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LITA: Is Technology Bringing in More Skillful Male Librarians?

planet code4lib - Fri, 2015-10-23 14:59

Yes the title of this blog post is sensational.  After reading Chapter 7 from Hicks’ 2014 book titled Technology and Professional Identity of Librarians, I was appalled to read that the few male librarians in our profession are negatively stereotyped into being unable to handle a real career and the male dominated technology field infers that more skillful males will join the profession in the future.  There is a proven concept that the competitive environment of technology is male dominated.  If this is true, then will more males join librarianship since it is becoming more tech-based?  There are a lot of things that are terrible about all this – males have tough stereotypes to overcome and there is a misconception that technology is the omen that will bring in more capable male librarians to the field.  I am going home early to sit at home, cry, read a scholarly book, and drink my tea with my pinkie sticking out – thank you very much.

What do male and female librarians think about technology and gender in our profession?  Comments please…

All information on this post comes from Chapter 7 Technology, Gender, and Professional Identity:
Hicks, D. (2014). Technology and professional identity of librarians: The making of the cybrarian. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Further Reading on the topic of gender and librarianship visit – Chapter 4 That’s Women’s Work: Pink Collar Professions, Gender, and the Librarian Stereotype:
Pagowsky, N., & Rigby, M. E. (2014). The librarian stereotype: Deconstructing perceptions and presentations of information work. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

District Dispatch: Vote on CISA, flawed cybersecurity bill, imminent

planet code4lib - Fri, 2015-10-23 14:56

It’s baaaaa-aaaack! S. 754, the often and aptly tagged “zombie” Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA) reemerged this month in the Senate in new and, to be fair, somewhat improved guise. Massive opposition by a broad coalition of companies and civil society groups, including ALA, kept an even worse version from a vote this summer. But make no mistake; the bill in its current form is still being (mis)advertised by its sponsors as a means of preventing serious cyber-attacks like those perpetrated recently against the Office of Personnel Management, the Pentagon’s non-classified email system and Sony (among many other businesses).

Photo Credit EFF

CISA remains dangerously overbroad in key respects. It continues to pose a serious threat to personal privacy by allowing the internet, phone, financial services, credit bureaus and other institutions that hold your personal information to voluntarily “share” that data with federal security agencies if they believe they see indicators of a cyber-attack. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would serve as an initial “portal” for this data which they’d then be obligated to (over)share with many other arms of government at multiple levels, including the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and state law enforcement agencies.

ALA and many of its coalition partners support key amendments by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to protect the Freedom of Information Act (No. 2587) and Senator Al Franken (D-MN) to narrow key definitions of terms like “cyberthreat” to better protect privacy (No. 2612).

Even if they are adopted, ALA urges every member of the Senate to vote “NO” if and when the CISA “Manager’s Amendment” to S. 754 reaches the floor.

Of special concern to libraries is a provision of the bill that, while narrowed in the Manager’s Amendment, could still expose library and municipal networks to disruption at the hands of defensive “countermeasures” taken by a company or government office that believes itself to be under cyber-attack.

In addition, with thanks for these points to the Open Technology institute, even as amended the version of CISA that the Senate will vote on in a matter of days is still fatally flawed because of:

