Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#NDPthree : Opening Scholarly Communications

rough...will clean up later.



Ashley Sands, IMLS

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

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

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

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

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

Q&A:
Ashley -  What is the most pressing problem or concern?  Sayeed said that IMLS has a probing of view that no one else does. What is IMLS seeing?  Mark’s answer was trust.  Can IMLS help to steer the conversation in the academy, especially in terms of what publications are (format) and how they are rewarded? Ixchel wondered how we work collaboratively.  What changes are needed?  Merce said that IMLS needs to recognize the changing output of funding efforts.
Comment - In the arts - digital arts - some of these topics have already been discussed.  Can we learn from them? 
John - There are different ways of thinking about valuethys occurs much further upstream.  We cannot plan for the unanticipated, but we can facilitate it.
Emily - Have you had success in working outside th library environment?  What was needed? Mark - You need lots of time to build relationships and trust. You need to make a commitment.  Merce - Spoke about collaborating across cultures and borders.  Everyone needs to have some sense of ownership.

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


#NDPthree : Expanding Digital Cuttural Heritage Capacities

rough  notes...will clean up later.



Emily Reynolds, IMLS

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

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

Thomas Padilla, UNLV - His Project is trying to think through how to make collections computational amenable.  It is a broad area that could have far ranging impact.  Gaps - (1) Need programs to help existing professionals to build the knowledge and skills needed in this area. What can be done to encourage local organization success? (2) Need to encourage projects that are cross disciplinary and with different orientations?  How can we go for the difficult wins, not just the easy ones?  (3) More collaborative funding opportunities and opportunities that are international.  Can we have private-public sectors exchange of staff, so we can learn from other private sector colleagues (e.g., Twitter)?

Jefferson Bailey, Internet Archive - Noted the importance of systems interoperability and the need to have funding that seeks pieces that are able to work together.  We need glue rather than spokes.  The need to promote data exchange through APIs.  There are industry technologies that could be adopted for the needs of digital cultural heritage.  (2) There has been success in collection development and we need to continue to think locally, as well as collection building in new domains (e.g., Twitter) and fast moving events. Risks: (a) Grant funding around big projects with established institutions.  Funders need to take more risks with their funding.  (B)  Need to lower the barrier of entry.  (C) Shared infrastructure beyond the application layer, e.g, storage.  Could we have a non-profit Cloud?

Q&A:
Emily - Funding model.  Bergis said he has no specific solutions.  What if funding targeted specific opportunities, rather than a general call for applications?  What if funding was available to those who are non-profits? He mentioned a Native American boarding school with tremendous archives, which needs help in preserving their collections. Karen said that when you include smaller institutions in your grant, it takes time to manage the efforts of those smaller institutions.  
Comment - Comment about the trust factor needed.  Smaller institutions may not immediately trust.
Question - Large cultural institutions don’t always have the ability or motivation to step up.  Yes, larger institutions should help smaller ones, but they also need to help themselves.  Do they have enough institutional support?  Thomas said he doesn’t know what the solution is that provide larger institutional support.  Need to create and support new positions in emerging areas.  Karen said that they are an organization between a bigger one (Library of Congress) and smaller institutions.  How do larger institutions be more than users of the smaller institutional collections?  Jefferson - Can there be cost sharing?  Can larger institutions provide the capacity and smaller institutions provide the expertise?  Thomas -What does big and small mean?  Some smaller institutions have having an incredible impact.
Rhiannon Bettivia - Comment - Metadata and data model. There is a cost and need to structuring the data.  
Emily - The need to create our own Amazon web services for libraries.  
Bergis - Who legitimizes our history?  Who ensures that history is preserved?  We need to broaden who is part of the conversation and what is preserved.  We need to be radically inclusive.



#NDPthree : Building Equitable Digital Communities

These are rough notes.  I’ll neaten them up later.



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

Emily Reynolds, IMLS
The NDP represents the combination of software applications, social and technical integrations, and staff expertise that provide digital content, collections,and services to all library and archive users.
 
Approximate $11 millions in funding for each of the last three years.  However, over those years the number of grants has increased, meaning that the funding is being spread further.  Trends:
Building equitable communities
Expanding digital cultural heritage capacities
Opening scholarly communications 

She highlighted the following projects out of 111:
Design for Diversity, Northeastern University Librsries
ePADD Phase 2, Stanford University 
Creative Commons Certificate for Librarians, Creative Commons

Overarching questions:
Where have you seen the biggest return on investment in NFP funding in the past three years?
What do you see as the biggest gaps, needs, or challenges for advancing NDP over the next 3-5 years?

