We did it!
After ten years of advocacy, thousands of emails, hundreds of calls and scores of meetings last night the House of Representatives passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), school libraries included!
As you’ve heard here before, ESSA is the result of months of joint effort by both the House and the Senate to reach a compromise that would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). While the bill is not perfect, it does include many important school library provisions that our Association has fought for over the last few years and last night it passed the House with a final vote of 359-64!
Thank you for reaching out to your Representatives in support of ESSA; it truly does make a difference to those in Congress to hear from their constituents!
Now that ESSA has passed the House, it will move to the Senate where we expect a vote to take place early next week. Unless ESSA is approved there, of course, all of your work and last night’s House milestone vote will count for naught. While we do expect the bill to pass the Senate, nothing is ever done until it’s done . . . especially inside the Beltway.
So, please take just a few minutes to reach out to the offices of both of your US Senators to ask for “a YES vote on the ESSA Conference Report” and, while you have their staffs’ attention, affirm the importance of libraries and the vital role that school libraries and librarians play in our children’s lives and futures.
Everything you need to quickly and easily reach your Senators’ offices, along with what you might tell them, is located on ALA’s Action Center. We’re just days away from a life-changing vote for our kids. Don’t miss this chance to do your part and, truly, be part of history when the Senate votes on ESSA next week. Thanks!
Sparks flew this week at the House Judiciary Committee’s long-delayed and much pushed-for hearing on legislation to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act as proponents of the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699) at the witness table and on the Judiciary Committee vigorously rebutted arguments by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), FBI and a group of U.S. prosecutors seeking to water down the bill. Now the most heavily-backed bill in Congress with 305 cosponsors to date (including 28 of 39 Members of the Judiciary Committee itself), H.R. 699 would finally grant all electronic communications and files full Fourth Amendment privacy protection.
Incredibly, under current law e-mails, texts and files stored in the cloud can simply be subpoenaed by law enforcement authorities after they’re more than six months old without a judicial warrant issued for “probable cause,” the standard that has long applied to paper documents and other tangible personal records of all kinds from the minute that they’re created. (As the result of a particularly important judicial ruling in late 2010, virtually all major internet service providers when faced with law enforcement requests for electronic information have insisted that authorities present a judicial warrant. Until a bill like H.R. 699 passes both Chambers of Congress and is signed by the President, however, that won’t be the law of the land.)
As previously reported in District Dispatch, despite enormous bi-partisan support for the past several years, bills to meaningfully reform ECPA have been bottled up in the House Judiciary Committee. Despite its extraordinary backing, H.R. 699 has been no exception. Scheduling of this week’s hearing, therefore, was widely hailed by Beltway press as a significant win for pro-ECPA reform forces (libraries very vociferously among them) and witnesses used this week’s hearing to explicitly urge Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA6) to immediately bring H.R. 699 up for a vote in the Judiciary Committee. The Chairman, however, made it equally clear that he continued to have questions about whether agencies like the SEC should be exempted from a full warrant requirement and raised new constitutional questions about whether, if passed as now written, H.R. 699 could preclude Congress itself from being able to continue to subpoena documents without a warrant under its own investigatory authorities.
Where H.R. 699 (and its Senate companion, S. 356) goes from here — and more to the point when — is unclear. Strong further advocacy by librarians, in harness with our many coalition partners, may well be what it takes to “spring” HR. 699 from the Committee in which it’s been mired for years but from which, this week, it may just have begun to emerge. Stay tuned!
The post E-records privacy protection finally “warrants” Hill hearing appeared first on District Dispatch.
As you may have read here earlier this week, we finally have language for the bill that will reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that was last updated in 2001 with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). This reauthorization is long overdue and we are enthusiastic with what it contains! One of the many negatives found within NCLB, was the lack of language that supported school libraries. School libraries were not expressly left out of the bill, but due to the fact that they were not mentioned, it made them a convenient budget line to cut during the recession. We learned the hard way that if school libraries were not expressly written in, they were much too easily left out.
It’s for this reason that we are so excited about the language found in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The last few days have seen collaboration across all divisions of ALA as members share the good news and call on their Representatives.
Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director of the Washington Office, shared her enthusiasm via a letter of appreciation to the chair and ranking member of the House and Senate education committees. With all of the issues that Chairman Kline, Ranking Member Scott, Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray had to contend with during this process, it’s important that they not only hear, “job well done”, but continue to hear from the library community on the important role a school library plays in the life of a student.
While it is true that we did not get everything we hoped for, school libraries were better represented in ESSA than in any legislation in decades! Key school library provisions found in the bill are:
- Title II, Part B, Subpart 2, Section 2226 continues activities currently implemented through appropriations legislation and authorizes Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) that would promote literacy programs in low income communities. Funds are authorized for the development and enhancement of effective school library programs, which may include providing professional development for school librarians, books, and up-to-date materials to high need schools.
- Title I LEA Plan includes a description of how the LEA will assist schools in developing effective school library programs to provide students an opportunity to develop digital literacy skills and improve academic achievement.
- Authorizes state and local uses of funds under Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction) for “supporting the instructional services provided by effective school library programs.”
- Uses of funds under Title II, Part B, Subpart 2 (Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation) include coordination with, and professional development for school librarians.
- Eligible entities under Title II, Part B, Subpart 2, Section 2232 (Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics) include libraries.
- Authorizes states to use funds to assist LEAs with identifying and addressing technology readiness needs, including Internet connectivity and access to school libraries under Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants).
If you have not already reached out to your representative in support of school libraries, please take a moment to do so now! The House will be voting this week and they need to hear from you!
The post School Libraries : Why we’re excited about the new ESSA legislation! appeared first on District Dispatch.
The American Library Association’s (ALA) Washington Office is calling for nominations for two awards to honor individuals or groups who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know.
The James Madison Award, named in honor of President James Madison, was established in 1986 to celebrate an individual or group who has brought awareness to these issues at the national level. Madison is widely regarded as the Father of the Constitution and as the foremost advocate for openness in government.
The Eileen Cooke Award honors an extraordinary leader who has built local grassroots awareness of the importance of access to information. Cooke, former director of the ALA Washington Office, was a tireless advocate for the public’s right to know and a mentor to many librarians and trustees.
Both awards are presented during Freedom of Information (FOI) Day, an annual event on or near March 16, Madison’s birthday.
Nominations should be submitted to the ALA Washington Office no later than January 18, 2016. Submissions should include a statement (maximum one page) about the nominee’s contribution to public access to government information, why it merits the award and one seconding letter. Please include a brief biography and contact information for the nominee.
Send e-mail nominations to Jessica McGilvray, Deputy Director for the ALA Office of Government Relations, at email@example.com.
Submissions can also be mailed to:
James Madison Award / Eileen Cooke Award
American Library Association
1615 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009-2520
The post ALA seeks nominations for 2016 James Madison awards appeared first on District Dispatch.
Recently I read an article that discussed digital signage at the San Jose State University library. The concerns raised by librarian Laurel Eby are very valid, especially if you don’t have any background in graphic design. Questions about content, slide duration, number of slides, and even branding are big questions that can impact how effectively your message gets across.
Many, many jokes have been made about how short our attention spans are lately. (Ooh, look – a kitty!) But when you’re designing things that are meant to get – and, hopefully, keep – a person’s attention, there is a seed of truth behind the joke…and you can’t ignore it. Because if you ignore that, then your patrons will ignore you.
When I studied television production, we were told about the “elevator pitch”. If you’re not familiar, imagine you’re in an elevator with a famous director – let’s say Steven Spielberg. You just so happen to have The Best Idea Ever for a movie (about a plucky young librarian who blogs in her spare time?) but you only have until he gets off the elevator to thoroughly describe your story. You have to talk, and you have to talk fast. What do you tell him?
Now translate that into some digital signage. Your patrons are just as busy as Mr. Spielberg and have just as much time to listen to your spiel about your next library event (so basically, none). You’ve got to reach out to them, and you have to do it fast. How do you go about it?
You can take another tip from the television world when you figure out how to answer that question: You’ve got to make it clear, you’ve got to make it quick, and you’ve got to make it concise. Here’s how:
Make it quick: Okay, so we’ve got to get the patrons’ attention. Since we can’t stand on corners yelling about our events, we need to think about what gets our attention – and the answer is imagery. Use vivid, fun colors and, if possible, include a photo (or two) of your event. Make it something that forces people to look – don’t use blurry, dull photos and keep clip art to a minimum.
