existed on the fringes of a society that was geared toward Boomers. I think it’s clear that Millennials are the ones who really got the short end of the stick economically, but Gen Xers still seem to be in the margins in some way, at least in the margins of people’s awareness of generational difference.
My feeling about generational differences, really, is that the way generations are described would be more accurately understood as descriptions of what our society is like at the present moment, for anyone who is really connected to the present moment. That is why it always bothers me when Gen Xers or millennials are blamed for their supposed failings. These “failings” are reflections of the society in which the new generation enters, not of character issues that young people can be held responsible for. I hate seeing younger generations bashed by older generations, as though generational differences originate from anything other than the world that older generations have left in their wake.
I also feel that the way generational differences are so much discussed and emphasized is a product of the “generation gap” of the 1960s, which was stronger than previous intergenerational experience. I think that has resulted in a heightened awareness among Boomers in particular of generational differences, where Gen Xers or Millennials might not have found them so important independent of these discussions. (Not a criticism, just an observation.)
So those are the thoughts that fed into my decision to drop the project after the editors had finished it. I regret it now because as long as these generational differences are going to continue to be discussed, I would like to play a part in seeing Gen Xers remembered in it. Not that it makes a difference; the book has done well with McFarland. I hope people will continue to buy the book and read it. I think it’s still relevant.
January 27, 2016
For Immediate Release
CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is pleased to announce that Nicole Pagowsky, research and learning librarian/ instruction coordinator at the University of Arizona, has been chosen to receive the 2016 University Libraries Sections (ULS) Outstanding Professional Development Award.
The $1,000 award and plaque, donated by Library Juice Academy, will be presented to Pagowsky at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.
“Though early in her career, Nicole Pagowsky has made a significant impact to academic librarianship through broad professional engagement, scholarship, and service,” said award Chair Rebecca Blakiston of the University of Arizona. “In addition to being active in social media and professional blogging, Nicole has already co-edited two books, taught an ALA eCourse, presented an ACRL webinar, created the ACRL student retention Discussion Group, presented as a keynote speaker at a state library conference, initiated #critlib chats, and organized the first Critical Librarianship and Pedagogy Symposium. She has initiated and provided innovative opportunities for the professional growth of librarians nationwide. As librarianship continues to advance, it is library leaders such as Nicole Pagowsky who act as proactive agents of change and provide the necessary support for successful information professionals.”
Pagowsky received her M.A. in Information Resources and Library Science and M.S. in Educational Technology and Instructional Design from the University of Arizona.
For more information regarding the ACRL ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.
The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at www.acrl.org/, Facebook at www.facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.
About Library Juice Academy
Library Juice Academy offers a range of online professional development workshops for librarians and other library staff, focusing on practical topics to build the skills that librarians need as their jobs evolve. With customers in 30 countries and 100 courses in the catalog, Library Juice Academy is bringing online continuing education to a new level. Library Juice Academy is online at http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/.
January 21, 2016
Where are all the Librarians of Color?
The Experiences of People of Color in Academia
Editors: Rebecca Hankins and Miguel Juárez
Published: January 2016
Printed on acid-free paper
Now available from Amazon.com
This edited volume addresses the shared experiences of academic librarians of color, i.e. Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans. These experiences are very similar and offer a narrative that explains the lack of librarians of color in academia, especially those librarians that have experienced the daunting academic tenure process.
This monograph offers a comprehensive look at the experiences of people of color after the recruitment is over, the diversity box is checked, and the statistics are reported. What are the retention, job satisfaction, and tenure experiences of librarians of color? The authors look at the history of librarians of color in academia, review of the literature, obstacles, roles, leadership, and the tenure process for those that endure. What are the recruitment and retention methods employed to create a diverse workforce, successes and failures? Finally what are some mentoring strategies that work to make the library environment less exploitative and toxic for librarians of color?
Rebecca Hankins is an Associate Professor and a certified archivist/librarian. She has been at Texas A&M University since 2003. Her previous employment included 12 years as senior archivist at The Amistad Research Center at Tulane University in New Orleans, the premier research repository on Africana historical documentation. Her expertise includes building collections and scholarly resources for the study of the African Diaspora, Race & Ethnic Studies, and Arabic Language and Culture.
Miguel Juárez is a doctoral student in the Department of History at the University of Texas at El Paso with over 14 years of academic library experience. He has worked at the State University at Buffalo Libraries, the University of Arizona Libraries, as an Assistant Professor of Library Science at Texas A&M University Libraries, as Head Librarian/Associate Librarian at the Chicano Studies Research Center at UCLA and most recently as an Associate Archivist/Librarian at the University of North Texas. Miguel has been a member of the ALA Diversity Committee and served as inaugural chair of the ALA Diversity Grant. His expertise includes building Latin@ studies collections and Chican@ archival collections.
