Archive for February, 2007
In Palmer, Alaska, Brian Tanner was arrested for using the public library’s wi-fi in their parking when the library was closed. Local police had tired of chasing Tanner from various locations where he was accessing open ended wi-fi and arrested him. They confiscated his laptop to see what files Tanner had downloaded as well.
Is this really a legal issue or the responsibility of the people who hold the access points? All wi-fi hardware/software allow their owners to create password protected access so that only selected users may take advantage of it. If an owner fails to opt for this protection, does it mean they can still say “no, you can’t use it” and be legally binding?
We really haven’t set up ethical rules for the digital age yet. We still argue over ideas like privacy for users in public settings, rights applied to digital information, what can/cannot be written over emails and whether we should have some sort of program in place to restrict content to certain users on public computers.
Our computers are designed to find hotspots now and even default to open wi-fi networks when available. My Nintendo Wii has actually picked up two other open networks near my house along with my own wireless system. If an upgrade was placed into the program to access the fastest network or default to another open network when my wireless went down, would it make me criminally liable?
It seems this is more of an ethical question over a legal one. I certainly wouldn’t argue that Tanner seems to have a lack in ethics and common sense but it also seems that there were protective measures the library could take to prevent his access as well.
In the physical world we have many different legal words for the various types of theft as it is not simply a black and white issue. Are we going to find ourselves at a point where we need to do the same for the digital world as well?
On a semi-tangent; is his being chased from point to point really enough evidence to confiscate the laptop?
As promised in my post on February 20th User 2.0 Innovative Library Sites (Part 1- Academic Libraries) here is Part 2 of the preliminary list of Innovative Library Sites – this time for public libraries. Thanks again to David M. Drados, PhD student at Rutgers University, SCILS, and Lynn Silipigni Connaway of OCLC. This list was compiled from suggestions of librarians from the dig_ref listserv, from journal articles, and librarian colleagues.
Again, this list is not meant to be definitive, is a work in progress designed to start a discussion. Your comments and suggestions are welcomed!
- Ann Arbor District Library (MI) Uses the open source Drupal content management system with incorporates blogging, tagging, user comments, and RSS feeds. Its location page is tied into Google Maps.
- Arlington Heights Memorial Library (IL)
Features “Vlogs” – Video casts.
- Atlantic City Public Library (NJ)
Site features podcasts as well as RSS feeds.
- Denver Public Library (CO)
Has RSS feeds for library news and local events, podcasts, teen MySpace Account.
- Goshen Public Library & Historical Society (NY)
Maintains several blogs on various topics—book reviews, computers, library news, and also has a MySpace page.
- Hennepin County Library (MN)
Has blogs for library news and teens, RSS feeds built into the catalog along with user reviews/comments, a MySpace account and, podcasts.
- Memorial Hall Library (MA)
Library director maintains a Blog and site has a wiki with an accumulated collection of reference question called “Andover Answers,” teen podcasts, and a MySpace page and an online community calendars.
- Mesa County Public Library District (CO)
Has a library director blog, a staff “librarian’s love” blog, and links to online book clubs.
- Salida Regional Library (CO)
Links to Library Elf which allows users to track due dates on checked out items; local digital archive link, downloadable audio books, director (weekly) newspaper articles, and staff recommendations.
- Stevens County Rural Library District (WA)
Maintains a library news blog and a public wiki project designed to create a guide to Stevens County, including local history.
- Westerville Public Library (OH)
Features director, teen and adult services blogs, library Flickr and MySpace presence, RSS feeds, podcasts and videocasts, user rating of catalog items with links to Amazon, B&N, Novelist and Syndetics for reviews.
- Worthington Libraries (OH)
Has a teen blog along with an associated MySpace site.
“A tempest has been brewing over a children’s book…” begins today’s New York Times editorial. Ahhhh, the passive voice… last refuge of scoundrels.
Perhaps it is too much to expect the Old Gray Lady to acknowledge that, prior to it’s own troublesome reporting, there was nothing brewing but a fairly respectful professional discussion on librarians’ discussion lists (or as the Lady quaintly refers to them, “message boards”.)
Perhaps it is too much to ask that, having started this hooha (if that’s the right word–gulp), the Lady restrain from invoking comparison’s with Marian the librarian. Surely this is writing at it’s absolute laziest! Hey Lady, while you were at it, couldn’t you have thrown in a comment or two mentioning that librarians’ commitment to intellectual freedom is generally, oh I don’t know, as tall as an oak? As deep as the sea?
(Note to the NY Times editorial board: The next time you want to disabuse your readership of the “Marian the Librarian” stereotype, it might be more effective to point out that REAL librarians don’t fit the stereotype, rather than pointing out that Marian herself was actually quite a bawdy gal, judging from her reading habits.
Check this out: It wouldn’t be fair to characterize Arthur Sulzberger’s comment that “I really don’t know whether we’ll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don’t care either” by saying that he’s kind of like Nero, fiddling while the MSM burns. You know why? Because Nero really played the LYRE. See how that works?)