Make it clear: So now we’ve got the patron, what are we going to tell them? Simply slapping an event name and a date on your signage will generate more questions than answers. Elaborate where you need to – we’re meeting in Room A of the B Branch Library. Give a one-sentence description of the event with active language. Most importantly, make sure your text is as legible as your idea: there are a lot of beautiful script typefaces out there, but if your patrons can’t read them, they’re not worth the pixels they’re made out of.
Make it concise: Journalists operate with these questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Answer at least three of those questions (typically what, where, and when) and you’re golden. Remember your one-sentence description? That’s all you get. You can maybe squeeze a second one in there if you’re determined. But Keep It Simple, Silly. There’s a reason that acronym exists.
Here’s an example of a digital sign I made for our “Talk Like a Pirate Day”. It gives just enough information to tell what’s going on, yet it still invites the patron to come ask about it if they have more time.Our “Talk Like a Pirate Day” signage. All the stamps and fonts were found for free online.
Is this hard? You bet it is. You don’t have to go all-out Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce for your new story-time signage, but you don’t have to make it “Jeopardy!”-dull either. It takes a lot of practice and you’ll learn a lot from your mistakes. Look at other digital ads – the rotating banners on many library pages are an excellent example of what you could do with digital signage. Keep your eyes open for design inspiration, digital and analog, and your ears open for patron feedback. Even if you couldn’t PowerPoint your way out of a paper bag, you can design effective digital signage.
So tell Mr. Spielberg about your awesome new storytime. Who knows – he might make an awesome movie out of it!
“When Widmerpool appeared on his ‘run’ in the cold late afternoon mist, wearing a sweater once white and a cap at least a size too small, Jenkins was returning from the High Street.”
I just finished The Getaway Car: A Donald Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany, which is just what it says it is. Levi Stahl edited it and put together a wonderful collection.
Donald E. Westlake is one of my favourite writers, foremost of course for the Parker novels, which are stone masterpieces (except for the one even Westlake doesn’t like, where Parker actually cares about someone), but also for, to pick a few, Put a Lid On It, the Dortmunder novels (which showed me that comic crime novels don’t have to be bad), and The Ax, a better novel about business, the economy and the upper middle class than pretty much anything else out there in the last two decades, but because it’s a crime novel it got sidelined.
Westlake was a great admirer of Anthony Powell, also one of my favourite authors, whose twelve-novel sequence A Dance to the Music of Time is one of the finest works of English literature. I can’t remember when I first found this out, but it might have been when I read Plunder Squad and found this in part three (always the part in the Parker novels where you see what the other characters are doing), chapter two:
The air conditioner had been on, but Sternberg switched it off first thing, turned the thermostat up to seventy-three, and opened the window slightly. By the time he’d unpacked and desanitized everything, the air in the room had a bit of life in it. Sternberg stripped to his boxer shorts, turned down the bed, settled himself comfortably with his pillows behind his back, and opened the Anthony Powell novel he’d started on the plane. It was Magnus Donners he wanted to identify with, but he kept finding his sympathies going to Widmerpool.
If you don’t know Powell, this means nothing. If you do know Powell, first you wonder what the hell he’s doing in a Parker novel, and then you think about Donners and Widmerpool, and you think about Sternberg and what an insight that is into him. Then you think maybe it’s time you reread the Dance, and then you get back to Plunder Squad, because once you’ve started a Parker novel you can’t put it down.
Now, Levi Stahl also likes Powell. He wrote a foreword for the University of Chicago Press (where he works) edition of Venusberg. So I wasn’t surprised there was a mention of Anthony Powell in The Getaway Car. Westlake has very high praise for Rex Stout, and in a 1973 letter, he says:
Rex Stout has done something very rare in his novels. He has created an on-going mini-world, a sealed-off chamber as distinct from our world as Middle Earth. When I pick up the latest Ross Macdonald I expect his character in our California, but when I pick up the latest Rex Stout I know I will enter once more into that same alternate universe, in which Archie Goodwin will drive a Heron through the streets of some city called New York. The only other writer I know of currently working in that sort of separate continuum (not counting fantasists like Tolkien) is Anthony Powell, with his Dance to the Music of Time series; which is where that comparison ends, since Powell’s purposes and methods are very different from Stout’s.
Westlake told me that Anthony Powell was his favorite novelist. When I read A Dance to the Music of Time, I understood why. I’ve been through Dance twice, and will read it again.
Westlake had some strange theories about some famous books. He thought that the uninitiated should start reading Dance beginning with the fourth volume. “The first three are only really good after you read the rest.” (He had a similar idea for Nabokov’s Ada, that you should skip the first couple of chapters and only read them after you finish.) I am a completist, so I ignored his advice and began Dance with A Question of Upbringing, which I found thrilling – after the first couple of pages. Every volume of Dance starts in an abstract, highly erudite place, almost like Powell doesn’t want anybody but the committed to dig in.
I’d ignore Westlake’s advice too. Start with the first book, but don’t expect it will actually go anywhere. The second book, with the astounding 150-page description of dinner at the Walpole-Wilsons’, the Huntercombes’ ball, and the party at Milly Andriadis’s (and the temporally complex way you’re introduced to Mr. Deacon), is where I got hooked.
EI: Westlake was the guy who told me to read Anthony Powell.
TT: I love that. I love the moment when we discover that one of the characters in a Parker novel is a Powell fan. And that it’s Widmerpool whom he identifies with - that’s the really funny part.
EI: There’s a surprising number of people who love Parker and Dance to the Music of Time, which seems like the least likely combination imaginable.
TT: They’re both acts of serial storytelling. The effects of the series come from our increasing intimacy with their key characters. Another part of what’s fascinating about A Dance to the Music of Time is that it resembles life in that people who you like, die. Or are transformed in such a way that you don’t like them anymore.
From a 1973 interview by Vince Cosgrove:
My admirations are not necessarily my influences. My favorite living novelist is Anthony Powell [author of the 12-volume “A Dance to the Music of Time”]. If I ever took an influence from him it would destroy me because he writes such a controlled but leisurely way that if I put anything of that into my stuff, it would break the springs. I love those books.
From a 2006 interview by Paul Kane:
PK: What writers have especially influenced you?
DW: I was about 15 when I read Hammett’s THE THIN MAN and first discovered what writing could do. He told two stories, one open and one concealed. The open story was a light romantic comedy with a slight mystery in it. The concealed story was a very sad tale of a man who has lost his role in life and has no way out. I hadn’t known you could tell the reader something without actually saying it, and I’ve loved that effect ever since. Nabokov was a master of that. But I also love good writing just for its own sake, and go back to reread Anthony Powell every once in a while. I have to be careful with him, though. After I’ve read Powell a while, my sentences get longer and longer. That works with him, but not with me.
Some of the best parts of The Getaway Car are where Westlake is analyzing other writers and why their books work or don’t. “The Hardboiled Dicks,” a talk given at the Smithsonian in 1982, is a masterful analysis of the genre, especially about Hammett (who he liked) and Chandler (who he didn’t). There’s an essay on Peter Rabe where he sets out why some of Rabe’s books are excellent and others are very poor. (He wrote Rabe for background information, and Rabe would have read the piece: Westlake is honest, and when something’s bad, he doesn’t hedge.) There’s a letter with advice to someone on the draft of a novel, and it takes a lot of experience and wisdom to clearly get to the problems like he does. Westlake has little time for Ross Macdonald, either, for example in this 1977 interview with himself and his pseudonyms:
Moderator: What about Ross Macdonald?
Donald E. Westlake: The former editor of the New York Times Book Review has admitted in print that that was the result of a conspiracy to see if he really could boost an author he liked onto the bestseller list. Since he claimed that was the only time such a conspiracy occurred, Macdonald is a fluke.
Moderator: Do you have an opinion about his work?
Donald E. Westlake: He must have terrific carbon paper.
I wish Westlake had written an essay about Powell and the Dance. His analysis would have been crisp, deep, fresh, respectful, irreverent, wise, warm, personal, and you couldn’t have put it down.
The thing is, Powell would never have even picked up a fucking Westlake novel. But we know that, and we accept it, because that’s who Powell was.
