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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.

Navigating Physical and Digital Spaces

Melissa Rassibi

Melissa Rassibi

Melissa Rassibi, Reference and Outreach Services Librarian, California State University Northridge, spoke about digital learning objects: our users, our collection, our goals. The library did a website reorganization with a goal of improving student learning outcomes. If you have a list of links that is too many for users or a wall of text, they will move on. They are not interested in getting the best answer, just one that satisfies them.

A content audit was done listing the subjects covered by each item (particularly videos).

Melissa Rassibi

They were heavy-handed with weeding. The entire system switched to a unified library management system, so a lot of new material needed to be created. If you want your content to be used, it must be up to date and look professional. How the content is structured and labeled is important.Content LabelingYou need to figure out how to express content to meet users’ needs.

Usability studies help to figure out what students want.

Usability Studies

They got only 5 people signing up, but only 2 actually came. They offered donuts as an incentive and asked students to participate, which was successful.  You do not want long drawn out focus groups; participation must happen on the spot.  Make it quick and easy for them. First study was a card sort–how users organize information. Software platform: OptimalSort. The best results are obtained by looking at the sorts by hand. Although we are experts, we need to be informed how students organize information.

Card Sorting

Rapid Prototyping tools are easy to use. They used Marvel to create their prototype. No coding is necessary–just drag a hot spot to the URL. Give users task scenarios and get them to create an annotate bibliography. Scenarios uncovered problems with organization.

How will users find the content? Ask the students how they like the new organization. Added a Tutorials to the library’s home page.



Next steps: creating a maintenance strategy and key performance indicators.



Internet Search Privacy Tips and Tricks


Amy Affelt

Amy Affelt, Director, Database Research Worldwide at Compass Lexecon, began with the basics of search privacy. The issue is “how did we get here?” Just 6 months ago, we could have never imagined the need for privacy safeguards. Some safeguards were recently repealed; here are some of the ramifications.

Regulatory Repeal Ramifications

Notice that ISPs can now sell your browsing history to 3rd parties (but not to individuals). This came to a head when a site, DreamHome, was asked to furnish 1.3 million records to the Department of Justice.

Some people say they don’t need to worry about anything because they aren’t doing anything wrong. But this means an end to privacy. Why should we need to explain what we are doing? What can we do? Make it harder to collect the data. Test your system protection with panopticlick to receive a “uniqueness score” of your browser’s fingerprints.

Here are some basic cloaking tips.

Cloaking Tip 1

Cloaking Tip 2

  • Use  https-everywhere if you are prohibited by your oganization by using https.https
  • Get a VPN.
    • Considerations:VPN Considerations
    • Use the Opera browser.
    • Recognize that NSA maintains a list of VPN purchasersVPN Options

Additional safeguards:

Additional Safeguards

Border/police searches and handovers.

Border and police searches

Last year, the TSP took 6,000 phones. The police must get a search warrant to make you unlock your phone.

Bobbi Newman

Bobbi Newman

Bobbi Newman continued the session and discussed Privacy and Libraries in the 21st Century. She began by defining privacy:

  • The right to be left alone.
  • Claim to determine for individuals to determine when, how, and to what extent information about them is communicated.
  • Control, use, and disclosure of personal information.
  • Invasion into protected space, collection of data, use and disclosure of such information.
  • Intellectual:protection when we are generating ideas,

Here is the ALA statement on privacy:

ALA Privacy Statement

ALA Privacy Statement

Are you doing anything to protect the data on your smartphone, fitness device, social media accounts, and phone book listing? When a store clerk asks for your phone number, do you provide it? Do you use a search engine that doesn’t track?Why does this matter?

Minorities and the poor are subject to more unwarranted surveillance and the repercussions of it are more severe. Most privacy requires some level technical savvy (such as Android vs. Apple). Should we be required to have a level of such knowledge to enable privacy? It takes time and money to protect your privacy. Some employers have hired companies to do health and wellness surveys of their employees which was used by insurance companies.

Many people have been victims of identity theft. There is no expiration data on such information. For example,

  • A student was accused of being a terrorist when he was spotted in the library reading a book about terrorism.
  • The “Connecticut Four” case in which four librarians challenged an order to furnish a list of library users under the PATRIOT Act.

People want privacy.

People Want Privacy

There is a need for education and resources.

