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Villanova Library Technology Blog: Villanova Basketball Alum’s MLK Artifact

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-01-14 17:20

via National Park Service Digital Image Archives

Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I have a dream” speech on August 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. To this day the speech is a key piece of oration for the Civil Rights movement. Like every great orator, MLK had some prepared speech notes for his address — notes that actually did not include the famous “I have a dream” section (which was spun on the spot from the heart) — but he did not keep them. What happened to those notes, you ask?

They came into the possession of Villanova alum and College Basketball Hall of Famer George Raveling, class of 1960.

George Raveling, 10th on Villanova’s all-time rebounding list and the second ever black basketball player at Villanova, was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. He was not only a talented college basketball player, but also went on to be an inspiring coach. He got his coaching start as a part-time assistant to Villanova coach Jack Kraft and later went on to coach full-time for Washington State, the University of Iowa, and the University of Southern California. Since retiring from coaching, Raveling has worked as Director for International Basketball for Nike.

So how did Raveling become the proud keeper of MLK’s speech notes? Raveling and his good friend Warren Wilson were only young men when they decided to go to Washington D.C. for the march in 1963. They were approached by one of the march’s organizers and asked to provide security–and they agreed. Raveling wound up just a few feet from MLK on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He was enthralled by MLK and his message of equality and civil rights. After the speech concluded and the crowd on the steps moved to disperse, he simply asked King, “Can I have that?”

And so they became his.

The notes have since been museum-treated and framed and are stored in a vault for safe-keeping. Raveling does not want to ever sell them, but is interested in their public display; he is currently in talks with various educational and museum groups.

You can read the full Sports Illustrated article on George Raveling and the MLK speech notes here. USA Today also covered the story. To learn more about Raveling’s induction to the College Basketball Hall of Fame, check out this article via VU Hoops.

Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.


Ed Summers: Endless Maps and Graphs

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-01-14 05:00

From Morton’s challenging meditation on scale:

We need to get out of the persuasion business and start getting into the magic business, or the catalysis business, or the magnetizing business, or whatever you want to call it. Using reason isn’t wrong. But with objects this huge, this massively distributed, this counterintuitive, this transdimensional, it’s not enough simply to use art as candy coating on top of facts. We can’t just be in the PR business. Percy Shelley put it beautifully when he wrote, “We lack the creative faculty to imagine that which we know.” That was back in 1820, and it’s only gotten worse. Consider the heavy hydrocarbons that subtend the soil of the Lago Agrio oil field in Ecuador, a black fudge hyperobject that oozes into drinking water, with unknown and under-studied mutagenic and carcinogenic effects. We do not need to keep on parsing the data like Chevron, the defendants in the lawsuit on behalf of the people affected by the contaminated soil. Such parsing of data would be using the very same tactic as the gigantic corporation, the strategy of producing endless maps and graphs. (Morton, 2013, pp 181-182).

Morton, T. (2013). Hyperobjects: Philosophy and ecology after the end of the world. University of Minnesota Press.

Eric Hellman: Not using HTTPS on your website is like sending your users outside in just their underwear.

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-01-14 04:57
#ALAMW16 exhibits,
viewed from the escalatorThis past weekend, I spent 3 full days talking to librarians, publishers, and library vendors about making the switch to HTTPS. The Library Freedom Project staffed a table in the exhibits at the American Library Association Midwinter meeting. We had the best location we could possibly wish for, and we (Alison Macrina, Nima Fatemi, Jennie Rose Halperin and myself) talked our voices hoarse with anyone interested in privacy in libraries, which seemed to be everyone. We had help from Jason Griffey and Andromeda Yelton (who were next to us, showing off the cutest computers in town for the "Measure the Future" project).

Badass librarians with
framed @snowden tweet.We had stickers, we had handouts. We had ACLU camera covers and 3D-printed logos. We had new business cards. We had a framed tweet from @Snowden praising @libraryfreedom and "Badass Librarians", who were invited to take selfies.
DHS fought to stop libraries from using privacy technology, but @LibraryFreedom beat them. Librarians are badass.— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) October 11, 2015 Apart from helping to raise awareness about internet privacy, talking to lots of real people can help hone a message. Some people didn't really get encryption, and a few were all "What??? Libraries don't use encrypted connections???" By the end of the first day, I had the message down to the one sentence:
Not using HTTPS on your website is like sending your users outside in just their underwear.Because, if you don't use HTTPS, people can see everything, and though there's nothing really WRONG with not wearing clothes outside, we live in a society where doing so by custom is the respectful thing. There are many excellent reasons to preserve our users' privacy, but many of the reasons tend to highlight the needs of other people. The opposing viewpoint is often "Privacy is a thing of the past, just get over it" or "I don't have anything to hide, so why work hard so you can keep all your dirty secrets?" But most people don't think wearing clothes is a thing of the past; a connection made between encrypted connections and nice clothes just normalizes the normal.

We've previously used the analogy that HTTP is like sending postcards while HTTPS is like sending notes in envelopes. This is a harder analogy to use in a 30 second explainer because you have to make a second argument that websites shouldn't be sent on postcards.

We need to craft better slogans because there's a lot of anti-crypto noise trying to apply an odor of crime and terrorism to good privacy and security practices. The underwear argument is effective against that - I don't know anyone that isn't at least a bit creeped out by the "unclothing" done by the TSA's full body scanners.

No Pants Subway Ride 2015: cosmetic trierarchs CC BY-NC-ND by captin_nod
Maybe instead of green lock icons for HTTPS, browser software could display some sort of flesh-tone nudity icon for unencrypted HTTP connections. That might change user behavior rather quickly. I don't know about you but I never lose sleep over door locks, but I do have nightmares about going out without my pants!

Villanova Library Technology Blog: ‘Cat in the Stacks: 5 Things I Wish I Knew About Libraries

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-01-13 20:30

I’m Michelle Callaghan, a second-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.

I have a dirty secret. In undergrad, I never checked out one single book from the library. I know that makes me sound like a slacker (I’m not!). I plumbed online journals and e-books like it was my full-time job and I was never lacking great internet resources. The few bound books I used, I… *shudder* I bought them from Amazon. Why did I avoid the stacks? Why did a broke college student buy books instead of going to the library?

In all truth, I was sort of intimidated and sort of undereducated about library holdings.

Falvey has taught me a lot so far. Allow me to present the top five things I wish I knew “back in my day” (uh, last year).

I don’t know where I’m going!
Librarians and our friendly library staff members aren’t going to judge you for not feeling confident navigating the stacks. It’s not just about knowing the good ol’ Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress call numbers. (By the way, here’s a guide to call numbers.) It’s also about navigating the library building itself. What good is knowing call numbers if you don’t know where the stacks are? Ask for directions, or check out this map.

I don’t want to go find that book!
Your stacks anxiety does not have to keep you from a good book. You can have your chosen books pulled from the stacks by library staff and held at the circulation desk for you – all via Falvey’s website. Search for a book, click on its page, and go to the Request Hold/Recall link under the ‘Holdings’ tab.

Books are old!
Our library gets new holdings, like, always. I relied on online journals and e-books in college based on a totally erroneous assumption that those bound paper tomes were totally too old for me and my super modern research. Not true. Fresh books come in all the time. And we’re talking fresh fresh. Like new book smell fresh. Yeah. That fresh. 

The library doesn’t know about my subject!
Subject librarians. You think all you have is your professor and your classmates and the internet? You’re wrong! You also have your subject librarian, who is probably very  familiar with the parameters of your research project (probably having already met with some of your classmates), and who is totally not going to judge you for being a little slow on the uptake on your research topic. I’m not saying your professor will, but perhaps your professor saw you fall asleep during that one particular lecture covering the particular material in question…? Just saying.

The library doesn’t have what I need!
Interlibrary loan. E-Z Borrow.
One time I almost paid fifty bucks for an article from a journal to which my library did not subscribe because I had no idea that the library would be able to procure it for me from another institution (hey, I didn’t pop out of the womb knowing how to utilize library services!). When I say that virtually no resource is beyond the ability of our library to obtain, I’m not kidding.

Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.


LITA: Jobs in Information Technology: January 13, 2016

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-01-13 20:22

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week:

Princeton University Library, Librarian for Reference & Research Services and Gender & Sexuality Studies – Requisition #160001, Princeton, NJ

Colorado State University Libraries, Data Management Specialist, Fort Collins, CO

Western Washington University, Director of Teaching & Learning and the Learning Commons, Bellingham, WA

City of Phoenix, Library Department, Librarian II, Phoenix, AZ

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a job posting.

SearchHub: Top Blog Posts of 2015

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-01-13 20:04

2015 was a banner year for our blog with fresh posts popping up constantly across a broad selection of topics from the brainiacs here at Lucidworks. Here’s our top ten most popular blog posts from the past year:

#10. Focusing on Search Quality at Lucene/Solr Revolution 2015

Ted Sullivan’s recap of Revolution 2015 starts off our countdown:

I just got back from Lucene/Solr Revolution 2015 in Austin on a big high. There were a lot of exciting talks at the conference this year, but one thing that was particularly exciting to me was the focus that I saw on search quality (accuracy and relevance), on the problem of inferring user intent from the queries, and of tracking user behavior and using that to improve relevancy and so on. … What was really cool to me was the different ways people are using to solve the same basic problem – what does the user want to find?

Read the full post. Stay tuned to all Lucene/Solr Revolution 2016 news via Twitter, Facebook or on

#9. Apache Solr 5.0 Highlights

Anshum Gupta’s post outlining the best bits of the new Solr came in ninth:

The much anticipated Apache Lucene and Solr 5.0 was just released. It comes packed with tons of new features, stability improvements and bug fixes. A lot of effort has gone into making Solr more usable, mostly along the lines of introducing APIs and hiding implementation details for users who don’t need to know. Solr 4.10 was released with scripts to start, stop and restart Solr instance, 5.0 takes it further in terms of what can be done with those. The scripts now, for instance, copy a configset on collection creation so that the original isn’t changed. There’s also a script to index documents as well as the ability to delete collections in Solr. As an example, this is all you need to do to start SolrCloud, index, browse through what’s been indexed, and clean up the collection.

Read the full post.

#8. Solr on Docker

Maritjn Koster’s walkthrough of running Solr in a Docker container:

It is now even easier to get started with Solr: you can run Solr on Docker with a single command: $ docker run –name my_solr -d -p 8983:8983 -t solr

Read the full post.