  • Weak requirements for companies to remove personally identifiable information: The most important improvement the Senate can make to CISA during the amendment and debate process is to enhance the front-end protections for communications content and personally identifiable information (PII) by strengthening the requirement to remove that sensitive and unnecessary information. Strengthening this requirement would reduce all other privacy and civil liberties concerns, since there would be less PII to be mishandled or misused by the government or by companies. Because of how broadly CISA defines the term “cyber threat indicator,” the information that is shared could include a tremendous amount of unnecessary personal information. A chart outlining some of the types of “cyber threat indicators” that could be shared that could reveal the most personal information, is available here.
  • Vague definitions of “cybersecurity threat” and “cyber threat indicator”: CISA’s definition for cybersecurity threat is the lynchpin for all of the authorities it creates. Entities may monitor their systems, sharing cyber threat indicators, and deploy defensive measures, in order to protect against a cybersecurity threat. However, CISA’s definition of cybersecurity threat includes any perceived threat, regardless of whether the action or event would be reasonably likely to cause harm. This definition is so broad that CISA could lead to significant over-sharing, which would undermine security objectives by forcing responders to sift through large quantities of unnecessary information, such as information concerning false positives. Additionally, CISA’s definition for cyber threat indicator includes some vague categories related to potential harms and “other attributes” that could lead to companies sharing unnecessary or inactionable content or PII. Thus, CISA’s broad definitions of “cybersecurity threat” and “cyber threat indicator,” and the resulting excessive sharing of useless information could significantly undermine its effectiveness because it could slow down or distract security experts as they try to identify and respond to legitimate threats.
  • Authorization to share acquired information with any federal entity, including the NSA: Domestic cybersecurity and information sharing should be controlled by a civilian federal agency. Authorizing sharing with any federal entity enables companies to share information directly with military and intelligence agencies like the DoD, NSA and CIA, which undermines civilian control.
  • Unclear authorization for DHS and all other federal entities to delay dissemination of cyber threat indicators to apply privacy guidelines and remove unnecessary PII: While the Manager’s Amendment allows for  some delay in dissemination of threat information, delay is only permissible if all appropriate federal entities, including DoD and the Director of National Intelligence consent to the means and purpose of the delay.  This undermines civilian control, and does not make clear that DHS has the authority to delay dissemination of cyber threat indicators to other entities in order to apply the privacy guidelines and to remove improperly shared or unnecessary personal information.

Look for an action alert very soon with all the details you’ll need to help stop CISA now.  Thanks!

Additional Resources:

The post Vote on CISA, flawed cybersecurity bill, imminent appeared first on District Dispatch.

Tara Robertson: vegetarian restaurants in Vancouver

planet code4lib - Fri, 2015-10-23 05:42

An out of town friend asked for vegetarian restaurant  recommendations. I asked my friends on Facebook, then checked their suggestions on Urban Spoon. Finally I filtered out some places I don’t like. Lots of people seemed to find the list useful, so I’m posting it here too. The best options are not downtown, so if you’re in town for DLF Forum or Open Education this is another reason to get out of downtown.

Last updated October 2015.


I would recommend The Acorn, or Grub if you want to go out for a really nice meal with friends who are not veg.

