Professional Development

During February 2012...

New code to help libraries exercise Fair Use

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 5:52 pm

In late January, ARL released the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries. The code “enhances the ability of librarians to rely on fair use by documenting the considered views of the library community about best practices in fair use, drawn from the actual practices and experience of the library community itself” (p. 3). The code uses eight common situations where consensus on acceptable practice and rights application was reached in a series of long-form interviews with 65 librarians, conducting around the country over the course of 10 months in 2010-2011, to illustrate the principles, limitations and enhancements of exercising fair use.

It is important to recognize that this code outlines best practices, and does not establish guidelines; it contains “principles, not rules; limitations, not bans; reasoning, not rote” (Peter Jaszi, Emory University panel, Feb. 14). ARL coordinated the creation of this code of best practices in part because other communities of practice that have established similar codes (e.g., documentary filmmakers) have had successful implementation across the field, and favorable viewing as good documentation of community standards by courts when cases have been brought. Furthermore, fair use in libraries is consistently under-used, and often risk aversion is substituted for fair use analysis. It is hoped that with the establishment of this code of best practices, libraries can better fulfill their mission to preserve knowledge by looking to the best practices to reduce insecurity and hesitation in exercising fair use.

Over the past month, I have participated in a series of webinars and live-streamed panel events introducing and discussing the code. I have pages and pages of notes, and as with all things copyright-related, I’d love to talk to anyone who wants to know more. But for now, I’ll share my key take-aways:

  • Increasingly, courts are assessing fair use on transformativeness of the work, in addition to the traditional four factors (nature, amount, purpose, impact); can be easier to determine if use is transformative than if it clears all four factors.
  • With digital content, so much is being licensed that we aren’t dealing with copyright–and by extension, fair use–as much as we are contract law; this is concerning.
  • If the maximum isn’t supported from the top-down, faculty will resort to the minimum use in course reserves.
  • Q: Is the transformative nature of work in digitizing collections in Special Collections enough to justify fair use? A: “Please, God yes!” (from Emory live-streamed panel; digitization a primary transformative use)
  • Distinction between legal analysis and risk management analysis is important.
  • Making one copy to share among 7 libraries would actually enhance fair use scenario as it would limit the number of copies created. [Interesting, not sure yet how I come down on this point – MK]
  • If someone is speaking before a camera, should expect to be distributed; agreement to be filmed should be implicit agreement to be distributed, implicit nonexclusive agreement covering copyrighted content in speech. [Again, very interesting point that I’m still mulling over – MK]
  • Presumption has usually been to first seek permission, and only rely on fair use as a last resort; need to flip this.
  • In highly transformative use, existence or high likelihood of license revenue not recognized as valid argument against fair use; transformative use licenses do not belong to copyright owner; when transformative, effect on market no longer a factor.
  • Most of the time, libraries exercising fair use aren’t going to land in the middle of lawsuit, but rather be issued a cease-and-desist order, at which point *you take it down.*
  • Embrace ambiguity and risk management!
  • In evaluating risk, must evaluate both bad AND good; acknowledge the good that will NOT happen if fair use isn’t exercised.
  • Fair use is context-sensitive: who is the user and why is this being done?
  • Reliance on fair use statements and codes adds to good-faith defense when questioned.

Finally, the code of best practices is not meant to be a ceiling (or even a floor), but represents current consensus on topics in which agreement among the 65 librarian interviewees could be reached. If it is too conservative, then it reflects the current conservative nature of our execution of fair use as a profession, and we need to go out and push those boundaries!

The Future of Education: The Horizon Project Retreat

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:29 pm

Immediately following ALA, I was extremely lucky to be able to attend The Future of Education: The Horizon Project’s Tenth Year Retreat.

Since I first learned of the Horizon Project, I have been impressed with it. It’s an annual report, with editions for higher education, k-12 education, and museums, about the technologies that are on the horizon. Each report focuses on six technologies over three time horizons as well as naming some contextual themes that are applicable across the board.

Several years after first learning of the Horizon Project, I saw some discussion on library blogs about how libraries weren’t represented, so I decided to throw my name in the ring to see if I could be involved. I was fortunate to be included and the first report I contributed to was the Higher Education edition for 2011. I also contributed to the 2012 Higher Education report. The process of creating the reports, itself, is an amazingly efficient and productive modification of an onlineDelphi study, and I’d be happy to blog or chat about it if you’re interested.

Horizon name badge

The retreat, itself, was for anyone who had served on any of the advisory boards over the past 10 years. It was organized by Dr. Larry Johnson, CEO of the NMC, and Dr. Lev Gonick, VP and CIO at Case Western Reserve University and Board Chair Emeritus of the NMC. It was held in Austin, Texas at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort. The location was ideal. It wasn’t in the city, so we weren’t tempted away the way we might have been otherwise in the evenings. This meant that for the entire retreat we were all in one space, thinking about the same thing.

