Monday, April 24, 2017

Music Memory Dump by Bruan Schuff

Bryan Schuff
Bryan Schuff, who will graduate with his MSLIS degree in a few weeks (May 2017) from Syracuse University, wrote this for one of the online class discussions in my copyright class.  I thought it was worth sharing and Bryan has given me permission to do so.  Thanks, Bryan, for giving me something on music copyright (which is not my forte).

Bryan has been working with "sound" for a over a decade and is an audiophile, so this post was clearly about something he cares about. 

Something we’ve touched on before is that there are copyrights in both the songs/music and in the sound recording. You may have noticed there are different copyright symbols to make this distinction on albums: © for the music and ℗ for the sound recordings (phonogram or phonorecord). This can lead to disputes between record labels and artists, especially when a band records an album and their label decides not to release it, or “shelve” it indefinitely. The artist rarely has much power in this situation when they're "held hostage," but some have found other ways to get their music out, usually by self-distributing the album for free (especially online now), by purchasing the master tapes, or by re-recording the material with a new label. I think the key in these examples is that the record label wasn’t making money off of the material, anyway, so if the artists released it for free, then no monetary harm was done. 

My favorite band, The Smashing Pumpkins, recorded enough material for two discs on their last (formative) album, MACHINA/the Machines of God, but because their previous album underperformed on the charts, their label Virgin Records rejected that idea and opted for a single-disc record. Band leader Billy Corgan announced the Pumpkins’ break-up shortly before releasing MACHINA, then proceeded to leak a few bootlegs to fans throughout the year leading up to their last show. This culminated with cutting 25 copies of a double LP and triple EP collection (25 songs total) on vinyl for those lucky people to distribute to fans. Radiohead often gets credit for being the first to release an album for free, but the Pumpkins did this in 2000, and their fans had to transfer the songs from vinyl records and burn them to CD-Rs or upload them online at the dawn of high-speed internet. Interestingly, Virgin Records included a few of these songs on the Pumpkins’ Greatest Hits compilation bonus disc the following year (though they were likely high-quality transfers from the vinyl records, not from the master tapes). The Pumpkins began remastering and reissuing their entire catalog in 2011 (after their material was no longer covered by their contract with Virgin), but that came to an abrupt halt after 2014 when the next album to receive this treatment was MACHINA; there has been a dearth of news regarding when this might continue.

Java Records, a subsidiary of Capitol, pulled the rug out from under Splashdown before releasing their major-label debut, Blueshift, so the band burned CDs for members of their mailing list and encouraged fans to share MP3s online; one of the band members has since also made the multi-track audio stems from two songs available for remixing. Aimee Mann purchased the master tapes from her record label so that she could release Bachelor No. 2 on her own, which got a lot of positive hype with the success of the movie Magnolia, for which about half of the soundtrack is comprised of songs from Bachelor. I recall hearing or reading about instances where bands re-recorded an entire album with a new label after their former label shelved it, but I can’t recall or find specific examples of this; I do know the Smashing Pumpkins re-recorded two songs for their major-label debut, Gish, that were previously recorded for singles on independent labels. 

Our fellow LIS classmate Pat reminded me of the prolific mash-up artist Girl Talk, who has made a successful living recording and touring to support albums that consist almost entirely of other artists’ works, but he seems to know what lines to not cross. This webpage breaks down the sources of Girl Talk's material for one of his albums, which is quite extensive! One who was not as (legally) successful with his mash-up was DJ Danger Mouse, who used source material made available by Jay-Z and he got the blessing from surviving Beatles, Paul and Ringo, but not from EMI, when he mashed up The Black Album and The White Album to create The Grey Album. Perhaps the major issue here is that Danger Mouse focused on only two works by using substantial portions of The White Album in order to create the new work. The Grey Album was heavily pirated in a campaign dubbed “Grey Tuesday,” and it’s now available on the Internet Archive. In a similar fashion, Panzah Zandahz remixed and mashed up Radiohead on an album called Me & THIS Army, which is available for free (or donation) on Bandcamp; I’m not sure how Radiohead or their former label feel about this, but since the material is still online, there must not have been a DMCA takedown notice issued. 

I hope these examples help shed some more light on how copyright can tangle up artists and record labels.

It's about librarianship - #WhyImarch #MarchForScience

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate
On April 22, there were hundreds of marches and rallies across the United States and on other continents to support science.  Numerous photos and videos have been posted on social media, as well as news articles about the events.  The signs were creative and  often science inspired like the one at the right. ("If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.")

In Syracuse, students surveyed the crowd on why people were there.  My reason - the word "science" is part of the degree I hold.  I have a Masters in Library Science (MLS).  While I have a colleague who argues that librarianship is a design profession, she too acknowledges that librarianship is a branch of knowledge based on facts and principles. Science.