But I get it, Lady. mentioning Marian, was really just an easy transition to mentioning her love of Balzac, which sounds kind of like “ball sack” which is another way of saying scrotum (giggle, snigger), so we can all see how wonderfully witty, cultured, well-read, AND terribly bawdy the Times editorial board is. Look out Dorothy Parker, you’ve got competition! Oh wait, you’ve been dead for 40 years. My bad.
Well anyway Lady, thanks for throwing in that last bit about helping children on their journey from ignorance to knowledge, blahdiddy, blah, blah, and for not using the word “shhhh” anywhere in the (final draft) of the editorial.
I was doing a reference question and in the course of finding the answer I found 2 great posts on DRM:
- What web 2.0 could teach Warner Music’s Eric Bronfman posted by Alan Graham on Tales from the Web 2.0 Frontier
- Good Job Jobs posted by Collin Douma on Radical Trust
I will be reading both these posts again more carefully tonight or tomorrow as I only had time to quickly scan them while on the desk. Here are a few highlights that made me know in an instant that they are bookmark worthy:
Graham states at the outset of his post:
In the Web 2.0 world everything makes or breaks on interoperability…or sharing. Sharing of thoughts, ideas, media, code, and work. If any point that openness is constricted, the whole system breaks down. Without this environment there would be no mashups, and many of the online services we rely on today would not exist.
Just imagine if all that open interoperability went away and we were back to the old days of closed APIs and closed systems. That’s what DRM does.
Then just before his call for action, asks a crucial question:
Steve Jobs claims he wants to eliminate DRM. The music executives claim to want what’s best for the consumer and their bottom line. These two things are not mutually exclusive. How about trusting your customers instead of assuming that every one of us is a criminal?
Douma, along the same lines, opens his post with this:
Let’s be frank for a moment. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is antitrust and anti-radical trust. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the iTunes music store because of its DRM. Why should you pay $1 for a track loaded with DRM when you can download it for free from a torrent with no restrictions at all? Why should anyone pay to be restricted?
And concludes with this:
This week’s call from Steve Jobs is long overdue. I hope that more visionaries like this guy can convince the world that there is more money to be made in trusting people than there is in restricting them.
Just reporting on yet another busy weekend at MPOW. I love my job in general, but at this very moment I am so incredibly invigorated (most likely from the music) and in love with what I do that I just have to write about it. We just wrapped up a concert in our community room called The Many Moods of Beethoven. It was performed by a chamber quarter from the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and it was standing room only (with many also choosing to sit on the floor so as not to miss a note). My headcount was 180+, which is great for a cold Sunday afternoon in February. The musicians told the story of Beethoven’s life through his music and the educational aspect was equal to the musical aspect.
In contrast to the classical music, we have also have a film series occurring at the library this weekend and for the next few weeks called “Clint Out West”– it is a retrospective of Clint Eastwood’s films. The attendance numbers are not as high for the Beethoven program (ranging from 30-60+ per film screening), but numbers aren’t always the measure of a successful program. According to Susan Conlon, the organizer of the series, those in attendance are extremely engaged in the discussions being led by film historian Bruce Lawton and the series is not only entertaining but also educational.
Last weekend PPL hosted the Princeton Environmental Film Festival, a new and very successful venture which was entirely the initiative of Kai Marshall-Otto, a teen volunteer here at the library. Kai, who is also Co-President of Princeton High School Environmental Club, worked tirelessly to organize and coordinate the weekend. The festival offered 5 days of films and speakers on environmental issues and had a total attendance exceeding 1,000 for the weekend. Susan Conlon, our Teen Librarian extraordinaire, was the staff liaison for the festival and worked closely with Kai every step of the way to create a dynamic and exciting weekend. As she noted in her program report:
This program brought in all ages, and while adults represented the greatest % in attendance, it was very much noticed and appreciated that teens were the catalyst for this event, and were represented in the audience, and also helping to facilitate discussions.
We have programs and events daily, sometimes several in a day, and in the hustle to get everything done I do not usually have the time to sit and reflect on how wonderful it feels to work at a place that provides educational opportunities of such a wide variety to all who wish to attend. Today I am taking the time to reflect and it feels good.
Friday, June 22, 2007,
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sponsored by the CLENE Round Table
[CLENE: The Continuing Library Education Network and Exchange Round Table]
In today’s environment, library staff have to work harder than ever to stay informed and keep up with changes. How can libraries encourage all staff to continually develop their skills? A systematic staff development plan can address the learning needs of library staff and increase their effectiveness on the job.
This half-day session is a step-by-step introduction to the process of addressing the issue of staff development from needs assessment through planning. Do you need a staff development plan?
Speakers: Cal Shepard, SOLINET
Tickets: CLENE-RT Member: $110; ALA Member: $130; Non-Member: $180
NOTE: If you plan on coming and you’re not a CLENE-RT member, why not take this opportunity to join? It’s only $20 to add CLENE to your ALA membership, and joining CLENE gives you many benefits including… wait for it… preferred professional membership in the American Management Association!
Interested? Click here for details: http://www.ala.org/ala/clenert/clenemem/membership.htm