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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Monday, July 10, 2017

Signage, Digital Signage, T is for Training

Rolls of hay in Pennsylvania
My last post here was June 20.  Since then I've been on the road for work and vacation, and then catching up from being "out of the office."  Blogging has not be on my mind.  However, I do have a series of blog posts in the works on increasing your library intelligence.  My goal is to begin to release them next week.

I am not the type of librarian, who must visit libraries while on vacation.  However, I do notice libraries and during the last T is for Training podcast, I started the conversation by mentioning the signage at one public library.  That opened an hour-long conversation on library signage, signage audits, and the digital face of a library. If you haven't thought about your signage (or web site) in a while, you might use this podcast episode to prompt a review.  The T is for Training web site contains show notes for the episode.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

EFF International IP Infosheets: Temporary Copies

In 2012, the Electronic Frontier Federation (EFF) published an information sheet on "Temporary Copies."  Temporary copies are made automatically by computer systems and are very necessary.  However, having a temporary copy could be seen as an infringing on copyright.  This three-page document provides background, the EFF stance on the matter, and even an overview of a relevant U.S. court case.  If you find yourself talking about temporary copies, this document might be one you will want to refer to.



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Video: What is a copyright? (Canada)

This three-minute video is an introduction to Canadian copyright. Because of the impact of international treaties, you will find that Canada's laws are similar to those in other countries (like the U.S.), but you will also notice some differences (e.g., the length of protection). Still this is a good introduction and worth viewing/using.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Does an Award Winning Design Reflect the Content Within?

I am catching up on reading and Internet surfing, which means I'm finding things I should have read months ago.  This blog post wonders if award winning book covers are on books with highly rated content.  I've copied the post's graphic below and you're welcome to go read the original post.  However, this got me thinking about web site design and specifically library web sites.

Most libraries have a web site.  Those sites are created in a number of different ways, using free and fee-based tools.  Some provide basic information about the library, while others are more in-depth.  I suspect that most do not provide all of the information that their users want, such as information about the staff or board of trustees, or details about borrowing privileges.  Indeed many libraries only provide what the staff is interested in sharing, and that could be very little.

Most libraries do not have someone on staff who can create a professional design of the web site.  Sites which we might consider "award winning" are likely owned by large, well-funded libraries, where a tech-savvy person internally or externally is charged with maintaining the site.  As our computing devices have changed (e.g., the move to mobile devices), our site designers have had to create sites that will look good and function on any type of device. This is called responsive design.  My own site is an example of one that uses responsive design so that it functions well on any type of device.

The problem with web sites (and books) is that a great looking site may have very little useful content.  In some cases, a great looking site may actually contain fake content, while a site that is not designed by a professional may have extemely useful content.  Yes, judging a book (or web site) by its design can be problematic.

So what are you to do? 
  • Whether your site is for a digitization program, a specific department, or the entire library, make sure that it gives users the information that they desire about you (program, department, library).  If you are waiting until it is designed perfectly, don't.  Place the information online, then schedule time to make it better.
  • State your assumptions.  You actually have no idea who will use your web site, so don't assume that they will know specific details about you (e.g., location).  
  • Work towards a design that is compliant with American with Disabilities Act rules/guidelines.  If you don't know what that means, ask someone.  Yes, there are free tools, like this one, which you can use to assess accessibility.  I know you might get frustrated with the errors, but try to work on fixing them.
  • Work towards functional and informative, then towards beautiful.  People will endure a less than beautiful web site, if it delivers worthwhile information.
  • When possible hire someone - even a knowledgeable intern - who can help you with your web site.  Remember that you can contract with someone to provide this service on-demand.
By the way, I did run my own web site through the WAVE tool and I can see that I have some changes to make!  I guess I better do that before I look at any of the books below.



Created by Syracuse University's School of Information Studies master of information management program.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Protecting Your Personal Information: It is Increasingly Important

Lock & ChainIn March, Jason Griffey wrote a blog post entitled "Personal International Infosec" after he had traveled between the U.S. and Bahrain. Given the current trend of governments checking a traveler's computing devices, Griffey decided to ensure that no one could learn anything if they checked his.  In his blog post, Griffey' lays out exactly what he did and why.  It is definitely worth a read.