Without science, the reason this blog was created would not exist (digitization).  Without science, the Internet would not exist, nor the devices you use to read the blog.  Science matters.

Whether you marched or not, I hope you're keep in mind the importance of science.  Perhaps take a moment to point out the things you do each day that exist because of science.  And when you can, please support the continuation of science in all its forms.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Have you thought about subscribing to Digitization 101 through email?

I rarely promote that you can subscribe to Digitization 101. So this is a gentle reminder that you can receive Digitization 101 blog posts via email (form below) or through an RSS reader.  Both options are available to you on the right side of the blog.  No unwanted messages, just blog posts from Digitization 101.  Try can unsubscribe at any time.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

St. Joseph's University Copyright Information Center

Graduate MSLIS students this spring noted several excellent copyright information centers on university campuses and one of them is at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA. The SJU Copyright Information Center web site contains five main sections:
  • Copyright Law
  • SJU Copyright Policy
  • Obtaining Copyright Permission
  • Copyright Clearance Center
  • Copyright Resources
Students liked the layout of the site and the information it contains.

The site is part of the Academic Technology and Distributed Learning department.  I think placing the Copyright Information Center within a department which deals with distributed learning shows their concern for complying with the TEACH Act.  It places copyright as something faculty need to be concerned with, and I like that.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Following the Potential Changes to the U.S. Copyright Office

Andrew Albanese
Since fall 2016, there have changes to the U.S. Copyright Office leadership as well as additional changes that have been proposed.  One place that is following those changes is the Copyright Clearance Center podcast, Beyond the BookCCC's Christopher Kenneally and Publisher Weekly's Andrew Albanese talk weekly and those conversations frequently include information on the proposed changes to the Copyright Office.  Albanese is clearly knowledge on the subject - and with good sources - which makes the 10-15 minute podcasts interesting and informative.  You can subscribe to the podcasts and then listen to them on your mobile device.

Monday, April 10, 2017

LIS Conferences and Their Attendance

Rayburn House Office Building (5)I like "watching" LIS conferences both up-close and from afar.  One of the things I take note of is attendance.  While some are growing (e.g., the Charleston Conference), some have had recent attendance challenges (e.g., ALA, SLA and CIL).  Many people have pondered why.

I  began going to LIS conferences in the heyday of the 1990s, when people, organizations, and vendors spent more on them.  There were also fewer conferences.  Now people have a wider variety of mainstream and non-traditional professional development events, which they can attend in person or virtually.  Social media assures that anyone can dip a toe into a conference, without being there.  And with tighter budgets, we are all being more selective about which conference/event to attend.  More information professionals/library staff split among a growing number of events.  Mathematically you can see how a conference would have lower attendance.

We need to stop pondering why our conferences aren't attracting as many people as we'd like, and begin acting on what we know about the situation.  Perhaps some conferences need to be revamped.  Maybe it is time for some to end or to merge with another event. We likely need to rethink their purpose (which may include providing necessary operational funds for an association) and their budgets, and consider what benefit we really want these events to deliver. We need to stop holding onto what that conference has been and allow it to morph into what it should be now.

And we need to do this SOON.

Nota Bene: Because I have kept track of  this for several years, I asked a colleague to get this info for me.  This year, the attendance at the Computers in Libraries Conference was about 10% less than 2016. According to what I heard from day 1 of the conference, attendance was 1307 including exhibit only participants (1069 without) and would probably reach 1500 with onside registrants.  Participants came from 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. as well as 16 countries outside the U.S. The number of international participants was done.  Some of that may have been due to the current political climate.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Article: Michael Healy’s 2017 Copyright Outlook: ‘Precarious for Rightsholders’

Michael Healy Michael Healy, executive director for international relations with Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), gave an interview recently where he discussed his 2017 outlook for copyright around the world.  There is much in the interview to note and digest, and you can read it here.  For example, Healy noted:
Nothing has happened recently that has allayed the concerns many of us have had for several years about the future of copyright.

The outlook overall remains very precarious for rightsholders of all kinds and I see no signs of that changing any time soon.  Whether it’s a new government review of copyright, new legislation, or a hostile judicial decision, there’s no shortage of worrying signals...

Friday, March 24, 2017

Proposed U.S. Legislation: Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017 (H.R. 1695)
This is brand new.  Information on the proposed legislation can be tracked here and here. Full-text available here.  It would change the text of Title 17 (U.S. Copyright Law) to include:
The Register of Copyrights shall be a citizen of the United States with a professional background and experience in copyright law and shall be appointed by the President, by  and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Andrew Albanese at Publisher's Weekly has already written an article on this.  One of the things that stands out to me is that Albanese said:
The President would also have the power to fire the Register at any time.
This is a change that requires deep thinking and a lot of input, because we do not want the Registrar to be beholden to any special interest or to lessen the exemptions/limitations already in place in Title 17.  (In fact, I would argue that we need to expand those limitations.)