Here is a glimpse into scholarly communication 20 years ago, from a paper about Alzforum, the Alzheimer Research Forum website. “In July of 1996, the website made its debut at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders in Osaka, Japan.”1
Having established a foothold in cyberspace, the challenge for Alzforum was and continues to be to define new types of scientific publishing that take advantage of the speed and wide distribution of the Web and to curate and add value to information available from other public sources. This is a perennial challenge, thanks to the rapid advances in biomedical resources on the Web.
This uphill struggle, however, seems less strenuous when we compare the current situation with the “old days.” Recall that in 1996, PubMed did not exist! (PubMed was launched in June of 1997.) Medical institutions had access to Medline, but in order for Alzforum to produce its Papers of the Week listings, the editor had to ask the Countway Medical Library at Harvard Medical School to provide weekly text files listing newly indexed AD papers. The Alzforum hired a curator to paraphrase each abstract so that this information could be posted without violating journal copyrights. These documents were manually edited, sent out in a weekly email to the advisors for comments, and compiled into a static HTML page. Looking back, we can see that the entire process seems as antiquated as the hand-copying of manuscripts in the Middle Ages.
From pages 459-460 of “Alzheimer Research Forum: a knowledge base and e-community for AD research”2
- page 458, Kinoshita, June, and Gabrielle Strobel. “Alzheimer Research Forum: a knowledge base and e-community for AD research.” in Alzheimer: 100 Years and Beyond, Mathias Jucker, Konrad Beyreuther, Christian Haass, Roger M. Nitsch, Yves Christen, eds. Berlin Heidelberg:Springer-Verlag, 2006: 457-463.
- Kinoshita, June, and Gabrielle Strobel. “Alzheimer Research Forum: a knowledge base and e-community for AD research.” in Alzheimer: 100 Years and Beyond, Mathias Jucker, Konrad Beyreuther, Christian Haass, Roger M. Nitsch, Yves Christen, eds. Berlin Heidelberg:Springer-Verlag, 2006: 457-463.
From the Open Repositories Conference 2016 organizers
On Wednesday, 2 December 2015, there will be a brief scheduled service downtime for all experimental FAST
Web services from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm EST (-5 GMT).
Whether we follow the EU’s lead will be debated at ALA 2016 Midwinter session
In the European Union, a user has the right to have links to certain personal information removed from the results of web searches involving his or her name. This “right to be forgotten”(RTBF) has stimulated robust debate about the appropriateness of such a regime in other countries. ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) will delve into the pros and cons about its possible adoption here in the U.S. during a Breakout session on Saturday, January 9, at 10:30-11:30 a.m. at ALA’s Midwinter Conference at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
Expert speakers include Gail Slater, vice president, legal and regulatory policy, Internet Association, which represents the leading Internet companies, and James G. Neal, university librarian emeritus, Columbia University, member of the board of trustees, Freedom to Read Foundation, and a member of ALA’s executive board. The session will be moderated by Alan S. Inouye, director of ALA’s OITP.
The “right to be forgotten” refers to an individual’s right to compel a search engine service to have a process for removing links to certain personal information from search results involving his or her name. Personal blogs, arrest records, explicit photos and business critiques are now typically published forever. Should individuals have the right to have links to certain personal information removed from web search results? Under most current applications of RTBF, information is not removed or destroyed at its source. Rather, a search engine or web page owner prevents links from appearing in the search results list that is produced following a name search. The originally published information generally remains available and could potentially be located by using a different search engine or by trying different search terms. However, in some applications of RTBF, the underlying published information may, in fact, be removed.
Dan Lee, chair of the OITP Advisory Committee and director of the Office of Copyright Management and Scholarly Communication at the University of Arizona, explains that:
“Libraries and librarians preserve and provide access to information. Since RTBF obscures information or essentially hides it from those searching on the Internet, it effectively removes access to information. This poses a challenge to a librarian’s social responsibility to help users find the information they need, and is especially harmful when there is a clear public interest in having access to it. On the other hand, people should have control over the visibility of their own information. Sometimes, there are compelling reasons for why access to certain information should be eliminated or minimized. Thus, there is a fundamental tension between the rights of individuals and society. This should be a very interesting panel.”
The post Where does the U.S. stand on “right to be forgotten” policy? appeared first on District Dispatch.
Co-Authoring the Digital inclusion blog series are John Bertot* and Larra Clark**
For more than five years, the Public Libraries and the Internet survey has explored how libraries leverage their technology resources and services to enable employment opportunity for community members. The research consistently shows libraries go beyond bridging the digital inclusion gap by providing computer and Internet access to patrons who lack such employment necessities in their homes. Librarians strive to assist individuals who lack digital literacy, which includes the skills needed to search for jobs online, fill out online forms such as applications, use software tools to create resumes, and more.
Most recently, the 2014 Digital Inclusion Survey finds that:
- 73% of libraries provide programs that assist individuals apply for jobs, create resumes, and prepare for interviews; with access to jobs databases and job opportunity resources;
- 68% of libraries provide access to programs that assist individuals with accessing employment databases and job opportunity resources; and
- 62% of libraries provide access to online job/employment materials.
In addition, 36% of libraries provide work space(s) for mobile workers.
Libraries go further—promoting entrepreneurship and small business development. Of the one-third of libraries that offer such programs, 59% offer small business startup assistance, 49% help develop small business plans, 39% offer business collaboration space and meeting rooms, and 37% provide market research services.
These services are increasingly essential. According to the Federal Communications Commission, 17% percent of American households do not have broadband access, reaching up to 53% in rural communities (see full report here).
With major employers increasingly using online services as the primary means of listing open positions and only allowing applications to be completed online, library technologies are vital for many Americans to find employment.
Libraries offer millions of people access to employment and career information, certification and testing resources, assistance with online job applications, skills training and free public Internet and computing access. State and local partnerships and collaborations with employment and workforce agencies can provide stronger community employment services that not only get people back to work, but also allow patrons to achieve their full career potential or pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.
More details are available in the study’s Public Libraries & Employment issue brief.
(Note: this is the second in a series of blog posts devoted to detailing aspects of libraries’ digital inclusion roles. We welcome questions, comments and suggestions for future blogs in the comments section.)
*John Carlo Bertot is the Digital Inclusion Survey lead researcher and co-director of the Information Policy & Access Center at the University of Maryland.
**Larra Clark is ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) deputy director
In what has become something of a well-traveled rut, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be back at the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit on Friday, December 4, to make its case on behalf of the Open Internet. The FCC will defend the Order it approved in February, which the ALA and a host of library and higher education organizations advocated for, along with other network neutrality allies.
Most recently, the ALA, Association of College & Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies took this advocacy to the court with an amicus brief in United States Telecom Association, et al., v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America.
For those looking for a preview of coming attractions, here are a few of the articles we’ve been reading:
Judge holds fate of net neutrality rules
The Hill, 11/28/15
“A major court decision that will determine the fate of new Internet regulations could be written by the same judge who struck down earlier rules only a year ago. In what the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit calls random chance, Judge David Tatel will be one of three judges slated to hear oral arguments Dec. 4 in a case challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s strongest net neutrality rules ever.”
Net neutrality, again? Why debate on Internet’s fate returns to court Dec. 4
International Business Times, 11/28/15
“There are several questions the three judges can debate, such as whether Internet service providers (ISPs) have “First Amendment” rights, if those rights have been violated and if the providers were not given enough time to meet these new demands. Yet, one issue could take center stage: whether what the FCC proposed and later adopted was within its legal jurisdiction.”
These 3 judges hold the fate of the Internet in their hands
Washington Post, 11/24/15
“Three judges from the D.C. Circuit have been named to hear the oral argument on Dec. 4. Much like the Supreme Court, the very makeup of this panel could subtly shape the course of events. What do we know about the judges? Are they familiar with the issues? How might they vote? Below, get briefly acquainted with each one ahead of the big day.”
For more real-time news and opinions, check out #NetNeutrality and #openInternet. Recordings of oral arguments from the D.C. Circuit are shared here, and stay tuned here at the District Dispatch for more reactions and analysis next week.
The post News to watch: Net Neutrality oral arguments on December 4 appeared first on District Dispatch.
