January 27, 2017
Call for Essays
Working Title: We Can Do I.T. : Women in Library Information Technology
Editors: Jenny Brandon, Sharon Ladenson, Kelly Sattler
Submission Deadline: March 27, 2017 (extended)
Publisher: Library Juice Press
Description of book:
What roles are women playing in information technology (I.T.) in libraries? What are rewards that women experience, as well as challenges they face in library I.T.? What are future visions for women in library I.T.?
This edited collection will provide a voice for people to share insights into the culture, challenges, and rewards of being a woman working in library I.T. We are soliciting personal narratives from anyone who works in a library about what it is like to be a woman, or working with women, in library I.T. We also seek essays on visions for the future of women within library I.T. and how such visions could be achieved. This collection should be useful not only for those pursuing a career in library I.T., but also for library managers seeking to facilitate a more inclusive environment for the future. Through publishing a collection of personal narratives, we also seek to bring experiences of women in library I.T. from the margins to the center.
For the purposes of this collection, we consider library I.T. to include responsibilities in computer networks, hardware, and software support; computer programming (e.g. coding in python, php, java…); web development (e.g. admins, coders, front/back end developers,…); and/or the management of such areas.
Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:
– How you started in library I.T.
– Stories related to being a woman in library I.T.
– Experiences of acceptance or resistance within the library I.T. community
– Tips and advice for other women seeking a career in library I.T.
– Changes in your career path because of entering library I.T.
– Changes you’d like to see happen within the library I.T. culture
– Advice for library management on how to improve library I.T. culture
– A vision for the future about/for women in library I.T.
Submission deadline: March 13, 2017
Notification/Feedback regarding submission: May 12, 2017
Editing and revision: June – July 2017
Final manuscript due to publisher: September 2017
This volume will contain commentary, stories, and essays (from 140 characters to 1,500 words).
If your submission is tentatively accepted, we may request modifications.
Material cannot be previously published.
To submit your essay, please fill out this Google form: https://goo.gl/forms/6oE82aFe7atFlP6j1
For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Editors:
Kelly Sattler has a degree in computer engineering and spent 12 years in corporate I.T. before earning her MLIS degree from University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. Currently, she is the Head of Web Services at Michigan State University Libraries.
Jenny Brandon earned a BA in interdisciplinary humanities at Michigan State University, and an MLIS from Wayne State University. She is a self-taught web designer/front end developer, and is currently employed in Web Services at Michigan State University. She is also a reference librarian.
Sharon Ladenson is Gender and Communication Studies Librarian at Michigan State University. Her writing on feminist pedagogy and critical information literacy is included in works such as Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods (from Library Juice Press) and the Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook (from the Association of College and Research Libraries). She is an active member of the Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries, and has presented with WGSS colleagues at the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference.
June 29, 2016
About the book
Human Operators: A Critical Oral History of Technology in Libraries will be a collective oral history covering many of the issues in technology in librarianship in the early 21st century. Via edited and compiled interview transcripts, readers will get to “hear” the voices of librarians and archivists discussing tech topics from perspectives that are critical, social justice-oriented, feminist, anti-racist, and ecologically-minded.
This readable, conversational book will bring out specific critiques of technology as well as more inspiring aspects of what’s going on in the instructional, open source, free culture, and maker worlds in the field. The book will be less about the technology per se and more about critical thinking around technology and how it actually works in people’s lives.
The stories that this book intends to capture may have been documented in blog posts, Twitter conversations, and academic articles, but this “oral history” will be an opportunity for them to live on in printed book form.
– Librarians and archivists who want to hear about use cases, organizational impacts, and generally how people (staff and library users alike) are affected by technology in libraries.
– Technologists who want to better understand how ideas are sparked, decisions are made, and hardware and software are deployed in libraries.
– Other readers who think about technology and society.
About the editor
Melissa Morrone is a librarian at Brooklyn Public Library and manages the Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons there. She is a non-technologist who has long been involved in technology (writing CMS documentation; developing and conducting training on her organization’s ILS, Internet filters, and digital privacy; giving online research workshops for activists; doing everyday public library reference and computer support) at work and elsewhere.