#7. Open Source Hadoop Connectors for Solr

Cassandra Targett’s post announcing our open source release of Hadoop connectors: 

Lucidworks is happy to announce that several of our connectors for indexing content from Hadoop to Solr are now open source. We have six of them, with support for Spark, Hive, Pig, HBase, Storm and HDFS, all available in Github. All of them work with Solr 5.x, and include options for Kerberos-secured environments if required. Repo:

Read the full post.

#6. Solr as an Apache Spark SQL DataSource

Tim Potter’s primer on using Solr as an Apache Spark SQL DataSource:

The DataSource API provides a clean abstraction layer for Spark developers to read and write structured data from/to an external data source. In this first post, I cover how to read data from Solr into Spark. In the next post, I’ll cover how to write structured data from Spark into Solr.

Read the full post.

#5.Hey, You Got Your Facets in My Stats! You Got Your Stats In My Facets!!

Hoss’s walkthrough on facets and stats in Solr:

Solr has supported basic “Field Facets” for a very long time. Solr has also supported “Field Stats” over numeric fields for (almost) as long. But starting with Solr 5.0 (building off of the great work done to support Distributed Pivot Faceting in Solr) it will now be possible to compute Field Stats for each Constraint of a Pivot Facet. Today I’d like to explain what the heck that means, and how it might be useful to you.

Read the full post.

#4. Solr 5’s new ‘bin/post’ utility

Erik Hatcher’s guided tour of Solr 5’s new ‘bin/post’ utility:

This is the first in a three part series demonstrating how it’s possible to build a real application using just a few simple commands.  The three parts to this are getting data into Solr using bin/post, visualizing search results: /browse and beyond, putting it together realistically: example/files – a concrete useful domain-specific example of bin/post and /browse.

Read the full post.

#3. Solr Suggester

Erick Erickson’s explainer post on using Solr’s Suggester:

How would you like to have your user type “energy”, and see suggestions like: Energa Gedania Gdansk, Energies of God, United States Secretary of EnergyKinetic energy. The Solr/Lucene suggester component can make this happen quickly enough to satisfy very demanding situations. … There’s been a new suggester in town for a while, thanks to some incredible work by some of the Lucene committers. Along about Solr 4.7 or so support made it’s way into Solr so you could configure these in solrconfig.xml. 

Read the full post.

#2. Indexing Performance in Solr 5.2

Tim Potte runs Apache Solr 5.2 through the Solr Scale Toolkit – comparing it to Solr 4.8.1 with astounding results – and it’s our runner-up post:

Using Solr 4.8.1 running in EC2, I was able to index 130M documents into a collection with 10 shards and replication factor of 2 in 3,727 seconds (~62 minutes) using ten r3.2xlarge instances; please refer to my previous blog post for specifics about the dataset. This equates to an average throughput of 34,881 docs/sec. Today, using the same dataset and configuration, with Solr 5.2.0, the job finished in 1,704 seconds (~28 minutes), which is an average 76,291 docs/sec. To rule out any anomalies, I reproduced these results several times while testing release candidates for 5.2. To be clear, the only notable difference between the two tests is a year of improvements to Lucene and Solr!

Read the full post.

#1. Securing Solr with Basic Authentication

And at number one, the most popular post of 2015 was Noble Paul’s tutorial on securing Solr with 5.2’s new security API:

Until version 5.2, Solr did not include any specific security features. If you wanted to secure your Solr installation, you needed to use external tools and solutions which were proprietary and maybe not so well known by your organization. A security API was introduced in Solr 5.2 and Solr 5.3 will have full-featured authentication and authorization plugins that use Basic authentication and “permission rules” which are completely driven from ZooKeeper.

Read the full post.

Here’s to a new year of fantastic bloggy goodness! Never miss a post my subscribing to our blog via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or subscribe via an old fashioned feed. 

The post Top Blog Posts of 2015 appeared first on

HangingTogether: David Bowie’s Top 100 Books

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-01-13 18:29

If you grew up on David Bowie’s music as I did, this has not been a good week. We lost his creative genius way too early. Social media has been awash with his music and video clips and all manner of materials honoring his unique life and creative contributions. So it seems fitting that we in the library world honor him by acknowledging his list of 100 top books.

At the web site that published the list, they noted that only 75% of the books could be found at a bookstore. Well, I found 100% in WorldCat.orgBecause libraries.

Enjoy! Feel free to request any that aren’t at your local library.

About Roy Tennant

Roy Tennant works on projects related to improving the technological infrastructure of libraries, museums, and archives.

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Library of Congress: The Signal: Inventorying Software Developed at the National Library of Medicine: An NDSR Project Update

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-01-13 18:12

The following is a guest post by Nicole Contaxis, National Digital Stewardship Resident at the National Library of Medicine. She participates in the NDSR-DC cohort.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has a fifty year tradition of developing software in-house for its own use and for the use of its patrons. As part of the National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) program, I am currently researching this history and devising a pilot preservation strategy (PDF) for NLM-developed software found in NLM’s archives and the offices of staff members.

The first step of this project was to create an inventory of these software programs, including that have been located as executable files or source code and those that have not. It acts as a checklist of software programs that need to be located and preserved while also acting as a reference when trying to understand NLM’s history of software development. As opposed to cataloging, it is a more informal list intended for internal use. Creating this inventory, however, became a complicated process that highlighted some of the issues facing archivists working with software. Perhaps the biggest issue is deciding which software programs deserve their own inventory record when each program works co-operatively within a complex computing environment.

Some of the software related materials we are currently working with at NLM. Credit: Nicole Contaxis

Before I began the inventory, I knew I would run into significant issues when choosing what data elements to include in an inventory record. While an inventory of books or papers can rely on pre-existing understandings of the material (i.e. “One latter, five pages long” or “one copy of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”), it is difficult to create a software inventory because of how widely software structures can vary. Because NLM has produced software from the 1960’s to the present day, an inventory would need to be able to accommodate the variations of software developed for batch-processing computers as well as software developed for mobile phones. While designing the inventory record was a challenge, it was not the only hurdle of the inventory process.

As I began to populate the inventory records, I was surprised to realize that it was not clear what did and what did not deserve its own inventory record. What constitutes a separate and individual piece of software within a complex computing system is not straightforward, especially when adequate documentation may not exist.

Here is an example to illustrate this challenge. Grateful Med, one of NLM’s hallmark software programs introduced in 1986, was an end-user friendly search system that allowed physicians and nurses to search NLM’s bibliographic data to help perform research and treat patients. It was such a notable piece of software at the time because it allowed end-users to search the data themselves rather than relying on computing specialists and truly considered the users point of view and experience. A new version of Grateful Med was created each year with updated vocabularies and new features.

Grateful Med v 4.0 Search Interface.

Coach Metathesaurus was a software program that was developed in 1991, in part, to serve as one of these new features of Grateful Med. Designed to assist end-users with controlled medical vocabularies, it was meant to hook into Grateful Med seamlessly and provide assistance to the user when the user’s search queries returned inadequate responses. Although the piece of software was fully developed and tested in NLM’s Reading Room, it was not implemented across all versions of Grateful Med.

Here, the question becomes, does Coach Metathesaurus deserve its own inventory record? In this instance, I decided that it does. Because it was not implemented across all versions of Grateful Men, I could not confirm that the functionality and history of Coach Metathesaurus would be included in a preserved version of Grateful Med, and it would also be unlikely that anyone would know to search for it.

However, what if Coach Metathesaurus was implemented in all versions of Grateful Med? In this scenario, would Coach Metathesaurus deserve its own inventory record? It is at this line of questioning that we can begin to see the difficulties of delineating between individual pieces of software within a complex system, one of the major obstacles to performing an accurate software inventory.

As I considered this question, both for Coach Metathesaurus and for similar software programs, I established two basic guidelines. The first is: what information may be lost or gained by including a new inventory record for this piece of software. If, as with Coach Metathesaurus, information or functionality would be lost without an additional inventory record, I would make a new record. On the other hand, if information or functionality could be included in a larger record that adequately reflected the history of that piece of software, it would be included in the larger record.

The second guideline is less practical but still quite important: when deciding if something deserves its own inventory record, it is helpful to consider the ways in which people experienced that software. For the sake of these decisions, I separated these experiences into roughly two categories: the experiences of the development team and the experiences of the user community. Although experiences within both of these categories can vary wildly, these categories remain helpful when considering what information developers can access and what information users can access. For example, the user did not know that Coach Metathesaurus was a separate piece of software that performs different functions, but the developer would.

A tutorial program designed to help user’s search with Grateful Med.

Contemporaneous documentation is necessary when attempting to consider the developer’s and user’s experience of a piece of software. There was clear documentation about how to use Grateful Med, as it was built for external users, rather than for in-house use. However, documentation of the development process itself can be difficult to locate because internal communications, like emails and memos, may be long lost. This lack of documentation is exacerbated when software is developed for internal use rather than external. As such, the archivist working with software intended for internal use needs to perform a significant amount of intellectual labor in order to document the how and why of software development, if that knowledge itself has not already been completely lost to time.

Nicole Contaxis presenting research to NLM staff members. Credit: Ben Petersen.

Describing software and drawing boundaries around what does and what does not constitute an individual piece of software is not an easy endeavor. At this point at NLM, decisions about what pieces of software deserve their own inventory record are made on a case-by-case basis. These decisions are made with respects to the developer’s experience of the product, the user’s experience of the product, the available documentation, and the practical needs of NLM. While these guidelines provide a useful roadmap, they require a significant amount of intellectual labor on the archivist’s part, resulting in complex answers. Some of the major obstacles hindering software archival practice lie in creating boundaries between individual pieces of software within computing systems and in respecting both the development and use of software within the description process. Thankfully, at NLM, we’ve been able to recognize these concerns, making the inventory process of our in-house developed software much easier to understand.

David Rosenthal: Guest post: Ilya Kreymer on

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-01-13 16:00
Recently, the remarkably productive Ilya Kreymer put up an emulation-based system for displaying archived Web pages using contemporary browsers at I mentioned it in my talk at the last CNI meeting, but I had misunderstood the details, so Ilya had to correct me.

Ilya's work is much more important that I originally realized. It isn't just a very good example of the way that emulation can layer useful services over archived content. It is also a different approach to delivering emulations, leveraging the current trend towards containers and thus less dependent on specialized, preservation-only technology.

I asked Ilya to write a guest post explaining how it works, which is below the fold.