January 20, 2016
Many Worlds to Walk In:
Exploring Diversity in Children’s Literature, Librarianship, and Education
Call for Paper Proposals
Deadline for submission: February 15, 2016
A peer-reviewed graduate student conference on children’s literature, media, and culture
University of British Columbia – Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Many Worlds to Walk In: Exploring Diversity in Children’s Literature, Librarianship, and Education is a one-day conference on April 30, 2016 showcasing graduate student research in children’s literature. You are invited to submit an academic paper proposal that contributes to research in the area of children’s and young adult literature, librarianship, education, media, or cultural studies. Submissions of creative writing for children and young adults are also welcome. We are particularly interested in research and creative pieces that draw on the broadly interpreted theme of diversity–including research on narratives that depict diversity and the diverse formats we use to create and share narratives.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
– Diverse theoretical perspectives on children’s and young adult literature (e.g. postcolonial, feminist, queer, eco-critical approaches)
– Multiculturalism and stories of underrepresented, marginalized, or disabled populations
Underrepresented formats of stories for children and young adults (graphic novel, picture book app, etc.)
– Inclusive programming and services in children’s librarianship and education
– Indigenous and aboriginal narratives
– Oral storytelling and sign language storytelling
– Newcomer, refugee, and immigrant narratives
– Otherness and trans-national identities
– Problematic interpretations and definitions of diversity
– Diversity within genres: boundary-pushing books, films, etc.
– Cross-media adaptations of children’s and young adult texts
– Translated and multilingual texts for children and young adults
– Resources and services for multilingual readers and families
– Empathy-building through story
– Imagined identities: diversity in fantasy, created worlds
– Multiple perspectives on historical events (Holocaust narratives, etc.)
The topics above are a guideline for the proposals we would like to see, but we are eager to receive paper proposals on any facet of diversity in children’s and young adult texts.
Academic Paper Proposals
Please send a 250 word abstract that includes the title of your paper, a list of references in MLA format, a 50 word biography, your name, your university affiliation, email address, and phone number to the review committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Conference Proposal Submission” in the subject line of your email.
Creative Writing Proposals
Submissions of creative writing for children and young adults in any genre are welcome, including novel chapters, poetry, picture books, graphic novels, scripts, etc. Please send a piece of work no longer than 12 pages double spaced. (Anything shorter is welcome– poetry, for example, might only be a page). The submission should include the title of your piece, a 150 word overview of your piece (describe age group, genre, and links to the conference theme), a list of references in MLA format (if you have any), a 50 word biography, your name, your university affiliation, email address, and phone number. Please send your submission to the review committee at email@example.com. Please put “Creative Conference Proposal Submission” in the subject line of your email.
For more info, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you; we look forward to seeing you this spring!
December 22, 2015
Archival Research and Education
Selected Papers from the 2014 AERI Conference
Editors: Richard J. Cox, Alison Langmead, and Eleanor Mattern
Published: December 2015
Printed on acid-free paper
Available from Amazon.com
This book is number seven in the Series on Archives, Archivists, and Society, Richard J. Cox, editor.
The sixth annual Archival Education and Research Institute (AERI), hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences in July 2014, brought together doctoral students and faculty engaged in Archival Studies from around the world, although principally from the United States. Supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, these institutes are designed to strengthen education and research, as well as support academic cohort building and mentoring in the archival community.
This publication features fifteen essays by both emerging and established archival scholars and faculty from four continents. Subjects include: dictatorship archives in Brazil, affect and agency in the archives of the countries of the former Yugoslavia, archival images in recent movies, archival systems interoperability research, cross institutional usages of EAD 2002 , Ernst Posner and archival scholarship in Washington, D.C., technical infrastructures and digital heritage preservation, the challenges of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, enabling Big Data curation in a non-archival organization, personal archiving of Web pornography, the history and future of archival education in the United States, innovative archival teaching methods in China, rights in records as a platform for participatory archiving, and archival readings of Derrida’s Archive Fever. These contributions reflect the range of new archival research, the continuing maturation of archival education, and the growing international collaboration among archival scholars and faculty.
The volume is offered in memory of Terry Cook (1947-2014), the plenary speaker at the first AERI conference in 2009.
The contents of the volume are as follows:
In Memory of Terry Cook Anne Gilliland
Introduction Richard J. Cox, Alison Langmead, and Eleanor Mattern
International Perspectives, Human Rights, and Archives
Lucian Heymann, “Dictatorship Memories and Archives in Brazil: Reflections on Politics and Projects.”
Anne Gilliland, “Studying Affect and its Relationship to the Agency of Archivists in the Countries of the Former Yugoslavia.”
Anne Gilliland and Sue McKemmish, “Rights in Records as a Platform for Participative Archiving.”
Lindsay Mattock and Eleanor Mattern, “Looking at Archives in Cinema: Recent Representations of Records in Motion Pictures.”
Archival Systems and Standards
Gregory Rolan, “Archival Systems Interoperability: Research Themes and Opportunities.”
Sarah Buchanan, “Cross Institutional Usage of EAD 2002 as an Archival Description Standard.”
Jane Zhang, “Archival Scholarship in the Nation’s Capital: Ernst Posner.”