Panel 1 - building equitable digital communities 
James Neal, IMLS

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

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

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

Luke Swartout, NYPL - Talked about work to address the ebook market and making it better for patrons.  There is a user experience problem. For example, too many clicks to download a book.  Libraries as owners of the patron relationship.  Libraries do not currently decide on th patron’s relationship with ebooks.  Libraries need to own the infrastructure.  Referenced IMLS 2012 report on digital inclusion.  He noted that the report is his “favorite thing.”  If our work results that people can get to the Internet to view fake news and pop up ads, then our work is not done. So... the user experience needs to be better.  We need to build the tools to control how libraries interact With their patrons.  We need to get ebooks and digital content in more hands, not just for those who are well off.  

Kelvin Watson, Broward County Library - We need to focus on partners who can help create standards.  He noted a gift of tablets given after Hurricane Sandy, but that the gift came with no internet access.  They coupled those with the lending of WiFi hotspots and saw an increase in the number of loans.  He examples demonstrate his belief in collaboration. He talked about lending devices which have apps on them that help people interact with the library.  He noted the need for standards that transcend vendors.

Q&A
Jim Neal - Comment around economics and preservation.  Luke noted the need to talk with publishers about economics.  Also talked about the need to think more about preservation of digital books.
Question - Using the current state of Puerto Rico as an example, asked about WiFi and digital white space.  Don noted the need to design for portability and rapid redeployment.  In Sharon’s work, they were looking at hotspots that use cell service.  Don’s project is not using cell service, but radio frequency.
Question (from a tribal library in southwest New Mexico) - Not easy to get college textbooks in ebook format.    

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

Monday, October 16, 2017

Talk the Talk: Genericide

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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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

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

Monday, October 09, 2017

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

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

Monday, October 02, 2017

Fall 2017: Jill's Presentation and Travel Schedule

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

Saturday, September 30, 2017

You and the Internet of Things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imagine the habits that your sensors know about you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kim Rose - How hospitals are embracing IoT

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

The 1.5 Factor

FractionsWhen we place content online, either through digitization or the creation of new digital works, we have no idea how people will use it.  Yes, we know how we want them to use it, but we don't always know how people really use it. 

Do they consume the content in the order we expect?

Do they listen, watch or read the entire piece?

Do they follow the links or resources which we provide?

This summer, I recorded all of the video lectures which will be used in my class this fall.  After the lectures were created, I had to then watch them all in order to check their quality.  And I did what I frequently do when I listen to podcasts, I changed the speed to 1.5 or 2x normal.  Yes, even I am understandable if you listen to me at twice my normal speaking speed!

Everyone who creates content makes an assumption about its use.  While my assumption in recording the lectures was that students would watch them at their normal speed, I proved to myself that my assumption didn't need to be true. 

I actually don't like hour long podcasts, but what it I realized that I'm going to listen to it in half the time?  I have yet to ingrain my 1.5 reality into how I select what to listen to.  If I did, I'd recognize that those long podcasts really aren't that long and I would begin to consume a broader range of content.

What are your assumptions as you create digital content?  As a consumer of content, what are you doing which might alter your assumptions? Could altering your assumptions expand your horizons?

Monday, September 11, 2017

Article: The ‘time machine’ reconstructing ancient Venice’s social networks

Through this article in Nature, about an extensive program in Venice (Italy), we can see a wonderful use of digitization and machine learning.
[Frédéric Kaplan] has an ambition to capture well over 1,000 years of records in dynamic digital form, encompassing the glorious era of the Most Serene Republic of Venice. The project, which he calls the Venice Time Machine, will scan documents including maps, monographs, manuscripts and sheet music. It promises not only to open up reams of hidden history to scholars, but also to enable the researchers to search and cross-reference the information, thanks to advances in machine-learning technologies.
If you're not interested in reading the article, then watch this short video (2.5 minutes).


Thanks to both Chad Harper and David Vampola for sharing this article with me.  

Friday, September 01, 2017

Are you digtizing what is true?