  • The Acorn (3995 Main Street) , gets really good reviews from friends, Urbanspoon 82%
  • Heirloom Vegetarian (1509 West 12th) , also gets great reviews from friends, Urbanspoon 70%
  • Grub (4328 Main Street) not strictly vegetarian, but they always have a vegetarian/vegan options that are lovely. There’s also a sweet patio in the back, and they make boozy punch, which is nice. Urbanspoon 91%
Moderately priced
  • Meet on Main, (4288 Main Street) is delicious burgers (try the angry burg) and the best fries in town. They also make vegetarian versions of comfort food like stroganoff, as well as hippie style veggie bowls.
  • Chomp Vegan Eatery (3586 Fraser Street) “vegan food that doesn’t suck”
  • Jamjar Folk Lebanese Food (2280 Commercial Drive) tasty fresh Lebanese food, while not exclusively vegetarian there are lots of veggie options.
  • Nuba (4 locations). The downtown location is my go to for group dinners with people who are vegetarian and meat eaters. They also have good drinks. Urbanspoon 90%
  • The Naam (2724 West 4th Ave) Some people recommended this. I say ‘meh’, though sometimes you are craving some potato wedges with miso gravy and a salad with grated beets in it. I wouldn’t go out of your way to go here. Though it’s open 24 hours, so it’s got that going for it. Urbanspoon 75%
  • Po Kong (1334 Kingsway) fake meat! Gluten! Vegetarian Chinese food. Urbanspoon 85%
  • Chau Veggie Express (5052 Victoria Drive between 34th and 35th) , vegetarian and vegan Vietnamese food. I haven’t been here before but I will go. Urbanspoon 96% (!!!)
  • Veggiebowl (2222 Kingsway) a little further out but another vegetarian and vegan Vietnamese place.
  • Planet Veg (1941 Cornwall Ave) tasty wraps and stuff, apparently. If you go to Kits beach or the Museum of Vancouver or Planatarium (or the Archive, though I don’t know why you would do that) it’s nearby. Urbanspoon 83%
  • Bandidas Taqueria (2781 Commercial Drive) , tasty! Cute staff! Lots of bikes! Though if you are from Texas (you probably have pretty picky tastes in tacos and might want to skip Mexican food in Canada) Urbanspoon 83%
  • 3G Vegetarian Restaurant (3424 Cambie Street) lots of tasty fake meat, including “chicken wings”. Nom. Urbanspoon 86%
  • Fassil Ethopian (Fraser and Broadway) – has a great veggie combo. Friend’s favourite Ethopian restaurant. Urbanspoon 91%
  • Axum Ethopian (1279 East Hastings) Urbanspoon 89%
  • East is East (a couple of locations) tasty food but kinda pricey. It always seems to be full of white hippies. I think people who are not white hippies (or don’t live in the neighbourhood) go elsewhere for Indian food. Urbanspoon 88%
  • Zend Conscious Lounge (1130 Mainland Street) upscale vegetarian in Yaletown. $18 for a wrap, but tasty.
Weird and wonderful
  • Black Lodge (630 Kingsway). Twin Peaks themed small vegetarian neighbourhood bar with good drinks and tasty junk food. They make delicious coconut bacon.
  • Storm Crow Tavern (1305 Commercial Drive) “Planet Hollywood for geeks,  a sports bar for nerds: a place where gamers, sci-fi and fantasy fans can hang out, drink a tasty microbrew and nosh on tasty edibles in Vancouver’s eclectic Commercial Drive neighbourhood”. The menu has many vegetarian options.
Sweet things
  • Earnest Ice Cream (2 locations) always has one vegan flavour that’s made with a coconut milk base. They make really delicious ice cream with interesting flavours. It’s a toss up between Whiskey Hazelnut and Serious Chocolate as my favourite.
  • Cartems Donuterie (2 locations) also sells vegan and gluten free donuts. I think that Lucky’s Donuts are better, but they don’t have a vegan option.
Don’t bother going to
  • Foundation, bad service from cranky hipsters, expensive for what it is
  • Wallflower, meh. Consensus that the both food and service have gone downhill.

LibUX: 027 – Ebookalypse

planet code4lib - Fri, 2015-10-23 04:00

Recently a misreading of ebook sales figures was taken as an omen prophesying the impending ebookalypse. This data ignored sales from ebooks without isbns – you know, those self-publishing types – but the word was out and the question was raised: so what gives?

As of 2015 ebook readership has nevertheless yet to meaningfully pull away from print as we might have predicted a few years back. Last month, I wrote that ereading’s failure to increase the gap may be a user experience problem. An interesting thought that proves the point that good UX is good business.

So, in this podcast, that’s pretty much what we talk about. Additionally, I suggest it might be more ethical and financially sound for libraries [especially] to eschew – or, at least, be hyper-critical of – ebook vendors and the user experience of their product, and explain why it is that Amazon Kindle is the successful outlier.

Listen closely for slightly paranoid-but-cool programmatically abridged ebooks. Hashtag #personalization.

Amanda L. Goodman edited this episode. You can subscribe to LibUX on Stitcher, iTunes, or plug our feed right into your podcatcher of choice. Help us out and say something nice.

The post 027 – Ebookalypse appeared first on LibUX.

DPLA: Job Opportunity: Developer (Ingestion and Operations)

planet code4lib - Thu, 2015-10-22 17:30

The Digital Public Library of America ( seeks a full-time Developer to support the technical aspects of the organization’s operational needs. This position is directly involved in ensuring that DPLA’s ingestion process of harvesting, mapping, enriching, and indexing metadata we receive from our partners runs smoothly, reliably, and according to schedule. In addition, the position actively supports DevOps at DPLA, particularly in terms of developing and implementing tools and procedures to provision, administer, monitor, and maintain DPLA’s infrastructure and applications.  