Digital Heritage and Archives
Patricia Galloway, “Technical Infrastructures and Digital Heritage Preservation.”
Tonia Sutherland, “A Culture of Collaboration: Bridging the Gap Between Archive and Repertoire.”
Lorraine Richards, Adam Townes, and Yuan Yuan Feng, “Curation through the Back Door: Enabling Big Data Curation Capabilities in a Non-Archival Organization.”
Sarah Ramdeen and Alex Poole, “’Leaving the mouse on the left is the new leaving the tape in the VCR’: Personal Archiving, Personal Information, and the ‘Pariah Industry’ of Web Pornography”
Archival Education and Knowledge
Alison Langmead, “The History of Archival Education in America: What’s Next?”
Huang Xiaoyu, “The Innovation of Archival Teaching Method: Introducing Archival News into the Classroom.”
James M. O’Toole, “Understanding Understanding: What Do Archivists Need to Know, Then and Now?”
Robert Riter, “Derridean Influences: Archival Readings of Archive Fever.”
Richard J. Cox, Alison Langmead, and Eleanor Mattern are faculty in the Archival and Information Studies program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences.
December 17, 2015
The American Association of Law Libraries is in the midst of a “rebranding” project, and its executive board has just proposed renaming the association the “Association for Legal Information.” As we saw with the attempted SLA renaming some years ago, this proposal is garnering some opposition. Fred Shapiro sent the following statement to the Law Librarians’ discussion list earlier today, and it gets to the heart of the issues…
WHY I DISAGREE WITH THE PROPOSED AALL RENAMING
Fred Shapiro, Associate Librarian for Collections and Access, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School, Proud member of AALL since 1982
As someone who is recognized as the leading student of words among law librarians, I would like to summarize some of my objections to the proposed AALL name change.
Librarianship is a great profession with very important values that are being lost in the contemporary world. These values include service to patrons; the organization of information; the curation of information; and the preservation of information. Changing the name of the profession, or of its organizations, inevitably will further the decline of those librarians’ values.
One of my colleagues, although much younger and less steeped in the traditions of the past than I am, emailed me that “The organization should be shifting its efforts toward educating users what ‘librarian’ and ‘library’ mean today. … We should be proud of what it means to be a librarian and focusing, instead, on reminding the legal community of the value of the services we provide.” The same money that went to a consulting firm to come up with ‘Association for Legal Information’ could have been spent toward such educational initiatives.
The names “library” and “librarian,” although considered old-fashioned by many, also have strong positive connotations. There is no doubt, for example, that librarians have a much more positive image than, say, lawyers or bankers or politicians or journalists, and on many attributes librarians get a lot of respect and confidence.
The name “Association for Legal Information” is extremely vague and many hearing it will have no idea what it means. We would be replacing a well-established name with many positive connotations with a vague name of uncertain connotations.
The name “Association for Legal Information” does not at all suggest what the practitioners involved should be called — “legal informationists”? “legal information specialists”? “legal information professionals”? Note that all of those possibilities are too wordy.
If one of the members of the new association goes to their managing partner and tells them “I’m not one of those old-fashioned librarians, I am a legal information professional!”, the managing partner may say, “Don’t I already have an IT department? Why do I need you?” The word “information” is already taken by other professions.
The abbreviation “ALI” is already taken by a well-known legal organization.
One of the reasons I love librarianship is that it is a variegated profession that encompasses many functions and aspects. In addition to the important managerial and technological roles, librarians play social roles, intellectual roles, cultural roles, psychological roles, etc. I believe that AALL is focusing almost exclusively on the managerial and technological roles (take a look at any recent issue of AALL Spectrum) and neglecting the rich tapestry of other roles that librarians play. The name change will further this unfortunate narrowness.
I understand that law firm librarians have felt that AALL was directed more at academic librarians than at them. This may have been true in the past, but nowadays AALL programming and the AALL Spectrum newsletter seem to be aimed more at firm librarians than at academics. The name change may be motivated largely by concern that firm librarians will leave AALL. This is a valid concern, but why should academic librarians, who I assume comprise much of the association, have to live with a new name that most of them probably will dislike? Perhaps the greater concern should be that academics will leave AALL. Some prominent academic law librarians have already gone so far as to suggest that, if the current organization takes the name Association for Legal Information, then academics and other like-minded members could keep the AALL name and create a smaller, more nimble, less expensive organization, for those who share an interest in maintaining the librarian identification.
I believe that the library as a place is likely to undergo great transformations in the future – certainly, in the law firm setting, this is already happening. But the core values of librarianship should endure. A name change from “American Association of Law Libraries” to “American Association of Law Librarians” would be fine with me. The profession has always really not been about places or technologies, but rather about people.
