Recent Events

Archive | IL2017

Creating a Culture of Innovation

Empowering People

Lisa Carlucci Thomas

Lisa Carlucci Thomas, Director, Dissemination & Implementation, Center for Social Innovation (C4), said that C4’s goal since its founding in 2006 has been to share innovative practices. Innovation is an opportunity to disseminate to social scientists how to stay innovative in behavioral health and housing and social services.  Needs of mobile users were considered; a platform called Omega was developed. The product was PIH (Public and Indian Housing), a 9-module curriculum suite with multimedia. The next products were Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA), and Continuum of Care (CoC). Adobe Captivate was used to create tools instead of developing their own from scratch, but it could not meet the accessibility needs of the government. They learned that information up front before doing product development is necessary to meet the needs of the client and the users. Innovation is not straightforward; figuring out the processes is challenging.

Innovation in products

How do we apply different approaches to meet a need?: Traditional websites, dynamic websites, or content-based.  The users liked the content-based approach because it showed all the content pathways up front.  It is important to document the progress and the standards that worked.

Innovation in opportunities

This is an ongoing learning process, so you look for opportunities to apply what you have learned. Talk face-to-face with people who might use the product.

Innovation in teams

Make sure everyone has the capacity to experiment. Hire well for innovation. Define roles clearly.  Common experiences are important.


The Wednesday Keynote: Magic Sauce for the Future

Jeanne Holm

Jeanne Holm

Jeanne Holm, Sr. Tech Advisor to the Mayor and Deputy CIO, City of Los Angeles, said that LA has 4 million people from 44 countries who speak 220 languages. There are 48,000 city employees. LA is a smart city using technology to connect.

Smart Cities

A smart city is one that connects its citizens; LA wants to be the smartest city in the world. (LA has 25% of its population that lives in poverty.) Their data is open and has about 1,200 data sets. Open data means the city is accountable. 311LA is a mobile app for submitting service requests to the city. It gets about 1.2 million calls/year which go into a database that is available to anyone.


Civic hacking by citizens with a civic focus builds the community. Multiple projects have been launched by Hack For LA. None of its people are paid.

Hack LA

The Data Science Federation is made up of 14 universities and colleges in a public-private partnership. One of the challenges is getting young people to want to work in city government and motivate them to see how they look at city problems in new ways.  The students learn about the city and work with data science professors.

Data has made a big difference to the homeless issue (every night 30,000 people sleep in shelters). Housing is becoming very unaffordable, so a comprehensive homeless strategy was developed.

It is one thing to put out data, but it is another thing to make it actionable. If we open up knowledge and information, what kinds of behaviors will change? For example, car pooling has been encouraged and stimulated by the use of data to improve the air quality in LA. Climate change has a huge effect. Cities adopted the Paris climate agreement goals; there are 382 climate mayors representing 68 million Americans who have committed to support the goals.

An earthquake warning app can warn people when an earthquake is coming. But there is a disconnect with the future vision, and libraries can help fix this.

Many kids go to the library to upload their homework. But others can work in comfort from their homes because they live in an affluent area. So the city has installed free Wi-Fi hot spots in poorer areas of the city. Libraries are part of the solution to digital inclusion. Connectivity leads to access and literacy. People with broadband access at home find a job 7 weeks faster and at a $5,000 higher salary than those without. Digital literacy is essential, and libraries are a key area where it happens. Every child gets a library card which is their gateway to the future.

LA Makerspace brings spaces into libraries which opens up children’s imagination. Information, data, and knowledge is critical to the transformation and empowers communities. It is important for departments to work together in different ways; the mayor’s office now works with libraries. We must start to think about where we get the data. Sensors are everywhere; we need to understand how to gather the data from them. Smartphones potentially make everyone a citizen scientist.

Citizen Science

Libraries can be a part of this by helping citizens understand the systems and services available to them.

Citizen Science Toolkit

Empowering People

The Tuesday Evening Session: Death Match!

Tuesday Evening Session

The always popular Tuesday evening session was moderated by Erik Boekesteijn and featured four teams debating  in a “Death Match”. Contestants appeared in a variety of costumes which added to the interest in the session.

The Contestants

The Contestants

Brian Pichman

Brian Pichman

David Lee King (L) and Richard Hulser (R)

David Lee King (L) and Richard Hulser (R)

Frank Cervone (L) and Marshall Breeding (R)

Frank Cervone (L) and Marshall Breeding (R)







Marshall Breeding wearing Eric Chan's jacket

Marshall Breeding wearing Eric Chan’s jacket










Erik Boekesteijn

Erik Boekesteijn

David Lee King: Apps win every time; mobile users spend 86% of their time using apps. Apps provide a better user experience. Let users browse with their fingers. What’s your goal, to get to first base or have a home run? Apps just work better on phones. They offer better personalization and notifications.

Marshall Breeding: The context of libraries is different. If only users cared enough to download the app, then put it on their phone, apps might be useful. There is one interface for the web–Facebook, Amazon, library websites, etc. If you don’t have a responsive website, you are sunk. Most libraries don’t have good websites. If you are going to do something, do it once for everything. Apps don’t work out in a library context. If your website is not responsively designed, you won’t be in Google’s mobile index and will be invisible.

