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Justin M. White Posts

The William Davidson Talmud

Just added to the Humanities Open Access Resources page:

The William Davidson Talmud is a free digital edition of the Babylonian Talmud with parallel translations, interlinked to major commentaries, biblical citations, Midrash, Halakhah, and an ever-growing library of Jewish texts. As with all of Sefaria, The William Davidson Talmud will continually evolve as we add additional translations, commentaries, and connections.

You can submit your own favorite OA Humanities resources here.

A Little Précis of Librarianship, 9-3-2017

Again, I have to thank Audrey Watters of Hack Education for the inspiration of this blogging format, with her weekly wrap up of education technology news.

Jump to:

Politics (the one that there’s nothing funny about)
Scholarly (Mis)Communication
Copyright Corner
Emerging Technobabble
Research Reports
Get your professional development on!
”Why do we even have libraries?”
Ending on a Good Note

Politics (the one that there’s nothing funny about)

With the Net Neutrality debate in full swing, librarians should be well aware that access to high-speed internet is a basic utility required for their users to be integrated into the modern social, political, and economic systems we’ve built upon that utility. Yet Title II remains contentious, mainly due to monopolistic or duopolistic laws across the country that protect cable companies from competition.

Alaska adds its name to the list of fights for high-speed access, along with another fight against discrimination (protected by Title II) in Cleveland, Ohio, leading to a formal complaint against AT&T for slowed speeds in poorer neighborhoods. Comcast has also sued Vermont to prevent the construction of new high-speed Internet lines.

Meanwhile, AT&T has claimed that most of the comments the FTC has received that are “legitimate” are in favor of a repeal of net neutrality. This despite the fact that there are significantly more unique comments against the repeal of Title II.

As much as I dislike the FDLP, it does provide an important service in creating open government (kinda). Here’s a petition to protect title 44: https://freegovinfo.info/node/12325

There’s also a piece from the Washington Monthly that worries about the decline of the public research institution. The majority of research still happens in publicly funded universities… I just wonder how long that will remain the case. Maybe we’ll all be corporate librarians soon.

Also: stop locking laws away behind paywalls!

Scholarly (Mis)Communication

Article: “Academic stratospheres-cum-underworlds: when highs and lows of publication cultures meet”. A critique of predatory publishing mixed with the geopolitics and economics of globalizing knowledge production.

Where we’re going, we won’t need (pay)walls. The importance of self-archiving when dealing with a long publishing process.

Copyright Corner

We’ve had one recurring theme during the short time I’ve been writing these précis: schools, universities, libraries, etc. should be focusing on protecting copyright. Here’s an argument as to why universities cannot perform that role. Lots of spying concerns there.

Techdirt uses the success of the revived NES and other classic Nintendo games as proof that when markets provide something people want, piracy goes down. It can’t just be about wanting “free stuff” (by the way, I would add that a VPN is not cheap…).

In my most recent webinar on copyright, I mentioned there’s something akin to a “10 second rule” for ContentID (a Google anti-piracy product that runs automated takedowns on YouTube). Apparently, there’s also a “seven second rule” that journalism students are taught. The thing is though, neither actually exist in law.

Grim copyright news out of Europe.

Emerging Technobabble

Google is in the news, as usual. This time for apparently putting pressure on think tank The New America Foundation to fire one of its members of their Open Markets group for pointing out Google’s growing monopoly. More on why that’s worrying. Here’s a quote from an email in the Times’ piece:

“We are in the process of trying to expand our relationship with Google on some absolutely key points,” Ms. Slaughter wrote in an email to Mr. Lynn, urging him to “just THINK about how you are imperiling funding for others.”

Google should be a major concern for librarians, since its growing influence will shape information technology and information science for a long time. Plus, as a provider, it has the power to shape services in ways that create systems that favor its vision of the future. What do we do when caught between Big Content’s copyright wars and Big Tech? Of course, it isn’t that simple.