1940 Census publicity photo
1940 Census publicity photo
We - the global we - are digitizing our history, including birth, death, marriage, census and other records for a vast number of people.  Ancestry.com looks at these records and uses OCR and algorithms to make sense of them.  However, there are problems.  Records from the late 1800s and early 1900s are handwritten, which can make them difficult to interpret.  Using the information about the age of the person at the census leads to a guess about the year that person was born, and the guess has a 50% chance of being correct.  Then there is the problem of names and if the name is correct. 100 years ago, people knew who each other were and didn't care if the name was misspelled, or if the name was just wrong.  However, now all of these potential errors are causing problems.

We cannot go through every line of data that is being digitized, compare it to other data, and then correct it.  While the data would be more accurate, the process would be too time-consuming and costly.  Ancestry.com (and I'm sure other sites) allow people to compile information and make corrections on their "copy."  This is a wonderful solution, if the person knows the data is wrong, but what if the person has no idea?

This topic came to mind because I'm researching my family tree and the data isn't always close to being accurate. Thankfully, I know enough about the family tree to be able to make intelligence decisions about the data I'm using (or so I hope).  But I cannot go in and correct what I know is blatantly wrong and that is frustrating.

If you are digitizing material today and making it available, or even archiving born digital materials:
  • How do you know that the information is accurate?  
  • What do you need to tell people about the data, which might help them understand its potential lack of accuracy?  
  • Can you build-in a feedback mechanism that would allow people to provide corrections?
Site of Steinway Hall, W. 57th (LOC)
Site of Steinway Hall, W. 57th
Yes, I know people are thinking about this.  I also know that people are creating systems that do allow for user-generated comments, descriptions, and tagging.  People are also doing this on the Internet in places like Flickr.  You see this, for example, with the historic photos that have been uploaded by the Library of Congress.  If you check the photo on the right, you'll see interesting and useful comments. Can we do more of this?



Thursday, August 24, 2017

Personal: "Long Days Held Close to the Heart" & What's next for Jill

Three MSLIS students and Jill Hurst-Wahl
After five years, I have stepped down from being director of the MSLIS program at Syracuse University.  If you work in academia, then you'll recognize this as being quite normal.  If you're not in academia, let me tell you this is quite normal!  No one stays the director of a program forever. At some point, that person returns to being "just faculty."  I am making that transition joyfully!  In celebration of the change, I wrote an article for the iSchool blog and print publication entitled "Long Days Held Close to the Heart."  If you want to know more about what I've been doing, that will give you a peek. You might also read this post, which I wrote after my first semester as director.

So what's next for me, besides fewer emails and fewer meetings? 
  • My teaching load is lighter this year, in order to give me time and space to dig into my areas of interest.  However, teaching-wise I've been developing a graduate class title "Collection Development and Access", which I will teach in October and then April.  (This class had been irregularly taught in the past and will now be taught twice per year online in 11-week quarters.)  I've developed this class from scratch and have put more work into it then you can imagine!  
  • I have scheduled webinars and workshops beginning in December on a variety of topics including copyright, advocacy, providing services outside of the physical library, and training failures.  I am especially looking forward to the events on copyright, because I'll be speaking to library staff, who really need that knowledge.
  • I'll spend time doing things in the community, which I've not been able to do.  Last week, it was working a Multicultural Fair for children. This Sunday, it will be working the NYS Library Booth at the New York State Fair.  After that, who knows!
If you have been wanting to talk with me about a project idea or a workshop idea, and haven't done it, now is the time! Visit my web site and use any of those methods to contact me.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Upping Your Library Intelligence: Vacuum and Use

Thinking statues
Thinking
In this final post in this series, I think it is important to talk about two things: vacuum and use.

This series has given you ways of increasing your library intelligence.  Wherever you are in the library and information science field, you need to continue to increase your knowledge of the field. You also need to increase your knowledge of what is happening in other areas.

If your library is expected to react to the world around it, then knowing what is happening around you is important.  You cannot live in a vacuum.  You cannot make the library your fortress against outside forces. You cannot ignore what is happening out in the community.  You must be aware of what is happening and take time to learn about non-LIS things.

Take time to understand what is happening in your larger community - whatever that community might be.  What are its issues, concerns, or joys?  What is changing or needs to be changed?  What's happening with the budget, land use, etc.?  What are people protesting and why?  Learn this so that when you need the information or a point of reference, you have it.  Learn this so if something occurs that requires the library to act, you can do so quickly.