Winner: Marshall

Amazon vs. Libraries

Amy Affelt used an example of Amazon’s service at the time of the recent total solar eclipse. The eclipse required glasses which were supposed to be available in libraries, but they didn’t have any. Some libraries had counterfeit glasses, but Amazon gave refunds for those and live-streamed the eclipse. They even sold cookies that looked like the eclipse.

Counterfeit Eclipse GlassesAmazon Prime costs $99/year and you get a lot for that. It is quicker than going to the library in many cases. Amazon books is a “store without walls”. It has healthy meals in their cafes.

Amazon Books

People are loyal to a brand if it makes their lives more convenient with lessons and classes like Amazon’s “treasure truck”. How do we launch a bidding war among cities like Amazon has done?

Frank Cervone countered that Amazon does not deliver everywhere, and you have to have an infrastructure to support Amazon Prime. Amazon’s website is culturally insensitive. Amazon is destroying the economy; small businesses are being destroyed, which is contributing to the decline of the middle class. Does Amazon exist in small cities? Libraries can do a much better job at delivering their information resources; they don’t need to be in the food delivery business. Amazon is a bad citizen and is here just to make a profit. It exploits its workers and is making your country stupid. When bookstores went out of business, reading declined. At libraries,  people can learn things and get intellectual material that they don’t have to pay for.

Winner: Frank

Libraries vs. Robots

Brian Pichman said that robots are better than libraries because they are more efficient. Amazon got rid of humans because they were not efficient. Robots can detect an emotional state and respond. Their error rates are lower than human’s. Can a human identify fake news? A robot can. They can make the world  better because of this. They can replace librarians so librarians can solve  human-based issues for their community. Does Steven know everything like a robot does?

Steven Abram. Robots can tell emotions? Are you insane? Can a robot cry? Can they intuit and know when they are talking to somebody and ask what their level of legal knowledge is? Can a robot tell you where a safe house is? The essence of being human is in writing poetry, creating joy, etc. Errors are how we learn; robots require machine learning. When we fail, we find an ability to rise above the human condition. Empathy cannot be computerized.

Winner: Brian

Libraries vs. Museums

Nina Simon. Libraries are all about transactions and museums are all about experiences. Value is in experiences and not bar codes. You can check out a book on making something or come to a museum and see it. People use libraries like machines; they get lost in museums. When you go on vacation you go to a museum; nobody says “let”s go to the library”. People want what museums have so much that they are willing to pay to get into them. The audience for a museum is the entire community. What people value is what they desire. You don’t have to hire anybody with 4 letters after their name to do a job. Museums can do whatever they want; they don’t have to convince any boards.

Corinne Hill. Museums are so possessive of their paintings.  Libraries are back. Grab a book and take a look. They are innovating. Libraries love patrons of all ages; everyone is welcome. Our patrons are stars. If you want value, we have it. Let’s hold hands, collaborate with museums, and help people create. Innovation is what drives libraries forward. You may have thought books were old news, but libraries have circulated a million of them! They empower and help people with all things.

Winner: Nina

Privacy, the Dark Web, and Hacker Devices

Brian Pichman

Brian Pichman

Brian Pichman, Director, Evolve Project, gave a presentation that was full of information and tips on hacking and protecting yourself and your library. He noted that formerly, nobody knew who you are (recall the well known New Yorker cartoon “on the internet, nobody knows you are a dog”). Today, your digital identity can be created even before you are born.

People attack for financial gain, to steal data, to see what they can do, and “just because”.

Bulletin boards arose when computers started entering our homes. When people wanted to meet in person, the “user group” was spawned and now large conferences have been formed. Competitions ensued; teams worked to find flaws; and individuals exposed flaws for fun or personal gain. Hacking went mainstream when larger ISPs were developed.

Hacking has evolved because of social media, but core values have not changed. A new cause, “Hactivism” was found, and cyber attacks ensued.

Top reasons why people want to hide their IP address are to:

  • Hide their geographical location
  • Prevent web tracking
  • Avoid leaving a digital footprint
  • Bypass any bans or blacklisting of their address
  • Perform illegal acts without being detected.

How to hide

  • Use free Wi-Fi and a secure web browser
  • Use a private VPN
  • Go back to Dialup

How to hide yourself

How to Hide

Tools to become a hacker

  • Tor browserTor Browser
  • Telnet to a BBS
  • Kodi
  • Get a router that allows for VPN at the router.
  • Install a second VPN client on the PC
  • Social engineering (clever manipulation of the natural human tendency to trust)
  • Write a batch file (Windows has a DOS hidden underneath)

Top hacker tools

Hacker Tools

Top Hacker Tools

BackTrack can get you a lot.

BackTrackHow to protect your library

Protect Your Library

You can never be 100% safe or unhackable. Don’t write your password down on a Post-It note.

How to protect you

  • IdentityGuard and Lifelock are paid sites but they work.
  • Sites to monitor when breached data gets related–
  • Use password management sites. Don’thave the same password for all your sites.
  • Google isn’t always your friend. Sometimes the first site listed is malicious.
  • Dual factor authentication is an excellent defense.
  • Treat your phone like a child and protect it.

Credit card tools:: Check out that creates a random 1-time use credit card for free.

Invest in a security or recovery plan. Have as many safeguards as you can. You can’t have a good security plan without a recovery plan. Always test your system to make sure it works.