How to participate
Email email@example.com by July 31, 2016, if you’re interested in setting up an online interview to discuss your work around one or more of the following topics:
– open source ILSs and other FOSS software
– library cataloging and automation
– ebooks, DRM, and related issues
– makerspaces and digital media labs
– privacy, security, and surveillance
– technology instruction and digital literacy
– digital humanities
– digital archives
– digital reader’s advisory
– continuing education, conference codes of conduct, and other professional activities
Bring your stories, your critical librarianship, and your sociopolitical analysis to technology in libraries, and let’s talk.
November 4, 2015
IEEE Potentials is seeking contributions to a special issue guest edited by Ramona Pringle, Katina Michael and MG Michael. The theme of the issue is: “Unintended Consequences: the Paradox of Technological Potential”.
We are looking for critical reviews and analyses, case examples, commentaries, interviews, opinion pieces, stories, projections and science fiction narratives from researchers, futurists, practitioners and storytellers, examining the hidden implications of our ever-digital lives.
While we are open to predictive scenarios of what the near future will bring, we are also looking for contemporary analysis as well. After all, we are living at a time where the line between science fiction and reality is blurring: our relationships are mediated, our memories are archived, and our identities are public documents. What are the implications of rapidly advancing technology on government (e.g. military drones), organizations (e.g. data analytics), and our personal lives (e.g. wearables)?
With all great innovation comes responsibility; an inevitable dark side, and with the exponential growth of technology, the window within which we can examine the ethics and consequences of our adoption of new technologies becomes increasingly narrow. Instead of fear mongering, how do we adjust our course, as a society, before it is too late? We are looking for disruptive perspectives, and articles that present solutions and blueprints, while questioning the status quo. These may take the form of precautionary tales, scenario-based planning and action, assessment impacts and response, design principles, standards, regulations, and laws, organisational policies and approaches to corporate social responsibility, externality fines and penalties for breaches, advocacy, and the formation of specialised global NGOs.
IEEE Potentials is interested in manuscripts that deal with theory, practical applications, or new research. They can be tutorial in nature.
Submissions may consist of either full articles or shorter, opinion-oriented essays. When submitting an article, please remember:
? All manuscripts should be written at the level of the student audience.
? Articles without equations are preferred; however, a minimum of equations is acceptable.
? List no more than 12 references at the end of your manuscript. No embedded reference numbers should be included in the text. If you need to attribute the source of key points or quotes, state names in the text and give the full reference at the end.
? Limit figures to ten or fewer, and include captions for each.
? Articles should be approximately 1,500–4,000 words in length; essays should be 900–1,000 words.
? Include an individual e-mail address and a brief biography of four to six lines for each author.
All submitted manuscripts are evaluated by the IEEE Potentials reviewer team and graded in accordance with the above guidelines. Articles may be required to go through multiple revisions depending on reviewers’ grades and comments.
CFP distribution: 30 November 2015
Expression of interest (abstract submission): 8 January 2016
Feedback to authors: 15 January 2016
Final paper submission: 15 March 2016
Proof back to authors: 15 April 2016
Publication Date: July/August 2016 (vol. 35, no. 4)
+Ramona Pringle is an Assistant Professor at the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University.
*Katina Michael is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at the University of Wollongong.
*MG Michael is an honorary Associate Professor in the School of Computing and Information Sciences at the University of Wollongong.
October 21, 2015
Islands in the Cyberstream
Seeking Havens of Reason in a Programmed Society
Author: Joseph Weizenbaum with Gunna Wendt
Translator: Benjamin Fasching-Gray
Published: October 2015
Printed on acid-free paper.
Joseph Weizenbaum is best known in the English-speaking world for his 1976 popular critique of artificial intelligence, Computer Power and Human Reason. His reputation in Europe continued to flourish, however, as he wrote and spoke for German-speaking audiences until his death in 2008. Islands in the Cyberstream: Seeking Havens of Reason in a Programmed Society is an extended interview with Weizenbaum, originally published in German in 2006. Imaginitive, iconoclastic, and always insightful about the role of computing in society, this book is a great introduction to the thought of Joseph Weizenbaum as it has evolved over the decades.
