CC.1 week 1: What brings you to LFP?

What brings you to LFP? What are your personal goals for this course?

Hi everyone!
I’ve followed LFP’s work for awhile and this is the first time I was technically eligible to apply so I’m super excited to be here! I finished library school last spring and am still working at McGill as a project manager in the music tech department (where I’ve been since 2015). I’m the only adult in my immediate family who has never been employed in a library and also the only one with an MLIS :grimacing:

My goals are to really put some work in to thinking about privacy, policy, activism, and doing some more concrete study in this area (instead of flailing and despairing!). I’m also excited to be in a pedagogical environment where everyone wants to be here so looking forward to discussing readings and learning from you all!

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Hi folks,

I learned about the LFP through the Tor State of the Onion and am really interested in internet privacy!

I currently work as a high school librarian and while I looking into moving into a different form of librarianship, I am interested to learn how companies invade the privacy of students and minors. Something I think about a lot is who at Facebook/Instagram thought it was okay to make a version specifically for children? Not just a threat to their mental health but also to their privacy in addition to teaching them to be willing enough to abandon it altogether.

Looking forward to discussing these sorts of things with y’all!

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Like many others, I’ve also followed LFP’s work for awhile! Initially, I became interested in privacy protection because I didn’t want my speech, behaviors, and images surveilled. However, I’ve more recently become interested in privacy as a liberatory space/tool for protecting how I learn and engage. I don’t want surveillance to subdue me. I don’t want surveillance to provide gov./corp. actors information for silo-ing me or marketing ideas to me. I don’t want these things for the people I love; I don’t want these for the people I dislike.
My personal goals are to develop conversational, teaching, and policy analysis skills around these issues to be a better privacy advocate in library service.

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Hello everyone!

I’ve worked in public libraries since 2008; I started as a part-time page shelving books and transitioned to library IT five or six years ago. I don’t remember where I first came across the idea, but ‘if you don’t keep it, they can’t subpoena it’ has always stuck with me. As I moved into IT work, I saw the many gaps where info security didn’t protect patron privacy. My goal with this course is to start to get those gaps covered by policies and procedures at my library, and reduce the silos across departments on how we approach patron privacy issues.

Outside of library work, the social impact of technology is a fascinating topic to me, so I love reading and discussing it regardless of any professional goals. Looking forward to hearing from all of you!

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I work as a Patron Experience Supervisor (PES), which is basically what my public library system calls building managers. So much of what I do is centered on supporting staff but my goal for this course is to be able to place more emphasis on advocating for our patrons. While I first was connected to LFP as I researched SESTA/FOSTA, the Minneapolis Uprising and recent military occupation of Minneapolis really drew my attention to the urgent need for patron privacy. I live in Minneapolis and work for Hennepin County Library - up until last week, I was PES at Brookdale Library in Brooklyn Center. After some restructuring, I just started on Monday as PES at Ridgedale Library, which is also where our IT and admin are based. I am eager to learn how to better assess technology and influence policy as we pilot new things before they roll out to the rest of our 41 libraries across the metro area.

Excited to learn from and with you all! -Krista

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I forget how I heard about LFP–probably a listserv email. I’m interested in the issue of privacy and how libraries manage customer data. I hope this course helps me feel more confident as I negotiate with vendors for new products to ask the tough questions about how data is used. I also hope this course will give some tips on the questions I should be asking during those conversations and even once I have a contract in hand for review.

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Hi everyone!

My official title is adult service specialist. I work the reference desk and create programming for adults. I read about the Library Freedom Project in one of the many trade magazines I read as part of my role. I wish I could remember when and which one it was but I am drawing a blank. All I know for sure was that I had to be part of it somehow and applied the first chance I got.

I have a Bachelor’s in journalism and have always been a champion for speaking truth to those in power. Online privacy has always been a topic of interest for me. Working at libraries I know the potential they have to help ordinary citizens find and navigate different institutions to learn how they work and how they can work for them or against them.

I enjoy creating programming that can help fill in those gaps. I am hoping to create a computer education course that emphasizes on privacy. I am so excited to start!

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Hi all! I learned about LFP last year when Alison was a guest speaker in one of my MLIS classes - shout out to Dr. Miriam Sweeney!

I have pretty limited library experience aside from working as a library assistant for a short time at the Free Library of Philadelphia and then transitioning into community-based programming (which is all food and cooking related), so I’m excited to explore other aspects of librarianship, especially from all you library pros!

Recently, I’ve been particularly interested in the effects of mass surveillance on marginalized groups, as well as the connection between privacy and activism.

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I’m Allison, I use they/them pronouns. Great to meet you all virtually this morning (at least, morning here on the west coast).

Here are a couple things I’m particularly interested in talking about after today’s session:

  • how Library Freedom community can grow more globally. What supports are needed? What different contexts might mean for curriculum? I will start a separate thread about this since there was some interest in the Zoom chat today.
  • policies/ technology/ user experience for public computers. We’re getting new software for public computer booking and printing later this year, and it’s an opportunity for the library to look more closely at how our public computers are set up in general. Would love to discuss what people are doing that they love, what red flags are that we could look at more closely, and so on. If this is of interest to you too, let me know. I’d also love if people have resources to share. It’s something I’m mulling over for some final project work perhaps.
  • union organizing. I’m involved in my union currently and helped organize a past workplace. Sounds like others are working on this stuff too, or maybe interested. Would love to think about how the things we’re learning apply in union contexts and related to workers’ rights as well.

I’ll add more later as I think of things.