The event was comprised of group discussions, nine speakers featured on the NMC’s YouTube channel under 6 minutes with, and the amazing facilitation of David Sibbet, which is hard to understand unless you take a look at his visual representation of the event. Sibbet is a master at visualizing ideas, and I think every one of us probably wished for an ounce of his ability in that area.

At the Horizon Retreat

As you can see, this event incorporated various communication technologies as you’d hope it would. iPads outnumbered all other computers as best I could tell. (I felt a little old-fashioned with my MacBook Air!) They brought in speakers via videoconferencing technologies. Tagging was used extensively.

The pace of the event was quick, as we’d get a little bit of introduction, hear a speaker, have structured small group discussions, bring back the big ideas to the group, and watch as Sibbet illustrated the discussion we were having. The structured group work was built around specific points they wanted us to come to conclusions on–which took a bit of getting used to for me but I ended up really liking it. It reminded me of some of my teaching exercises, trying to make sure we don’t always do the same group work and mixing up the types of interactions.

The main ideas from the retreat are captured in a Communiqué. The ideas in this document are “megatrends” that are impacting all educational institutions (libraries included) around much of the internet-connected world. The executive summary, if you don’t want to pop over there, is:
At the Horizon Retreat

  1. The world of work is increasingly global and increasingly collaborative.
  2. People expect to work, learn, socialize, and play whenever and wherever they want to.
  3. The Internet is becoming a global mobile network – and already is at its edges.
  4. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based and delivered over utility networks, facilitating the rapid growth of online videos and rich media.
  5. Openness – concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information – is moving from a trend to a value for much of the world.
  6. Legal notions of ownership and privacy lag behind the practices common in society.
  7. Real challenges of access, efficiency, and scale are redefining what we mean by quality and success.
  8. The Internet is constantly challenging us to rethink learning and education, while refining our notion of literacy.
  9. There is a rise in informal learning as individual needs are redefining schools, universities, and training.
  10. Business models across the education ecosystem are changing.

There was brief discussion of including a library-related topic as one of the ten, but there weren’t enough library folks at the retreat to get the votes necessary to include it. If you read the communiqué, you’ll note that libraries are mentioned under many of these 10 megatrends. In fact, there was brief discussion of if there should be a libraries Horizon Report as their is a Museum one. I’d lean towards keeping libraries integrated within the existing documents, while increasing librarian participation. I think I can contribute more about libraries to a higher education discussion, and I’d rather librarians be at that table. Likewise, a school librarian could really contribute to the k-12 report. I’d like to see public libraries represented somewhere, though.

And, since we have a library focus here, I thought I’d include Marsha Semmel’s (Director of Strategic Partnerships at Institute of Museum and Library Services) talk.This talk was given to an audience with only about 5/100 librarians, so she was definitely introducing people to standards of the field as well as pushing on some boundaries.

The Horizon Retreat was an amazing opportunity, and I–frankly–was frequently surprised to find myself included at the table in these discussions. I look forward to seeing what else comes of our work over that week. If you’re interested in following along, you can on the (surprise!) wiki!

Lauren P. at Midwinter: LITA

Monday, February 20, 2012 1:23 pm

In Dallas for ALAMW12January/February has been an unusually busy conference season for me, leading much of my work time to be focused on catching up in the office. I’m just now getting a chance to process some of my experiences and blog them. Look for posts this week about LITA, Horizon, and Lilly South!

I’m going in chronological order, so this is an ALA post on the LITA Board meetings and midwinter thoughts in general. I posted on Council a few weeks ago.

Library and Information Technology Association Board

As for LITA, we had a few board meetings, held the traditional Midwinter Town Hall in which the general membership can contribute to strategic planning, and I attended the Web Coordinating Committee meeting as the liaison to the board.

We talked about various issues, and sent some issues to ALAConnect, and planned this year to start having monthly meetings to make sure we’re making progress on the goals and issues between conferences. I’m very excited about this. I think ALA Connect has been an ideal place to do ALA work between conferences, but it’s hard to check in when faced with the day-to-day duties and face-to-face meetings of our regular jobs. Having a monthly check-in meeting will give LITA tasks deadlines and a way to be held accountable. In fact, our first one is this Friday via WebEx!