In this guest post, I would like to talk a bit about, a new system designed combine web archives with emulated, or virtual, web browsers, allowing users to browse old websites using a selection of old (and new) browsers.
In the report on emulation, there idea of the Internet Emulator is presented, and is one approach to such a system. The general idea of is to present users with virtual browsers running on remote machines, and to also augment the traditional web browsing experience by adding a time dimension. Since browsers do not traditionally have a time dimension, the time selector is presented “outside” the virtual browser, in the containing page.
The system is designed to interact with web archives, over HTTP, and also extends previous work on using the Memento protocol, also over HTTP. To be quite fair, it is really a web emulator, rather than a general Internet/network emulator.
As such, it consists of two important systems: a web browser emulator and memento aggregation system.
Emulators + Docker
The emulation component is possible due to several key technologies, the first of which is Docker.
Docker provides a container system on top of Linux kernel apis that allows running applications in isolated containers on a host Linux machine: (
Amongst other features most relevant to, Docker containers provide, a sandboxed file system, cpu scheduling and virtual network(s). Docker containers can be launched and stopped quickly and are built from Docker images, which are stored in a custom layered filesystem spec format and but are actually defined through an easy to use text format called Dockerfile. Docker images can also extend other images and can be shared publicly via Docker’s public registry.
Docker containers are limited to running on Linux (at least for now). To support non-Linux browsers, a Docker container can run one of several emulator applications (that run on Linux).
Currently includes the following open-source emulators:
  • WINE -- A “Compatibility” layer runs Window applications in Linux, it is used to run Windows versions of IE4, IE5 and Netscape. Not a perfect emulation, but was chosen to be able to run Windows browsers without actually including a full versions of Windows
  • Basilisk - MacOS 68k Emulator is used to run Netscape 3.04, Netscape 4.08, IE 4.01 on System 7.5.5

  • Sheepshaver - PowerPC Emulator, used to run Nestcape 4.8 and IE 5.1.7 on Mac OS System 7.5.5

  • Previous - a NEXTStep 68k emulator, used to run Tim Berners-Lee first browser, WWW, on a NextSTEP system.

It may be interesting to point out that there are different layers of ‘emulation’ here. There are full OS emulators (Basilisk, Sheepshaver, Previous) which emulate full operating systems, specifically System 7.5.5 with UI extensions. (System 7.5.3 was released publicly by Apple, and 7.5.5 is a free update)
There is WINE which is really a Windows ‘compatibility layer’ for Linux and avoids running or distributing Windows itself. Finally, there are Linux browsers (Netscape 4.79, Mosaic, Lynx, and modern Firefox, Chrome) which run directly in the Docker container, and aren’t “emulated” in the traditional sense, but perhaps “virtualized” for the user. Of course, other emulators and Linux browsers can be added as well if needed.
Docker supports many other useful features relevant to One is automated port mapping, allowing a new port on the host machine to be mapped directly to a specific port in a container. For each browser container, two ports, one for the VNC connection and one for control messages, is assigned and sent to the user to communicate directly with the remote browser.
On the client side, noVNC, actually a VNC client in HTML5 provides the key client side communication to receive screen capture from remote browser and send input events back.
Finally, Docker Swarm is a new Docker clustering system, which allows multiple machines to be treated as a single machine from Docker’s perspective. Swarm is used in the deployment to enable scaling across multiple machines, although at this time, the scaling has been done manually. At peak load time, it has been used to launch 5+ virtual machines which distributed requests for new browsers containers amongst them.
Based on empirical evidence (at least on amazon EC2 VCPU), each CPU could support between 5-6 containers before performance starts to degrade. By default, Docker automatically splits the CPU time equally across all containers, so no one browser should be able to use more than its fair share. To avoid too many containers slowing things down, employs a limit on max simultaneous browsers as a function of the available CPUs. Users beyond this enter a queue and wait for an empty spot to become available.
Memento Aggregation
Another key aspect of is the embedded Memento Aggregator, using the MemGator aggregator created by Sawood Alam. While could of course work with a single archive, the intent was to create the most accurate replay of “the old web” by querying multiple memento endpoints at the same time, and selecting a combination of the closest available Mementos. MemGator was used to have more flexibility over which archives are included in the aggregation and to allow for adjusting of various settings related to timeouts.
This approach builds upon LANL’s Memento Aggregator and Time Travel API, and the collaboration with LANL on creating Memento Reconstruct, which used the similar approach for querying multiple archives to “reconstruct” the most accurate available aggregated Memento.
While Reconstruct used the traditional url rewriting (aka. wayback machine) approach to web archive replay, avoids url rewriting altogether. Instead, the original HTTP traffic is served directly to the emulated browsers, essentially unaltered. (A couple exceptions: Some cleanup is done on the headers for the WWW browser and Mosaic to avoid overwhelming them with unknown headers or gzip-encoded data).
HTTP Proxy
This is possible due to a wonderful feature of the HTTP protocol: the concept of the proxy server, which has been included in HTTP since 1.0 and possibly earlier. The proxy server was designed as a way to allow firewalled systems to access the web: all connections would go through the designated proxy.
The presence of HTTP proxy support provides an elegant solution for web archives, entirely at the HTTP protocol level. By using HTTP proxy mode, all the complexities of url rewriting traditionally found in web archive replay can be eliminated. Unfortunately, configuring proxy mode manually is cumbersome and impractical to occasionally browser a web archive.For an emulated browser, these difficulties can be eliminated, as all the necessary settings can be preconfigured automatically.
The browsers launched by in Docker containers are already configured with a proxy server, pointing to another Docker container running pywb software which acts as an HTTP/S proxy server. When a user changes the time dimension, this information is sent to the proxy server container and mapped to the appropriate Docker container for the emulated browser, later applying this as the Memento request datetime when querying the aggregator.
The web emulator system provided by allows users to browse archived web data, in its original unaltered form, with a variety of different browsers running in a control environment. This is all made possible by several factors: the relative stability of the HTTP protocol and features such as HTTP proxy, the adoption of Memento protocol, along with the maturity of Linux container systems such as Docker. There are a lot more improvements that can be made and edge cases to address, but this should provide a solid basis for further work.

Villanova Library Technology Blog: The Curious ‘Cat: Have you made any new-semester resolutions?

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-01-13 14:30

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “Have you made any new-semester resolutions?

Janine Rosario—“Yes … to get a new society that I’m trying to start at Villanova established, called the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers ( I’m currently in the process with that, and hopefully at the end of the semester it will be settled and established.”

Austen Jones—“Not procrastinating as much as I did last semester—getting behind writing papers: that’s my biggest one. Plus, in my personal life, finding time to exercise everyday”








Michael Danovich—“I’d like to take advantage of my breaks during the day and get ahead on some work. Last semester I had no time during my day; it was all front loaded. This semester I can spread it out, and I can get work done after my classes and before my next classes start.”





Sarah Moxham—“I’m a transfer student, so my resolution is to get involved with everything I can—to make up for lost time. I definitely want to be a part of service; service is really big here. I’ve never been a part of it, but it’s something I want to do.”






Erica McGaurn—“Last year I had a lot; the volume of information in my classes increased a lot. So this semester I’m trying to do a little bit every day for each of my classes, and less procrastinating, even if it’s just 15 to 20 minutes per day studying what we did in class.”





Abdiel Bourne—“I will keep up with my reading more, especially going through the semester, keeping up with reading as much as I do in the beginning.”


In the Library, With the Lead Pipe: The Quest for Diversity in Library Staffing: From Awareness to Action

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-01-13 12:00

Image by flickr user Andy Hay (CC BY 2.0)

The work of diversity in libraries begins at the crossroad where superiority, inaction, and denial become intolerable. – Sandra Ríos Balderrama, “This Trend Called Diversity”

In Brief: Despite our ongoing quest for diversity and a growing number of initiatives to increase it, the demographics of the professional librarian population haven’t changed in any significant way. We are starkly lacking in diversity based on race and ethnicity (we are overwhelmingly white), age (librarianship is an aging profession), disability, economic status, educational background, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other demographic and identity markers of difference. This lack of diversity should be seen as a signal, an invitation to us to look critically at our culture, our practices, and our assumptions, and investigate what it is about ourselves and our profession that is preventing underrepresented people from being able to, or even wanting to, enter and stay. We need an awareness of how privilege, bias, and the attendant power differentials and oppression play out at the individual and the systemic levels of our profession. And we must consider how these affect the experiences of underrepresented and marginalized people within our dominant (white, heterosexual, cisgender, and patriarchal) culture. In this article I consider the meaning of diversity in librarianship. Then, using the ClimateQUAL Organizational Climate and Diversity Assessment as an example, I analyze the potential problems with our data collection and analysis related to diversity and organizational culture. I conclude by suggesting some practical steps for library leadership and by identifying future directions for research.

Why Diversity and What does it Mean?

We often read about the benefits of diversity in organizations.1 The typical corporate “business case for diversity” focuses on the economic benefits of workplace diversity for the company, thereby treating staff from underrepresented groups simply as any other resource acquired and deployed to increase market share. Conversely, our professional library associations affirm a commitment to creating diverse workplaces so that we may better serve diverse user communities, and even support democracy.2 For example, the Association of Research Libraries’ Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce mentions better organizational decision-making and problem-solving, as well as the correlation between institutional diversity and customer satisfaction.3 The American Library Association’s Policy Manual section on Diversity says, “Libraries can and should play a crucial role in empowering diverse populations for full participation in a democratic society.”4 The Canadian Library Association’s Statement on Diversity and Inclusion states, “[A] diverse and pluralistic society is central to our country’s identity. Libraries have a responsibility to contribute to a culture that recognizes diversity and fosters social inclusion.”5 The International Federation of Library Association’s IFLA/UNESCO Multicultural Library Manifesto recognizes that “[c]ultural and linguistic diversity is the common heritage of humankind and should be cherished and preserved for the benefit of all…Therefore, libraries of all types should reflect, support and promote cultural and linguistic diversity at the international, national, and local levels, and thus work for cross-cultural dialogue and active citizenship.”6 Not unlike the corporate business case for diversity, library arguments for diversity are usually framed as benefits to the organization and its users. Less frequently do these explanations center on the potential benefits, or recognize the attendant risks to the underrepresented people hired as a result of these efforts.

What do librarians mean when we say “diversity”? ARL’s IRDW and ALA’s Spectrum Scholarship Program focus exclusively on “racial and ethnic diversity.”7 However, the ALA Manual’s section,“Diversity,” has a much broader scope, committing to combat discrimination based on “race, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, creed, color, religious background, national origin, language of origin or disability.”8 The CLA states that “Canada’s libraries recognize and energetically affirm the dignity of those they serve, regardless of heritage, education, beliefs, race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental capabilities, or income.”9 IFLA talks about serving a “heterogeneous society” with “complex identities,” and focuses on “cultural and linguistic diversity.”10 As well, some individual libraries and library schools have included diversity in their strategic plans and created special initiatives to diversify their staff or bring more people from underrepresented groups to the profession.11 Some are quite specific about what “diversity” means to them and why it’s important, and some are less so. Unless we are clear about what we’re trying to accomplish and why, and unless we’re willing to name and examine the underlying factors that thwart the changes we hope to see, we will ultimately fail.