We use password to protect our identification and our intellectual property. I had been relaxed in ensuring that may passwords were strong and protected. Like many people, I had a method for creating passwords that made them memorable for me. And like many people, I had a list of passwords and IDs, although it was not up-to-date.  Reading his post, I realized that it was time for me to get my act together and use a password manager, like 1Password, and I did.

I've had three surprises from using a password manager.  First, a password manager is easy to use (and I'm using 1Password).  It is easy to enter ID and password information.  It will even generate new passwords, and I like that.  Now every password can be unique (for real!).

Second, it has not slowed me down.  In fact, having all of my passwords in one location stops me from search high-and-low for that password I don't remember or generating a new password because I can't remember the old one.

Third...wow I have a lot of passwords!  I knew I had a lot of them, but they really weren't all in one location and they were not written down.  I am still discovering IDs and passwords that I need to place into my manager, including passwords that need to be made more secure.

While I've been talking here about your personal information, having a way of securing your organization's information is also important.  Yes, think about securing your passwords and also those of your organization.

If you have not read anything about using a password manager and are interested in securing your ID (or intellectual property), here are some articles to start with:
Please note that some password managers are free, while others require a subscription.  I have colleagues who are using free password managers and they like them.  I decided to use 1Password, which has a 30-day free trial and then a yearly subscription fee.  My decision was not based on in-depth research, but based on what Jason Griffey selected (someone whom I know and trust).  You might do research and decide on something totally different, and that is okay.  What is no longer okay is having passwords that could be easily guessed or listing them on slips of paper (or someplace online that is not secure.  It is time to secure your identity and your intellectual property.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Report: Special Collections in ARL Libraries

While this is an older report, it may be one still worth a read.  Published in 2009, this Association of Research Libraries (ARL) report:
...identifies key issues in the management and exposure of special collections material in the 21st century. Though the initial focus was on 19th- and 20th-century materials, most of what is said below applies with equal force to collecting and caring for materials from previous centuries as well as materials that bring us into the present and oblige us to look forward into the future.
The thee main sections of the report are:
I. Collecting Carefully, with Regard to Costs, and Ethical and Legal Concerns
II. Ensuring Discovery and Access
III. The Challenge of Born-Digital Collections 
The report also contains recommendations in those three areas. 


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Marrakesh Treaty

brailleAccording to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO):
The Marrakesh Treaty eases the production and transfer across national boundaries of books that are specially adapted for use by people with visual impairments, most of whom live in lower-income countries.
The Marrakesh Treaty came into effect for WIPO member states on September 30, 2016, including the United States. However, the U.S. Senate has not ratified it yet. As of today, they last took action on it in early 2016.

To understand the effect the treaty will have on Title 17, we can just look at the letter sent from the U.S. Department of Commerce to Vice President Joe Biden, when the text of the treaty was given to him.  It says:
The bill implements provisions of the Marrakesh Treaty that aims to expand the availability of print materials in accessible formats such as braille, large print, and specialized digital audio files, for the use of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.  A limited set of changes is proposed to section 121 of the Copyright Act.  The proposed bill broadens the scope of works currently covered by section 121 and elaborates of the section's definition of "blind of other persons with disabilities."  It also specifies that accessible format copies may be exported for the exclusive use of such eligible persons in other countries that are parties to the treaty, and for U.S. citizens or domiciliaries located abroad.
In talking about the treaty, Secretary of State John Kerry wrote:
The Marrakesh Treaty includes two core elements designed to promote access to published works for persons with print disabilities. First, it requires every Treaty party to provide an exception or limitation in its national copyright law to copyright holders' exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, and making available published works to the public, in order to facilitate the availability of books and other printed materials in accessible formats. Second, the Treaty requires that parties allow "authorized entities" (for example, libraries, or organizations devoted to assisting the visually impaired) to distribute such "accessible format copies" to other authorized entities and to "beneficiary persons" (individuals who meet defined criteria for visual or other reading-related impairments) in other countries that are party to the Treaty.
It has been said that millions of people world wide would be positively impacted by the Marrakesh Treaty if every country ratifies it.  Let's hope that the U.S. Senate is pushed to ratify the treaty soon and to make the requisite changes to our own law.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Article: From Dusty Boxes to Data Bytes Acquiring Rights to Special Collections in the Digital Age

