Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wayback Wednesday & 2014 Year in Review

Vancouver Public Library
This is the last day of 2014 and time to look back over the last 365 days. Two years ago, I wrote "2012 Year in Review: My life as teacher and director," which captures much of what my work-life is like today.  A few things have changed, though.  First, I am focused daily on the SU MSLIS program's accreditation review, which will happen in November 2015.  Do I spend every waking hour on it?  No, but you'd be surprised (and perhaps horrified) about how much of my mind it occupies.  Second, because of the ramp-up to the accreditation review and the other administrative tasks on my to-do list, I am teaching less (3 classes per academic year).

Getting ready for graduation
Professor Raul Pacheco-Vega recently wrote "On self-care, balance and overwork in academia." (See also "What Do Professors Do All Day?")  We don't think of academia as being stressful, but for faculty who are early in their careers, and for those who are juggling multiply projects or other high-stakes efforts, it is.  One of my goals this past year has been to remain healthy in mind, body and spirit and I'm carrying that same goal into 2015.

R. David Lankes
Dave Lankes
Health has also been at the front of my mind over the past two year because of my friend and colleague Dave Lankes.  In January 2013, Dave was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which led to extensive treatments.  This summer, Dave was declared cancer free, which remains the best news of the year! (You can read an update from him here.) 

I was blessed to be able to attend and present at a number of events during 2014.  The most impactful was the presentation I did at the Computers in Libraries Conference called "Enabling Innovation."  The number of people, who came up to me during the conference and afterwards, with positive things to say about it has been amazing.  That presentation has also led to others that I have given (and will be giving) on innovation.  For me, that one presentation was my biggest event of 2014!  (You can read the ideas generated from the presentation here.)

MSLIS students at the NYLA Annual Conference
Below are the most read 2014 posts from this blog.  The most read was clearly "The stratosphere in the library profession & a call for a change," which received a high level of mentions on Facebook, etc.  The conversation around  how members of our profession conduct themselves at conferences has not ended.  I can tell you that associations and conferences are examining their codes of conduct.  I can also tell you that some (like myself) are trying to hold ourselves to a higher standard...and learning about ourselves and others from those efforts.

By the way, if you want to read a post that will open your mind to our lack of privacy in our online environment, read the post entitled "Julie Clegg - Social Media for Investigative Professionals."

Finally, if you look at the right side of this blog and the number of posts I've been writing per year, you'll notice a decrease once I became a program director.  I really don't have the time to blog like I used to.  I blog best/most when I'm at a conference, as you can see if you look at CIL2014 or SLA2014.  During a conference, I can harness my energies to capture information quickly and get a blog post published.  You will also notice, if you're a regular reader of this blog, that I blog more about copyright these days than digitization.  That is due to what I've been teaching and what I've been focusing on. From the statistics for Digitization 101, I can see that this blog still meets a need and so I'll keep on blogging, even if it is not as much as I would like.

As we end 2014, I wish all of you a joyful 2015!  And please send positive thoughts my way, especially in November when the accreditation review occurs.

Most read 2014 Digitization 101 blog posts:

Updated 01/05/2015: Corrected typos. Also...Raul Pacheco-Vega's blog seems to be offline.  Hopefully it will reappear.  (Perhaps it had more readers than normal and the hosting service got suspicious?)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Resources on Understanding Canadian Copyright Law

This semester, I was blessed to have a student in my graduate course on copyright from Canada.Although interested in U.S. copyright law, this student also taught us a bit about Canadian copyright during the semester. From this student, I garnered these resources on Canadian copyright:
If you know of other worthwhile resources on Canadian copyright, please leave a comment on this post.  Thanks!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Metadata, privacy and 1984

The book title 1984 was written during World War II and has had an impact on generations since then.  It has become the book title to note when talking about surveillance, a topic that is now frequently in the news.  And it came to my mind as I watched Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley: Surveillance, a BBC news program.  The half-hour program - like many others - talked about Eric Snowden, but what stood out to me was what it said about metadata.  No, this wasn't the first time that I'd heard the terms "surveillance" and "metadata" linked together, but this time I recognized an opportunity.

All librarians understand that how an item is described is important.  Library users make many decisions based on those descriptions, which are now in the form of digital records.  In college, I worked for a librarian (Mrs. Martinez), who enjoyed describing a new book and creating the best catalogue record for it.  I can still see the smile on her face when she had succeeded!  However, we see the catalogue description as leading to an item.  In surveillance that description - the metadata - can be more important than the item itself. 