December 15, 2015
When Library Juice Press or Litwin Books signs a contract with an author, the contract is typical for the publishing industry in most ways. One of the commonalities in publishing agreements is that the publisher doesn’t end up owning the copyright to the work, but they do get a temporary exclusive license to publish it. As a result, the copyright statement in the actual book can be misleading to readers who might want to republish or reuse part of the book. Our copyright statements make it clear that the author is the owner of the copyright, but it would be an error to infer from that that the author is the one who has the right to give permission to use the work. They may or may not be; that right is contingent on whatever the agreement is between the author and the publisher. That agreement is likely to be too complex to fully state on the copyright page of the book (at least in a print format). I am not sure what to do about this problem other than to make sure that authors pay attention to the contract when they sign it, so that if they are approached about reusing their work they understand what they rights situation is. I think this is an issue with copyright statements in books in general. Copyright agreements are often complex, and ownership of the copyright, as opposed to ownership (temporary or permanent, exclusive or non-exclusive) of various rights therein, is not that relevant to the question of a right to republish or reuse.
December 10, 2015
Alison Macrina is a librarian, privacy rights activist, and the founder and director of the Library Freedom Project, an initiative which aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries by teaching librarians and their local communities about surveillance threats, privacy rights and law, and privacy-protecting technology tools to help safeguard digital freedoms. Alison is teaching a class for Library Juice Academy next month, called Everything to Hide: A Toolkit for Protecting Patrons’ Digital Privacy. She has agreed to do an interview here, to tell people about the class and also to talk about the Library Freedom Project.
Hi Alison, thanks for agreeing to do this interview.
Hi Rory, thanks for having me.
I want to start by asking you to briefly describe the Library Freedom Project and a bit about how it got started.
Library Freedom Project is an initiative to bring practical privacy education and tools into libraries and the communities they serve. We teach librarians about threats to privacy from government, corporate, and criminal actors, privacy law and our responsibility to protect privacy, and privacy-enhancing technology tools that can be installed on library PCs or taught to patrons in computer classes. We work closely with the ACLU — particularly the ACLU of Massachusetts — and with The Tor Project, who are the technologists building a few of the privacy technologies we recommend.
I started Library Freedom Project after Edward Snowden began his revelations about mass surveillance in the summer of 2013. The Snowden revelations showed me that the problem was much more massive than any of us could have imagined — and this includes those of us who opposed the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act back in 2002. I was working as a library technologist at the time, and I saw libraries as the ideal places to fight back against this kind of pervasive surveillance. For one, we have a historic commitment to privacy and recognize the relationship it has to intellectual freedom and censorship. We’re often the only spaces offering free computer instruction classes, and our computer terminals are for many their only computer access. Furthermore, libraries have long prioritized service to marginalized populations — such as immigrants, Muslims, people of color, formerly incarcerated people, and people who are or have been homeless — and we know that surveillance affects these populations much more significantly than the general population. So it seemed to me an obvious way of combining our values and our commitment to our communities with a very real social need, and I began traveling around my home state of Massachusetts with staff of the Massachusetts ACLU, training librarians on surveillance resistance.
Is the training you’re giving them similar to what you’ll be teaching in your class with us?
There are overlapping topics, yes. But the class will cover a lot more ground.
So what will the class cover?
The class will start with some of the issues around surveillance and privacy, as well as threat modeling — understanding the capabilities of our adversaries and determining which particular ways we want to protect ourselves. We will cover many of the ways in which the internet is a hostile and insecure place. Then we will learn how to use the technology, getting into more advanced topics like PGP for email and OTR for chat.
Full disclosure: I’m planning to sit in on your class, because I want to learn about these things. I’m a little embarrassed to tell you, but I think I’m typical of librarians in that I am aware of privacy issues in general but tend not to do much to address the problem in my own work life. I use Google services heavily, along with Dropbox and Evernote, often for important things. I anticipate that your course will help me feel empowered and encouraged to make changes in my own work life, as well as to equip me to help others. Do you find when you do trainings that you have that effect on librarians? What are your thoughts on that?
I don’t think that’s something to be embarrassed about. You’re where most people are. And I do find that our trainings are empowering, because at the very least they give people a framework to understand these issues, and they can start making small, meaningful changes immediately. Privacy is ultimately about control, and the loss of that control can feel very discouraging. Taking back even a little of it certainly helps people combat their feelings of despair.
You’ve been doing the trainings for a little while now. What are some of the common issues that come up, that you expect to address in the class? What are some of the more problematic issues?
There are a great number of challenges — pretty much all of this information is new to the participants, the issues around privacy and surveillance are too big to know, the problems are massive, and the adversaries are powerful. Plus, most people are nontechnical (not an insult) and privacy-enhancing technologies can be more difficult than technologies that trade privacy for convenience. I will try to address those issues in the class the way that I do whenever I teach: people should know that even small changes can be significant, and that security is a process. The internet is a hostile place, and we have a lot of work to do to overcome that, but we can be successful if we take it one step at a time, adopt new strategies and get comfortable with them, and then move on to something new when we’re ready.
I just want to clarify that when you say “the internet is a hostile place,” you’re not talking about people who are assholes in the comment section; you are talking about spyware and things like that, right? In your experience, are we less than fully aware of the extent of the hostility you’re referring to?