The Reading Room is an open access scholarly publication focused on special collections.  Its second issue contains an article by April M. Hathcock entitled, "From Dusty Boxes to Data Bytes Acquiring Rights to Special Collections in the Digital Age."  This is remains a topic that people are digging into because there is still so much to be digitized and made accessible.  If you're one of those focused on it, this article may be for you.  Abstract:
Acquiring the rights to special collections material is of increasing importance as special collections are increasingly being digitized and placed online. Greater access to materials can lead to greater risk of copyright infringement, but for materials being acquired currently, it is possible to reduce the risk by acquiring  rights at the point of accession. At New York University, key stakeholders  addressed these issues by creating a framework for special collections acquisitions agreements that covers common circumstances surrounding the transfer of intellectual rights to special collections material, specifically with an eye to the possible digitization and placement of the material online.

Monday, May 15, 2017

MSLIS Graduate Students: Summer Reading/Listening Recommendations

Blue Snowball MicrophoneIt is the end of the academic year  and many students are heading away from campus for the summer.  Our MSLIS students may be going to an internship or to work (in a library or elsewhere).  Yes, some might be taking classes (on campus or online).  As part of their professional development during the summer, I hope that they will take time to explore the material that those of us in the field are consuming. With that in mind, I asked members of Facebook ALA Think Tank Group for suggestions of library-related blogs, podcasts, or other content they would recommend to MSLIS students.  Below are what the people recommended.

If you are an MSLIS student, I hope you will take time to read or listen to what your colleagues have recommended. You might sample each by reading or listening to 1-3 items.  Often reading/listening to just one item (episode/post) is not enough to get a real sense of source.

 Open Access Journal:
Blogs:
Podcasts: 
Why have I focused on blogs and podcasts?  I know that not everyone prefers long form text (books).  In addition, blogs and podcasts often capture what is happening now, rather than what was happening when a particular book was being written.  (The content of a book can become dated even during its publication process.)

Is there a library-related blog or podcast that you would add to this list?  If yes, please leave that information in the comments, so we can all benefit from the information.  Let's make this an even longer list of resources! [5/16/2017: And I've added more recommendations above!]

If you know an MSLIS student, please consider sharing this list with her/him. Then follow-up and ask the person what she/he liked, didn't like, or learned.  Please know that the person might not like these suggestions and that is okay.  (In fact, knowing what you like or don't like is a good learning experience.)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Monroe Community College: Copyright & Creative Commons: Copyright Overview

Here is another libguide on copyright, which is worth using as a reference.  It might also be a good model for other copyright guides.  This libguide from Monroe (NY) Community College covers both copyright and the Creative Commons for instructors.  Its major sections are:
  • Copyright Overview
  • Evaluating Resources for Use
  • In the Online Classroom
  • Copyright for Authors/Creators
  • FAQ
  • More Resources



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wayback Wednesday: Tasini v. New York Times, Co.

One of my favorite copyright court cases is Tasini v. New York Times (filed in 1997), both because of its potential impact on databases and that I am a freelance author.  When looking online for information this case, the trail from its beginning to its final conclusion is not well documented. You have to know that it took several twists and turns in order to find those twists and turns.  And you have to know that there were two similarly named cases AND that there was at least one other case (class action lawsuit) which related to Tasini v. NYT.

When I do an Internet search on this case, I easily find older articles from the early decisions in this case.  Places like Wikipedia, which a person might use to locate additional sources, currently (May 2017) contains older information and is incomplete.  Therefore, it would be easy for anyone to research this case and come to an incorrect decision about its final conclusion (which actually occurred in 2014).