In surveillance, the metadata of a thousand items (people, phone calls, emails, etc.) can be mined for what could be useful information.  The mining is done by computers and the work can find a "needle in a haystack", or in other words a connection that might not have been found otherwise.  It is humans that launch the computers on these tasks and humans who then look at and analyze the results. 

Why Metadata MattersLike everyday, today I generated a fair amount of metadata.  I used my computer on the Internet, as well as my mobile devices.  All of the apps and web sites likely generated data as I used them, and some of that data I willingly shared.  Likely there is other data that was captured without my permission or knowledge.  My car does not have all of the up-to-date technology in it, but it does have some sort of a computer (and every computer generates data).  And since I was out driving around, it could be that a police officer captured my license plate with an automatic license plate reader.  If I happen to use my credit card today, that will also generate data.  And, of course, I watched cable TV and the cable service tracks some information about my usage (or how would it know that it can raise its rates and people will not complain?).  Given all this data that I'm creating, my privacy is an illusion.

However, all of this data has created an opportunity for us (librarians).  We are the people who understand how to describe data elements, so that the correct information is captured.  We're the ones that understand how to map (crosswalk) data elements across systems (and imagine how many systems are being involved with this worldwide).  We have the skills to help extract data - broadly or narrowly - and then analyze the results.  And...we understand the ethical use of information.  (And I will argue that people who understand the ethical use of information should work for organizations that do not use information ethically.  We need to be in those organizations and part of their internal conversations, which is how we might help them to change.)

If working with this type of data and metadata is of interest to you (or someone you know), consider what you need to do to get the job you want.  Perhaps you need to take university courses.  Perhaps you need a degree or an advanced certificate.  Maybe you need to do other professional development.  Likely you need to do some research on the jobs available and the organizations that have those positions.  You likely need to do some networking, both as a way of learning more and as a way of getting yourself known (e.g., SLA's new Data Caucus).  How long will it take you to get a job in this area?  That's up to you and may be dependent on what skills you need to develop.

It has been said that Eric Snowden's revelations didn't change anything at all.  It could be that the "change" needs us.  We're the missing ingredient.  Who among us will get involved?

Snowden during interview with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras (June 6, 2013).

CopyrightX lectures available to the public

Prof. William Fisher
The open course on copyright from Harvard, which was prepared and delivered by Prof. William Fisher was made available to the public, along with other resources.  If you're interested in his vision for the course, that can be found here.  Please note that the lectures carry a Creative Commons license.

As someone, who teaches copyright, I'm always interested in how others have approached the topic.  In this instance, I'm intrigued by how Fisher has constructed the different weeks and topic, which is something I need to explore further.

If learning more about copyright is on your agenda for 2015, I encourage you to add this site to your "reading" list. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Article: Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery, But is it Infringement? The Law of Tribute Bands

Cape May Band at The Ugly MugIn 2012 Michael S. Newman, who was a J.D. candidate at the time, wrote an article for the Touro Law Review on tribute bands. "Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery, But is it Infringement?" is an 11-page article with 144 footnotes. It covers a topic that we're all familiar with, because we've all heard of tribute band and cover bands (and those really are different), but do we think about the copyright implications?  If those implications are of interest to you, then this is an article to read.

You will notice that the page formatting for the article is odd.  This may be due to the site being reorganized since 2012.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Four-part series on music copyright

Copyright license choiceThe OSU Copyright Resource Center did a four-part series on music copyright.  The four parts are:
  1. What is Music Copyright?
  2. Copyright Duration For Musical Compositions And Sound Recordings
  3. Termination of Transfer for Music Copyright
  4. Licensing Opportunities for Music Copyright
There is not an abundance of sites with information on music copyright, so be sure to bookmark these.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Blog Post: The Benefits Of Copyright Around The World In Three Reports

As the semester comes to a close - and my focus on copyright - this post caught my eye.  It begins:
Although copyright law is territorial, the rationale for its protection is universal: ensuring a thriving and diverse cultural fabric for society to enjoy requires providing creators with the option of obtaining fair compensation for their work. As the year comes to a close, we take a look at three recent reports on the economic and cultural relevance of the creative industries and the essential role of copyright around the world.
The post goes onto talk about:

Library Guide on Copyright & Fair Use

Copyright symbol The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library at San José State University has an extensive libguide on copyright and fair use, with tabs that link to external resources.  It is worth exploring.

Monday, December 08, 2014

3D printing, makerspaces and copyright

I started this list months ago and am realizing that I need to publish it.  3D printing and makerspaces have created conversations around copyright.  Here are some resources - including a video - that may help with those conversations.