Library Gazette

Patron Privacy and Adobe Digital Editions: The Situation at ZSR

Thursday, October 16, 2014 11:53 am

Threat level: goldenrod. We’re okay – see summary at bottom.

[To avoid confusion, note that there are two separate pieces of Adobe software discussed here, with very similar names. Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) is a library of tools to enforce digital rights management; for library e-books, this usually means encrypting it so that it can only be opened until its loan period expires. Adobe Digital Editions Reader, version 4 (ADE4) is one reader program that works with the ADE rights management. Reader programs other than ADE4 can use ADE to open encrypted books.]

Last week, several library- and tech-world sites reported that Adobe Digital Editions Reader, version 4 (ADE4), was doing two bad things:

First, it records data that we would consider private, but which (at least arguably) verifies you aren’t a pirate: your ADE4 license (who you are) and the license for your copy of the book. In addition, it logs your IP address (where you are); metadata for the book you’re reading, the time and date you start and stop reading; and the specific page you’re on and when you go to that page.

ADE4 has also been shown to record metadata for e-books on your system that are not encrypted with ADE rights management. In some situations, ADE4 also scans e-book readers or tablets attached to your computer to see what books are downloaded there. All of this information gets transmitted back to Adobe.

Second, the data is transmitted to Adobe unencrypted. This makes it visible to anyone with access to network log files, or anyone snooping on an unencrypted wireless network (not the WFU wireless, but for example a no-password network in a coffee shop).

There are a lot of ethical and possibly legal issues here, but the situation at ZSR is this. EBL downloads are encrypted with ADE to enforce checkout periods. That would be a problem, except:

  1. We instruct students to read EBL books in their web browser. In EBL’s world, this is not a “download” and so they do not use any ADE rights management.
  2. We believe that users who download ADE-encrypted e-books primarily do so to read on tablets or e-reader devices. We point them to the Bluefire reader, which uses ADE, but does not report reader behavior to Adobe like ADE4.
  3. WFU does not include ADE4 in the standard software load.
  4. Other e-book sources we provide do not seem to use ADE or and digital rights management (yay!), mostly because they offer no way to download a complete book for offline reading (boo!)
  5. E-Books purchased through Amazon, Google Play, or other sources do not have ADE rights management (drop a comment if you know any that do), but often have other digital rights management tying them to a specific reader program.

As of October 16, Adobe is promising an upgrade within the next week or so that will encrypt the data ADE4 sends back to them. However, they insist that the data they’re logging is reasonable and covered by their end-user license agreement.

Some further reading:

TL;DR Summary: The ADE4 e-book reader program violates library patron privacy. Downloaded EBL e-books use Adobe’s digital rights management and could be read in ADE4. However, we believe other available options give ZSR patrons access to this content without the threat specific to using ADE4. Our users are at low risk from this threat, but should be aware of it.

Books that go bump in the night: Recommended horrors, thrillers & ghost stories

Thursday, October 9, 2014 3:49 pm

Halloween is close upon us, and this season of ghosts and ghouls offers the perfect opportunity to curl up with a scary story. The following horrors, thrillers & ghost stories are recommended from ZSR Librarians and staff members, and are guaranteed to send chills up your spine:

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

The Other by Thomas Tyron
Holland and Niles Perry are identical thirteen-year-old twins. They are close, close enough, almost, to read each other’s thoughts, but they couldn’t be more different. Thomas Tryon’s best-selling novel about a homegrown monster is an eerie examination of the darkness that dwells within everyone. It is a landmark of psychological horror that is a worthy descendent of the books of James Hogg, Robert Louis Stevenson, Shirley Jackson, and Patricia Highsmith.

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem’s Lot in the hopes that living in an old mansion, long the subject of town lore, will help him cast out his own devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods and only one comes out alive, Mears begins to realize that there may be something sinister at work and that his hometown is under siege by forces of darkness far beyond his control.

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
Jacob Marlowe has lost the will to live. For two hundred years he has wandered the world, enslaved by his lunatic appetites and tormented by the memory of his first and most monstrous crime. Now, the last of his kind, he contemplates suicide — until a violent murder and an extraordinary meeting plunge him straight back into the desperate pursuit of life — and love.

High Spirits by Robertson Davies
Robertson Davies first hit upon the notion of writing ghost stories when he joined the University of Toronto’s Massey College as a Master. Wishing to provide entertainment at the College’s Gaudy Night, the annual Christmas party, Professor Davies created a “spooky story,” which he read aloud to the gathering. That story, “Revelation from a Smoky Fire,” is the first in this wonderful, haunting collection. A tradition quickly became established and, for eighteen years, Davies delighted and amused the Gaudy Night guests with his tales of the supernatural. Here, gathered together in one volume, are those eighteen stories, just as Davies first read them.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor’. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history

The Stand by Stephen King
A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world’s population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge—Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious “Dark Man,” who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them—and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity.

Want more?
You can find additional Halloween reading suggestions (as well as other recommendations) from the ZSR Goodreads page!

Also, the NC Live Homegrown eBooks collection has a selection of Horror short stories that can be read online!

Happy (Halloween) Reading!