With all this in mind, I have compiled resources which can help someone research Tasini v. New York Times.  These should provide someone with "guideposts", which can help understand the path of the case and then locate additional resources.  (And if  this blog post does help a newbie understand Tasini, then I'll be pleased.)

Relevant Digitization 101 blog posts:
Additional Resources on Tasini v. NYT and NYT v. Tasini:

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

How Do You Digitize a 357-Year-Old Atlas That’s Nearly 6 Feet Tall?

According to Atlas Obscura:
If you’re the British Library, you get creative and set up a special studio to photograph the titanic Klencke Atlas.

The British Library has a video of the process:


Monday, May 08, 2017

Rapid Capture: Faster Throughput in Digitization of Special Collections

My recent class development activities and teaching have been tripping over articles and documents worth remembering.  Although this is a few years old, it is worth knowing that it exists. In this  2011 OCLC report, Ricky Erway wrote:
So in an extremely casual survey, we asked some of our colleagues in libraries, archives, and museums to identify initiatives where non-book digitization was being done “at scale.” We didn’t define “at scale,” because we thought we’d know it when we saw it. It wasn’t always so easy. We heard from lots of places: some with minor achievements, others making a big difference. We selected a few of the latter stories to share with you here. Each one starts with a picture of the equipment in use at the site along with a sample from the collection being digitized.

There are nine stories from nine organizations. I appreciate that the stories include the names of vendors used.

Monday, May 01, 2017

State Copyright Resource Center

While the copyright of U.S. federal government documents is governed by Title 17, Section 105, the copyright on state and local government documents is not.  As this Harvard Library web site  states:

It turns out that figuring out whether state documents are copyrighted is a tricky question....

Thankfully, the Harvard Library have created this web site to help people identify the relevant laws in each state. The U.S. map is a clickable infographic, which gives the viewer a quick indication of  whether state documents are protected by copyright or in the public domain. You can then click on a state to receive more details.

This State Copyright Resource Center is worth bookmarking, as is the web site Copyright at Harvard Library.

Friday, April 28, 2017

LibGuide on Self-Publishing

Meia Geddes has created a libguide on self-publishing.  Under the topic of "administrative," she includes content on copyright and Fair Use. Many new authors do not consider the impact of copyright on their work, so I'm pleased to see Geddes include it here.

Meia Geddes
Geddes, who is a published author, created this libguide as part of her MSLIS studies at Simmons.  This guide is in a Springshare sandbox for LIS programs, however, she intends to keep the guide up-to-date and active so it will not just be a temporary work. Perhaps there is a natural permanent home for this effort?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spinning 3D Digitized Objects

Everson Museum of Art
The Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY is known for its world-class ceramic collection.  Items from that collection have been digitized so they are can be reviewed while rotating them.  This Madonna by Waylande Desantis Gregory is a good example of the work.  When they're ready, I hope they publish an article (or two) about this work because this will be of interest to many others.

World Intellectual Property Day, April 26

However you see fit, take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate this day.


Innovation Improves Lives

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Article: Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria

This quote seems to be all anyone needs in order to be tempted to read this article:
...the idea that somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25-million books and nobody is allowed to read them. It’s like that scene at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie where they put the Ark of the Covenant back on a shelf somewhere, lost in the chaos of a vast warehouse.

Belfer Audio Archive's Sound Beat

Edison cylinderSyracuse University's Belfer Audio Archives has been producing Sound Beat for several years and perhaps you've heard these 90-second segments on your radio station.  All of the recordings used are in the Belfer Sound Archive, from speeches to music to the sounds of nature.  Each episode give a quick overview or history and a portion of the recording.  It's possible to subscribe (free) the Sound Beat recordings and receive the new one each day.  You can also add Sound Beat to your web site through a widget.

Sound Beat makes the past available through audio.  I can imagine someone wanting to connect these sound bites to other digitized content to make a media rich experience. 

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 it...you 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)

Congress.gov
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."
Okay...so 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.

Conclusion:

Untitled

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?