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Hi everyone-

I was initially drawn to this course because of its relevancy to a specific project at work, where I’m tasked with reviewing vendors’ privacy practices. As it relates to this project, I would like a deeper understanding of what to look out for in privacy policies and ways to push back.

More broadly, surveillance, while pervasive, impacts groups differently. I would like to explore this more and works towards protecting groups that are more vulnerable. I have a background in criminal justice and classes like this are a way for me combine my interests in libraries and justice.

I’m really looking forward to learning and exploring these issues as a group.
Lorelle

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I’d love to talk more about public computer setup. Last summer I overhauled ours while updating to Win 10, and now that we’re letting patrons (slowly) back into buildings, the setup is getting real-world tested.

Do you want to start a thread?

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Hi everyone!

I really enjoyed getting to virtually meet you all today. I heard about LFP a few years ago while attending an event in New Jersey and I recently started following their work loosely on Twitter. I’ve been interested in technology in libraries for a while now and this course seemed to come up at just the right time. I had a brief stint in IT before working in libraries and when I started as a paraprofessional, I noticed there was a big disconnect between staff and technology. Namely that many public library staff (regardless of rank/job title) felt at best ambivalent towards technology or at worst very uncomfortable with it. I also noticed that public computers and other software in libraries was not really doing anything to protect patron privacy, especially when keeping in mind that patrons rely on public computers in libraries to fill out applications/share very sensitive information. After talking to more library workers, I realized this issue wasn’t unique to one public library and I wanted to find a way to improve how technology is approached in libraries.

My goals for this course are to understand how to create baseline practices for privacy and data use that libraries/library workers in NJ and beyond can use as a starting point. I also hope to learn more about how to create buy-in for privacy and how to talk about privacy with anyone and to learn from everyone here.

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I really resonated with what you said in your intro today and again here, Hebah! Hope to talk more about staff training/support.

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This is the kind of question that sends me down a rabbit hole of looking through employee linkedin’s and social media for anyone who mentions having worked on it.

I love the idea of privacy as a liberatory space. I often define privacy as a form of personal autonomy, or at least essential to personal autonomy. Now I’m thinking about it as literally a space that can give us some of that freedom.

You’ll notice that we have another thread from a previous cohort where we collect t-shirt slogans, and I think this is one.

Really looking forward to sharing articles on this here. Have you seen Logic Magazine? It’s one of my favorites.

Much love and solidarity to you all living in that area. I understand that the helicopters haven’t even left yet? Ugh.

You’ll fit right in here Adi!!!

This is something I’d also love to discuss!! I think for example about how Amazon’s warehouse workers were already under such heavy surveillance – they have to clock in and out and register their duties via an app – that it was trivially easy for the company to send anti-union propaganda and vague threats via the same app. And there’s so much more.

The LFP crew that helped me review applications for this course had already seen and loved this piece you co-authored: Ethical Financial Stewardship: One Library’s Examination of Vendors’ Business Practices – In the Library with the Lead Pipe

It’s so true Hebah. The cynical side of me thinks that vendors deliberately exploit this. Even if it’s not as intentional as that, there’s an enormous power differential, and one way we can bridge the gap is through more meaningful staff training. That’s why so much of our focus in this course will be about connecting privacy to real situations that people face, that affect their material conditions. Making it about human beings instead of just data points is one way to connect the folks who don’t “get” technology.

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Hi all,

I’ve been following LFP/LFI with some interest for years, and jumped on the first opportunity to join a cohort. At my workplace, I had worked for about 8 months with three other people on a possible privacy policy, and had most of the library on board, when for various reasons we crashed and burned (Two people left, the third was reassigned, and we no longer had a “champion” at the admin level). We have a lovely “Vision for Privacy” document, and it has been used in practice, but there’s no policy with teeth.

Besides being thrilled to join the community in general, I’m specifically interested in delving into the human side of policies–the gap between “We think this is a great idea” and “We have a specific policy that we all follow” sometimes seems really big, and using the harm reduction strategy, I’m excited to see how we can close it.

–Topher

I don’t remember where I originally heard about LFP, but I’ve had friends who’ve gone through its various programs, and I see there are some friends of mine in this cohort, too! :slight_smile:

As the Emerging Technology Librarian at my library, I’m constantly trying to learn more about tech trends. A lot of these tech trends cause me to think about worst-case scenarios for how they could be used, but they are often discussed in “wow, cool” connotations. I also want to get better at educating the community on tech issues and on engaging the community in general.

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Hello all: I enjoyed meeting you all last Thursday and look forward to learning with you all during this course. I’m interested in using what I learn in this course to take a fresh look at our library’s existing policies/practices as many of those with which I’m involved include privacy issues. I’m also–like a few of you–interested in considering the kinds of programs that might engage more of us (particularly but not exclusively undergrad students) in privacy questions without getting overwhelmed or feeling unempowered. -Cindy

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I think this framing is so important and is also one of the things I’m most excited to do together!

I love to hear both of these things :blue_heart:

hi all!

I’m Jen, she/her pronouns. I think I stumbled across LFP on twitter at some point and have followed their work since, and am thrilled to be here to learn from and with everyone. I’m relatively new to the library world but got my start as a tech assistant, helping patrons in a library computer lab - now I work as the principal library assistant (circulation supervisor, basically) at my library.

I’ve had a general interest in online privacy because I think there is no true intellectual freedom without it, but also like Lorelle said, I’m interested in these courses bc of their relevancy to a specific project - really interested to think/talk about the ways privacy goes out the window when we’re working with incarcerated patrons and ways we can push back and hold vendors accountable to make sure that all library users have both equal access to information and equal privacy protections.

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