ALA and recognizing situations for what they are

As I suspect is the case with many members, my relationship with the American Library Association runs hot and cold. On the one hand, like Soylent Green, ALA is people: I have been privileged to meet and work with many excellent folk through ALA, LITA, and ALCTS (though to complete the metaphor, sometimes I’ve seen […]

Whence library technology innovation?

Rob McGee has been moderating the “View from the Top” presidents [of library technology companies] seminar for 26 years. As an exercise in grilling executives, its value to librarians varies; while CEOs, presidents, senior VPs and the like show up, the discussion is usually constrained. Needless to say, it’s not common for concerns to be […]

Books and articles thud so nicely: a response to a lazy post about gender in library technology

The sort of blog post that jumbles together a few almost randomly-chosen bits on a topic, caps them off with an inflammatory title, then ends with “let’s discuss!” has always struck me as one of the lazier options in the blogger’s toolbox.  Sure, if the blog has an established community, gently tweaking the noses of the […]

Putting my time where my mouth is on the patron privacy front

Shortly after it came to light that Adobe Digital Editions was transmitting information about ebook reading activity in the clear, for anybody to snoop upon, I asked a loaded question: does ALA have a role in helping to verify that the software libraries use protect the privacy of readers? As with any loaded question, I had an […]

Reaching LITA members: a datapoint

I recently circulated a petition to start a new interest group within LITA, to be called the Patron Privacy Technologies IG.  I’ve submitted the formation petition to the LITA Council, and a vote on the petition is scheduled for early November.  I also held an organizational meeting with the co-chairs; I’m really looking forward to what […]

Verifying our tools; a role for ALA?

It came to light on Monday that the latest version of Adobe Digital Editions is sending metadata on ebooks that are read through the application to an Adobe server — in clear text. I’ve personally verified the claim that this is happening, as have lots of other people. I particularly like Andromeda Yelton’s screencast, as […]

Taking the ALA Statement of Appropriate Conduct seriously

After I got back from this year’s ALA Annual Conference (held in the City of It’s Just a Dry Heat), I saw some feedback regarding B.J. Novak’s presentation at the closing session, where he reportedly marred a talk that by many accounts was quite inspiring with a tired joke alluding to a sexual (and sexist) […]

Schedule for ALA Annual 2013

I yield!  Not only does Karen Schneider’s conference schedule beat up my schedule, it all but vaporizes it. Nonetheless, I will be in Chicago, just not bouncing around quite so much.  When I’m not at MPOW‘s booth in the exhibits hall, I’ll be attending: LITA Open Source Systems Interest Group (Saturday, 29 June from 1-2:30 […]