OCLC Member Forum – UNCG

Thursday, October 9, 2014 9:55 am

I recently attended the first regional OCLC member forum held at UNCG. The meeting focused on the many changes happening with OCLC products and a better understanding of how the products work together. I went to the break out session pertaining to Cataloging and Metadata. Within this session, members were able to give feedback on issues that we have been having particularly with Connexion and make request for features that don’t exist. OCLC has a web page dedicated to the forums which include pictures, questions and feedback from the attendees. Feel free to explore at the following link https://oclc.org/en-US/events/member-forums/after-party.html

Give ZSR Your Input

Sunday, October 5, 2014 3:00 pm

To plan for the future, ZSR really wants to understand your perceptions and expectations of the Library, in order to provide services you need to be successful. Please take a few moments to participate in this research study by completing a short survey about ZSR and its services. The survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete. It will be open from October 5th through October 26th.

Your responses will be held in confidence. No identifying links between responses and respondent will be retained. Only aggregated data will be reported. Please be honest in your assessment. Participation is purely optional. Participants must be age 18 or over.

As a thank you for completing this survey, you may choose to provide your email address and be entered in a drawing for an Android Tablet. Three Android Tablets will be awarded, one each to a student, faculty and staff respondent. The email you enter for the prize drawing is in no way linked to your answers on the survey.

Begin the Survey ›

Libraries use this survey nationally and ZSR will benchmark local results against the national data. Anonymous data from ZSR will be available to the national association for publication.

If you have any difficulty accessing the survey or if you have any questions, please contact Associate Dean Susan Smith.

IRB00021718

The Hope of a Thick Rope Exhibit

Friday, September 26, 2014 4:06 pm

Hope of a Thick Rope exhibit

The Hope of a Thick Rope exhibit is an exhibit about rural China brought to ZSR by WFU student, Eagle Jin ’16. This photography exhibit focused on the social customs of the Chun’an mountainous region in China. It attempts to draw attention to the socioeconomic disparity and ecological issues on this region. The photographs are placed between the bookshelves and also in the window well of the east side of the atrium. There will be an Opening Reception on Monday,September 29th from 4 – 5:30 pm in the atrium, with remarks and refreshments. Please come.

The Google Glassroom: ZSR Has Glass

Thursday, September 4, 2014 8:51 am

Instruction Librarian Amanda Foster (left) wears Google Glass during her LIB 100 class.

Beginning this fall, librarians will explore the educational uses of Google Glass in several sections of LIB 100: Accessing Information in the 21st Century.

Google Glass is a wearable computer headset, similar to a pair of glasses, that displays information on a miniscreen in the upper right corner of the wearer’s field of vision. Wearers can communicate with Glass via voice commands to perform several key functions, including searching the Internet, taking pictures and video, playing games, starting a video call, adding Glass apps like Twitter or The New York Times and more.

Students in LIB 100 will use this hands-on experience with Glass as a catalyst to research, discuss, explore and reflect on information-related themes, such as privacy, social responsibility and the future implications of technologies like Google Glass in medicine, business, education and gaming.

By bringing Glass into the classroom, instructors will examine the possibilities of how technologies like Glass could be used in the future, particularly in the educational setting for teaching, learning and research.

New Web Developer Available for Your Projects

Thursday, September 4, 2014 8:50 am

Do you have a great idea for a website, but need a little extra assistance getting it online? ZSR Library can help at low cost-recovery rates with a new Web Developer on staff, Geoff Groberg. Geoff recently relocated from Utah, where he worked at Brigham Young University’s Lee Library. Prior to that, he worked as a freelance web developer.

Geoff can work with faculty and departments at low cost to help with Web projects. He can help with:

  • WordPress sites
  • Digital Humanities projects
  • Graphic design
  • Databases
  • Custom Web applications of all kinds

To get started on your Web project, please contact Geoff at x5403.

Assessment in Action

Thursday, September 4, 2014 8:49 am

This year, ZSR will develop and implement an action learning project called Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success. First, recruited student participants will identify which measures of success are important at all points in their academic careers. Then the study will determine whether the programs, services and study spaces at ZSR help to achieve these objectives. The principal investigator of this 15-month study is Mary Beth Lock, Director of Access Services at ZSR. The project team also includes Ryan Shirey (Writing Center), Meghan Webb (ZSR Reference Coordinator), John Champlin (Professional Development Center) and a representative from The Bridge. This study is part of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Value of Academic Libraries initiative. Assessment in Action is a grant program funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Course Reserves

Thursday, September 4, 2014 8:48 am

Do you assign course readings from various sources? Looking for an alternative to costly course packs? Concerned about copyright? Let ZSR do the work for you! The Course Reserves system can consolidate your reading list materials into one easily accessible location. Course Reserves can manage print, electronic and media resources, and you can link to them from Sakai. ZSR will also manage copyright compliance for posted articles or chapters and pay necessary royalties.

For more information, please visit Faculty Course Reserves or contact the Reserves Department at x4713.

ZSR Delivers – What’s in a name?

Thursday, September 4, 2014 8:47 am

For years, the ZSR Delivers service has brought books and DVDs to faculty and staff offices. ZSR Delivers runs twice daily (weather permitting) Monday through Friday.

Now the library is broadening the ZSR Delivers brand to include Interlibrary Loan and Offsite Storage retrievals. Need a book from another library? Use ZSR Delivers. Need a DVD delivered to your office? Use ZSR Delivers. Need an article from a journal in Offsite Storage? Use ZSR Delivers. A whole list of great services, one name.

For more information, check out the ZSR Delivers website.


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