You can learn what's happening outside of the library through interacting with your community and your larger organization. You should also be paying attention to the news sources, which are relevant for your community.  While you may be unable to read, listen, or watch everything that is relevant, you can read headlines and table of contents, and then read any articles that seems particularly useful.  You might want to attend relevant meetings or information sessions in your community, as a way of learning more about what your community is discussing.  Of course, don't forget that social media can help you stay on top of what your community is discussing. Just be sure that you're hearing from multiple sides on an issue.

As for use, this new knowledge which you have garnered is only effective if you utilize it.  Be willing to be part of library conversations, whether that is with LIS students, LIS professionals, or members of your larger community.  Share what you know about libraries but remember:
  • Do not use library jargon.  Please don't use library jargon with members of your larger community, because if you use words that they do not understand, they will just stop listening to you.  Limit your use of library jargon with other members of the LIS profession, because the breadth of the profession means that we all don't actually understand each other's jargon.
  • Listen.  The saying is that you have two ears and only one mouth, so you'll listen twice as long as you speak.  When you listen, you will actually have a better idea of what you should be talking about.  If you're unclear about what you should be saying, ask open ended questions.  By the way, some members of our community are rarely listened to.  Being willing to listen actively and openly is a wonderful gift.
  • Acknowledge that you don't know everything.  There will always be topics that you don't understand.  If it is a topic that you really do need to know more about, use your library skills to learn about it.
When I started this series, my main focus was on LIS students, but it quickly broadened to other members of the LIS profession.  In addition, the topics in this series grew more than I anticipated.  I'm sure there is more to say, but I will stop here.  If you have comments, questions, concerns, or ideas, I hope that you will post them as a comment.  If you have found this series useful, please comment and tell me why.  (I enjoy good news!)  And if you know someone who should read this series, please pass it along to them.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

KinderGuides, Georgia State e-Reserves, and Copyright

Copyright symbol
Andrew Albanese and Christopher Kenneally discussed two copyright cases in the August 4 installment of the Beyond the Book podcast.  The KinderGuides case has to do with the creation of plot summaries for young students of famous works.  Was this Fair Use?  The other is the continuing saga of the Georgia State e-reserves case.  The episode is 16 minutes in length.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Upping Your Library Intelligence: An Ongoing Need

Thinking statues
Thinking
This - I think - is the second to last post in this series.  In this post, it is time to confront a reality.  That reality is that some graduates of academic programs believe that they need to learn nothing more than what their degree program taught them, and then get frustrated when they learn that isn't true.  Many of us have heard a graduate lament that his/her academic program did not teach them everything.  That fact, though, should not be a surprise.  No industry - including the information industry - is stagnant. There is always something new to learn.

If you are currently in an academic program and looking forward to a professional position OR you are in your first professional position, there are two points to keep in mind:
  1. Many employers will immediate teach a new employee specific skills for that work environment.  Rather than being frustrated at this, recognize this as an opportunity to learn more.  If what you are being taught is different than what you learned in your academic program, judge neither as being wrong but rather as being options to carry with you into the future.
  2. Employers will want you to continue to learn, whether that employer is able to fund that activity for you or not.  You will need to identify - perhaps with input from your boss and your colleagues - what you need to learn and the best way to learn it.  It is then up to you to pursue that learning whether it is through reading, podcasts, webinars, seminars, workshops, conferences, or academic classes.
Yes, the need to increase your library intelligence will be continual, because libraries are constantly changing.  That means that your job will constantly change.  I encourage you to be proactive in your learning.  Don't wait until your boss must force you to learn something new.

In terms of professional development, I have written several blog posts on attending conferences.  Those tips can be applied to many different professional development situations. I also have a post on reading and listening recommendations for MSLIS students.

By the way, if you are still in school, your academic program should teach you - implicitly or explicitly - how to be a lifelong learner.  If it isn't obvious to you how your academic program is doing (or did do) that, ask.   

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Thursday, August 03, 2017

Upping Your Library Intelligence: Put in the Time

Thinking statues
Thinking
There is no shortcut to upping your library intelligence.  There are things you must do, and those things will take time.  Let me say that we all have the same amount of minutes is a day.  That means that we all have the same opportunities to increase our knowledge of libraries and the information field.  The question for you to consider is... How are you going to fit the necessary activities into your day?

People like Tim Ferriss, Malcolm Gladwell, David Allen, and others have thoughts on how to learn something new, how to fit learning into your day, or how to make time for the things you need to be focusing on.  It all, though, boils down to putting in the time.