In the Library, With the Lead Pipe: The intersection between cultural competence and whiteness in libraries
The context for this article is Australian libraries and my experience there with cross-cultural provision. However, this article is not about providing library services for any specific group; it’s about cultural competence and whiteness. I begin with my background, so as to make clear how I participate, as a white librarian, in discussions about libraries and how they might be places where people from any cultural group find themselves reflected and where they find information the more easily for that reflection. I also start at that point because cultural competence requires an awareness of your own culture; for me, as a white person, that means thinking about whiteness. I then link experience with reading about cultural competence, and conversations with librarians who are also interested in cross cultural provision. Whiteness in libraries is introduced via these conversations. A brief comparison is drawn between the usefulness of intersectionality and cultural competence in addressing whiteness. The conclusion is that cultural competence embedded in professional approaches, library operations and the library environment can be the means for addressing whiteness, if the understandings of power and privilege outlined in intersectionality are incorporated.Introduction
I am a 56 year old, tertiary-educated, female Anglo-Australian. I am also a librarian. I fit the demographic profile of the Australian library workforce, which is described as highly feminised, professionally educated, ageing, and predominantly Anglo-Saxon (Hallam 2007); or, ‘a largely English-speaking, culturally homogenous group’ (Partridge et al 2012, p. 26). I have worked in the library industry for eight years, coming to the job after an employment history spanning at least four other industries. In these eight years I have developed a professional interest in cultural competence and whiteness in libraries.
Three factors motivated me to write this article. The first is the challenges I experienced in my first library job. One set of challenges helped me find my feet as a librarian; another, outlined below, set a strong direction for future work and further study. The second factor is cultural competence, about which I learned in response to those challenges. Thirdly, the Australian library and information management industry is beginning to address diversity, often through cultural competence. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), the State Library of New South Wales and the State Library of Victoria all include cultural competence or proficiency in key policies and strategies. Charles Sturt University is committed to cultural competence in the context of Indigenous content in curriculum; RMIT University includes it as a topic in the professional experience course in its Master of Information Management. Most other library schools include in their program aims, development of skills for working in a diverse environment.My background
I began work in the library and information industry as Special Collections Manager at Alice Springs Public Library in Central Australia. The special collections were the Alice Springs Collection, documenting the history, geography, economic development, and cultures of Central Australia; and the Akaltye Antheme Collection, a local Indigenous knowledge collection, developed in partnership with the Traditional Owners. ‘Akaltye Antheme’ translates into English as ‘giving knowledge’, the knowledge being a showcase of local culture for Aboriginal and non-Indigenous users of the library.
In addition to a Graduate Diploma in Information Management, I also brought the accidents of life to that job. By ‘accidents’ I mean those developments which aren’t the product of any particular decision, which just seem to occur as life itself occurs and which coalesce into fundamental themes or directions. One of those accidents is being born white.
Other accidents include two books, read when I was twenty: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee; An Indian History of the American West, and Living black; Blacks talk to Kevin Gilbert. They were my introduction to Indigenous people’s experience of history and colonisation. I had no idea of that reality until then. The ensuing couple of decades included NAIDOC marches, Sorry Day ceremonies, reconciliation activities, and visits to the Tent Embassy. Friends and I mused about whiteness – what it means to be white when being white is the norm. This participation involved some decision-making but I had drifted into that left wing milieu – yes, an accident.
Another key accident was work as a personal care attendant in a supported accommodation centre for Koories. The health effects of a colonised life of disadvantage and discrimination were glaringly evident: very high incidence of diabetes and corollary conditions, alcohol-related brain damage, staggering male morbidity. Also clearly evident were the strength and resilience of culture, how hard people worked to maintain it and how they worked within it to maintain themselves and their community. The power of being white struck me for the first time: the residents were far more likely to do something when I asked them than when my largely Sri Lankan co-workers did. I attribute this to two things: the residents’ experience, often from very young, of near-complete control of their lives by white people in positions of power; and how, as a white person, I unwittingly used to the power and privilege that redounds to being white, and was able unknowingly but effectively to convey expectations.
Without the activist activities described earlier, I wouldn’t have perceived the effect of whiteness in an ordinary working environment for what it was; without that work experience, my understanding of the effects of a colonised life would be weaker. I outline this to indicate that I came to the Special Collections job beginning to understand my privilege as a white person. This privilege is reflected in the quality of my life; it is a product in part of the dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, and continuing systemic advantage for white people. Why is this important to this article? As I said in a conference presentation with Sylvia Perrurle Neale, the Indigenous Services Officer at Alice Springs Public Library, being a member of the dominant group is the biggest challenge I face in working in partnership with other, minority groups.
Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has been the main path for my learning about cultural competence and whiteness. However, cultural competence applies far more widely than only working with Indigenous peoples. As Ruby Hamad illustrates, whiteness resounds systemically. I would like to extend Hamad’s sentence, “[if you’re white,] you’re not going to be discriminated against on the basis of the colour of your skin” and suggest that you are also not likely to begin a sentence with the explanatory phrase, “In my/our culture …”, as I have so often heard members of minority groups do. You may never have to think about what your culture is, because as Henry and Tator (2006, cited in Calgary Anti-Racism Education) point out, whiteness in social, political and economic arenas is so much the norm, that it represents “neutrality”’. In a system that privileges some and marginalises others, often on the basis of skin colour but also on the basis of group membership, there are many marginalised groups. Jaeger et al. (2011) argue that working with any marginalised group requires cultural competence.The challenges in that first job
In 2006, Alice Springs staff suggested that the Akaltye Antheme Collection be nominated for the Library Stars Award at the Australian Library and Information Association conference. (This happened before I worked there.) It won: delegates judged it the best initiative for its method of establishment, content, popularity with Aboriginal patrons, and the way the library adapted to the changed demand and use of the library that it generated.
Despite this organisational pride, Akaltye Antheme occupied a kind of limbo. Everything was the Special Collections Manager’s responsibility – to keep it tidy, repair items, endprocess acquisitions, liaise with Aboriginal organisations on a range of library matters, and manage incidents arising among Aboriginal patrons. Similarly focussed collections and target groups weren’t similarly quarantined; for example, the junior fiction and non-fiction collections, and children’s behaviour, weren’t considered the exclusive responsibility of the Children’s Librarian. Akaltye Antheme was considered something for Aboriginal people, not everyone who walked through the door, contrary to the intention of those who established it. Aboriginal people, who could be up to 30% of the library’s patrons, used Akaltye Antheme regardless of this differential staff approach. They would often spend hours every day browsing and reading it. I wondered why Akaltye Antheme retained its special project status long after it was established, particularly when it was such an integral resource to a significant proportion of the library’s clientele and when it was intended for all patrons. I found this frustrating and isolating. I fit the librarian stereotype, I belong to the dominant group; yet the attitude of my (largely white, older, educated, female) colleagues to a collection they didn’t seem to consider core business, affected me. Sylvia Purrurle Neale, an Eastern Arrernte woman, voiced similar frustrations.
I felt capable of learning to manage the historical collection, partly because my undergraduate degree included an honours in history. I had no idea about how to manage the Indigenous knowledge collection. This lack of educational preparation for working cross-culturally, then the isolation and frustration, echo Mestre’s research into the experience of librarians responsible for services to diverse populations (2010). She reports stress, potential burnout, and isolation of individual professionals. She also identifies opportunity costs to library organisations which rely on individuals for the provision of ‘diversity services’. The costs include loss of experienced staff and of the opportunity for all staff to learn, and benefit from learning, how to work cross-culturally. She argues that embedding culturally competent service within the organisation benefits it and all staff. Other commentators discuss the benefits of cultural competence in all aspects of library operations to organisational performance overall (Kim & Sin 2008, Andrade and Rivera 2011).Learning about cultural competence
My next job was as Community Engagement Librarian with Libraries ACT, focussing on building engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. While in Alice Springs, I had thought that managing Akaltye Antheme could be something on which to build in my career – there probably were not too many librarians in Australia with experience providing services for and with Aboriginal people. I had also thought uneasily about the differential in the benefit that accrues to a white librarian coming to town for a short time and leaving with a marketable skill; and that which accrues to the local community, who would stay in Alice Springs after I had left. I can’t at this point cite any research that verifies this differential. However, if my experience resonates with that of others who have worked with minority groups, research in this area may suggest that greater benefit accrues to those already in a privileged position, in this instance, white librarians.