Cathy O’Neil shows who (finally) is taking notice of our algorithmic overlords, and doing something about it.

The library as an education system.

Research Reports

Podcast: Learn a little more about the threats institutions face from hackers.

Paper: Notes on Operations Diminishing Short Term Loans. Looks more maturely at what Demand/Patron Driven Acquisitions has been doing (or not doing) for librarie).

Poster: Reference rot, a digital preservation issue beyond file formats.

Get your professional development on!

In addition to the podcast above, this presentation was a nice discussion on privacy online and the concerns your users may face, with lots of questions submitted by yours truly.

Some fun professional development in coding with students.

I’m not sure if this might instead fit into “Emerging Technobabble of Lore”, but it’s a very nice reflective on 10 years in librarianship.

Call for Papers: Educator Activism in Politically Polarized Times (The Educational Forum)

”Why do we even have libraries?”

Library privatization in California continues, despite public outcry.

Ending on a Good Note

Students are spending less on textbooks/course materials.

A Little Précis of Librarianship, 8-30-2017

It has been one heck of a week.

Jump to:

Politics (the one that there’s nothing funny about)

Copyright Corner

Emerging Technobabble

Research Reports

Get your professional development on!

Politics (the one that there’s nothing funny about)

Following the events in Charlottesville, there’s a lot to talk about:

After Charlottesville, more campuses brace for neo-Nazi and alt-right protests. Which also leads into a discussion on how white supremacists have become the face of free speech debates on campus. The right to advocate for the extermination of groups of people is still a high priority for public universities (apparently “incitement” is no longer an issue).

The SPLC has created a “What Students Need to Know” guide about the alt-right. There is also the Charlottesville syllabus.

R. David Lankes’s piece “On Racism, Ignorance, and Librarianship.” I disagree with the way Lankes uses  the term “political party”, as if the struggles of people targeted by white supremacy are not politics-proper, but some sort of special interest. White supremacists have clearly chosen their favored party, and anti-fascists have realized when those ties have been cause for protest. However, despite finding this type of liberal non-racism distasteful, I am glad that Lankes did use his platform to reinforce the fact that librarians are not neutral. I would simply add that as librarians, as human beings, and for me and Lankes, as white people, we have a commitment to anti-racism, which will inevitably require the use of party politics, ideology, economics, public policy, and other areas that white people tend to claim as the neutral territory that their particular problems inhabit.

Copyright Corner

Songwriters push for the inclusion of authors’ moral rights into US copyright law. Because it has worked out so well in the few places we already have it (VARA).

Speaking of a troubling combination of moral rights, statues, and VARA, guess how copyright is getting in on the Confederate statue debate?

An education law pushes copyright enforcement as part of the responsibilities of teachers. I have a suggestion for an awareness program in the comments.

Farmers are hackers (pharmers?). I can’t wait for the dystopian movie with the 80s soundtrack.

Will the AI overthrow of humanity come down to intellectual property rights?

Emerging Technobabble

AT&T loses its attempt to enforce its state-backed monopoly against Google Fiber development in Louisville. Don’t worry AT&T, you still have your hands in the pockets of most state legislatures.

Research Reports

Article: What do data librarians think of their MLIS education?

Get your professional development on!

Article: Social media as a cost-effective way to promote library services.

 

A Little Précis of Librarianship, 8-13-2017

Another fascinating week!

Jump to:
Politics (the one that there’s nothing funny about)
Scholarly (Mis)Communication
Copyright Corner
Emerging Technobabble
Research Reports
Get your professional development on!

Politics (the one that there’s nothing funny about)

Advocating as a librarian isn’t easy or simple. Here’s a little advice.

Scholarly (Mis)Communication

Two studies suggest there’s trouble ahead for academic publishing (this link summarizes a lot of the issues also mentioned here, so a good place to start if you’re short on time!).

Elsevier acquires bepress, attempting to create an all-in-one scholarly ecosystem that it can provide to research institutions.

And still the system staggers on, broken and hypocritical.