We each have 1440 minutes in each day. Generally, we spend 480 minutes sleeping and 420 (or more) minutes working (that could be working a job or going to school).  That leaves 540 minutes for the other things we need to do, including meals, commuting, taking care of your family and home, etc.  In those 540 minutes, can you dedicate 20 minutes to increasing your library intelligence?

20 minutes a day may not seem like much, but if you spend 20 minutes per day on a learning activity, and do that five days per week, every week, that is 5200 minutes per year (86.66 hours). 

One key is dedicating time on your calendar.  Yes, put that 20 minute block of time on your calendar and keep that meeting with yourself!  This meeting with yourself could be done anywhere (home, car, work, parking lot, park).  Some days, you might use that time to actually meet with someone or to attend a training session.  This suggests, by the way, that the 20 minutes might not occur always at the same time each day and that is okay.  What is important is that you do it!  Will you do this for the a year or for the rest of your life? That is up to you and what your goals are.

I have had long periods in my life where I needed to dedicate a specific length of time each day in order to accomplish "X".  In one nine-month period it was indeed a learning activity and I did it every day, seven days a week.  Keeping that time was difficult when I was traveling (like at a conference), but I still tried my best to do it, because I of its importance.

If this idea resonates with you, go to your calendar and begin to schedule that time with yourself.  You might use the first few 20 minute periods to organize your learning and networking activities, then use future periods to do those activities.

Resources and Inspiration:
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Monday, July 31, 2017

Upping Your Library Intelligence: Get Digital

Thinking statues
Thinking
When I worked in my college library - eons ago - paper was the format that ruled.  Things have changed and obviously we live in a digital age.  Behind - or underneath - everything we do as librarians is something digital (e.g., a database).  Technology facilities everything.  Without it, most of our work would not get done.

Desktop computers entered the consumer world around the time I was heading to graduate school.  My first professional position wasn't in a library, but was as a corporate technology trainer.  Yes, my job was teaching others how to use this technology that was now on their desktops.  Back then, using technology meant learning a variety of different commands in whatever software was on the computer.  There was a sense of accomplishment in understand how to format a document in word processing software or programming a complex set of commands in the spreadsheet software.  All of those commands were worth knowing and using because you could see how the end result was better.

With that as a prologue, let me encourage you to learn the in's and out's of the technology that is at your fingertips.  Yes, you can open up your word processing software and just type, but there are a ton of commands in the menu - learn what they do! Ditto for the spreadsheet software you're using and any other software you are using on a regular basis.

If you are a student, I can tell you that getting to know the software you are using for your assignments will make those assignments look much better. Yes, better formatting (subheadings, margins, line spacing, pagination)!  You'll also find that there are menu options (e.g., thesaurus) that can help you create a better sounding assignment.  Then there is the magic of tables, merging, etc. that can streamline your work.

If you are an information professional, taking time to get a better handle on the software you're using can help you work smarter. We often don't have enough time in the day, so fighting with your software to get something done is not a good use of time.

By the way, often there is a more "command driven" way of using software.  Don't be afraid of that. Yes, that includes understanding those codes that are actually in the typed documents you're creating. Just trust me that a little knowledge of those commands will be helpful.

If you don't think you can learn these tools on your own, training is available.  Look for low-cost or free training options through your library, library consortium, Lynda.com, and other web-based training services.  You might find free tutorials on the Internet or YouTube. If there is someone in your midst, who is really good with technology, you might ask that person to give you a lesson.  No, you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on training! 

Besides the software on your computer, get to know the software you are using to search a library's databases or the Internet.  If you're working with special software to help you with digitization, metadata creation, or something else, learn the in's and out's of that software, too.  Consider how awesome it would be to know become more proficient at that software than the people around you! You would become one of the go-to people for help, and that would make you stand out in a positive way.

If you don't feel that you can learn this software on your own, check to see what training is available from your database providers and the other suppliers of the software in your library. It is likely that there is free training available.  You might also seek out someone who is more proficient and ask if that person can given you an one-on-one lesson in those commands the person finds most useful.

I haven't talked about your mobile device. Yes, those are indeed powerful devices and likely you don't know enough about them.  Take time to learn what they can really do.  Waiting for a meeting or standing at the bus stop?  Explore the apps that you have or search to find better apps for what you want to do.  (I always look for free apps and I can tell you that there are lots of awesome free apps available.)