I began at Libraries ACT determined that there had to be an organisational approach to community engagement, partly to avoid aspects of my experience in Alice Springs but also to achieve organisational aims. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to want to come to their library, they have to find a place where they are comfortable, where they can see themselves or their culture reflected. Partridge et al. (2012) point out that this applies for any cultural group. That is, any groups whose identity incorporates religion, disability, sexual orientation, age, recreation, employment, political beliefs, socio-economic status, educational attainment, and class (Helton 2010, Jaeger et al 2011). Creating such an environment in a system of nine branches, a heritage library, and a central administration clearly could not be done by one person. Advocating an organisational approach and the support of management led to a decision to implement the ATSILIRN Protocols. The Protocols are a set of guidelines for appropriate library, information, and records services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, developed by Aboriginal and non-Indigenous librarians.
I document this engagement with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in a case study (Blackburn, 2014). Findings include that:
- a small team can achieve a lot with support from colleagues and where the community wants to be engaged;
- synergy between library objectives and a group’s aims will enhance outcomes;
- the Protocols are useful in designing and choosing engagement activities; and
- the community will meet you more than half way in your engagement activities.
There are still challenges. Where staff responses to Akaltye Antheme included a kind of resistance, a significant proportion of Libraries ACT staff, throughout the staff structure, want to engage with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The first challenge was to demonstrate that it wasn’t hard; once connections are made and sustained, engagement kind of runs itself. Another challenge relates to staff being able to find the time in a busy service to make connections, including going outside the library, and then maintaining involvement. The next relates to how libraries usually conduct business. Libraries are great on systems and processes; they are essential features of information management. However, if you want to build an engaged community, an insistence on a way of operating that suits internally devised systems is going to bump up rather hard against a community with its own way of organising, which is also given to taking ideas and running with them.
These are essentially facets of the one challenge. The ‘special project’ status of a resource that should have been embedded in core business; the limitation on time for building and maintaining relationships; and a preference for uniform service delivery rather than flexibility, are each part of the challenge of sustainable cross-cultural provision. This challenge, in the manifestations just outlined, resides in library professionals and in organisations.
For the first five years of working in libraries, I searched with little success for information about cross-cultural provision, cross-cultural communication, etc. in a library context. Then a speaker who worked in education mentioned ‘cultural competence’ at a Protocols implementation workshop. This was a key moment, albeit another accident. There was nothing in the Australian Library and Information Science (LIS) literature then about cultural competence but there was discussion of it in US library literature.
Overall (2009) defines cultural competence for library and information professionals as:
the ability to recognise the significance of culture in one’s own life and in the lives of others; to come to know and respect diverse cultural backgrounds and characteristics through interaction with individuals from diverse linguistic, cultural and socioeconomic groups; and to fully integrate the culture of diverse groups into service work, and institutions in order to enhance the lives of both those being serviced by the library profession and those engaged in service (p. 176).
Other service industries, like health and education, recognise that care or instruction that does not address the cultural context could have serious negative consequences. Failing to acknowledge the inappropriateness of male clinicians providing some procedures for women from particular groups, for example, could result in those women choosing not to access health services. Overall’s definition, which draws on theory from these industries, locates the site of cultural competence development within the professional workforce and library organisations, also the locations where the challenges of cross cultural provision arise. Cultural competence has been incorporated into US library and information science education accreditation standards. Research has supported its role in recruitment and retention, staff development, organisational performance, collection management, and service and program design (Andrade & Rivera 2011, Kim & Sin 2008, Mestre 2010).
Whether cultural competence has been truly embedded into US library and information science is debated. Case studies document incorporation into library business (e.g., Rivera 2013, Montague 2013); but Berry (1999) and Mehra (2011) assert that only token efforts have been made. Others (Galvan 2015, Honma 2006, Jaeger et al. 2011, Pawley 2005, Swanson et al. 2015) suggest that the issue is broader than development of cultural competence and includes diversity, race, racism, and whiteness. Broadening the debate in this way names the issues – diversity, race, racism and whiteness – which cross-cultural provision should address.
Cultural competence clearly begins with the professional – and just as clearly should go beyond the individual to be developed within the whole organisation. The following examples demonstrate why culturally competent organisations are required as well as professionals. In 2013, during a Libraries ACT planning day exercise, I noticed that a significant proportion of staff were either born overseas or were children of migrants; and the majority of that group were not Anglo-Saxon. (This reflects the demographic profile of the Australian population: 26% are migrants; nearly three quarters of whom are not Anglo-Saxon.) (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012) Nevertheless the library service remains an organisation based in Western systems. The non-fiction shelves are organised according to Dewey Decimal Classification, which privileges Western or white concepts of knowledge. The bulk of the collection is in English. The songs sung during programs for babies and young children are most often English nursery rhymes. The library service remains a white one; staff from minority groups have adapted to the prevailing structure.
Wong et al. (2003) suggest that minority groups not only adapt to prevailing structures, they also adopt the underlying values. Wong et al., Canadian health practitioners of Asian descent, found their heritage did not guarantee that they would deliver mental health care appropriately to members of their own groups. They instead adopted the racialised approaches to power embedded in the Western health system in which they worked. Why would libraries be any different, particularly as they run on complex, long established systems, systems which can be adapted without changing embedded values? Dewey Decimal Classification, for example, is an ethnocentric arrangement of knowledge which has been modified to accommodate new and emerging areas of knowledge without changing the fundamental privileging of original concepts.
The diversity envisaged in US discussions about cultural competence “encompasses race, gender, ethnicity, language, literacy, disability, age, socio-economic status, educational attainment, technology access and skill” (2012 Symposium on Diversity and Library and Information Science Education, cited in Jaeger, Bertot & Subramaniam 2013). If culture is defined as “the shared daily activities of groups and individuals” (Rosaldo 1989, cited in Montiel-Overall, 2009, p 3) then religion, political beliefs and affiliation, and recreational activities are also part of diversity and should also influence cross-cultural provision. Helton (2010) and Jaeger et al. (2011) acknowledge the usefulness of cultural competence for providing library services for all groups in diverse populations, not only those whose identity is defined by race or ethnicity.
A fundamental aspect of cultural competence is that the process of achieving it never stops. Press and Diggs-Hobson (2005) point out that the professional is of necessity constantly learning about cultures in a service population: knowing everything about all the cultures in a population, before encountering them, is not possible. Ongoing interaction and actively seeking out knowledge (Garrison 2013) are integral components of developing cultural competence. The knowledge I brought to that first job in Alice Springs has continued to expand, through work and study. Most recently, during a short-term transfer to AIATSIS, I had cause to think a lot about colonisation and its ongoing effects in a post-colonial world.Whiteness in libraries
In a recent conversation, a woman described how, when her family migrated from Egypt to the United States and then to Australia, her parents took her and her siblings to the library precisely so that they would learn how to fit in. Relating this as an adult, she said her parents chose the library “because it was a white place.” When I mentioned this to other librarians interested in cross-cultural provision and social inclusion, responses included:
You know I am really going to have to think this through. The whiteness of a library as a place to learn how to fit in. I never considered it that. I loved to read and that is the place to find books. At the same time, one learns English – to read and write – which is part of education and educating in the ‘white’ way which is at the foundation of libraries.(personal communication with an Indigenous librarian, 16th September 2015);
I find it curious how they intentionally used it in their acculturation to the dominant Australian culture … the literature that I have seen generally shows that immigrants trust the library and librarians. In that sense, libraries are welcoming and friendly spaces. However, that does not mean that libraries are culturally neutral zones and/or are as inclusive as one would like to think. I don’t think that this is all bad. It sounds like newcomers can benefit from it as they transition into the new society, however, long term this may cause them to feel excluded and/or that their cultures are less valued. Likewise, this would clearly be exclusionary to minority groups, such as indigenous [sic] peoples, who are not trying adapt to the dominant culture, but are nations within their own right. (personal communication with PhD candidate researching inclusion in libraries, 20th September 2015)
These communications, and the following discussion, indicate that the need for cultural competence is not reduced by the uses people from minority groups can make of white spaces. If anything they underline the need for it, and for dexterity in its deployment. A 2003 evaluation of the project to establish Akaltye Antheme included comments that Aboriginal people came to the library because it was a “neutral space”. They meant that it was a whitefella space free from the tensions of blackfella life; it was also a space where whitefella and blackfella clashes, common elsewhere in town, weren’t going to occur, where they could relax for a while and also make use of library services. In 2008, Aboriginal people were observed using the library to do online banking, socialise, organise or inform others of community events like funerals, read hard copy and digital Akaltye Antheme resources, watch videos, draw, or browse the other collections (Kral, unpublished report for council, 2008). Aboriginal people used the Alice Springs library before the establishment of the Akaltye Antheme Collection; however its popularity and changes in library use following its establishment suggest that the changed environment, while not making the library any less a white place, was valuable to Aboriginal patrons.