Well, in some ways I do mean both. There are hostile individuals who want to dox feminists and marginalized people online, and they use some of the same resources that the intelligence agencies do. But mostly I mean that the internet was never designed to be secure or private, and the adversaries have so much power. People are DEFINITELY unaware of the extent of the hostility, and who can blame them? So much of it is invisible. For example, most people don’t know that Flash is ridiculously hostile, because they go on using it. Most people don’t know that leaving your software updates for days or weeks or longer is putting you in a lot of danger of exploitation. Most people — even those who followed the Snowden leaks — don’t have any idea of the capabilities of the intelligence agencies and how those are used against real people in our communities. I honestly don’t know anyone who knows the full extent of the internet’s hostility, because so much of the internet is essentially secret — proprietary, closed source technology that can’t be examined for security flaws or malicious code, and agencies that operate under incredible secrecy. Fortunately, the technology exists to protect us — but making that mainstream is its own Herculean task. That’s why libraries are the right places to teach this stuff. We have to make it mainstream.
It strikes me that we’re still under the strong influence of an idealistic cyber-utopian vision of the internet, as a technology that links the world together benevolently. What you’re saying is that people need to be made aware that the opposite is true, and that libraries should have a central role in teaching people to defend themselves in an environment that we formerly cherished for its openness. Is that right? If so, what does it mean for the library ideal of information sharing? I mean, I remember Sandy Berman quoted as saying, “I can’t have information I know would be of interest to someone and not share it.” Privacy education is about teaching people how not to share information. Is there a tension here, and do you think it reflects changing times?
The internet does need to be open, but that doesn’t mean that individuals should be exploited by its openness. I believe in transparency for governments and corporations, and privacy for individuals. There doesn’t need to be a tension, because you can define it easily across those lines. Libraries have long recognized this — providing information access has *never* meant “freely handing over patron records to the police with no warrant”; we know that privacy and intellectual freedom depend on one another. And Sandy Berman, bless him, maybe didn’t consider how much advertisers might want information about his lifestyle habits, his intellectual interests, and his associations, and maybe he didn’t consider how they’d use that information to shape public opinion and filter the results we get on the web — thus making it less open and free. He also probably didn’t imagine that those advertisers would use means totally hidden to the average user…not exactly openness or transparency. Furthermore, he probably never thought about how secretive and powerful intelligence agencies would grow in the Global War on Terror-era, to the point where they, too, have access to all that advertising data, plus anything else we share with a third party, plus a whole lot of other stuff too.
Now, simultaneously, my belief in a free and open internet means that I value free and open source software — software where the source code is shared openly and can be scrutinized for security holes or other privacy threats — thus making it the best option for people who want to defend against these adversaries. Using FOSS protects internet freedom, including privacy, and is one way we can make the internet a more democratic place.
Thank you, you’ve drawn the key distinctions that I needed.
So the Library Freedom Project trains librarians to do patron education about privacy. I wonder if you’re also interested in addressing library policies around patron privacy. What are some of the issues there? And is that within the scope of the project?
Yes, but we are a tiny organization and so we haven’t been able to make this a priority. I did help a small amount with the best practices guidelines created by the Intellectual Freedom Committee and the LITA Patron Privacy Interest Group. The guidelines address some of the major issues — that is, we’ve given 3rd party vendors so much access to patron data, we have not demanded secure transmission and storage, and so on. That’s how we wound up with the Adobe breach, something that we should be deeply ashamed of as information professionals. It seems to me that in our push to get more electronic content for our patrons, we left privacy out of our policies and contracts almost entirely, and now that’s come back to bite us.
Right after you answered that question you did a webinar, which I attended. I noticed that in your presentation you were addressing the librarians in attendance as the users of the tools, rather than explicitly as patron educators, or stewards of patrons’ privacy. It probably isn’t a meaningful difference, because either way the librarians need to know the tools they are going to be teaching. But in teaching to an audience of librarians as direct users of the tools, you assumed a degree of motivation that may not be as high as it is for political activists whom librarians may find themselves helping as patrons. Not that privacy isn’t something everyone should be interested in, but I know that in my case, if I decided to get involved with Deep Green Resistance I would start to get very concerned about privacy and would want to use Tor and PGP a lot, when in the course of my daily work I am not concerned to that degree. How do you navigate that issue in teaching and doing in-depth workshops? Are there any issues that have a different shape depending on whether the librarians are the users of the tools or the stewards and educators?
Well, when I only have 15 minutes to speak, my approach is quite different than when I have an hour or more. Also, I don’t think I was really addressing the librarians only as users of the tools — I referred back to April’s part of the presentation frequently, mentioning how tracking affects our communities, etc. I can’t really get into teaching strategies in a 15 minute presentation, but some of the resources I referred to on our site include a teacher’s guide.