Finally, I've made this post about you, but let me say that if you learn the technology that is around you, you'll be able to answer technology questions your community members have.  In addition, you'll be able to do one-on-one or group technology training, which many librarians do as part of their positions.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Upping Your Library Intelligence: Expanding and Tapping into the LIS Network

Thinking statues
Thinking
I written about why upping your library intelligence is important, the need to increase your vocabulary, and the content you might consume.  Now let me turn to the need of LIS students and new professionals need to quickly expand their professional networks.  Expanding your network doesn't mean collecting names; it means developing relationships.  Yes, one does lead to the other.

You might begin by identifying people with whom you want to interact.  These could be people from whom you want to learn or people whom you see as future employers.  At this stage, you are collecting names, but then you need to actually do something  more before you make the connection.  That something could include looking the person up on social media, finding the person's web site, reading what the person has written, or attend a presentation the person is giving.  This activity is means to ensure that this is a good connection for you, because you can see why the person would be good to have in your network.  (Yes, this does mean that you might decide not to connect to someone, because you now feel the person would not be a good connection.) This background information should also allow you to have a good conversation with the person either by email, phone, or face-to-face.  By the way, when you connect with the person - whether it is LinkedIn, email or face-to-face - tell the person why you want to connect.  That will help the person understand that you are purposefully connecting, rather engaging in a mindless activity of network-building.

Note that your network has several functions which may not be obvious.  One of those things is that it should help you understand the profession, no matter if that help is passive or active. For example, you might read what your network is reading as a way of gaining a different perspective on the profession. Paying attention to what is attracting your network's attention may also help you spot emerging trends.  Knowing what the trends are can help you stay relevant.

Once "settled" in the profession, a person's network continues to grow naturally through conferences, committee work, employer connections, etc.  In addition, a network may change because some connections are no longer relevant. Yes, it is okay to drop people from your network.  I've done this if a person:
  • Has not been an active participant in the information industry.
  • Has moved outside of the information industry into an unrelated field.
  • Has proven to be at odds with my values as an information professional.
  • Is someone whom I really did not know.
How big should your network be?  There is no magic number.  Yes, bigger can be better, but it is not helpful if you have built a network of people with whom you have nothing in common.  A network that is focused around your areas of interest would be much better. However, know that it is not your network alone that is useful to you, but also the networks of those with whom you're connected.  If you have 100 people in your network and they each have 100 people, etc., you have a much more powerful network than if you (and they) only have 5 connections each.  I do recommend to students that they strive for over 100 connections in LinkedIn and then continue to increase the number of people they are connected with.  I think the "100" mark gives students a do-able goal.

I've mentioned LinkedIn a couple of time and, yes, I think you should have a LinkedIn profile, even if you are not job hunting.  LinkedIn remains a place where people go to learn about others.  If you are unfamiliar with LinkedIn, there are many books available on it, including these books on Amazon.  And do remember to keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date.

I'd also like to make a plug for having good information about yourself in your other social media accounts. While you may not want to have all of your information in a place like Facebook, if someone finds you there, the person should be able to see some basic information (name, general location, industry).  Since most names are not unique, consider providing just enough so people know that they have found the correct person.


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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Podcast: Fighting the Information Famine

Beyond the Book logoChristopher Kenneally recently did an interview Brad Turner, the Benetech Vice President, who is overseeing the company’s Global Literacy Program.  Benetech's mission is to help people with print disabilities and other learning challenges have access to materials in an accessible format.  Turner notes that 3% and 5% of the general population need material in an accessible format, which translates into millions of people in the U.S. and worldwide.

I found this conversation to be quite interesting. First, it interested me because because I had not heard of Benetech before. Second, I know how important meeting the accessibility needs of our community is.  Acquiring material for your library does not automatically mean that everyone in your community can use it.  The person may not be able to use the material's native format.  Third, I know that this work has become easier because content can be placed in a digital format or is being created in a digital format.   In fact, Benetech was founded by someone interested in pattern recognition, which is the foundation of OCR.

If you're interested in accessibility or how a rocket scientist got involved in making print accessible, then I hope you will listen to or read the interview. This 15-minute interview is available as audio and text on the Beyond the Book website.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Upping Your Library Intelligence: Reading, Listening, and Watching

Thinking statues
Thinking
In the second post in this series, I noted that words matter in our profession and that you should expand your vocabulary.  A good way of doing that is by expanding what you are reading, listening to, and watching.