Be sure to pay attention to those you follow for copyright news. Use them - and reputable news media - to stay informed on this.  And be willing to weigh-in with your comments and concerns.

Farmers, Tractors, and DMCA

This falls under the category of 'you never know what will become a copyright issue.'
Tractors U.S. farmers are battling with manufacturers over who can repair their tractors.  Manufacturers are installing firmware on the tractors, which inhibits non-authorized service centers from doing repairs.  However, farmers note that they cannot wait for an authorized dealer to do the repairs, because Mother Natures doesn't wait.  In order to speed up the repairs, farmers are allowing their tractors to be hacked.  Quoting Vice news:
On its face, pirating such software would seem to be illegal. But in 2015, the Librarian of Congress approved an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for land vehicles, which includes tractors. The exemption allows modification of "computer programs that are contained in and control the functioning of a motorized land vehicle such as a personal automobile, commercial motor vehicle or mechanized agricultural vehicle … when circumvention is a necessary step undertaken by the authorized owner of the vehicle to allow the diagnosis, repair, or lawful modification of a vehicle function." what they are doing might be legal (emphasis on the word "might"), however, the manufacturers disagree. In addition to the hacking, farmers are pushing for new legislation at the state level.
The “Fair Repair” bill was designed to give owners increased rights over the software-embedded equipment and electronic items they purchase.
So far, none of the "Fair Repair" bills have passed. New reports state that opponents of these bills have included tractor manufacturers and technology companies, such as John Deere, Case IH, and Apple.  Tech companies view the bills as being too all-encompassing. 

I find this fascinating, especially since I can see problems occurring with cars, etc., that might include software/firmware which inhibits who can repair them.  I grew up watching my next door neighbor tear apart and rebuild engines.  In addition to those engines getting more complex, could manufacturers use DMCA to stop "unauthorized" repairs?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Report - Video at Risk: Strategies for Preserving Commercial Video Collections in Libraries

VHS Heaven...or Hell.This 26-page report - "Video at Risk: Strategies for Preserving Commercial Video Collections in Libraries" - may be of interest to you.  What's it about? Quoting the report: (text below from NYU web site)
For Research Library collections across the continent, physical degradation of the media housing valuable, unique, and out–of–print video material looms immanent. Across the board, there is a pressing need to reframe principles and practices in situations where risk is defined by scarcity, and reformatting by legal and practical processes is not yet illuminated by common or best practices.

This Mellon Foundation–funded collaborative study brings together New York University's Division of Libraries with the Moving Image Archiving & Preservation program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and the circulating media collections of the University of California Berkeley and Loyola University (New Orleans) to collaboratively address these challenges.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Article: Saving At-Risk Audiovisual Materials

2"  24 track audio tapeYes, digitization is mentioned.

Friday, March 03, 2017

U.K. Guiidance Concerning Orphan Works

The United Kingdom proves a way for orphan works to be used.  Perhaps this is a model for other countries?

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Feb. 2016 Webinar: Library copyright statutes around the world

A year ago, Dr. Kenneth Crews conducted a webinar on  "Library copyright statutes around the world." The webinar attracted participants from 28 countries for this EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) event.  Information on the webinar is available here.  While the video recording of the event is no longer available, there webinar slides are available here (pdf). The slides do a nice job conveying what Crews was talking about. 

Crews' webinar was based on the WIPO study on copyright limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives (revised in 2015), which he authored. The 2015 report "consolidates information from the 2008 and 2014 studies, adds substantial new information and updated statutes, expands the coverage of statutory topics, and reexamines nearly every detail.  For the first time, this report gathers and analyzes law related to copyright exceptions from all 188 countries that are current members of WIPO." (from its Executive Summary)

Monday, February 27, 2017

ALAI Country of Origin Report (2012)

In 2012, the  Country of Origin Study Group of the International Literary and Artistic Association (ALAI) released its report.  The report is titled "Determination of Country of Origin When a Work is First Publicly Disclosed Over the Internet." Rather than considering the Internet connection or server where the work is stored on (and location of that piece of hardware), is there a way to connect the work with a specific country based on the author?  The Study Group provided recommendations in its eight-page report to do just that.  Those recommendations are:
  • If the work has multiple co-authors, the country of origin will be one co-author’s country of  nationality, as designated by the co-authors 
  • In the absence of such a designation, the country of origin will be that of the nationality of a majority of the known authors at the time of the work’s creation
  • If none of the authors is known, but a person or entity has assembled and made the work available, that person shall be deemed to represent the authors under Berne art. 15(3), and the country of that person’s nationality or seat shall be the country of origin
  • In the case of a work created by multiple authors, particularly one to which multiple authors contribute successively, and in the absence of a collective designation of a country of origin, then even if some or all of the contributors are known,the person or entity who has assembled and made the work available may, for purposes of interpretation of Berne art. 5(4), be deemed the author of the work as a whole -without prejudice to the authorship of individual contributions, if separately identifiable - and the country of that person’s nationality or seat shall be deemed the country of origin.
This is an important and fascinating topic, so you might want to read the entire report.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fair Use Week 2017 Infographic: Fair Use Myths and Facts