Available now on Amazon…
August 12, 2015
John Russell is Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of Oregon Libraries, which involves open access advocacy and scholarly publishing as well as digital scholarship services. He has been actively involved in digital humanities projects, primarily related to text encoding, and teaches a digital scholarship methods course as part of UO’s New Media and Culture graduate certificate program. John is teaching a course for us next month called Introduction to Digital Humanities for Librarians, and he agreed to do an interview for the LJA blog to give people a better sense of what DH is in a library context, and what they can learn from his course.
May 24, 2015
International Review of Information Ethics (IRIE)
Issue 022, Volume 22, December 2014
Ethics for the Internet of Things
edited by Hektor Haarkötter, Felix Weil
[ Current issue ]
Many science fiction phantasies already claimed that one day machines will be superior to human beings and computers will finally take over. But unlike in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001’ or Asimow’s ‘I, Robot’ the latest developments in the Internet of Things (IoT) give reason to suggest that if this will happen it won’t be necessarily machines that physically resemble human beings with legs, bodies, voices etc. that will do the job (robots in the classical sense). If, then it will be more like in Matrix – the physicality of the necessary intelligence (i.e. computing power) will vanish as it will be incorporated into the physical world of our daily life itself. It won’t be separate machine entities that will dominate the human kind but it will be by the embedding of computing power into the ordinary things of our daily life and their being connected with each other to form a virtual pervaded living space. A living space that then could not only be paradise (optimized by the computing power embedded to the best for mankind) or hell (used to encage and enslave its inhabitants) but even more also a pure illusion (encaged and enslaved inhabitants that are made believe and even sense realistically that they are in paradise).
This is what philosophically the Internet of Things is all about: Things won’t be physical things anymore that are independent objects for the examination, exploration and manipulation of an equally independent subject. Things will be what is presented to the subject and the subject is what the computed presentation presupposes ‘on the other side’: a user, a monitored, a … . Thus, if the things change in the IoT we will change. And thus, the underlying philosophical subject-object paradigm has to change as well taking this interplay into account. Again, not only theoretically (as depicted in science fiction far from any possible reality) but very practically regarding our daily life: how we automate our homes, how we care for elder people, the way we monitor our children, the concepts we use to organize life in (smart) cities etc. For the good (of who), for the bad (according to what norm)? This is the ethical challenge raised by the IoT and this issue presents some very interesting answers to it and where not complete answers yet very helpful outlines for possible answers an ‘Ethics for the IoT’ can give and must give (rather sooner than later).
[ Current issue ]
April 6, 2015
Vincent Mosco, author of To the Cloud: Big Data in a Turbulent World, talked by remote video from Boston about the history of the development of the “cloud” and “big data,” and the economic, social, and cultural implications of massive data collection.
January 12, 2015
Nicolas Beudon reports that last night there were cyberattacks against numerous French library websites, evidently by Islamist groups. They hacked into these sites using vulnerabilities in Drupal, WordPress, and ISS, as well as by cracking simple passwords. The messages they left on homepages objected to the identification of Islam with the terrorists, referring to it as brainwashing. Beudon refers to a more general article by Damien Bancal, on his site Zataz, which reports on attacks to a broad range of French government institutions’ websites. He writes, “Despite the hashtag #Contre_Charlie, the hackers are not supportive of the attacks that took place in Paris. However, their cyber warfare operation is in competition with Anonymous, who posted their intention to tackle the jihadists on the internet.”