I’m also not really sure what you mean about assuming a degree of motivation — people showed up to a webinar about privacy, which tells you something already about the motivation they have in learning about privacy tools. I don’t think it’s wrong to believe that they are thus motivated to, you know, do what I suggest that they do. Also, it is my experience that librarians are HIGHLY motivated to help their communities protect their privacy — whether those community members are political activists or domestic violence survivors or whatever. Librarians are service-minded people, and they tend to care very much about the ways their patrons are affected by privacy issues. April brought up a lot of those issues in the first half of the presentation — for example, how advertisers use algorithms to target people of color with predatory lending ads. If there are librarians who hear about how these issues affect our communities in serious ways, and they still don’t care to help them…I’m not really sure what to tell those librarians, frankly.
Also, our longer trainings go into much more detail about specific threats, cover a much wider range of tools, and offer teaching strategies as well. In those in-depth trainings, we cover the reasons why all people, not just political activists or people with more serious threats, have a reason to use these tools. For example, you mention PGP encryption. Maybe you’re unmotivated to use it, but if I explained to you how insecure and nonprivate email is, you might change your tune. You surely have had to send tax forms or other sensitive material over email, and that is incredibly unsafe without PGP encryption. Tor Browser also might seem like too much for you, but if you knew how much advertisers, analytics companies, A/B testers, and the like were collecting information about you and using it to filter your web content and create an information profile about you to sell you products, you again might feel differently. Those are only two examples. My assumption in teaching librarians is always that they are both users and teachers of the tools, because in order to be good teachers, they have to use the tools themselves and understand them.
That makes good sense. It will be good to see how you get into issues of patron education in more depth in the class. Patron education, and do you also get into issues of ensuring greater privacy for patrons in their use of the internet in the library? I recall you mentioning in the webinar that you have helped a couple of libraries install Tor on public computers. Is that a complicated thing, as far as getting admin to go along with it? Do you find issues with untraceable, anonymous services? I am thinking of this because I remember hearing a story about something that happened at my last place of work. There was a patron who used a public computer to send a serious threat, and the IT department tracked the computer using its IP, and then used the surveillance footage to ID him, and the police ultimately made an arrest. I know that the people in IT and in the admin office, at that place anyway, were interested in helping law enforcement, and they didn’t hesitate to violate the patron’s privacy in order to help the police. And in this case, he wasn’t just exercising his first amendment rights. I am pretty sure that at that library the administration would be reluctant to install a system that got in the way of their cooperative relationship with law enforcement. That’s not very nice to think about, but I bet it is common. Have you ever gotten pushback about things like installing Tor on a public terminal?
Yep, I will talk about teaching strategies. And yes, half the point of teaching these tools is trying to get libraries to install them on public PCs. As for the difficulty in getting admin to agree to things like that, it really depends on the library itself. Some libraries have agreed immediately — like the library in Lebanon, New Hampshire, where we installed our first Tor relay. Their board and director agreed to join the project unanimously. Others are harder to convince, but as more and more libraries start making this a norm, it won’t be as hard.
As for the situation you outline, that sort of activity is exceedingly rare, and most libraries will never have to deal with something like that. But what is incredibly common is that our communities face surveillance threats every time they use the internet, from pervasive advertising to overzealous intelligence agencies, and all the malware and criminal hacking that comes with using insecure tools. A browser that makes it easy for the police to identify the source of criminal activity also makes it easy for a domestic violence survivor to be tracked by her abuser, or for a poor person to be targeted by predatory lending schemes, or for children to be followed by malicious people, or for anyone to have their online activity tracked step by step. That is not a free internet, but an internet ruled by adversaries. That worries me much more than the rare occurrence of criminal activity on library computers. Furthermore, criminals have many options, because they are willing to break the law to achieve their ends — they can use proxies or spoof MAC addresses or find some other way of conducting their activities. Other people who need privacy don’t have those options, and we should prioritize their needs, because there are many more of them than there are criminals. It is of course a risk to give people the freedom of anonymity online, but in a democracy, we are often confronted with such decisions. As the ALA Freedom to Read Statement says: freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.
Thanks for saying all of this so well. I’ve been provoking you a little bit and I’m really glad that you’ve said all of this. I’m excited that you’re going to be teaching this class for us, and I hope you keep inspiring people to take control of their online privacy. Thanks for the interview.
Thanks Rory. I am really excited to teach the class — I’ve never had the chance to teach so many people over such a long course of time — and I’m excited to see what we can all learn from each other.
December 9, 2015
A review of our Handbook of Intellectual Freedom was just published on the website of ADBS, the main library association in France. The review, by Joachim Schöpfel, is in French, but Google translate makes it fairly readable in English. The book is very timely in the French context, as the reviewer points out. We’re very happy to see this connection to our colleagues in France.