In celebration of Fair Use Week, I am posting Fair Use infographics.  This one is a two-page PDF

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fair Use Week 2015 Infographic: Fair Use is for Everybody

In celebration of Fair Use Week, I'm posting Fair Use infographics. This one from 2015 talks about Fair Use being for everybody.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fair Use Week 2016 Infographic: Fair Use in a Day in the Life of a College Student

In celebration of Fair Use Week, I'm posting Fair Use infographics. This one from 2016 is on Fair Us in a day in the life of a college student.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fair Use Week 2015 Infographic: Fair Use Fundamentals

In celebration of Fair Use Week, I'm posting Fair Use infographics. This one is on Fair Use Fundamentals from 2015.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Duran Duran and British/American Copyright

The band Duran Duran, known for such hits as "Hungry Like the Wolf" has sought to reclaim in the United States the publishing copyrights on over three dozen songs.  According to CMU:
The Duran Duran case tested whether the reversion right meant that songwriters who assigned their copyrights to music publishers outside the US could still automatically reclaim control of their songs within America after 35 years.  
The U.S. publisher of their music is Gloucester Place Music, which is controlled by Sony/ATV.  CMU notes that Gloucester Place Music  has "insisted that their 1980s publishing contract, governed by English law, didn’t allow any such reversion."

Duran Duran
In December 2016, British judge Richard Arnold rules that the publishing agreement “would have conveyed to a reasonable person… that the parties’ intention was that the ‘entire copyrights’ in the compositions should vest, and remain vested, in the claimant for the ‘full term’ of the copyrights”.  Or in other words, the 35-year rule in U.S. copyright law does not apply.

On February 3, 2017, Duran Duran noted that they are being allowed to appeal the decision, although no date has been set for that to occur.

The "Termination of transfers and licenses granted by the author" is explained in Title 17, Section 203. There is also a useful document on the Copyright Office web site, which gives an explanation of this Section. 

I have not kept up on what this band is doing and so was surprised to hear about this court case from my students.  Based on a quick Amazon search, a number of books have recently been published on the band and it seems that their popularity and productivity has not diminished.  Kudos to them to also be thinking about the rights to their music and how to gain control of their works!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The Five Stages of Grief and Information Literacy in the Streets

SculptureThis morning I read an email message from a friend, who said he was going through the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance).  We don't go through those stages necessarily in order, and sometimes we loop back to a specific stage.  He noted that he was stuck on anger.

The last 12 days in the United States have put many people somewhere in those five stages, while others are experiencing joy.  If you look at any news web site, you'll see that people - who hold various points of view - are raising their voices, marching in the streets, and contacting their Congressional representatives.  While I'm heartened by all of this activity, I also realize that it is distracting from the normal work each of us needs to be doing.  Staying on task has gotten harder and I suspect that our national productivity has gone down.

One of the not-new tasks is information literacy training, which is becoming of greater importance.  Our need for accurate, verified and understandable information is crucial.  We as information professionals can be beacons of information for those around us both physically and virtually.  We know how to find the explanations that people need, in order to make sense of the actions happening around them. We can locate resources that people can rely on.  And we can not only find information, but we can also work as disseminators (keeping in mind copyright and Fair Use). Of course, we can also teach others how to find this information for themselves.

We are indeed living in an "interesting" time.  Yes, I am distracted, but I will also work to keep blogging on copyright and digitization.  I promise.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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

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

Monday, January 23, 2017

Podcast: Eradicating Library Deserts

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

Friday, January 20, 2017

ALISE17 : Engaging Communities Through Research and Practice

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

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

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

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



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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

ALISE17 : Preparing MSLIS students for their career

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

ALISE17 : Juried Papers (session 4.3)

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

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

Looked at words used and words not used.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noted that participants were not in a specific geographic area.

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

Research with Dorothea Salo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

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

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

What is the right of access to information?

Right to access to information

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right to access to information

Right to access to information

Right to access to information

Right to access to information

Right to access to information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 16, 2017

Library Deserts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The clock is ticking.  Let's get started.

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

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