January 8, 2015
Among the Disrupted
By Leon Wieseltier
JAN. 7, 2015
New York Times Book Review
Amid the bacchanal of disruption, let us pause to honor the disrupted. The streets of American cities are haunted by the ghosts of bookstores and record stores, which have been destroyed by the greatest thugs in the history of the culture industry. Writers hover between a decent poverty and an indecent one; they are expected to render the fruits of their labors for little and even for nothing, and all the miracles of electronic dissemination somehow do not suffice for compensation, either of the fiscal or the spiritual kind. Everybody talks frantically about media, a second-order subject if ever there was one, as content disappears into “content.” What does the understanding of media contribute to the understanding of life? Journalistic institutions slowly transform themselves into silent sweatshops in which words cannot wait for thoughts, and first responses are promoted into best responses, and patience is a professional liability. As the frequency of expression grows, the force of expression diminishes: Digital expectations of alacrity and terseness confer the highest prestige upon the twittering cacophony of one-liners and promotional announcements. It was always the case that all things must pass, but this is ridiculous…
November 25, 2014
IFLA approved its first Internet Manifesto in 2002. This provided an early recognition of the vital role that the Internet plays in the work of library and information services, and ensuring that individuals and groups have free access to information and can freely express themselves.
The world has changed significantly since 2002 both physically and digitally, and we now have a greater experience and understanding of the role of the Internet and digital resources in our services, and in developing connected societies where individuals have the skills that they need to exploit the opportunities that technologies can bring. We also have a greater understanding of the threats that can be posed through the Internet including the impact on human rights of inappropriate monitoring and surveillance, and from criminal activity.
See: Internet Manifesto 2014
This update to the Internet Manifesto reflects this experience and reinforces the vital role of library and information services in ensuring equitable access to the Internet and its services in support of freedom of access to information and freedom of expression.
The Internet Manifesto 2014 was endorsed by the IFLA Governing Board in August 2014.
The FAIFE Committee will review the IFLA/UNESCO Internet Manifesto Guidelines in the coming months, in light of the Internet Manifesto 2014.
November 3, 2014
Back in May 2014, I interviewed the multitalented New York-based activist, performer, and technologist Hadassah Damien, whom I had originally met in January during a librarian-techie trip to Haiti. We spoke about technology, education, and related topics.
MM: How would you describe yourself and your work?
HD: I would describe the work that I do as cultural work and as a technologist, so I’d say I’m a cultural worker and a technologist and that those worlds cross over sometimes, and sometimes don’t. The cultural work is a lot of community arts work, and political art, public performance-type work that has a real art-ivist, activist dimension, and a lot of work that’s trying to promote social change through promoting ideas of liberation and moving those into using cultural forms to change hearts and minds. And also, a lot of the work that I do is about making spaces for more people’s voices to have a platform. And that mindset completely informs the way I think about technology. I’m a self-taught technologist, so I didn’t go to school for computer science, I didn’t go to school for really anything technology-related. Although I did do a graduate program at the CUNY Grad Center from 2011 through 2013, and in that I did a certificate program track that was called Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, the ITP program. But for the ten years or so before I took that program, I had always been sort of autodidactic around technology. Like, as soon as I got a computer, I started realizing I could record things on it, and make things on it. And I started using computers because I wanted to make digital art, record the work that I was doing, record poems that I was writing…
MM: So it kind of pushed you into learning how to do that stuff.
HD: Totally. And that was, like, 2001. I was recording on whatever free automatic program came on a Windows PC. And then I started learning how to make websites because I was doing cultural work, and I wanted to promote that work, and also I was often doing a lot of work with groups. So I was like, oh, there’s all these people, we have all this art we’re making, let’s go on tour, let’s tell people about our tour, let’s tell people about our shows—and so I wanted to use the web as a platform to sort of create some cultural history and cultural narratives and event advertising, all of that together. In 2003 or ‘4, I started to teach myself HTML. And I think I basically started realizing that it was relatively easy to learn this stuff. It wasn’t hard, it was just kind of many steps and complicated. But not difficult.
MM: One of my ballet teachers will sometimes say about a movement, “It’s not hard, it’s tricky.”
HD: Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s great framing. To me, when I’m trying to teach people technology or talk about a technical process, it’s the way I like to frame it: “You can totally do this, it’s just—you have to follow all the right steps in the right order. Do that, you’re fine. Don’t do that…We all know what happens, things break.” [laughs] I think my teaching is so totally informed by my personal process to figure out interfacing and using technology, which was just sort of like, “Try it! Look at what people have built!”
MM: I wrote down a line from one of your posts: “Part of my mandate is to empower people to control their own media and means of production rather than take over and leave folks confused.” So can you talk more about that in your approach towards technology and intimidation?