Despite the growing emphasis on increasing the diversity of library school students and library staff, and despite the significant demographic changes in the United States population, the demographics of the professional librarian population have barely shifted in decades.12 Our concerns sound remarkably similar to those of Gerhard and Boydston in 1993 who, looking back to affirmative action efforts of the 1970’s and 1980’s, lamented that “[l]ibrarianship has been committed to affirmative action, yet it has been historically difficult to convert that philosophical commitment into activity.”13 ALA’s 2007 “Diversity Counts” report states, “Credentialed librarians are predominantly women, ages 45–54, and white. They are not limited by disability and work full-time.”14 Comparing the 2009-2010 ALA Community Survey Estimates with the 2010 United States Census bureau’s figures reveals the disparity for race and ethnicity:


(includes differences in language used)

2009-2010 American Community Survey Estimates (Diversity Counts 2012 Tables) 15 U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates, 2010 16 ALA: White

U.S. Census: White alone, not Hispanic/Latino

88% 63.7% ALA: African American U.S. Census: Black 5.2% 12.6% ALA: Asian-Pacific Islander

U.S. Census has two categories

2.7% Asian     4.8%

Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander alone:  0.2%

Native American/Alaskan 0.16% 0.9% Latino 3.1% 16.3% Two or more races 0.85% 2.5%


The Association of Research Libraries statistics for 2012-2013 are comparable to the ALA numbers above and underscore the magnitude of the disparity for representation by race and ethnicity in research libraries.17 These poor numbers are not unique to libraries; the statistics are similar in most institutions of higher education across the United States. The US National Center for Education Statistics states that “[i]n fall 2013, of all full-time faculty in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, 79 percent were White (43 percent were White males and 35 percent were White females), 6 percent were Black, 5 percent were Hispanic, and 10 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander.”18 The “Diversity Counts” authors state, “In regards to racial and ethnic diversity, the need for both intensified recruitment and retention strategies is evident.” At the same time they observe that “existing LIS minority education and recruitment programs are able to yield just enough new graduates to provide for the replacement of retirees and those leaving the profession prematurely.”19

We lack other forms of diversity as well, though demographic data for areas other than race and ethnicity are less well tracked in the profession. The “Diversity Counts” authors say “The comparatively low employment of librarians with disabilities is also deserving of attention given the increase between 1990 and 2000 of people self-identifying [on the 2000 United States Census] as having one or more disabilities.”20 While 19.2% of the population between the ages of 21 and 64 self-identified as having a disability on the 2000 United States Census, according to ALA statistics the percentage of credentialed librarians with disability status was 4% that same year.21 The authors are also concerned about the high attrition rate of librarians under age 45, which “accounted for 44% of credentialed librarians leaving the work force, [and which] speaks not so much to an inability to effectively recruit individuals to LIS education and practice as to an inability to effectively retain them.” They go on to note that, “some racial and ethnic minority groups, notably African Americans and Latinos, are actually seeing a decrease in the number of credential [sic] librarians under age 45.”22 While the attrition rates of librarians is a more generalized problem in the profession, it would be well worth examining whether and why staff from underrepresented groups are leaving the profession at even higher rates than others.

The same report acknowledges a vicious cycle that the lack of diversity perpetuates: “[T]he lack of diversity [in libraries] in regards to race and ethnicity, age group, disability, and other dimensions…work [sic] to distance the very communities they seek to attract.”23 The authors continue:

The persistent lag in diversity in our LIS schools, the number of librarians and library assistants leaving the profession prematurely, the aging of racial and ethnic minority library workers, and the continued under-representation of workers with disabilities, suggests a proportionally less diverse library workforce on the horizon.”24

We need to ask ourselves why “Diversity Never Happens: The Story of Minority Hiring Doesn’t Seem To Change Much.”25

Underlying Factors

In attempting to answer this question, some library literature points to factors beyond just ineffective recruiting strategies. In a brief article in American Libraries magazine, Keith Curry Lance looks at the differences in the levels of racial and ethnic diversity in librarian versus library assistant positions. Comparing the percentage of racial and ethnic subgroups in the US population, he finds that the distribution in library assistant positions is more or less proportional, whereas the distribution in professional librarian positions is not, the latter skewing heavily toward an overrepresentation of white people. ALA’s 2007 “Diversity Counts” report confirms this discrepancy, and calls out academic libraries as particularly problematic: “When looking by types of libraries, the racial distributions are most pronounced in academic libraries. Library assistants in academic libraries have three times as many Latino and twice as many African American staff than their MLS counterparts.”26 Lance concludes that this is because of a “pipeline issue” related to national disparities in educational attainment between whites and underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. He says,

Where a relatively low level of educational attainment is usually required, the racial/ethnic discrepancies between the general adult population, high school graduates, and library assistants are either minimal, or, in the case of Asians/Pacific Islanders, favorable to the group. It is librarian jobs—positions that generally require a graduate degree—that see more troubling discrepancies.27

Based on the 2003 data tabulations from the United States Census, Lance shows that when one considers just the subset of these groups in the general population that hold graduate degrees, Hispanics, African Americans, and American Indians/Alaskan natives are actually represented proportionally in librarian positions.28 Looking at graduate degree holders only, Lance notes “the most underrepresented group, proportionally, is Asians and Pacific Islanders.”29 Recent United States Census Bureau numbers on educational attainment and ALA statistics on credentialed librarians support Lance’s observations.30

What both Lance and the “Diversity Counts” report are acknowledging is a much larger and more troubling systemic problem negatively affecting the ethnic and racial makeup of the library profession. Research shows that the educational attainment and general life trajectory of individuals is largely a result of the socio-economic status of their parents. A decades-long study of nearly 800 Baltimore children illustrates how hard it is for the children of disadvantaged parents to move out of their income brackets. Karl Alexander, a main researcher on the project, says “Almost none of the children from low-income families made it through college.”31 The library staffing pipeline is rooted in the discrepancies in socioeconomic status based on race and ethnicity, discrepancies which are inherited generationally. Alexander explains, “This view is at odds with the popular ethos that we are makers of our own fortune.”32 As a 2007 ACRL white paper on diversity acknowledges, “Academic librarianship recruitment history cannot be divorced from the history of education and federal education policy in the United States. Also important to federal education policy history is its relationship to civil rights history.”33 Library discussions of and initiatives around diversity must recognize the historical and current factors contributing to how our profession is structured and functions.

In addition to the structural pressures that inhibit educational attainment in certain socio-economic, ethnic, or racial groups, there are other insidious factors working against our stated goals of diversity. The dominant culture of our profession, from its foundations to the present day, reinforces itself by normalizing whiteness and other forms of oppression and by marginalizing difference.34 As April Hathcock tweeted recently, “We treat diversity as a prob[lem] to be solved when the prob[lem] to be solved is whiteness in all its forms.”35 In a recent article, Hathcock provided a definition of whiteness that recognizes other forms of oppression by the dominant (white, heterosexual, cisgender, and patriarchal) culture.

[Whiteness] is a theoretical concept that can extend beyond the realities of racial privilege to a wide range of dominant ideologies based on gender identity, sexual orientation, class, and other categories….it also stands as a marker for the privilege and power that acts to reinforce itself through hegemonic cultural practice that excludes all who are different.”36

In their article “Diversity matters? Rethinking Diversity in Libraries,” ShinJoung Yeo and James R. Jacobs suggest that “diversity means little if there is no understanding of how the dominant culture and ideas are articulated within our institutions and our daily library practices.” They continue:

One must ask oneself if it would be possible to really achieve diversity without challenging our racist, homophobic and sexist consciousnesses that are so deeply imbedded that we don’t even recognize them? If we are blind to our unconscious biases, then striving for numerically diverse organizations is building on a foundation of sand.37

Unconscious or not, this blindness is willful and difficult to cure: the dominant group’s hold on power and privilege is at risk in any effort to open our eyes and to investigate the underpinnings of our profession’s whiteness and oppression named by Yeo, Jacobs, Hathcock and others.

Recent research confirms the existence of this blindness to bias within the dominant culture and how it plays out in practice. In a study of gender-based microaggressions, Basford et al. note that, while overt sexism may be in decline, “many scholars fear that discrimination is not disappearing but rather has become more subtle in nature[,]”–equally pernicious but less likely to be perceived by those not targeted. They conclude that “women were significantly more likely to perceive workplace gender microaggressions than men….” and “women are more attuned to subtle forms of discrimination than men.”38 Similarly, in her study of racial microaggressions in academic libraries, Jaena Alabi says,

academic librarians of color noted that they are treated differently than their white peers. Minority academic librarians are also more likely to perceive racial microaggressions directed toward colleagues. However, non-minority librarians are unlikely to report observing racial microaggressions.39

Alabi notes as well that “Racism and racial discrimination are seldom discussed explicitly in the LIS literature, despite the presence of works chronicling the experiences of minority librarians.”40 What the research of Alabi and Basford et al. suggests is a dynamic already well known to people from marginalized groups: individuals from the dominant group have a tendency not to perceive (or to ignore) acts of subtle discrimination by members of their own group against individuals from marginalized groups. Thus there is little incentive to report such experiences to the very members of that dominant group with the potential power to do something about it. When we are blind to our own biases and the biases of others around us, our actions and their repercussions go unnoticed and therefore unexamined.

Image by flickr user r2hox (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Measuring Diversity and its Implications

One way that blindness to bias manifests itself is in the ways that organizations measure “diversity” and interpret the results. I will illustrate this by considering the increasingly popular tool used by academic libraries to evaluate their organizational diversity, ClimateQUAL: Organizational Climate and Diversity Assessment, designed at the University of Maryland and now run by the Association of Research Libraries. In this article I use ClimateQUAL as a means to examine the ways that collective blindness of the dominant group to bias and unexamined perpetuation of privilege and oppression can affect how libraries interpret the data that we collect and the way that we set priorities based on it. ClimateQUAL is described on its website as “an assessment of library staff perceptions concerning (a) their library’s commitment to the principles of diversity, (b) organizational policies and procedures, and (c) staff attitudes.”41 The theory on which the survey is based suggests that:

[a] healthy organization is defined as one in which employees feel empowered and believe that the organization values diversity. It is an organization in which the policies, practices, and procedures are administered fairly and employees believe that they are treated fairly.42

ClimateQUAL is clearly designed and described as a measure of staff perceptions about the organization’s climate, including what they believe and how they feel about the organization’s fairness and how it values diversity. Because of its focus on perceptions about what the organization values, ClimateQUAL can be a powerful tool for revealing and understanding fairness and bias within an organization. However, for a profession greatly lacking in diversity, relying on staff perceptions of demographic diversity and fairness as a proxy for organizational health might be quite problematic if not handled in an extremely thoughtful and well-informed way. A look at relevant research on race from outside the library literature will make it clear why this is the  case.