The Indigenous librarian quoted before, further commented about the affirmation members of her tribe find in their own libraries. Her comment reveals the value to individuals of places that reflect their identity:
on the other side, you have tribal libraries where Indigenous people go to learn not just reading and writing, but cultural aspects and language in the comfort of their created environment. My co-worker, she finds a reconnection to herself at the place we work. (personal communication 16th September 2015)
The potential alienation of libraries built on whiteness, mentioned by the PhD candidate, can be inferred from this comment.
Ettarh (2014) suggests “intersectional librarianship” as a means for working effectively with diverse populations. Intersectionality recognises the interactions between any person or group’s multiple layers of identity and the marginalisation or privilege attendant on each. No single identity is in play at any one time; and outcomes and experiences vary correspondingly. Multiple layers of identity result in multiple interactions between privilege and discrimination or marginalisation. The differing outcomes and responses arising from that interplay are evident in by the Egyptian migrants’ use of the library for their children’s acculturation; and in the use of the public library and the Akaltye Antheme Collection by Aboriginal people in Alice Springs.
An intersectional perspective can be developed by “learning to become allies … not just learning about the issues that affect the underrepresented but also learning how our own biases and privileges make it difficult for us to build alliances” (Ettarh (2014). Cultural competence requires virtually the same strategy for modifying personal and organisational practice.
Intersectional librarianship, however, discusses power and privilege, an omission in cultural competence theory that I have read. Intersectional librarianship “involves challenging and deconstructing privilege and considering how race, gender, class, disability, etc., affect patrons’ information needs” (Ettarh 2013). Wong et al. (2003) argue that understanding power must be central to understanding culture and to negotiating its multiple layers and interactions. Ettarh identifies as a queer person of color and talks of the challenges “we” librarians as a diverse group face in a diverse environment. Her use of the first person plural pronoun, to include all librarians, accords with the effect of structurally embedded racialised power on all health staff, that Wong et al. describe.
Cultural competence, as defined by Overall (2009), does address the framework in which library operations occur: the professional development of the individual practitioner, the interactions between colleagues and between practitioners and patrons, and the effect of the environment, inside and outside the library. Privilege, while not explicitly referenced in cultural competence theory, is implicit in how culture works; whiteness, again not explicitly referenced in cultural competence theory, is central in Western library structures and operations, in the environment in which libraries are located. If the starting point of cultural competence is an understanding of the role of culture in your life (including your workplace), and in the lives of others, then you will also become aware of the interactions and interplay of privilege and marginalisation described by Ettarh (2014). It should be possible to incorporate awareness of privilege and whiteness as another starting point for culturally competent practice.
Achieving inclusive services in the diverse Australian population when the Australian library workforce is culturally homogenous therefore poses a test. Individual Australian libraries are providing services to particular groups but how these initiatives are sustained is unclear, meaning that the risk remains for individuals responsible for ‘diversity services’ to struggle with the lack of support and isolation identified by Mestre (2010). Yarra Valley Regional Library obtained grant funding to develop programs with the hearing impaired community, children and adults with low literacy, and children with autism autism (Mackenzie 2014) – which makes me wonder whether the organisational challenge, of incorporating initiatives for minority groups into ongoing core business, might also remain. Without education in cultural competence, practitioners do not have the opportunity to discuss and evaluate their cross-cultural initiatives within a theoretical framework.Conclusion
In a workforce that is predominantly Anglo-Saxon, in an industry that is firmly based on Western concepts of knowledge and systems giving prominence to those concepts, but which provides services to a diverse population, a cultural competence that includes awareness of whiteness, of privilege and the mechanisms that make it available to some and not others, is essential. Cultural competence can make the information at the heart of a library’s existence genuinely accessible. It can help create “low intensity meeting places” where different groups can interact – or not (Audunson 2004); where people can seek answers to culturally shaped questions in culturally mediated ways (Abdullahi 2008).
I have appreciated the open-review process, particularly being able to choose one of the reviewers. It has felt more collaborative than the peer-review processes of other publications. Thanks to Sue Reynolds and Ellie Collier for picking their way through the two drafts of this article, correcting grammar and asking questions that spurred me to clarify and extend what I was writing about. Thanks also to Hugh Rundle, publishing editor. It’s been a cross-cultural exercise of itself and I particularly appreciate Ellie’s contribution in that respect.References
Abdullahi, I. (2008). Cultural mediation in library and information science (LIS) teaching and learning. New Library World, Vol. 109, No. 7, pp. 393-389.
Andrade, R. & Rivera, A. (2011). Developing a diversity-competent workforce: the UA Libraries’ experience. Journal of Library Administration, Vol 51. Nos. 7-8, pp. 692-727.
Audunson, R. (2004). The public library as a meeting-place in a multicultural and digital context; the necessity of low-intensive meeting-places. Journal of Documentation, Vol. 61, No. 3, pp. 429-440.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2012). ‘Cultural diversity in Australia’, reflecting a nation:
stories from the 2011 census, 2012–2013, cat. no. 2071.0. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics. http://www.abs.gov.au
Berry, J. (1999). Culturally competent service’. Library Journal, Vol. 124, No. 14, pp. 112-113.
Blackburn, F. (2014). An example of community engagement: Libraries ACT and the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 121-138.
Brown, D. (1972). Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian history of the American West. New York: Bantam Books.
Ettarh, F. (2013).Black OR Queer? Life at the Intersection. Hack Library School. http://hacklibraryschool.com/2013/11/19/black-or-queer-life-at-the-intersection/
Ettarh, F. (2015). Making a new table: intersectional librarianship. In the Library With the Lead Pipe. http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2014/making-a-new-table-intersectional-librarianship-3/
Galvan, A. (2015). Soliciting performance, hiding bias: whiteness and librarianship. In the Library With the Lead Pipe. http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2015/soliciting-performance-hiding-bias-whiteness-and-librarianship.
Garrison, K. L. (2013). “This intense desire to know the world”: Cultural competency as a
personal and professional disposition in collection development practices, paper presented
to IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2013, Singapore, 17-23 August 2013, International Federation of Library Associations, The Hague. http://library.ifla.org/66/1/101-garrison-en.pdf
Gilbert, K. (1978). Living black: Blacks talk to Kevin Gilbert. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
Helton, R. (2010). Diversity dispatch: Increasing diversity awareness with cultural competency, Kentucky Libraries, Vol. 74, No. 4, pp. 22-24.
Honma, T. (2006). Trippin’ over the color line: the invisibility of race in library and information studies. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/4nj0w1mp.
Jaeger, P. T., Bertot, J. C. & Subramaniam, M. M. (2013). Introduction to the special Issue on diversity and library and information science education. The Library Quarterly, Vol. 83, No. 3, pp. 201-203.
Jaeger, P. T., Subramaniam, M. M., Jones, C. B. & Bertot, J.C. (2011). Diversity and LIS education: inclusion and the age of information. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, Vol. 52, No. 3, pp. 166-183.