HD: That’s actually a really good question. To me, this also sort of plays into both a feminist and a liberationist approach to the world in general, where I find technology to have this masculinist, over-logical, kind of ableist edge where it’s like, “You can build anything! You have to build it like this!” And then there’s this aggro sort of builder culture in technology that I think a lot of people find intimidating, and I found intimidating at times. I really want to not tell people that they can’t do the work of the thing they want to build, but to actually be as thoughtful and inclusive about the way in which I’m walking with people as they learn. And I think that also is informed by the pedagogy certificate program that I went through, because there was a lot of thinking about teachers as collaborators and about teaching as a more horizontal process, as opposed to a top-down distribution of information. Just in terms of how people retain information, and what does it mean for someone to actually feel like they’re truly engaged and truly empowered and truly part of a building process of anything, right? And this goes whether it is a performance piece, whether it’s a meeting, or a facilitated conversation, or a class, or a group project that requires technology. There are ways to actually help people feel like their contributions are important no matter what they are, and that they can up their skill level and learn new things, without being like, “You’re a fuck-up! You didn’t close that tag!” Or, “You don’t write in C++ and Java and whatever! You don’t know anything!” Like—god, why? There’s actually no need to be like that. It’s competition, a domination culture mindset. It’s not really helpful. So, yeah, if I’m thinking about wanting to share information, I’m often thinking—even if I’m working in technology—like an activist. Or like a community organizer. How do you move a group of people into an extra skill set, into comprehending more skills, without making somebody feel stupid, or without holding up sort of weird masculinist principles of, “You have to do it right the first time!” It’s not the army, it’s not boot camp, it’s learning. It should be exciting and interesting.
MM: So, following that, does it ever come up that communities you’re working with want to use all the proprietary stuff that everybody’s heard of, and do you ever kind of step in and push them towards open tools that may be less commonly used or more difficult to use, or have more of a learning curve?
HD: That’s also a good question. I remember, for the last couple cycles I’ve worked with this big volunteer-run community event called the Femme Conference that happens every two years. A big part of my task was to sort of make all the technology for everyone to use. And I remember very clearly having a friendly debate with folks about what platform we wanted. Like, do we need a BaseCamp? Do we want Google Docs? Do we want to look at Crabgrass? What are people going to use? We had a pretty fleshed-out debate about it. And we ended up going with Google Docs, which as an information activist, worries me, because I know when people put information into Google Docs, then Google can mine the words and—we don’t know what Google’s doing with our information. But we know they’re doing something. It’s going on their servers, something’s happening with it, that feels creepy. Also there’s privacy issues. But what I thought was actually more important was that people agreed on a tool they felt comfortable using so that they could get their work done. And people were willing to stretch within that tool. This small step was itself revolutionary, in that getting some folks to move to a place where they were using Google Forms was big for them. So rather than being some sort of anarchist purist about, “Well, even though you stretched to learn Google Forms, it’s still not good enough, because we’re not using an open source tool for the revolution!”—that would be a shitty way to move somebody through using technology, right? So my attitude was like, hey, here’s problems with Google, but you actually need to get work done.
And I think that is to me an activist struggle—how do we do things with our principles and also get our tasks done when there’s always so much to do, more than any of us as humans can get done? If there were a smaller group, or a group that could all be in the same place, or a group that had a longer lead time, I think I might have pushed more for other technology platforms. Because I do think that there is something prefigurative about using technology that has a similar political vision of the world as the work that’s being done. And I think that holding those two things together can make doing the work something that has fewer qualifications to it. For myself as an activist in some groups I run with, people are like, “Well, we want the revolution,” and everyone has their own idea of what that’s going to be. [laughter] But in the meantime, I still have to go to my job, because I work in capitalism. You’re like, “Well, I still have to go to work, so…” And that is true. So, for myself, I work with a good worker-owned coop. I sort of try to figure out working within capitalism to the best of my ability.
MM: And that’s Openflows.