As the above-cited statistics show, the library profession is overwhelmingly white. Research studies have shown that, while white people say they like diversity, election and census trends suggest otherwise. A Pew study found that while the majority of people in the United States profess a desire to live in racially, politically, religiously, and socioeconomically diverse communities, residential segregation belies their stated preference.43 We know that choice is hardly the reason why most people of color live where they do. As far as housing is concerned, choice in location is still a privilege primarily enjoyed by white people.44 The Pew data suggest that “when the subject is community diversity, Americans talk one way but behave another.”45 Research also shows that white people’s tolerance for residential racial diversity is much lower than that of Blacks. In “Does Race Matter in Neighborhood Preferences? Results from a Video Experiment” Krysan et al. write:

For the most part studies of residential preferences find that whites are willing to live with only a handful of African American neighbors (some put the figure at around 20 percent), while African Americans are open to quite a diverse range of neighborhoods, though a “50-50” neighborhood is routinely identified as the most attractive…46

While this research did not study the preferences of whites for workplace diversity, we can imagine that many of the same dynamics and biases play out in white-dominated workplaces–even those that profess a desire for diversity. How much diversity is enough to make staff in the dominant culture, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, etc. feel like the workplace has achieved an acceptable amount of, but not too much diversity? And how much “valuing diversity” does the organization need to demonstrate in order for staff from the dominant culture to perceive it as sufficient, regardless of whether or not staff from marginalized groups would consider it enough?

These questions and the research that underlies them should inspire us to think more carefully about how we interpret our ClimateQUAL results. ClimateQUAL respondents are asked to react on a 7-point scale, from strongly disagree to strongly agree, to phrases such as:

  • The race of a team/division member does NOT affect how they are valued on this team/division.
  • The support from supervisors that team/division members receive does NOT differ as a function of team/division members’ race.
  • The support from supervisors that team/division members receive does NOT differ as a function of team/division members’ sexual orientation.47

The survey instrument is designed to elicit individuals’ perceptions about their own relationship to the organization. Yet the way these question are worded–using the generic “a team/division member” and “they,” rather than “your race/sexual orientation” and “you”–thereby leaves the possibility open for respondents to answer based on their perceptions of how staff of other races, sexual orientation, gender, etc. are valued and supported in the organization. If your organization is between 80-90% white (a fair assumption based on ALA and ARL statistics), the overwhelming majority of the organization’s answers to questions about race will be based on white people’s perceptions and reflect a white cultural perspective. (The same holds for questions about other demographic categories vis-à-vis the dominant culture.) Both the popular press and research on diversity attest to the fact that white people are unlikely to understand the lived experience of people of color and do not recognize racial bias when it occurs.48 As Jaena Alabi noted, “non-minority librarians are unlikely to report observing racial microaggressions” even though “minority” librarians are, in fact, experiencing them.49 Thus, in an overwhelmingly white (and heterosexual, cisgender, and patriarchal) organization, it is important to recognize that the data we collect represents primarily the worldview of the dominant culture and will be shaped by its limitations and biases.

The ways that the ClimateQUAL results are reported could potentially compound the problem. The results of an organization’s ClimateQUAL assessment can be evaluated in various ways. For example, organizations may compare results to their own own results from previous years’ assessments, or organizations may compare results to those of peer institutions that have also administered the survey. Comparing a library’s own results from survey to survey, it’s impossible to know, for example, if an improvement in score is a result of actual increased support for diversity within the organization, or simply the demographic majority staff’s increasing comfort with the (likely biased) organizational culture they already have. As well, a common way to review ClimateQUAL results is to look at a library’s average scores on the various rubrics. Focusing data analysis at the organizational level obscures dynamics happening within organizational subgroups, including minority identity groups. (This problem can be mitigated by further analysis, as discussed below.) Ironically, the research cited above suggests that because of the dominant culture’s blindness to bias, the less diverse the organization, the more satisfied the staff may be with their library’s current support for diversity, no matter how inadequate it is. As well, the ClimateQUAL site explains that comparing a library’s results with those of peer institutions “provides feedback from the survey that is grounded in a baseline from the libraries that have already participated.”50 However, if other institutions are having the same biases in their results as described above, comparison among them is unlikely to tell us anything useful about our own biased results.

In reviewing ClimateQUAL survey results, we in the dominant culture are also less likely to recognize the built-in bias described above because of confirmation bias, “the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses.”51 If we feel like we’re doing well on diversity and we believe our organization is fair and just (as it may well be for staff in the dominant culture), of course our diversity results will look pretty darn good to us. Why question them? Instead of falling prey to confirmation bias, it is possible instead to use the results of ClimateQUAL to reveal some of our unconscious or implicit biases. In addition to the perception questions, at the end of the survey ClimateQUAL asks respondents to voluntarily provide demographic information such as work status, race, religion, age, disability status, sex,  sexual orientation, and gender identification. Although some of these  questions are asked in problematic ways, with them we are able to contrast the organization’s demographic data with its scores for staff perceptions of its commitment to the principles of diversity. (One of the most disturbing demographic questions mixes options for sexual orientation and gender identification in a single question and allows the user to choose only one or not respond at all, thereby forcing some respondents to erase a part of their self identity. This is a good example of a microaggression.) If an organization’s perceived level of diversity fairness is quite high but the actual demographic diversity of the organization is low, that is one clue that the results may be skewed by the significant underrepresentation of the very people who would notice and experience bias and discrimination in the organization. As well, we can compare the data for individual demographic groups to see if there are discrepancies in various identity groups’ perceptions of the organization’s climate for diversity based on demographic characteristics.52 For example, what if the comparison revealed that white people (or heterosexual people) think we’re doing well on diversity fairness whereas black people (or gay people) say they perceive discrimination? Looked at this way, the ClimateQUAL data could provide us with a rare opportunity to experience organizational bias awareness, the first step toward addressing discrimination in our organizations.

Image by flickr user ~Brenda-Starr~ (CC BY 2.0)

A Path Toward Awareness and Action

There is a large and rich body of research on workplace diversity, investigating questions such as self and group identity and stigma, power relations between groups, social networks, conflict and problem solving, and the emotional toll of being from a marginalized group in a workplace designed for and around the needs of dominant, white culture.53 The research of Dobbin and Kalev provides a cautionary note for us in our quest for diversity. In their article on corporate diversity programs from the 1960s to the present, they acknowledge the harm done in diversifying without dismantling power differentials: “[E]vidence to date suggests that bureaucratic hiring and promotion systems may have done more harm than good, institutionalizing patterns of inequality rather than challenging them.”54 They note that programs to increase gender and racial diversity had mixed success, and that even as some programs were successful, women and members of other underrepresented groups were often denied access to the management training that would have helped them move up in the management structure. They observed,

innovations designed to quash managerial bias have been broadly ineffective. Bureaucratic practices designed to eliminate managerial discretion from the hiring and promotion process have not led to increases in diversity; nor have diversity training programs designed to make managers aware of their own unconscious biases; neither have diversity performance evaluations that give managers feedback and career incentives to improve diversity.55

However the authors do note that some interventions were actually successful, including making managers responsible for advancing diversity and for recruiting women and people from other underrepresented groups.56

In its 2012 Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries, ACRL acknowledges that moving from blindness to awareness and then to positive action is a learning process. “To achieve diversity in substance as well as in form, libraries have to open their arms to all perspectives and experiences. That requires competency in matters of cultural pluralism that are not intuitive and must be learned, like any other essential skill.”57 Research indicates the effectiveness of bias awareness interventions as a first step to developing insight into how implicit biases affect negative workplace behavior. In their article on gender bias and bias literacy, Molly Carnes et al. show how becoming conscious of one’s own bias is a prerequisite for taking action to correct it: “Scholars in learning theory and organizational change converge on the importance of being able to articulate tacit knowledge to bring it into consciousness.”58 The results of their research-based bias awareness interventions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggest that this kind of approach to “consciousness raising” can be effective: “This broad range of research literature presents consistent advice regarding the steps necessary to overcome bias and produce intentional behavioral change.”59 These conclusions are supported by the research of Ferguson and Porter who looked at studies of intergroup bias and prejudice reduction.

The importance of reducing implicit bias in the workplace cannot be overstated. Implicit intergroup bias has far-reaching negative effects in many organizational domains, including, but not limited to, selection, retention (including compensation and promotion issues), teams-related issues, general work environment, and worker self-esteem and well-being…. In other words, fostering harmonious intergroup interactions is at the crux of producing the best possible outcomes in organizational productivity, organizational climate, and social justice.”60

A widely used instrument in social psychology for raising awareness of individual bias is the Implicit Association Test (IAT), which is freely available on the website of Project Implicit, an organization that promotes research on implicit social cognition.61 Project Implicit’s website explains that “The IAT measures the strength of associations between concepts (e.g., black people, gay people) and evaluations (e.g., good, bad) or stereotypes (e.g., athletic, clumsy).” They continue, “Implicit attitudes are positive and negative evaluations that occur outside of our conscious awareness and control.”62 Like Carnes et al.’s conclusions, Project Implicit contends that through awareness and vigilance, implicit preferences and biases can be changed. “Research shows that implicit preferences are quite malleable so it is possible to manage and change them if you want to.”63 In an article on bias in library collection development, Brian Quinn suggests the Implicit Association Test as a tool for selectors to become more aware of biases in collecting, as well as other tools such as self-paced online tutorials, guest lectures, and brown-bag discussions.64

While a crucial step, consciousness raising and addressing bias at the individual level must then be followed by critical analysis of the assumptions, behaviors, processes, and structures that undergird our profession. Creating a culture of ongoing bias awareness, challenging individual and structural discrimination, and building organizations that truly value diversity also require leaders who are awake to the biases and oppression that are foundational to our political and socio-economic systems and to our profession. While organizational culture rests in the collective hands of all staff, library leadership controls the money, resources, and power needed to transform an organization’s strategic direction and policy. Leaders can shape the organization’s values, and instigate change by setting strategic priorities, allocating staff time for learning opportunities (such as bias awareness), and encouraging critical inquiry by modeling the behavior we want to see.65 Leaders can encourage and empower us to engage with essential questions like “In what way do I benefit from and perpetuate the status quo and how can I disrupt it?” and “How is valuing difference foundational to the mission of our profession?”66 Sandra Balderrama says,

We must be able to articulate why we in our profession would want someone distinct from us to work with us, not for us. To work alongside us, not beneath us. To create with us, not duplicate us. To reciprocate with us, not assimilate to us. To mentor us, not intimidate us. To be an equal, not a box in the organizational hierarchy. To be a colleague.67

In a 2014 conference paper on women in leadership, Chris Bourg cautioned library staff interested in social justice issues but reluctant to take on leadership positions, that avoiding them “might mean that you are leaving the leadership of our profession in the hands of those who aren’t concerned about those things…”68 We need socially engaged library leaders who will push us beyond the next diversity initiative toward examinations of privilege, bias, power, structural discrimination, and institutional oppression, and how they further marginalize and drive away the very people we claim we want to include.