Many of our conversations focused around issues of how to increase membership, if we should start focusing on advancement for the organization (and how), and the budget for the association. Exciting stuff, if you’re interested in the technology association of ALA. ;)

Midwinter Meeting

This Midwinter, as I’ve found in the past, was as much about connecting to others in the field as it was about learning or contributing to the association’s business. I love having a big-picture understanding of the field, and talking with librarians in all types of positions, and in all types of libraries, helps me keep a better understanding of the field-as-a-whole than I would otherwise be able to do. It’s good to to know what other academic librarians are doing as well to have a good sense of how we’re doing in relation to other libraries.

Many of my connections with others were in impromptu meetings, where we talked about everything from faculty vs. staff status and what it looks like at a variety of institutions, the situation at Harvard, conversations about motivations for the work we do, discussions about what ALA Council should be doing, how to get things done within the large association, and some scholarship that I was unfamiliar with that might be useful for some of the research I enjoy doing.

This Midwinter was the smallest I remember. We didn’t actually break 10,000 participants as we have every year in recent memory. The people who were there were enthusiastic and making the most of it, but overall you couldn’t help but question the future of the second ALA conference each year if numbers are so small. Here’s hoping we’re able to come up with some answers in Council and on division boards!


Capture the Flag@ZSR, Take Four!

Monday, February 13, 2012 12:39 pm

On Friday, February 10th, the ZSR Library hosted its fourthCapture the Flag event! 50 students arrived at 9pm for two hours of two games of Capture the Flag and all the pizza and sodas they could consume! While smaller than our September event, this event was well attended by a great group of enthusiastic students! We made a few changes based on what we have learned from previous events. We used actual flags rather than pieces of fabric and learned the students really like waving their opponents flag after successfully stealing it! We also continued the tradition of one game with “Human Flags”. Flags that can run make for an interesting game! We also have some prizes for the winning team, boxes of girl scout cookies that proved very popular with the members of the winning team. Susan Smith took some excellent photos of the event, and Mary Beth Lock came helped us by devising and implementing a strategy for storing the player’s personal items as all the lockers were already in use by students! I also need to thank Chris Burris for his continued support of these events! Meghan Haenn, from Campus Life, joined us as well. Campus Life supported the event by purchasing pizzas a dozen pizzas for the event! Mary Scanlon dropped by to support the event and check out how it’s done as well! All in all it was a fun way to spend a Friday night and many of our students thanked us on their way out of ZSR at 11pm! Stay tuned for Humans V. Zombies on Friday, March 2nd!

Carolyn at 2012 ALA Midwinter in Dallas

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 10:38 am

I realize this posting is somewhat late, but I too traveled to Dallas for ALA’s Midwinter meeting.

My first evening there was spent dining and talking with fellow members of ACRL’s Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS) at the Mexican restaurant Sol Irlandes. For me, the ANSS social has always been a fun time, and it’s a great way to meet new people and hear about what’s going on in other academic libraries.

The following day was filled with meetings. Early in the morning, Erik Mitchell and I met with the ALCTS programming committee to discuss the program that he and I are coordinating and will be convening at the 2012 Annual meeting in Anaheim. Our program is a panel discussion that will focus on the current research on and use of FRBR (i.e. Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) in libraries. Later, I attended a meeting of the ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee meeting of which I am a member. The committee developed a list of cataloging topics/questions to be answered in the upcoming months. Some of these topics include: searching for exhibition catalogs on a topic; how authorized forms of authors names are established; implementation of RDA; what is FRBR and FRAD; and subject headings that express social structure, status, or power and subject headings for traditional justice. The committee discussed the possibility of having a virtual meeting before Annual in June as opposed to an in-person meeting. My final meeting of the day was with the Recruiting and Mentoring Committee of ALCTS Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS). Our goal in the upcoming months is to match the individuals who responded to our online application seeking to be a cataloging mentor or mentee for a yearlong one-to-one mentoring experience. Committee members will act as liaisons to will introduce the matches online and following up with them to see how they are doing.

My remaining time at Midwinter was spent attending sessions sponsored by interest and discussion groups. One of the most interesting sessions I attended was a panel discussion sponsored by CaMMS Heads of Cataloging Departments Interest Group. The session’s theme was “Developing Service-Oriented Models for Cataloging and Metadata,” and one of the panel speakers was former WFU colleague Jennifer Roper. One speaker from U. of Texas at Austin described the restructuring of the cataloging and metadata services (CMS) department at her institution. Before the restructuring, individual units (e.g. monographs, serials, music) were responsible for only cataloging their materials, whereas now all units are participating in non-MARC metadata creation. By defining who CMS’ users are helped to prioritize projects, assignments, and responsibilities. Some of the challenges in managing CMS included:

1. Declining budgets and fewer staff — workflows need to be assessed, reassessed and redesigned.

2. Demands in user-centered catalogs (i.e. next-gen catalogs) — software changes are frequent; catalogers need to be involved in the decision-making process of ILS selection.