This position is part of DPLA’s Technology Team, which is is responsible for development, deployment, and management of all of DPLA’s technical infrastructure, including our staff- and public-facing applications, the DPLA Platform API, and the components that drive them. The DPLA Technology Team is a group of technologists with a commitment to open access, open source, and working collegially and collaboratively both inside and outside the organization at an international scale. We have a well-defined and evolving set of core values, including maximal openness to DPLA technology and infrastructure; diversity; transparency; reliability, accountability, and shared responsibility; empathy and mutual respect; leadership; and continued learning and growth.

We are seeking a curious and enthusiastic individual who recognizes both their technical strengths and areas for growth, and can help us work effectively to further DPLA’s mission to bring together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and make them freely available to all. A belief in this mission, and the drive to accomplish it over time in a collaborative spirit within and beyond the organization, is essential.


Reporting to the Director for Technology, the Developer:

  • Supports DPLA’s metadata ingestion process, ensuring that it runs efficiently, reliably, and scalably, through development of application modules and metadata mappings, and through the initiation and monitoring of ingestion processes.
  • Collaborates closely with internal and external stakeholders in the ingestion process, including the DPLA Data Services Coordinator, the DPLA Assistant Director for Content, and technical staff at DPLA partner institutions.
  • Provisions, deploys, maintains, evaluates performance for, and monitors both infrastructure and applications managed by DPLA, along with other DPLA Technology Team members.
  • Performs other related duties and participates in special projects as assigned.

As a member of the DPLA Technology Team, the Developer:

  • Contributes to the design, development, testing, integration, support, and documentation of user-facing applications and back-end systems.
  • Supports content management policies, process, and workflows, and contribute to the development of new ones.
  • Collaborates with internal and external stakeholders in planning and implementation of applications that support DPLA’s mission, strategic plan, and special initiatives.
  • Maintains knowledge of emerging technologies to support the DPLA’s evolving services.
  • Embodies and promotes the philosophy of open source, shared, and community-built software and technologies.
  • Brings creative vision around possibilities for work with data that we haven’t yet imagined.


  • Experience with one or more programming languages and web application frameworks, such as Ruby/Rails, Python/Django, PHP, or Java.
  • Experience with one or more infrastructure-as-a-service providers, such as Amazon Web Services.
  • Experience with common system administration and application maintenance tasks in Linux environment, using an automation and configuration management tool such as Ansible (our current system of choice), Chef, Puppet, or CFEngine.
  • Demonstrated experience working effectively in a team environment and the ability to interact well with stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience and working knowledge of version control systems, such as Git, Mercurial, or Subversion.
  • Demonstrated desire and enthusiasm about learning new toolsets, programming languages, or methods to support software development.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with extract-transform-load workflows with varying input sources, such as XML, JSON, CSV, and relational databases.
  • Experience working in a digital library, or in a technical role within a cultural heritage institution such as a library, archives, or museum.
  • Demonstrated experience with performance analysis in infrastructure-as-a-service environments such as Amazon Web Services.
  • Demonstrated experience with integrating user-facing applications with REST application programming interfaces.
  • Demonstrated experience with continuous integration, and opinions about how we can best leverage it.
  • Two or more years of experience with Ruby on Rails.

Highly Useful Qualifications

  • Demonstrable knowledge of metadata standards and protocols used in the cultural heritage sector, such as Dublin Core, MODS, MARCXML, OAI-PMH, ResourceSync, and OAI-ORE.
  • Experience with RDF and JSON-LD, as well as tools that support transformation of data into RDF.
  • Experience with PostgreSQL database administration, Lucene-based search platforms such as Elasticsearch and Solr, triple stores, or graph databases.
  • Demonstrated experience in working effectively in a geographically-distributed organization.
  • A record of contributions to open source projects or communities, including code, bug reports, documentation, training materials, or workshops.

This position is full-time. DPLA is a geographically-distributed organization, with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Ideally, this position would be situated in the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston, but remote work based in other locations within the United States will also be considered.