Image by flickr user MicroAssist (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Brass Tacks for Library Leaders

Organizations take their cues from their leaders. If our enthusiasm for diversity isn’t backed up by concrete actions, our expressions of concern about it ring hollow. Here are a few specific steps that high-level library leaders must take if we are to make our organizations and our profession inclusive, open to difference, and diverse. The ideas listed below aren’t new; many others have already suggested them. Library leaders are in a position to prioritize them and make them happen.

Bias Awareness and Valuing Difference

Create opportunities in the organization to raise awareness of implicit bias, discuss it, and take steps to reduce it. Research supports the importance of openly recognizing difference vs. color- or gender-blindness (or other kinds of willful blindness to difference). Ferguson and Porter conclude that “a multicultural ideology is more beneficial than a colorblind ideology for both majority groups and minority groups, and for multiple intergroup and work-related outcomes.”69 Create opportunities for staff to have meaningful conversations about bias and discrimination, organizational climate, culture, and diversity.

Name the Problem

Don’t disguise the issues or use euphemisms. In research under way to evaluate library diversity plans, Ione Damasco notes that, while the word “inclusion” was frequently used, none of the plans included words such as “racism,” “anti-racist,” “whiteness,” “white privilege,” “privilege,” or “racial justice.” She continues, “We have to name our problems before we can fix them….our inability to articulate these issues in our formal documents might reflect our difficulties in overcoming the lack of diversity in our field.”70 We need to learn not just to see and name bias in ourselves and in the world around us, but to understand the underlying dynamics that perpetuate them and speak openly about them.

Mission and Follow-through

Make diversity and social justice a genuine and regular part of the organization’s work. Rather than just paying lip service to the concept of diversity, include diversity initiatives in the library’s strategic plan and then make time and provide support for staff to accomplish them. Create a standalone diversity plan. Damasco’s research shows that of 1500+ 4-year colleges and universities libraries surveyed, only 1.4% (22) had independent diversity plans. As a profession we can’t legitimately say that we believe in diversity if only a miniscule percentage of our libraries have plans to address it.71

Data Collection

Think critically about the data collection tools your organization employs, the data gathered, and how you make sense of it. In addition to knowing what kind of information the tools are designed to elicit and how they do so, it is also crucial to understand what biases we bring to our interpretation of the data, and to think about what data is missing and why. Consider how different types of data might help expose bias in interpretation, for example, as noted above, by considering what it might mean to have a high ClimateQUAL score for perceived level of diversity fairness when the actual demographic diversity of the organization is low.


For all but the highest-level library positions, for which recruiting firms may be engaged, we typically post job ads on websites and listservs and then encourage library staff to promote the position through their own networks. This reliance on personal networks, which tend to lack diversity, can serve to perpetuate demographically homogeneous workplaces.72 Instead, go out and recruit job candidates from among the communities you wish to include in your organization. Send staff to attend conferences or meetings that individuals from underrepresented groups attend and encourage them to think of your organization as a place that would welcome their applications. Within your own organizations, recruit staff who are already credentialed but who, for whatever reason, haven’t made their way into professional positions.73


Devise targeted mentoring and professional development strategies that encourage, support, and develop all staff in your organization. In her article on diversity initiatives in the profession, April Hathcock strongly recommends mentoring early-career librarians from underrepresented groups in order to better support them as they rise in the profession. She specifically notes the importance of “[helping] library workers new to the profession to navigate the culture of whiteness in the profession at large and within your specific place of work.”74 We can also encourage non-credentialed staff already working in our libraries to pursue careers as library professionals and mentor them as they progress.75

Pay for Work

All staff, including interns, should be fairly compensated for their work. As Angela Galvan explains, “only students with access to money can afford to take an unpaid internship…insuring the pool of well-qualified academic librarians skews white and middle class.”76 Leaders in a growing number of library organizations are rejecting unpaid internships. Recent examples include MIT Libraries, which will now pay all interns, and the Digital Library Federation, which no longer advertises non-paying internships.77

Future Directions for Research

There is much research still to be done on issues related to the lack of diversity in librarianship and on how to recognize and dismantle the privilege and whiteness that are at the heart of our culture. Here are just a few areas that need further inquiry:

  • Data on Diversity: It’s much easier to write about the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in libraries than about other kinds of diversity because we lack meaningful demographic data for and research on other identity groups. What kinds of data might we gather to more fully understand the landscape, while being respectful of the many reasons why people from certain identity groups may not want to share personal information?
  • Organizational Processes: What are effective ways to incorporate bias awareness into our organizational and professional development? What kinds of processes or structures might help push an organization toward a better understanding of privilege and discrimination, and an appreciation for cultural and demographic difference?
  • Attrition and Avoidance: The ALA’s research suggests that staff from underrepresented groups are leaving the profession at even higher rates than others. What reasons do departing staff give for leaving the profession? Are these attrition rates higher than in comparable professions? Does pay influence the decision by members of underrepresented groups to leave the profession or to avoid it completely?
  • Leadership: Are there leadership styles or methods that can help promote organizational awareness of bias and discrimination and to develop actions to address them? How can leaders help managers and supervisors turn this awareness info positive change within their departments? How can leaders maintain a focus on these issues and hold themselves and the organization accountable, even while tending to all the other work of the organization?

I would like to thank April Hathcock and Jill Conte for their engaging and challenging conversations during the research process and their helpful comments and editing on drafts of this article. I’m especially grateful for Jill’s patient and careful reading and her willingness to question my assumptions and point out my own biases in my writing. A special thank you to Ian Beilin, my In The Library With The Lead Pipe Internal Peer Reviewer, who asked difficult and important questions, and pushed me to clarify my arguments and polish my prose. Finally, my gratitude to Lead Pipe editors Erin Dorney and Ellie Collier for their thoughtful feedback throughout the peer review process.

Works Cited

Alabi, Jaena. “Racial Microaggressions in Academic Libraries: Results of a Survey of Minority and Non-Minority Librarians.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 41 (2015): 47–53. .

American Library Association. “ALA Policy Manual, Section B.3 Diversity.” American Library Association, Accessed July 27, 2015. .

———. “Core Values of Librarianship.” American Library Association, June 29, 2004. .

———. “ALA: Diversity Counts Website.” American Library Association. Accessed July 28, 2015.

Association of College & Research Libraries. “Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries (2012).” Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), 2012. .

Association of Research Libraries. “Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW).” Association of Research Libraries. Accessed July 25, 2015. .

———. “Minority Representation in US ARL University Libraries as of 2012-2013: Taking a Closer Look at the Evidence.” Association of Research Libraries. Accessed July 31, 2015. .

Balderrama, Sandra Ríos. “This Trend Called Diversity.” Library Trends 49, no. 1 (2000): 194–214. .

Barton, Dominic, Sandrine Devillard, and Judith Hazlewood. “Gender Equality: Taking Stock of Where We Are – Why Are Women Still Underrepresented at Every Level of Today’s Corporations?” McKinsey Quarterly, September 2015. .

Basford, Tessa E., Lynn R. Offermann, and Tara S. Behrend. “Do You See What I See? Perceptions of Gender Microaggressions in the Workplace.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 38, no. 3 (September 1, 2014): 340–49.  doi:10.1177/0361684313511420 .

Bourg, Chris. “Mentors, Gender, Reluctance: Notes from Taiga Panel on Leadership at ER&L.” Feral Librarian, March 24, 2014. .

———. “The Radicalism Is Coming from inside the Library.” Feral Librarian. Accessed December 21, 2015. .

Canadian Library Association / Association Canadienne des Bibliothèques. “Canadian Library Association Position Statement on Diversity and Inclusion.” Canadian Library Association / Association Canadienne Des Bibliothèques. Accessed July 27, 2015.  .

Carnes, Molly, Patricia G. Devine, Carol Isaac, Linda Baier Manwell, Cecelia E. Ford, Angela Byars-Winston, Eve Fine, and Jennifer Sheridan. “Promoting Institutional Change Through Bias Literacy.” Journal of Diversity in Higher Education 5, no. 2 (2012): 63–77. doi:10.1037/a0028128 .

ClimateQUAL. “About: What Is ClimateQUAL?” ClimateQUAL. Accessed July 25, 2015. .

———. “ClimateQUAL: Benefits of Participation.” ClimateQUAL. Accessed August 8, 2015. .

———. “ClimateQUAL Sample Questions.” ClimateQUAL. Accessed July 25, 2015. .

———. “ClimateQUAL FAQs: Survey Theory and Methodology.” ClimateQUAL. Accessed July 25, 2015. .

Colby, Sandra L., and Jennifer M. Ortman. “Projections of the Size and Composition of the U.S. Population: 2014 to 2060.” Current Population Reports. Washington, D.C.: United States Census Bureau, March 2015. .

“Confirmation Bias.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, July 19, 2015. .

Davis, Denise M., and Tracie Hall. “Diversity Counts Report.” Arlington, VA: ALA Office for Research & Statistics, ALA Office for Diversity and decision Demographics, January 2007.

Damasco, Ione. “The Practice of Core Values: Academic Library Diversity Plans and the ACRL Diversity Standards.” presented at the ACRL/NY Symposium, Baruch College, New York City, December 4, 2015.