HD: And that’s Openflows, yeah. But still, we are all working in capitalism. That’s fine. So, to parallel, it’s like, “Well, okay, I went into this project, I have to use some kind of tool.” Knowing that that tool is going to be embedded in a bigger system of something that we’re working against, what tools are possible to pick that are still closer to the overall vision or urge behind the work? And that is, I think, why open source tools are actually much more interesting and worthwhile to use. Because they remind us that there’s no neutral interaction that we have with the things around us, including technology. (more…)
September 10, 2014
In her January piece on net neutrality in Wired Magazine that I have just now seen, former ALA President Barbara Stripling says, “…[W]ithout net neutrality, we are in danger of prioritizing Mickey Mouse and Jennifer Lawrence over William Shakespeare and Teddy Roosevelt. This may maximize profits for large content providers, but it minimizes education for all.” (I found this article linked from Margaret Heller’s informative discussion of net neutrality on the ACRL Tech Connect blog, but that is not what I want to focus on here.)
The comment I have to make about this quotation from Stripling is that it is ironic given the increased focus on popular media in public libraries since the early days of the “Give ’em what they want” philosophy of collection development, pioneered by Charlie Robinson and Jean-Barry Molz of Baltimore County Public Library in 1979. This marked the beginning of collection development guided primarily by circulation stats, and it had the effect over time of stripping collections of materials deemed elitist and of interest to a limited number of patrons. It had the effect, really, of prioritizing Mickey Mouse and Jennifer Lawrence over William Shakespeare and Teddy Roosevelt. This trend has been in place for a long time and public library collections have been reshaped by it. I have never liked this trend, because I believe in the educational function of public libraries, but in my experience most public librarians really do not, believing that our role is not so “top down.” So this particular objection to net neutrality (and there could be others) lacks authority coming from the leader of a social institution that made the same baleful turn decades ago. Stripling may believe in the educational role of libraries as I do (I don’t know), and she may share my disgust at the way public libraries have developed since Charlie Robinson had his major influence, but I have not heard her offer the same argument regarding prevailing collection development policies as she has about net neutrality.
I apologize if I am unfairly focusing on a statement made in passing, but I think it does reveal a certain hypocrisy among the library community at large if we are so concerned about net neutrality favoring the interests of popular consumerism over higher cultural values when we are unconcerned about the same problem in our libraries.
July 8, 2014
Tony Castelletto has been programming computers on one platform or another since the late 1980s, and received his MLIS in 2008 from Drexel. He has worked on unusual information projects throughout his career, starting as a technician on small NASA missions, managing the information pipelines that carried data from satellite to ground. Tony received his introduction to Library Science working as a programmer on Digital Library projects for the University of Michigan’s Digital Library Initiative. Following his library science education, Tony curated data collections for the Linguistic Data Consortium where he also helped produced electronic dictionaries in Yoruba, Mawukakan, and Tamil. Now he is scheduled to teach a series of classes for Library Juice Academy on computer programming, using Python. Tony agreed to be interviewed for the Library Juice Academy blog, so people can learn a bit about his classes and find out if they would be right for them.
June 18, 2014
News from the Sign Project, This-Sign.net. (This-Sign.net is a digital sign in a public space that is connected to the internet, so that people can put their messages on the sign.)
We have enjoyed having this sign up and running at the Doughbot donut shop on 10th Street for the past half year or so, and have especially enjoyed working with Bryan and his wife in maintaining it. They have been super generous and accommodating as we got our project up and running and dealt with the occasional downtime issues. That is one of two reasons that we are sad about their recent decision to close up shop in August (the other reason of course being: no more donuts).
This is going to mean that our gizmo will be without a home soon, so, we are looking for potential new hosts. Someone in Sacramento or Marin County with some kind of a shop – bar, cafe, bookstore, etc. – could benefit from having our sign up on their wall, because it is a way for their customers to interact with each other and with the store, and a way for the store to put up rotating messages for them. It works pretty well.
The sign currently works very simply. There is a website that people can go to on their smartphones where they can simply enter text, and the text shows up on the sign in about ten seconds and sits there for a little while. We are working on getting it connected to Twitter and toying with some other ideas as well, but for now, that is what it does.
Want to have our sign in your store? Drop us a line….