Like its collection, DPLA is strongly committed to diversity in all of its forms. We provide a full set of benefits, including health care, life and disability insurance, and a retirement plan. Starting salary is commensurate with experience.

Please send a letter of interest, a resume/CV, and contact information for three references to Please put “Developer (Ingestion and Operations)” in the subject line. Questions about the position may be directed to Mark A. Matienzo, Director of Technology, at We will begin reviewing applications on November 9, 2015, but will continue to accept applications until the position is filled.

About DPLA

The Digital Public Library of America strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. Since launching in April 2013, it has aggregated 11 million items from 1,600 institutions. The DPLA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Eric Lease Morgan: What is old is new again

planet code4lib - Thu, 2015-10-22 10:40

The “how’s” of librarianship are changing, but not the “what’s”.

(This is an outline for my presentation given at the ADLUG Annual Meeting in Rome (October 21, 2015). Included here are also the one-page handout and slides, both in the form of PDF documents.)

Linked Data

Linked Data is a method of describing objects, and these objects can be the objects in a library. In this way, Linked Data is a type of bibliographic description.

Linked Data is a manifestation of the Semantic Web. It is an interconnection of virtual sentences known as triples. Triples are rudimentary data structures, and as the name implies, they are made of three parts: 1) subjects, 2) predicates, and 3) objects. Subjects always take the form of a URI (think “URL”), and they point to things real or imaginary. Objects can take the form of a URI or a literal (think “word”, “phrase” or “number”). Predicates also take the form of a URI, and they establish relationships between subjects and objects. Sets of predicates are called ontologies or vocabularies and they present the languages of Linked Data.

Through the curation of sets of triples, and through the re-use of URIs, it is often possible to make explicit assuming information and new knowledge.

There are an increasing number of applications enabling libraries to transform and convert their bibliographic data into Linked Data. One such application is called the ALIADA.

When & if the intellectual content of libraries, archives, and museums is manifested as Linked Data, then new relationships between resources will be uncovered and discovered. Consequently, one of the purposes of cultural heritage institutions will be realized. Thus, Linked Data is a newer, more timely method of describing collections; what is old is new again.

Curation of digital objects

The curation of collections, especially in libraries, does not have to be limited to physical objects. Increasingly new opportunities regarding the curation of digital objects represent a growth area.
With the advent of the Internet there exists an abundance of full-text digital objects just waiting to be harvested, collected, and cached. It is not good enough to link and point to such objects because links break and institutions (websites) dissolve.

Curating digital objects is not easy, and it requires the application of traditional library principles of preservation in order to be fulfilled. It also requires systematic organization and evaluation in order to be useful.

Done properly, there are many advantages to the curation of such digital collections: long-term access, analysis & evaluation, use & re-use, and relationship building. Examples include: the creation of institutional repositories, the creation of bibliographic indexes made up of similar open access journals, and the complete works of an author of interest.

In the recent past I have created “browsers” used to do “distant reading” against curated collections of materials from the HathiTrust, the EEBO-TCP, and JSTOR. Given a curated list of identifiers each of the browsers locally caches the full text of digital object object, creates a “catalog” of the collection, does full text indexing against the whole collection, and generates a set of reports based on the principles of text mining. The result is a set of both HTML files and simple tab-delimited text files enabling the reader to get an overview of the collection, query the collection, and provide the means for closer reading.

How can these tools be used? A reader could first identify the complete works of a specific author from the HathiTrust, say, Ralph Waldo Emerson. They could then identify all of the journal articles in JSTOR written about Ralph Waldo Emerson. Finally the reader could use the HathiTrust and JSTOR browsers to curate the full text of all the identified content to verify previously established knowledge or discover new knowledge. On a broader level, a reader could articulate a research question such as “What are some of the characteristics of early American literature, and how might some of its authors be compared & contrasted?” or “What are some of the definitions of a ‘great’ man, and how have these definitions changed over time?”

The traditional principles of librarianship (collection, organization, preservation, and dissemination) are alive and well in this digital age. Such are the “whats” of librarianship. It is the “hows” of the librarianship that need to evolve in order the profession to remain relevant. What is old is new again.


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