We are a profession of creators. We are constantly creating content by writing articles, books, and blog posts. We also record webinars and podcasts, as well as post our presentations online.  And because we adopt new publishing platforms quickly, you can also find our content on social media.  Yes, we tweet, snap, Facebook, and more. So there is an abundance of content to use for expanding your knowledge of the profession.

In May (2017), I blogged Summer Reading/Listening Recommendations.  Rather than creating another list, let me tell you what to look for, as you begin to expand what you're taking in, and allow you then hunt for what suits you.

First, look for content (audio, video, print, etc.) that has a following.  Yes, go for the popular content for starters, because we will assume that its popularity means that it carries some authority.  (Once you have an understanding of what topic area interests you, you can search for less popular authorative content.) You can often tell the number of people who are using/"reading"/linking to online content. With print content, you should be able to locate the number of subscribers for a journal or the number of libraries that carry a particular book. Yes, you are using numbers to figure out popularity and assuming that popularity means quality.  I know that is flawed logic, but you need to start somewhere as you build your knowledge.  As you build your knowledge, you will be able to better discern the quality of the content you are using.

You might think of this  as what you're consuming now, but not what you might consume long term.  In the near-term its role to help you know more, so you can then locate content that better meets your needs.

Second, look for content that is providing thoughtful analysis, rather than being opinionated (pro or con) without providing adequate reasons.  That analysis will help you learn how members of the profession view a particular topic.

Third, be willing to read/listen/watch dissenting points of view.  Not everyone will agree on a topic and it is important to hear from those that disagree.  Sometimes you learn more from those dissenting voices, because they get you to think about the topic differently.

Fourth, over time you will develop an idea of who the more knowledge voices are (or might be) on a topic which interests you.  Be willing to seek out more of what those people have produced.  Also look to understand who they are referring to or quoting, and seek out the works of those people. This is important, if you are interested in a specific area. You should know who the leading voices are, as well as what the hot issues are. 

In terms of reading, I want to recommend that you locate (perhaps even subscribe to) a print publication that is focused on libraries and read several issues of it.  (If you subscribe to it, then read it regularly.)  And by "read" I mean read it from cover to cover. Why?  First, you may be tempted to skim, but skimming isn't going to teach you the details or the language.  Second, when you read cover to cover, you will be seeing the advertisements. Those ads have been placed their by our vendors and you need to be aware of who they are and what they are selling.  Third, I'm recommending that you read a print version because I think we read differently - more deeply - on paper and it may be easy to ignore the ads (and other details) in a digital version.

I know...reading a publication cover to cover can be boring.  However, every article is informing you of something important.  You may need to read that article - and others on the topic - in order to develop a deeper understanding, so you then know the topic's importance.

I know...you don't want to look at ads. While there are other ways of developing an understanding of the LIS vendors and their services, advertisements are a quick and easy way of developing familiarity.  While you are unlikely to see ads for every library vendor that exists, you will see enough to build knowledge and vocabulary that will serve you well when you decide to dig deeper into a specific area.

When I was a corporate librarian, there were several publications that I did read cover to cover, including the SLA journal that existed then.  I found that reading these publications was especially important before I went to a conference, because I then had a better idea of what was currently happening in the field and that might influence what conference sessions I attended.  I found news items about our vendors to be important because I was the person making decisions about the services we used.

In more recent years, I consume more LIS content through social media, online news, and podcasts.  However, I know that those early years of reading professional journals gave me the grounding I needed so that what I am consuming today makes sense.

At the top of this post, I said that we are a profession of creators and that includes you.  If you your reading/watching/listening teaches you that your area of interest is not being talked about, you might create and publish content on the topic. You can do that by blogging, for example, or writing an article for one of our LIS trade journals.  You could also give a conference presentation or start a podcast (or be a guest on an existing podcast).  Not only would that be a great way of contributing to the profession, but you would also attract attention to yourself by doing it.


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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Upping Your Library Intelligence: Words Matter

Thinking statues
Thinking
In this first post of this series, I noted that expanding your library intelligence is important for MSLIS students.  I'll note now that it is also important for the rest of us, because we are in a changing field. Yes, it is changing, whether you recognize the changes or not.