Kim, K. S., & Sin, S. C. J. (2008). Increasing ethnic diversity in LIS: strategies suggested by librarians of color. Library Quarterly, Vol. 78, No. 2, pp. 153-177. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/528887
Mehra B., Olson, H. A. & Ahmad, S. (2011). Integrating diversity across the LIS curriculum: an exploratory study of instructors’ perceptions and practices online. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Journal, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 39-51. http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/hq/publications/ifla-journal/ifla-journal-37-1_2011.pdf
Mestre, L. S. (2010). Librarians working with diverse populations: what impact does cultural competency training have on their efforts?. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, Vol. 36, No. 6, pp. 479-488. https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/26006/Mestre_librarians_working_with_diverse_populations_proof.pdf?sequence=2
Montague, R. A. (2013). Advancing cultural competency in library and information science, paper presented to IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2013, Singapore, 17-23 August 2013, International Federation of Library Associations, The Hague. http://library.ifla.org/274/1/125-montague-en.pdf
Montiel-Overall, P. (2009). Developing cultural competence to create multicultural libraries. Paper submitted to the American Library Association International Papers Committee 2009 Annual Conference, Chicago, USA. http://www.ala.org/irrt/sites/ala.org.irrt/files/content/irrtcommittees/irrtintlpapers/Patricia_Montiel-Ove.pdf
Overall, P. M. (2009). Cultural competence: a conceptual framework for library and information science professionals. The Library, Vol. 79., No. 2, pp. 175-204.
Partridge, H. L., Hanisch, J., Hughes, H. E., Henninger, M., Carroll, M., Combes, B., … & Yates, C. (2011). Re-conceptualising and re-positioning Australian library and information science education for the 21st century [Final Report 2011]. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/46915/
Pawley, C. (2006). Unequal legacies: race and multiculturalism in the LIS curriculum, The Library Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 2, pp. 149-168. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/506955
Press, N. O. & Diggs-Hobson, M. (2005). Providing health information to community members where they are: characteristics of the culturally competent librarian. Library Trends, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 397-410. https://www.ideals.illinois.edu
Rivera, A. (2013). Indigenous knowledge and cultural competencies in the library profession: from theory to practice, paper presented to IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2013, Singapore, 17-23 August 2013, International Federation of Library Associations, The Hague, http://library.ifla.org/275/1/125-rivera-en.pdf
Swanson, J., Damasco, I., Gonzalez-Smith, I., Hodges, D., Honma, T. & Tanaka, A. (2015). Why diversity matters: a roundtable discussion on racial and ethnic diversity in librarianship. In the Library With the Lead Pipe, http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2015/why-diversity-matters-a-roundtable-discussion-on-racial-and-ethnic-diversity-in-librarianship/
Wong, Y. R., Cheng, S., Choi, S., Ky, K, LeBa, S., Tsang, K. & Yoo, L. (2003) De-constructing culture in cultural competence: dissenting voices from Asian-Canadian practitioners, Canadian Social Work Review/Revue canadienne de service social, Vol. 20. No. 2, pp. 149-167.
We are pleased to announce the release of Active Fedora 9.7.0. You can read about the changes here:
Thanks to Justin Coyne, David Chandek-Stark, Jim Coble, Carolyn Cole, and Trey Terrell for their contributions to this release.
The Eleventh International Conference on Open Repositories, OR2016, will be held on June 13th-16th, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. The organizers are pleased to issue this call for contributions to the program.
As previous Open Repositories have demonstrated, the use of digital repositories to manage research, scholarly and cultural information is well established and increasingly mature. Entering our second decade, we have an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been and, more importantly, where we’re heading. New development continues apace, and we’ve reached the time when many organizations are exploring expansive connections with larger processes both inside and outside traditional boundaries. Open Repositories 2016 will explore how our rich collections and infrastructure are now an inherent part of contemporary scholarship and research and how they have expanded to touch many aspects of our academic and cultural enterprises.
The theme of OR2016 is “Illuminating the World.” OR2016 will provide an opportunity to explore the ways in which repositories and related infrastructure and processes:
- bring different disciplines, collections, and people to light;
- expose research, scholarship, and collections from developing countries;
- increase openness of collections, software, data and workflows;
- highlight data patterns and user pathways through collections; and
- how we can organize to better support these – and other – infrastructures.
We welcome proposals on these ideas, but also on the theoretical, practical, technical, organizational or administrative topics related to digital repositories. Submissions that demonstrate original and repository-related work outside of these themes will be considered, but preference will be given to submissions which address them. We are particularly interested in the following themes.
- Supporting Open Scholarship, Open Data, and Open Science
Papers are invited to consider how repositories can best support the needs of open science and open scholarship to make research as accessible and useful as possible, including:
- Open access, open data and open educational resources
- Scholarly workflows, publishing and communicating scientific knowledge
- Exposure of research and scholarship from developing countries and under-resourced communities and disciplines
- Compliance with funder mandates
- Repositories and Cultural Heritage
Papers are invited to consider how repositories and their associated infrastructures best support the needs of cultural heritage collections, organizations, and researchers. Areas of interest include:
- Impact of aggregation on repository infrastructure and management
- Exposure of collections and cultural heritage from developing countries and under-resourced communities and disciplines
- Special considerations in access and use of cultural heritage collections
- Reuse and analysis of content.
- Repositories of high volume and/or complex data and collections
Papers are invited to consider how we can use tools and processes to highlight data patterns and user pathways through large corporas including:
- Data and text mining
- Entity recognition
- Linked data
- Standardized interfaces
- Interaction with large-scale computation and simulation processes
- Issues of scale and size beyond traditional repository contexts
- Managing Research Data, Software, and Workflows
Papers are invited to consider how repositories can support the needs of research data and related software and workflows. Areas of interest are:
- Curation lifecycle management, including storage, software and workflows
- Digital preservation tools and services
- Reuse and analysis of scientific content
- Scholarly workflows, publishing and communicating scientific knowledge
- Integrating with the Wider Web and External Systems
Papers are invited to explore, evaluate, or demonstrate integration with external systems, including:
- CRIS and research management systems
- Notification and compliance tracking systems
- Identifier services
- Preservation services and repositories
- Publisher systems
- Collection management systems and workflows
- Exploring Metrics, Assessment, and Impact
Papers are invited to present experiences on metrics and assessment services for a range of content, including:
- Downloads (e.g. COUNTER compliance)
- Altmetrics and other alternative methods of tracking and presenting impact
- Managing Rights
Papers are invited to examine the role of rights management in the context of open repositories, including:
- Research and scholarly communication outputs
- Licenses (e.g. Creative Commons, Open Data Commons)
- Requirements of funder mandates
- Developing and Training Staff
Papers are invited to consider the evolving role of staff who support and manage repositories across libraries, cultural heritage organizations, research offices and computer centres, especially:
- New roles and responsibilities
- Training needs and opportunities
- Career path and recruitment
- Community support
- 01 February 2016: Deadline for submissions and Scholarship Programme applications
- 01 February 2016: Registration opens
- 28 March 2016: Submitters notified of acceptance to general conference
- 11 April 2016: Submitters notified of acceptance to Interest Groups
- 13-16 June 2016: OR2016 conference
Conference Papers and Panels
We expect that proposals for papers or panels will be two to four-pages (see below for optional Proposal Templates). Abstracts of accepted papers and panels will be made available through the conference’s web site, and later they and associated materials will be made available in an open repository. In general, sessions will have three papers; panels may take an entire session or may be combined with a paper. Relevant papers unsuccessful in the main track will be considered for inclusion, as appropriate, as an Interest Group presentation, poster or 24/7.
Interest Group Presentations
The opportunity to engage with and learn more about the work of relevant communities of interest is a key element of Open Repositories. One to two page proposals are invited for presentations or panels that focus on the work of such communities, traditionally DSpace, EPrints, Fedora, and Invenio, describing novel experiences or developments in the construction and use of repositories involving issues specific to these technical platforms. Further information about applications for additional Interest Groups and guidance on submissions will be forthcoming.
24×7 presentations are 7 minute presentations comprising no more than 24 slides. Proposals for 24×7 presentations should be one to two-pages. Similar to Pecha Kuchas or Lightning Talks, these 24×7 presentations will be grouped into blocks based on conference themes, with each block followed by a moderated discussion / question and answer session involving the audience and whole block of presenters. This format will provide conference goers with a fast-paced survey of like work across many institutions, and presenters the chance to disseminate their work in more depth and context than a traditional poster.
“Repository RANTS” 24×7 Block
One block of 24×7’s will revolve around “repository rants”: brief exposés that challenge the conventional wisdom or practice, and highlight what the repository community is doing that is misguided, or perhaps just missing altogether. The top proposals will be incorporated into a track meant to provoke unconventional approaches to repository services.
“Repository RAVES” 24×7 Block
One block of 24×7’s at OR2016 will revolve around “repository raves”: brief exposés that celebrate particular practice and processes, and highlight what the repository community is doing that is right. The top proposals will be incorporated into a track meant to celebrate successful approaches to repository services.