December 8, 2015
Angela Pashia is an Assistant Professor and the Instructional Services Outreach Librarian at the University of West Georgia, where she regularly teaches a credit bearing information literacy course. She has a Masters in Information Science & Learning Technologies, with an emphasis in library science, from the University of Missouri, and a Masters in Anthropology from the University of Virginia. She is currently focusing on practicing critical pedagogies, incorporating social justice issues into “the library course”, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Angela is teaching a class for Library Juice Academy in January, titled Developing a Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Course. She has agreed to do an interview for the LJA blog to tell interested people a bit about her course…
December 7, 2015
Call for Proposals
Race Matters: Libraries, Racism, and Antiracism
LACUNY Institute 2016
Date: May 20, 2016
Location: Brooklyn College, City University of New York
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jelani Cobb
Associate Professor of History and Director, Africana Studies Institute, University of Connecticut; staff writer, The New Yorker; winner of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism and author of several books, including The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress
Submission Deadline: January 25, 2016
Critical Race Theory holds “that race is central, not peripheral, to American thought and life” and “that racism is common and ordinary rather than rare and episodic” (The Oxford Companion to American Law). From hashtags (#BlackLivesMatter, #CharlestonSyllabus, #BlackOnCampus) to podcasts (About Race, Intersection with Jamil Smith, Real Talk with Nekima Levy-Pounds), from city streets to college campuses, these are some of the spaces and places where dialogues about race and racism are happening. This is where the theme for the 2016 LACUNY Institute begins, where it seeks to join the national conversation on race.
In addressing this theme, we are interested in amplifying and extending recent important conversations and scholarship in the library profession which have interrogated the role of libraries in systemic racism, the collusion of library neutrality in oppression, and white privilege and fragility in the profession, among other issues. Libraries attract professionals with “good” and “noble” intentions, but as Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in Between the World and Me, “‘Good intention’ is a hall pass through history.”
How can we move the dialogue beyond good intention, where it has been mired in well-meaning diversity and multiculturalism initiatives? How do we move the profession from racial liberalism, as articulated by Lani Guinier, to racial literacy, which “requires us to rethink race as an instrument of social, geographic, and economic control of both whites and blacks”? How can and do libraries contribute to the national conversation on race, racism, and anti-racism? What are the foundations that librarianship can use to address racism both within the profession and society at large?
The LACUNY Institute Committee seeks proposals that address race in libraries, archives, and the information studies, across myriad roles (staff, faculty, students, patrons, etc.) and functions (technical services, public services, instruction, etc.).
Example topics include but are not limited to:
– Race and critical information literacy and pedagogy
– Race and racism in information organization
– Libraries, race, and access
– What is and is not collected
The Institute will have three tracks: panel presentations, facilitated dialogues, and alt-sessions.
– Panel papers (15 minutes/presenter): Moderated panel presentations with time for questions and discussion.
– Facilitated dialogues (45 minutes): Teams of two lead a discussion on topic of their choice related to the theme, with one person presenting context and the other facilitating conversation.
– Alt-sessions (15-30 minutes): An opportunity for exploring topics through multiple ways of knowing (e.g., short documentary, spoken word, performance art).
Please submit proposals, including a 300-500 word abstract by January 25, 2016.
The goal of this event is to create a space for respectful dialogue and debate about these critical issues. We will be publishing a formal code of conduct, but the event organizers will actively strive to create a public space in which multiple perspectives can be heard and no one voice dominates.
Questions may be directed to Jean Amaral, email@example.com.
December 5, 2015
Catch us at table number 2225 in the exhibits hall at ALA in Boston, January 8th through the 11th. We will have books published by Library Juice Press, as well as brochures and other goodies to give away. It is a good opportunity to ask us any questions about our books or our classes. Hope to see you!
December 4, 2015
Most of the classes listed below are four weeks in length, with a price of $175. We accept registrations through the first week of class. Classes are taught asynchronously, so participants can do the work as their schedules allow. Details on these courses are at http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/courses.php
Introduction to RDA
Everything to Hide: A Toolkit for Protecting Patrons’ Digital Privacy
Developing a Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Course
Informal Learning in the Academic Library
Lauren Hays and Teresa Slobuski
The Sustainability Movement on Campus: Forming a Library Action Plan for Engagement
Madeleine Charney and Jamie Conklin
Introduction to Book Indexing
Easy Patron Surveys
Assessing and Improving Your Library’s Social Media Presence
Introduction to Drupal for Libraries
Creating Online Exhibits with Omeka
The SPARQL semantic query language and protocol – the Semantic Web in action
Threshold Concepts in the Information Literacy Classroom: Translating the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy into Our Teaching Practices
Introduction to Project Management
Crash Course in Library Management
Getting to Know Your Users through Interviews and Focus Groups
Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca
Concepts of User-Centered Design
Assessment Techniques for the One-Shot Instruction Session
Candice Benjes-Small and Eric Ackermann
Changing Lives, Changing the World: Information Literacy and Critical Pedagogy
Maria T. Accardi
Introduction to XML
SPARQL, Part 2: writing effective SPARQL queries and building a Linked Data data store
New Directions in Information Literacy: Growing Our Teaching Practices
Introduction to Archives Administration and Management
Effective Communication Strategies
Everyday Statistics for Librarians
Comics, Literacy, and Standards
Introduction to GIS and GeoWeb Technologies
Introduction to Genealogical Librarianship
Sarah A.V. Kirby
Information Architecture: Designing Navigation for Library Websites
Building Relationships, Building Bridges: Library Outreach and Marketing to Latino and Spanish-Speaking Families
Transforming Your Teaching Toolkit
Maria T. Accardi
Transforming and Querying XML with XSLT and XQuery
Introduction to Library Classification in Dewey and LC
Online Instructional Design and Delivery
Backward Design for Information Literacy Instruction: Fostering Critical Habits of Mind through Learning Outcomes, Assessment, and Sequencing
While academic programs focus on conceptual understanding of foundations, we focus on the kinds of skills that library schools generally expect librarians to learn on-the-job, but which usually turn out to require additional study. These workshops earn Continuing Education Units, and are intended as professional development activities. Workshops are taught asynchronously, so you can participate as your own schedule allows.