Every field, industry or area of focus has its own vocabulary.  While some words are the same as in other fields, their meanings in the library context may be specific.  We don't, however, give new people to the profession a long list of vocabulary words for them to memorize. Yes, we may give them words related to a specific topic/class, and then hope that through reading and professional engagement that they will learn the rest. However, that combination may not teach a new person enough vocabulary.

I have been in situations where an emerging professional assumes the definition of words/phrases without ever looking them up or trying to discern their correct usage from how others are using the words.  Sadly, when someone talks about a topic and uses the wrong vocabulary, it can be a turn-off to those who are listening.  If that occurs in a classroom or on an assignment, there is an opportunity to make a correction. When that occurs on a job interview, it will likely lead to an unhappy ending (no job offer).  So for no other reason than employment, working to understand a field's vocabulary is important.  However, it is also important in the day-to-day work environment because it assures that we're communicating well.

The Internet has provided a way for all of us to discern the correct meanings of words through web sites, dictionaries, trade and peer reviewed articles, and eTextbooks.  For those resources to be helpful to us, we each need to take a few steps:
  • Keep track of those words you don't understand.  Write them somewhere, so you can look them up later.  I used to write words I didn't understand in the margin of my notes, so they were easy to find.
  • Look of those words you don't understand.  You can start with a dictionary, but you may want to check usage by seeing how the word/phrase has been used in an LIS journal.  By the way, your assumption will be that the way the word was used you heard/read it originally was correct; however, you might discovery that it had actually been used incorrectly!  (And, yes, faculty do sometimes use vocabulary incorrectly.)
  • Use the word - correctly - so you learn it.  That use might be in a conversation, a paper, or elsewhere.  As our K-12 teachers reminded us, when you use a word correctly, you are deepening your learning.  
Besides using words correctly, there are three other things to do:
  • Understand what the acronyms are in the profession.  While it is important to use them, it is also important to use their definitions.  For example, not all librarians work with youth and thus recognize the acronym "YA".  Show you library intelligence  to other LIS professionals by both using the phrase "young adult" and the acronym "YA", when you're talking about this group.  You are demonstrating your ability to talk without jargon and your ability to use jargon.By the way, remember to limit your jargon with your library community.  They should not have to understand our jargon in order to talk with us.
  • Spell library vendor names correctly, which includes capitalization and spacing.  For example, it is "LexisNexis," not "Lexis Nexis" or "Lexis-Nexis."
  • Recognize if specific words (jargon) are associated with a specific library vendor. For example, while some seem to use the word "libguide" generically, it actually refers to the SpringShare content management system.  If you're not using SpringShare, consider what word or phrase you might use instead.
If you are an MSLIS student, you might wonder how many new words you need to learn. The answer is "a lot."  The good news is that you do not need to learn them all at the same time. You will be adding new words each week as part of your classes.  If you also add words outside of class - and I'll be talking in the next post about how you're going to find them - then you should be in good shape.


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Monday, July 17, 2017

Upping Your Library Intelligence: An Area You Need To Focus On

Thinking statues
Thinking
Late in the spring, I had a short conversation with Rachel Clarke about MSLIS students and in which areas we thought they (the generic "they") needed to grow.  A number of people are attracted to M.S. in Library and Information Science programs who do not have deep library experience.  For them, their lack of library experience may inhibit these students from learning and applying new concepts quickly. Rachel and I realized that these students would be helped by engaging in activities that would allow them to increase ("up") their library intelligence. While we promised to continue the conversation later, I've decided to develop a series of blog posts as a way for me to explore the topic and - hopefully - create content which will help current and future MSLIS students, and LIS professionals.

Let me reiterate an important point.  A number of people come into the LIS profession because they realize that the work is calling them; however, they may have only seen what library staff do and not actually done that work themselves.  This is unlike some other professions, where students may be required to have experience before entering an academic program.  For example, in the past, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has required that applicants have some food service experience before starting at the CIA.  While that does create a hurdle, it assures that students have work experience to draw upon while in class.  Without experience to draw upon, LIS students need to work to gain the library intelligence they will need to be successful in their academic programs.  That means doing work outside of the classroom, so they have growing foundation for what is occurring in the classroom.

So this is the first in a series of blog posts on upping your library intelligence, recognizing that each of us need to do this.  I hope this series gives you ideas and if you know of someone else who could benefit from the series - like a current LIS student - please tell the person!


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