Dobbin, Frank, and Alexandra Kalev. “The Origins and Effects of Corporate Diversity Programs.” In The Oxford Handbook of Diversity and Work, 253–81. Oxford Library of Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. DOI:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199736355.001.0001

Ferguson, Hope E. “Minorities: Time to Retire This Outdated Term?” The Root, July 28, 2014. .

Ferguson, Melissa J., and Shanette C. Porter. “An Examination of Categorization Processes in Organizations: The Root of Intergroup Bias and a Route to Prejudice Reduction.” In The Oxford Handbook of Diversity and Work. Oxford Handbooks Online. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. DOI:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199736355.013.0006 .

Galvan, Angela. “Soliciting Performance, Hiding Bias: Whiteness and Librarianship.” In the Library with the Lead Pipe, June 3, 2015.

Gerhard, Kristin H., and Jeanne M. K. Boydston. “A Library Committee on Diversity and Its Role in a Library Diversity Program.” College & Research Libraries 54, no. 4 (July 1993): 335–43. .

Hathcock, April M. “Twitter Post, 8/18/2015,” August 18, 2015.

———. “White Librarianship in Blackface: Diversity Initiatives in LIS.” In the Library with the Lead Pipe, October 7, 2015.

Honma, Todd. “Trippin’ Over the Color Line: The Invisibility of Race in Library and Information Studies.” InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies 1, no. 2 (June 21, 2005). .

IFLA. “IFLA/UNESCO Multicultural Library Manifesto.” International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Accessed July 27, 2015.

Kelley, Michael. “Diversity Never Happens: The Story of Minority Hiring Doesn’t Seem To Change Much | Editorial.” Library Journal. Accessed July 25, 2015. .

Krysan, Maria, Mick P. Couper, Reynolds Farley, and Tyrone Forman. “Does Race Matter in Neighborhood Preferences? Results from a Video Experiment.” American Journal of Sociology 115, no. 2 (September 2009): 527–59. .

Lance, Keith Curry. “Racial and Ethnic Diversity of U.S. Library Workers.” American Libraries, May 2005. .

Madrigal, Alexis C. “The Racist Housing Policy That Made Your Neighborhood.” The Atlantic, May 22, 2014.

National Center for Education Statistics. “Fast Facts.” Accessed September 18, 2015. .

Neely, Theresa Y., and Lorna Peterson. “Achieving Racial and Ethnic Diversity among Academic and Research Librarians: The Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement of Librarians of Color.” ACRL Board of Directors Diversity Task Force, July 2007. .

Page, Scott E. The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. .

Penn State University Libraries. “A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State University Libraries’ Diversity Strategic Plan 2010-2015.” Penn State University. Accessed July 30, 2015.

Pew Research Center. “Americans Say They Like Diverse Communities; Election, Census Trends Suggest Otherwise.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. Accessed July 25, 2015.

Project Implicit. “Project Implicit: FAQs.” Accessed September 19, 2015.

———. “Project Implicit: Implicit Association Tests.” Project Implicit. Accessed August 4, 2015.

Quinn, Brian. “Collection Development and the Psychology of Bias.” The Library Quarterly 82, no. 3 (July 2012): 277–304. doi:10.1086/665933 . .

Roberson, Quinetta M., ed. The Oxford Handbook of Diversity and Work. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.  DOI:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199736355.001.0001

Rosen, Jill. “Study: Children’s Life Trajectories Largely Determined by Family They Are Born into.” The Hub, June 2, 2014. .

Simmons School of Library and Information Science. “Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives.” Simmons College. Accessed July 30, 2015.

Starr, Terrell Jermaine. “10 Things Black People Fear That White People Don’t (Or Don’t Nearly as Much).” Alternet, March 16, 2015.

Unites States Census Bureau, Data Integration Division. “Current Population Survey (CPS) Data on Educational Attainment.” United States Census Bureau. Accessed August 2, 2015. .

United States Census Bureau. “Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Tabulation.” United States Census Bureau. Accessed January 7, 2016. .

United States Census Bureau. “Profile of Selected Social Characteristics: 2000 Census 2000 Summary File 4 (SF 4) – Sample Data.” American FactFinder. Accessed August 13, 2015. .

United States Census Bureau. “Quick Facts, United States. Population Estimates, July 1, 2014.” United States Census Bureau. Accessed December 16, 2015. .

West Virginia University. “WVU Libraries Launches Librarian Diversity Initiative.” WVUToday. Accessed July 30, 2015. .

Wikipedia contributors. “Confirmation Bias.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. .

Yancy, George, and Paul Gilroy. “What ‘Black Lives’ Means in Britain.” Opinionator: The Stone, October 1, 2015. .

Yeo, ShinJoung, and James R. Jacobs. “Diversity Matters? Rethinking Diversity in Libraries.” Counterpoise 9, no. 2 (Spring 2006): 5–8. .

  1. For a recent example, see: Page, The Difference.
  2. For a critical discussion of libraries, democracy, racial exclusion, and structural oppression, see Honma, “Trippin’ Over the Color Line,” 8.
  3. Association of Research Libraries, “Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW).”
  4. American Library Association, “ALA Policy Manual, Section B.3 Diversity.”
  5. Canadian Library Association / Association Canadienne des Bibliothèques, “Canadian Library Association Position Statement on Diversity and Inclusion.”
  6. IFLA, “IFLA/UNESCO Multicultural Library Manifesto.”
  7. Association of Research Libraries, “Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW).”
  8. American Library Association, “ALA Policy Manual, Section B.3 Diversity.”
  9. Canadian Library Association / Association Canadienne des Bibliothèques, “Canadian Library Association Position Statement on Diversity and Inclusion.”
  10. IFLA, “IFLA/UNESCO Multicultural Library Manifesto.”
  11. Some examples include: Penn State University Libraries, “A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State University Libraries’ Diversity Strategic Plan 2010-2015”; West Virginia University, “WVU Libraries Launches Librarian Diversity Initiative”; Simmons School of Library and Information Science, “Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives.”
  12. The ALA’s 2007 “Diversity Counts Report,” notes that whereas the racial and ethnic minority population of the United States grew by a combined 152% from 1990-2000, “[d]uring roughly this same period…the number of racial and ethnic minorities receiving accredited MLIS degrees grew by only 4%.” Davis and Hall, “Diversity Counts Report,” 3.
  13. Gerhard and Boydston, “A Library Committee on Diversity and Its Role in a Library Diversity Program,” 335.
  14. Davis and Hall, “Diversity Counts Report,” 5.
  15. American Library Association, “ALA: Diversity Counts Website.”
  16. United States Census Bureau, “Quick Facts, United States. Population Estimates, July 1, 2014.”
  17. Association of Research Libraries, “Minority Representation in US ARL University Libraries as of 2012-2013: Taking a Closer Look at the Evidence.”
  18. National Center for Education Statistics, “Fast Facts.”
  19. Davis and Hall, “Diversity Counts Report,” 11, 3.
  20. Ibid., 3.
  21. Ibid., United States Census Bureau, “Profile of Selected Social Characteristics: 2000 Census 2000 Summary File 4 (SF 4) – Sample Data.”
  22. Ibid., 11.
  23. Ibid., 3.
  24. Ibid., 18.
  25. Kelley, “Diversity Never Happens.” Using the term “minority” to refer to underrepresented racial and ethnic groups is increasingly seen as pejorative, and it is also becoming numerically inaccurate as the United States moves toward becoming a “plurality nation,” where no race or ethnic group is projected to have a numerical majority within the total population. Ferguson, “Minorities: Time to Retire This Outdated Term?” and Colby and Ortman, “Projections of the Size and Composition of the U.S. Population: 2014 to 2060,” 13.
  26. Davis and Hall, “Diversity Counts Report,” 14.
  27. Lance, “Racial and Ethnic Diversity of U.S. Library Workers,” 43.
  28. United States Census Bureau, “Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Tabulation.”
  29. Lance, “Racial and Ethnic Diversity of U.S. Library Workers,” 41. Lance doesn’t say why this is the case.
  30. United States Census Bureau, “Current Population Survey (CPS) Data on Educational Attainment”; American Library Association, “ALA: Diversity Counts Website.” Based on the detailed United States Census Bureau CPS tables for 2014, I calculate that the percentages for higher degree attainment (meaning Master’s, Professional, or Doctoral degree) by racial group were 12% for non-Hispanic whites, 18.4% for Asians, 6.5% for Blacks, and 3.8% for Hispanics. (Here I’m using the terminology used by the United States Census Bureau.
  31. Rosen, “Study.”
  32. Ibid.
  33. Neely and Peterson, “Achieving Racial and Ethnic Diversity among Academic and Research Librarians: The Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement of Librarians of Color,” 8.
  34. For a recent article on the history of whiteness in the library profession, see Honma, “Trippin’ Over the Color Line.”
  35. Hathcock, “Twitter Post, 8/18/2015.”
  36. Hathcock, “White Librarianship in Blackface: Diversity Initiatives in LIS.”
  37. Yeo and Jacobs, “Diversity Matters? Rethinking Diversity in Libraries,” 1.
  38. Basford, Offermann, and Behrend, “Do You See What I See?,” 345.
  39. Alabi, “Racial Microaggressions in Academic Libraries: Results of a Survey of Minority and Non-Minority Librarians,” 52.
  40. Ibid., 47. See the article for her survey of the scant library literature on racism in academic libraries.
  41. ClimateQUAL, “About: What Is ClimateQUAL?” (emphasis mine). I’m not sure what “principles of diversity” they are referring to, and they don’t provide a link to a source, but their Core Scales page does describe the different kinds of diversity that are covered by the instrument. These include “surface diversity” (related to differences based on external characteristics) and “deep diversity” (related to differences based on internal characteristics like values, interests, competencies, personality, beliefs, and assumptions). These two types of diversity are related, and ClimateQUAL measures both.
  42. ClimateQUAL, “ClimateQUAL FAQs: Survey Theory and Methodology.” (emphasis mine).
  43. Pew Research Center, “Americans Say They Like Diverse Communities; Election, Census Trends Suggest Otherwise.”
  44. Madrigal, “The Racist Housing Policy That Made Your Neighborhood.”
  45. Pew Research Center, “Americans Say They Like Diverse Communities; Election, Census Trends Suggest Otherwise.”
  46. Krysan et al., “Does Race Matter in Neighborhood Preferences?,” 2.
  47. ClimateQUAL, “ClimateQUAL Sample Questions.”
  48. Starr, “10 Things Black People Fear That White People Don’t (Or Don’t Nearly as Much).”
  49. Alabi, “Racial Microaggressions in Academic Libraries: Results of a Survey of Minority and Non-Minority Librarians,” 52.
  50. ClimateQUAL, “ClimateQUAL: Benefits of Participation.”
  51. Wikipedia contributors, “Confirmation Bias.”
  52. In order to maintain respondent anonymity, the instrument requires that you have enough respondents in each demographic category in order to break the data down in this way. If there aren’t enough respondents from the already-marginalized groups in question, this method is unavailable to us and the scant voices within these groups will be further marginalized. ClimateQUAL, “ClimateQUAL FAQs: Survey Theory and Methodology.”
  53. For an introduction to the wide variety of ways to investigate diversity in the workplace, see Roberson, The Oxford Handbook of Diversity and Work.
  54. Dobbin and Kalev, “The Origins and Effects of Corporate Diversity Programs,” 273.
  55. Ibid., 274-275.
  56. Ibid., 256.
  57. Association of College & Research Libraries, “Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries (2012).”
  58. Carnes et al., “Promoting Institutional Change Through Bias Literacy,” 64.
  59. Ibid., 65.
  60. Ferguson and Porter, “An Examination of Categorization Processes in Organizations: The Root of Intergroup Bias and a Route to Prejudice Reduction,” 105.
  61. Project Implicit, “Project Implicit: Implicit Association Tests.”
  62. Project Implicit, “Project Implicit: FAQs.”
  63. Ibid.
  64. Quinn, “Collection Development and the Psychology of Bias,” 297.
  65. A recent McKinsey Quarterly article underscored the importance of leadership in addressing the problem of gender equity in corporations. See Barton, Devillard, and Hazlewood, “Gender Equality.”
  66. American Library Association, “Core Values of Librarianship.”
  67. Balderrama, “This Trend Called Diversity,” 198.
  68. Bourg, “Mentors, Gender, Reluctance.”
  69. They define multiculturalism as “an ideology that promotes the recognition and acceptance of group differences.” Ferguson and Porter, “An Examination of Categorization Processes in Organizations: The Root of Intergroup Bias and a Route to Prejudice Reduction,” 108-109. For a critique of the term “multicultural” see Honma, “Trippin’ Over the Color Line.”
  70. Damasco, “The Practice of Core Values: Academic Library Diversity Plans and the ACRL Diversity Standards.”
  71. Ibid.
  72. Thanks to Ian Beilin for suggesting this problem.
  73. Thanks to Jill Conte for providing me with this insight.
  74. Hathcock, “White Librarianship in Blackface: Diversity Initiatives in LIS.”
  75. Recognizing the low pay of non-credentialed library staff and the cost of graduate school, these efforts will be most successful if financial support is provided in addition to mentoring.
  76. Galvan, “Soliciting Performance, Hiding Bias.”
  77. For a statement about MIT’s new paid internship policy, see Bourg, “The Radicalism Is Coming from inside the Library.”