Library Juice Academy
P.O. Box 188784
Sacramento, CA 95818
Check out our jingle:
November 26, 2015
Invitation to submit to the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) conference, Congress, Calgary Alberta May 28 – May 31, 2016:
Call for Proposals
CAPAL16: BEYOND THE LIBRARY: AGENCY, PRACTICE, AND SOCIETY
CAPAL/ACBAP Annual Conference – May 28–June 3, 2016
Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2016
University of Calgary
The Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) invites participation in its annual conference, to be held as part of Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2016 at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (http://congress2016.ca/). The conference offers opportunity to share critical research and scholarship, challenge current thinking, and forge new relationships across all disciplines.
In keeping with the Congress 2016 theme, Energizing Communities, CAPAL16 seeks to look “Beyond the Library” to rethink how academic librarians engage with their communities within which our institutions are situated or those with whom we share disciplinary concerns or approaches. Such communities may be physical, epistemic, academic, or imagined communities, communities of identity, or those communities around us and to which we contribute.
What can the discipline of library and information studies (LIS) learn from other disciplines? What might LIS as an interdisciplinary field look like? Where and how should academic librarianship be situated within and in relation to other communities?
Like any institution, academic libraries both reflect and help shape the societies of which they are part. It is therefore critical for academic librarians to consider how they and their work are situated – professionally, ontologically, ethically, epistemologically, and physically. As social agents, we share and occupy socio-economic, political, and technological spaces in our efforts to provide diverse, high quality, informational resources and critical education within a contemporary (i.e., neoliberal) legal and economic framework.
In such an environment, effecting change requires seeking out, examining, and engaging with new ideas, approaches, theories, communities, understandings, and ways of knowing, which, themselves, may fall outside the traditional boundaries of the discipline of library and information studies. We need to move our lines of inquiry “beyond the library”–physically and intellectually–into new arenas and new communities. This conference is an invitation to academic librarians and scholars who study libraries and information to discuss how we can reframe academic librarianship: in practice, in policy, in theory, and in society.
Potential topic areas include but are not limited to:
· Academic librarianship in the context of urgent socio-political priorities, such as climate change, environmental sustainability, and social equity;
· The relationship between academic librarianship and democracy;
· Academic librarianship and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples;
· Indigenizing, decolonizing, diversity, and inclusion in academic librarianship;
· The philosophical bases of academic librarianship in social theory;
· The history of academic librarianship and the role of academic librarians in the academy;
· The potentially biased treatment of controversial issues and scholarly debates in knowledge organization and information retrieval systems;
· The sociology of knowledge mobilization;
· Academic librarianship and its relationship to the design of user spaces;
· Academic librarianship’s response to privacy and security in the “post-Snowden” era;
· Community development, “town-gown” relationships, and academic librarianship;
· Core values of academic librarianship in mediated spaces;
· Critical theory, interdisciplinary approaches and subject expertise in LIS education for academic librarians.
The Program Committee invites proposals for individual papers as well as proposals for panel submissions of three papers. Individual papers are typically 20 minutes in length. For individual papers, please submit an abstract of 300 words and a presentation title, with brief biographical statement and your contact information. For complete panels, please submit a panel abstract of 300 words as well as a list of all participants and brief biographical statements, and a separate abstract of 300 words for each presenter. Please identify and provide participants’ contact information for the panel organizer. International proposals and proposals from non-members and students are welcome.
Please feel free to contact the Program Committee to discuss a topic for a paper, panel, or other session format. Proposals should be emailed as an attachment as a doc. or docx. file, using the following filename format:
Proposals and questions should be directed to the Program Chairs:
Michael Dudley: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Wright: email@example.com
Deadline for proposals: Extended to January 15th, 2016.
November 20, 2015
Library Juice Academy/Library Juice Press is seeking one or more assistants to help us with our presence with our exhibit at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, January 8th through 12th, 2016. This will involve helping us set up and break down the booth and assisting us in staffing it. Compensation will be free admission to the exhibits hall, plus payment of $20 per hour, with the number of hours negotiable and based on how many helpers we enlist and what else you want to do during the conference.
The ideal person will have prior familiarity with our publications, so that we can feel confident in your ability to represent them well at the booth and show enthusiasm. We will have all of our books on display, and will also be promoting our online professional development courses.
If this opportunity interests you, please contact Rory Litwin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.