Still, at least the Resistance is still going strong, with Sci-Hub having nearly all academic reserach within its grasp (and no signs of slowing).

Copyright Corner

Here’s some hopeful writing on OA tools, but don’t expect too much. See the emerging technologies section below for more on OA tools, there are some really good ones coming of age!

Cooking and copyright reform. A culinary gathering at “USQ Springfield and USQ Ipswich to celebrate the success of the Cooking for Copyright campaign, which led to national copyright reforms.”

Emerging Technobabble

What role does research provide in EdTech decision-making? (Hint: it’s not as rational as we would hope).

The Internet Archive is partnering with public libraries to decentralize the net and promote Web archiving!

As promised, here’s a slideshow that came into my Google Scholar alerts that has a lot of new OA tools I’ve never heard of, but are very exciting!

Research Reports

What gets kids to enjoy reading?

What’s the deal with Problem-Based Learning, and should we be so quick to employ it?

Get your professional development on!

CFP for articles on new literacies.

A Little Précis of Librarianship, 7-30-2017

It’s been a while since my last post, with a lot going on at work and such. But there’s always more to talk about, so let’s get going!

Jump to:
Politics (the one that there’s nothing funny about)

Scholarly (Mis)Communication

Copyright Corner

Emerging Technobabble

Research Reports

Get your professional development on!

Politics (the one that there’s nothing funny about)

A little late on the reporting, but the House Appropriation Committee was very miffed about the House Judiciary Committee stealing their thunder with the Copyright Office “reform” bill.

Scholarly (Mis)Communication

Paper: “Pressing Forward in Scholarly Communities:Synthesizing Communication Technologies with the Researchers Who Utilize Them”
Does Open Access work for circumventing paywalls? What will the crossover period look like? Will OA keep growing?
More on scholarly communication below.

Copyright Corner

More on Sci-Hub and Elsevier’s lawsuit against it.
Also, how exactly does Sci-Hub do what it does? Have publishers been hacked?
Also a very interesting discussion at a Scholarly Communication conference on Sci-hub and other academic piracy as a symptom.
The W3C and the Encrypted Media Extensions (DRM extensions) HTML standard: EFF’s response highlights librarian voices (an encouraging trend and a good argument for librarians to accept their role in this conversation).

Emerging Technobabble

Surprisingly, for a satire paper, Forbes has a thoughtful take on the need for web preservation.
Has the joy of learning gone out of online education?

Research Reports

Paper: Avoiding information overload.

Get your professional development on!

My colleague also finished her webinar on gamification for the South Carolina Library Association, so please do check out the recording!

Upcoming Webinar on Copyright, 6-21 at 2pm Eastern.

June 21, 2017 Emerging Issues in Copyright: A Jaunt Through Some Common Problems 2:00-3:00pm EST Justin M. White

Hodges University

Register for webinar here This webinar will take a stroll through some issues in copyright that show there is a serious need to rethink how we conceptualize copyright, authors’ rights, and fair use. There are no easy solutions, but it’s important to understand the questions. Issues will include: remixing, reusing, fair use, piracy, non-legal rule-making (from digital content platforms), encryption and copying, and the economic and cultural effects of near-costless copying. It will touch on how various economies intersect, such as the prestige economy of academic publishing vs. the economics of plenty. Obscure journals no longer need Elsevier to stay afloat, they only need institutional support, a website, and a good sitemap that can be indexed by Google. Optionally, these journals can also publish in platforms like Scholar Commons (bepress), and again have their metadata immediately indexed by Google Scholar. Open Educational Resources and the textbook industry will come up, along with the non-academic topics of artistic creation in platforms that are constantly policed by our copyright laws. The primary purpose of the webinar will be to give librarians some food for thought: a few cautionary tales from the world of copyright, and perhaps a few ideas to act upon. Recommended for anyone who enjoyed the book The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future (2016).

You can find more webinars and a call for webinar presenters here: http://www.nclaonline.org/college-university