DuraSpace News: Your Strategic Advantage: Become a Sponsor of the 7th Annual VIVO Conference

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-01-13 00:00

Find out how to leverage this lively forum for the exchange of ideas on how new semantic and collaborative technologies impact research to bring your products and services to the attention of decision makers as a 2016 VIVO Conference sponsor. 

This year, the 7th Annual VIVO Conference will be held in Denver, Colorado from August 17-19. Conference sponsors will market to and engage with conference delegates who are decision makers and influencers in higher education and research including:

Tara Robertson: Missing the mark: IBM accessibility

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-01-12 23:57

I’m excited to see that accessibility is becoming more of a mainstream discussion within web development communities and technology companies.

This short 2 minute video from IBM answers the question “why is accessibility important?” The production values are high and the music is upbeat and feel good. This video was created with subtitles, which makes it accessible to Deaf and Hard of Hearing folks.

This video is not accessible to blind and many visually impaired people as it has lots of information that is only conveyed visually and there is no descriptive audio. The following facts are only presented as text on the screen:

  • 1.2 billion people in the world have a disability
  • 600 million are over the age of 60
  • 10,000 people will turn 65 every day for the next 15 years
  • 20% of the population has language or text comprehension difficulty
  • 2.4 million children have cognitive learning difficulties

In addition to these snippets of text, the visuals of different people with different types of disabilities doing different things is not accessible to blind people. While the talking heads are accessible, a blind person doesn’t know who the person talking is. This context is important.

This is highly ironic as the video opens with a (presumably blind) person using a white cane and then cuts to a short clip of a different person walking with a service dog.

Phil Gilbert, General Manager, IBM Design and one of the talking heads in this video says:

I think we have a unique responsibility to the world, being who we are, to design for inclusion. The differentiation that we can drive into the marketplace by designing intentionally to reach every possible human being on the planet, regardless of their technical capability, I think it could possibly be one of the key differentiation of our portfolio has in the marketplace.

In addition to being full of jargon like “key differentiation of our portfolio” this video does not deliver on the promise to design for inclusion or to reach every possible human being on the planet. This video on accessibility excludes blind and visually impaired people.

Karen Coyle: Floor wax, or dessert topping?

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-01-12 19:57
As promised, my book, FRBR: Before and After, is now available in PDF as open access with a CC-BY license. I'd like to set up some way that we can turn this into a discussion, so if you have a favorite hanging out place, make a suggestion.

Also, the talk I gave at SWIB2015 is now viewable on youtube: Mistakes Have Been Made. That is a much shorter (30 minutes) and less subdued explanation of what I see as the problems with FRBR. If that grabs you, some chapters of the book will give you more detail, and the bibliography should keep anyone busy for a good long time.

Let me be clear that I am not criticizing FRBR as a conceptual model of the bibliographic universe. If this view helps catalogers clarify their approach to cataloging problems, then I'm all for it. If it helps delineate areas that the cataloging rules must cover, then I'm all for it. What I object to is that implication that this mental model = a data format. Oddly, both the original FRBR document  and the recent IFLA model bringing all of the FR's together, are very ambiguous on this. I've been told, in no uncertain terms, by one of the authors of the latter document that it is not data model, it's a conceptual model. Yet the document itself says:
The intention is to produce a model definition document that presents the model concisely and clearly, principally with formatted tables and diagrams, so that the definitions can be readily transferred to the IFLA FRBR namespace for use with linked open data applications.  And we have the statement by Barbara Tillett (one of the developers of FRBR) that FRBR is a conceptual model only:
"FRBR is not a data model. FRBR is not a metadata scheme. FRBR is not a system design structure. It is a conceptual model of the bibliographic universe." Barbara Tillett. FRBR and Cataloging for theFuture. 2005This feels like a variation on the old Saturday Night Live routine: "It's a floor wax. No! It's a dessert topping!" The joke being that it cannot be both. And that's how I feel about FRBR -- it's either a conceptual model, or a data model. And if it's a data model, it's an entity-relation model suitable for, say, relational databases. Or, as David C. Hay says in his 2006 book "Data Model Patterns: A Metadata Map":
Suppose you are one of those old-fashioned people who still models with entity classes and relationships.It's not that entities and relations are useless, it's just that this particular style of data modeling, and the technology that it feeds into, has been superseded at least twice since the FRBR task group was formed: by object-oriented design, and by semantic web design. If FRBR is a conceptual model, this doesn't matter. If it's a data model -- if it is intended to be made actionable in some 21st century technology -- then a whole new analysis is going to be needed. Step one, though, is getting clear which it is: floor wax, or dessert topping.

Ariadne Magazine: #Ukmedlibs

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-01-12 18:57

Tom Roper, Sam Burgess and Holly Case discuss the formation, use, benefits and limitations of Twitter chat sessions for forming and maintaining professional networks. They focus on the #ukmedlibs chat aimed at UK (and European) health library professionals, which has been running since May 2015.

Read more about #UkmedlibsIntroduction Twitter chats offer a new way to undertake professional development and networking online.  A Twitter chat takes place at a pre-arranged time, uses a hashtag to organise and aggregate tweets, and usually tackles an agenda of numbered questions.   

Tom Roper, Sam Burgess and Holly Case. All correspondence to

Organisations: Article type: Issue number: Authors: Date published: Tue, 01/12/201675

Villanova Library Technology Blog: eBook available: How to Be a Detective

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-01-12 18:27

Our latest eBook release, produced with the help of Distributed Proofreaders, is another of Frank Tousey‘s Ten Cent Hand Books, though a rather unusual one.

Attributed to fictional detective Old King Brady, hero of the Secret Service series, How to Be a Detective consists primarily of a series of short stories designed to illustrate different aspects of detective work, with the overall moral being that you can’t learn detective work from a book, and that most people simply aren’t cut out for it. While the book does not really deliver on the promise of its title, it does serve as an interesting example of the intersection between fiction and non-fiction in the dime novel era.

The entire text of the book may be read online or downloaded through Project Gutenberg.


Villanova Library Technology Blog: The Highlighter: Have You Discovered Your Virtual Book Bag?

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-01-12 18:06

This video shows how to create a temporary list of books, without having to log in, which can then be saved, emailed, exported or printed:

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.


Ariadne Magazine: Ariadne is not the only fruit

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-01-12 17:48

John Kirriemuir, editor of the first ten issues of Ariadne, reminisces about library and information science e-­journals back in the day, looks across the current landscape of online “free to read, free to write for” publications, considers a few questions for budding authors to ask, and highlights some publications to house their words.

Read more about Ariadne is not the only fruit
In the beginning there was the Jisc­-funded buffet  Article type: Issue number: Authors: Date published: Tue, 01/12/201675

Ariadne Magazine: Events: OER16: Open Culture

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-01-12 16:36

Lorna M. Campbell introduces the Open Educational Resources Conference 2016 (OER16). This will be held in April at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and will focus on the theme of "Open Culture". Participants will be looking at how open culture can be embedded into institution's learning, teaching and research offerings.

Read more about Events: OER16: Open Culture

Lorna M. Campbell

Article type: Issue number: Authors: Organisations: Projects: Date published: Tue, 01/12/201675

Ariadne Magazine: Back to the moon - eLib and the future of the library

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-01-12 09:09

Martin Hamilton, Jisc's resident futurist and one time developer on the ROADS project in the 1990s, looks back at the heady days of the Follett Report, the eLib projects that appeared as a result and the services that some of them gave rise to. He then proposes an interesting long term archiving idea that might not be as far fetched as it sounds.

19th January 1996, and founding editor John Kirriemuir is about to hit “publish” on the first edition of Ariadne magazine Read more about Back to the moon - eLib and the future of the library

martin hamilton

Organisations: Article type: Issue number: Authors: Date published: Tue, 01/12/201675


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