We invite one-page proposals for posters that showcase current work. Attendees will view and discuss your work during the poster reception.
2016 Developer Track: Top Tips, Cunning Code and Illuminating Insights
Each year a significant proportion of the delegates at Open Repositories are software developers who work on repository software or related services. OR2016 will feature a Developer Track and Ideas Challenge that will provide a focus for showcasing work and exchanging ideas.
Building on the success of last year’s Developer Track, where we encouraged live hacking and audience participation, we invite members of the technical community to share the features, systems, tools and best practices that are important to you. Presentations can be as informal as you like, but once again we encourage live demonstrations, tours of code repositories, examples of cool features and the unique viewpoints that so many members of our community possess. Submissions should take the form of a title and a brief outline of what will be shared with the community.
Further details and guidance on the Ideas Challenge will be forthcoming.
Developers are also encouraged to contribute to the other tracks as papers, posters, 24×7 presentations, repository raves and rants 24×7 blocks.
Workshops and Tutorials
One to two-page proposals for workshops and tutorials addressing theoretical or practical issues around digital repositories are welcomed. Please address the following in your proposal:
- The subject of the event and what knowledge you intend to convey
- Length of session (e.g., 1-hour, 2-hour, half a day or a whole day)
- A brief statement on the learning outcomes from the session
- How many attendees you plan to accommodate
- Technology and facility requirements
- Any other supplies or support required
- Anything else you believe is pertinent to carrying out the session
The OR2016 proposal templates are a guideline to help you prepare an effective submission. They will be provided in both the Word document and plain-text Markdown formats and provide details around the requirements for conference papers and panels and 24/7’s and posters. These will be available from the conference website shortly.
The conference system will be open for submissions by 15 December 2015. PDF format is preferred.
CODE OF CONDUCT
We will be publishing guidelines for conduct at OR2016. As a reference, the OR2015 Code of Conduct is available at http://www.or2015.net/code-of-conduct/ and the 2015 Anti-Harrassment Policy is at http://www.or2015.net/anti-harassment-policy/.
OR2016 will again run a Scholarship Programme which will enable us to provide support for a small number of full registered places (including the poster reception and banquet) for the conference in Dublin. The programme is open to librarians, repository managers, developers and researchers in digital libraries and related fields. Applicants submitting a paper for the conference will be given priority consideration for funding. Please note that the programme does not cover costs such as accommodation, travel and subsistence. It is anticipated that the applicant’s home institution will provide financial support to supplement the OR Scholarship Award. Full details and an application form will shortly be available on the conference website.
David Minor, University of California, San Diego
Matthias Razum, FIZ Karlsruhe
Sarah Shreeves, University of Miami
Trinity College Dublin
Conference Website and Social Media
twitter: @OR2016Dub and #or2016Dub
I recommend John Palfrey’s new book BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google to anyone interested in that unending question of what is the future of libraries, because he sets out a future I agree with.
Palfrey was a law professor at Harvard and lately the vice-dean of library and information services at its law library, and he helped create the Digital Public Library of America and was its first board chairman. Recently he left all that to be head of posh New England private school Andover, where he gathered his thoughts and plans about libraries and set them out in this short book.
It reflects, as you’d expect, the approach of the DPLA, which is based on networked collaboration, digitization and preservation of unique resources, specialization in local material, community involvement, and open content and APIs for hackers to hack and reuse. All of this is well-argued in the book, set out clearly and logically (as law professors do), always grounded in libraries as educational institutions and librarians as educators. He knows the problems libraries (both public and academic) are having now, and sets out a way to get past them while keeping libraries both fundamental to local communities but also important at the national and international level.
I was agreeing with the book and then hit this in chapter five, “Hacking Libraries: How to Build the Future:”
The next phase of collaboration among libraries may prove to be harder. The development of digital libraries should be grounded in open platforms, with open APIs (application programming interfaces). open data, and open code at all levels. No one library will own the code, the platform, or the data that can be downloaded, “free to all.” The spirit that is needed is the hacker spirit embodied by Code4Lib, a group of volunteers associated with libraries, archives and museums who have dedicated themselves to sharing approaches, techniques and code related to the remaking of libraries for the digital era.
Damn right! The Code4Lib approach is the right approach for the future of libraries. (Well, one right approach: I agree with Palfrey’s plan, but add that on the digital side libraries need to take a leading role regarding privacy, and also need to take on climate change, with progressive approaches to labour and social issues underlying everything.)
In the next chapter he enthuses about Jessamyn West and a few others doing fresh, important, different kinds of library work. This is good to see!
Any GLAM hacker will want to read this book. I’m a bit puzzled, though: who is it aimed at? All my Code4Lib colleagues will agree with it. Non-technical librarians I know would agree with the plan, though with reservations based on worries about the future of their own areas of specialization and lack of technical skills. It will be useful when talking to library administrators. How many people outside libraries and archives will read the book? Are there more people out there interested in the future of libraries than I’d have guessed? If so, wonderful! I hope they read this and support the online, open collaboration it describes.
For the past few months I’ve been working on a project to migrate a museum’s collection registry to CollectionSpace. CollectionSpace is a “free, open-source, web-based software application for the description, management, and dissemination of museum collections information.”1 CollectionSpace is multitenant software — one installation of the software can serve many tenants. The software package’s structure, though, means that the configuration for one tenant is mixed in with the code for all tenants on the server (e.g, the application layer, services layer, and user interface layer configuration are stored deep in the source code tree). This bothers me from a maintainability standpoint. Sure, Git’s richly featured merge functionality helps, but it seems unnecessarily complex to intertwine the two in this way. So I developed a structure that puts a tenant’s configuration in a separate source code repository and a series of procedures to bring the two together at application-build time.
The configuration consists of a file and three directories. Putting the reference to the file — application-tenant.xml — into the proper place in the source code directory structure is straightforward: we use a file system hard link. By their nature, though, We cannot use a hard link to put a reference to a directory in another place in the file system. We can use a soft link, but those were problematic in my specific case because I was using ‘unison‘ to synchronize the contents of the tenant configuation between my local filesystem and a Vagrant virtual system. (Unison had this annoying tendency to delete the directory and recreate it in some synchronization circumstances.) So I resorted to a bind mount to make the configuration directories appear inside the code directories.
To make sure this setup is consistent, I use Ansible to describe the exact state of references. Each time the Ansible playbook runs, it ensures that everything is set the way it needs to be before the application is rebuilt. That Ansible script looks like this:
- Lines 12-18 create the hard link for the tenant application XML file.
- Handling the tenant configuration directories takes three steps. Using the application configuration as an example, lines 20-24 first make sure that a directory exists where we want to put the configuration into the code directory.
- Next, lines 26-34 uses mount --bind to make the application configuration appear to be inside the code directory.
- Lastly, lines 35-41 ensures the mount-bind lasts through system rebuilds (although line 33 makes sure the mount-bind is working each time the playbook is run).
Then the typical CollectionSpace application build process runs.
- Lines 89-120 stop the Tomcat container and rebuilds the application, services, and user interface parts of the system.
- Lines 122-133 start Tomcat and waits until it is responding.
- Lines 135-163 log into CollectionSpace, gets the session cookie, then initializes the user interface and the vocabularies/authorities.
I run this playbook almost every time I make a change to the CollectionSpace configuration. (The exception is for simple changes to the user interface; sometimes I’ll just log into the server and run those manually.) If you want to see what the directory structure looks like in practice, the configuration directory is on GitHub.Footnotes
- From the answer to the first question of the CollectionSpace frequently asked questions.
Winchester, MA As 2015 comes to a close DuraSpace is pleased to announce that the Fedora Project’s annual membership campaign total now stands at $563,750, which exceeds the 2015 fundraising goal of $560,000! We are extremely grateful to members of the Fedora Leadership Group who have actively participated in securing the financial support that will be required to:
continue efforts to simplify migration from Fedora 3 to 4;
This is the good stuff.
Sometimes that pipe isn’t connected to anything.
The original mobile apps made of paper
Defaults (often times in software) influence our data and likely alter the shape of our plastic brains.
Sketches instead of text when interviewing a person. So brilliant. Folks are likely less guarded in their responses.
Use critiques as a way to get better. To learn more. As a “gift exchange.”