Need For Education and Resources

Resources include privacy guidelines from ALA, NISO privacy principles, Library Privacy Toolkit for Librarians (LFP project), San Jose Public Library’s Virtual Privacy Lab, the Digital Privacy Pledge. and Protecting Patron Privacy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017, edited by Bobbi Newman and Bonnie Tijerina).

The Librarian as a Trusted Advisor: New Skills and Mindsets for the 21st Century

Paul KAidy Barrows

Paul Kaidy Barrows

Paul Kaidy Barrows, Research Librarian at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said that although the title of this session as listed in the conference program used the term “consultant”, librarians are more like trusted advisors who develop strong professional and personal relationships with clients. They are transactors, problem solvers, consultants, and then trusted advisors. The consultant level is when someone keeps coming back to get an answer which results in deeper levels of interactions. A trusted advisor is on a peer level with the the requester.

Trusted Advisors

Whether you are new to the field or established in your career, radical adaptability is essential and requires a perpetual curiosity, asking questions, forming relationships, being a team member, the ability to speak up and influence decisions, and being a change leader. In this post-Google era, librarians need to understand the customer, not just the question, and build relationships, not merely complete transactions. So it is necessary to move from transaction-based services to those that are advisory, and from the information professional as a supporter or helper to a partner, consultant and trusted advisor.  The library staff must also be transformed and retrained, which may be difficult decisions.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Support the mission of the library and cast your transformation as an opportunity to further the success of your parent organization, not merely a means of self-preservation.
  • Commit to the future of the organization, your customers’ goals and motivations, the future of libraries and librarianship, and your own professional development (make sure you are “top talent”)
  • Make strategic decisions about who goes where. The goal is not necessarily to move everyone up.
  • Foster relationships.Foster Relationships
  • Know the difference between panic and curiosity.
  • Leave home: get out of your chair to meet customers where they are.
  • Meet and market to build universal awareness and good will.
  • Reach new employees, have some resources for all. Do presentations to key clients (executives).
  • Make sure employees know there is a library in the building!
  • A good question is not “how are you?” but “what are you working on?”.

Lessons learned

Lessons Learned


Tuesday Keynote: Innovating, Experimenting & Building a Future of Libraries in a Digital Environment

Greg Lucas

Greg Lucas

Greg Lucas, State Librarian of California, was the Tuesday keynote speaker. He is optimistic about the future.

He began with some background information on California:

  • We know that nearly all Californians are immigrants, some arrived more recently than others. Where did they come from? Everywhere. Today, 30% of Californians were born in a foreign country–the most of any state.
  • California had a constitution before it was a state, and it was drafted here in Monterey. (It became a state in 1850.)
  • Every governor since 1849 has said that the state government wastes taxpayer money.
  • At least 20% of Californians will be over 60 in a few years.

Libraries make California an awesome state. It has 1,100 libraries, the most of any state. Diversity is California’s biggest asset. There are over 300 languages and dialects spoken in California. It is the first state in the nation with a white minority. California’s libraries reflect its diversity.

The internet is going to keep changing everything in the future. It has made libraries and librarians more important. There are more books published than ever before–2.7 billion last year, of which 510 million were e-books. Net revenues for this were $28 billion.

The world of social media is expanding exponentially. There is a whole potential with virtual reality to change how we train people. Will there be laptops  in 10 years, or we going to have goggles? Emails have become passé (Boston College stopped issuing email addresses to their students 6 years ago).

Libraries have maker spaces where people are creating innovative things. The usual attendees are 14 to 18 year-olds. We live in a library economy; in 90 years, 90 million people will live in California. Part of our challenge now is the sanitized politically correct language we have to use.

The State Library is California’s equivalent of the Library of Congress. For example, it has diaries of original wagon trains, a Shakespeare first folio, 1500 incunabula, and King James’s prayer book. It is celebrating its centennial this year. and is helping to reduce the number of people who can’t read a story, or who have a literacy issue. The most cost-effective way to spend a taxpayer dollar is to use it to teach somebody to read at least at a 3rd grade level.

Libraries are the complete opposite of government; they are nimble and fast. But people don’t realize that libraries are part of government. An answer to government is rigidity is to visit local libraries. What we see in libraries makes us optimistic about the future; they are good for the government’s bottom line. They are the happy places. Lots of small things are happening in libraries; they are the most welcoming place for the most disadvantaged people. They can help anybody access the web’s information and are an essential part of the public education system. The State Library is trying to put a card into the hands of every student.