3. Dealing with increasing digital resources and understanding various non-MARC metadata — this calls for staff training design.

4. Outsourcing — know your staff and assess in-house capability, and always consider our users’ needs.

5. RDA — take a breath and begin planning for it.

Other points/suggestions made by panel members:

1. Develop a culture of assessment (i.e. data driven storytelling); demonstrate a return on investment (ROI) on the work that is done.

2. In regards to digital scholarship, data management collaborations among stakeholders is key to success in building institutional infrastructure for research data.

3. CMS departments need to demonstrate their value and expertise to the university. Public service librarians should not be the only ones involved in university projects. Although this may involve getting out of our comfort zones and taking risks, CMS personnel needs to be represented on task forces and advisory teams for university initiatives and projects.

4. Create a charter of values by department and revisit it periodically.

5. Be visible outside of departments and be vocal participants in conversations about library services.

6. Take a leadership role in the development of user interfaces.

7. Foster a culture of learning, inquiry, and risk-taking –set aside STATS!

8. As new roles are identified and new strategic goals are set, determine if some processes and services can be eliminated.

The Future of… the Future of… the Future

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 4:20 pm

In the last six months, I have had the pleasure of addressing three separate audiences on the future of books and libraries. On July 22, 2011 I was invited to give the keynote presentation at the Future of the Book conference at Florida State University. I was asked to connect the future of the book with the future of libraries – a natural connection.

As Libraries Change: Keep Your Eye on the Reader from suttonls

Next, Angela Glover arranged for me to address a gathering of the Georgia Independent School Librarians at the Lovett School in Atlanta. On January 25, 2012, I delivered a presentation on the future of libraries. They had also asked me to talk about ways that ZSR engages students, and that gave me the opportunity to brag on ZSR and its people, which explains the last dozen slides or so.

A Look into the Future from suttonls

Finally, at the request of my friend and ASERL dean colleague, Kay Wall, I delivered a kick-off presentation to the staff at Clemson University Libraries on February 3, 2012. They are beginning a strategic planning process that is similar to our own and had heard about my “Futures” presentation. So I adapted the previous two presentations and talked about the urgency of the future in libraries.

The Future is Now from suttonls

So, that is a lot of futuring in a short amount of time. (You will note the shameless re-use of slides and concepts.)

Here’s to the future!

Intro to Digital Preservation #1 — Steps to Identify and Select Content

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2:10 pm

Today, Vicki, Patty, Mary Beth, Steve, Susan, Rebecca, and Molly sat in on the ASERL webinar Intro to Digital Preservation #1–Steps to Identify and Select Content, facilitated by Jody DeRidder, Head of Digital Services, University of Alabama Libraries. John Burger of ASERL said that more than 150 people were registered to listen in on this session. This is the first of three sessions on digital preservation.

The content of this webinar comes from the Library of Congress Digital Preservation Outreach and Education Modules. This consist of 6 modules covering: identify, select, store, protect, manage and provide. The goal is to provide a collaborative network to enable us to work together and face the challenges ahead.

This Intro #1 covered the “Identify” and “Select” aspects of the 6 parts. In order to identify materials for digital preservation, DeRidder suggests identifying the scope of materials eligible by creating an inventory. She suggested that “good preservation decisions are based on an understanding of content to be preserved.” Content categories include institutional records, special collections, scholarly content, research data, web content, and digitized collections. She stressed that the content of these materials is more important than format, but the format may make preservation more of a challenge. An inventory should be simple in format that is general with reiterations that become more focused on details.Inventory results should be: documented, usable, available, scalable, current (incorporated into current workflows). Sorting by content and file type will help prioritize equipment, planning, and future priorities. The process of selecting involves these steps:review the potential digital content, define and apply selection criteria, document and preserve, implement. Thinking about the mission of the institution, the collection development policy, the priorities, the uniqueness will allow the selection process to conform with the rest of the institutional standards. DeRidder stressed that this process is facilitated by open communication and knowledge withe incoming collections and donors. Starting the dialog early with potential digital contributors will allow you to block any incoming materials that do not warrant digital preservation. In the case of materials that are already in one’s holdings, selection for digital preservation begs the questions:does it have value? fit your scope? can you do it?

This webinar focused on the importance of putting a structure in place with the right people, clear policies and procedures, and organization. Open communication with the digital curator will answer the questions :does the content have value? Does it fit your scope? Whereas a conversation with an IT person will allow you to know ifit is feasible for you to preserve the content? Or is it possible to make content available?

DeRidder made a clear outline of how to go about identifying and selecting materials for digital preservation, but the prospect of actually implementing these steps is daunting. I am looking forward to the next to two webinars.


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