LFI.2: cohort introductions

#1

Hi everyone! Please use this thread to introduce yourselves to your fellow cohort members. Let’s do:

Name
Pronouns
Where you’re from
Where you work
Anything about your background you want to share
What you’re most excited about for LFI
And if you had magic powers to destroy one piece of technology (hardware, software, or whatever) forever, what would it be?

I will start!

My name is Alison Macrina, I use she/her pronouns. I’m from New Jersey originally but now I live in the great and perfect city of Philadelphia.

Library Freedom Project is my full-time gig and has been since the beginning of 2015. Before that, I worked for almost a decade in a few different kinds of libraries, but mainly public. I am most excited for the group projects in this round of LFI, because I think we’re going to create some really incredible plans that can work for a variety of library environments, and that is so needed!

And if I could wave my wand and destroy one piece of technology right now, it would be anything with facial recognition capabilities. I am particularly afraid of that right now because of how quickly it’s being adopted and how flawed and discriminatory the technology is. We’ll be getting into that in depth in a few weeks.

Welcome everyone! I’m so glad you’re all here!!!

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#2

Howdy everyone, I’m TJ Lamanna, I’m he/him. I currently live in South Jersey (yeah, North Jersey is a different state.).

I work as the Emerging Technologies Librarian at the Cherry Hill Public Library in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. It’s a standard librarian job, so I get to spend a lot of my own time on my own projects.

I’ve the former chair of both the Emerging Technologies Section and Intellectual Freedom Committee for the New Jersey Library Association. I’m currently part of the OIF Privacy Subcommittee as well as the VP on the Top Tech Trends for LITA. Finally, I really do enjoy writing, especially about the philosophy of libraries. Apart from my MLIS I have a bachelors in theater and philosophy.

One piece of technology I wish I could destroy? I’m going to lean hard on Facebook, that abyss where we lose our loved ones. It’s a reality-creation machine that does far more harm then good. I was there in 2004 when it initially launched since I was in school in Boston at the time. It’s been creeptastic since day one and it’s only getting worse and worse as more features are added. Not only does it bend reality, but it’s a time-sink. So yeah, burn it down.

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#3

Hi all!

I’m Carolyn Bennett Glauda, she/her… I’m also originally from New Jersey! (northern) and I’ve been a New Yorker for almost 20 years. I live in Beacon, NY and work in Highland, which on the border of New Paltz. I work for the multi-type library council that represents the Hudson Valley and I produce professional development for our members. We just finished a 4-day workshop for educators, and got lots of positive feedback from our privacy and security curriculum. I’m super excited about getting some tools from LFI to create more of those types of workshops.

I’ve been at the library council since graduating from UAlbany in 2015. Before that, I had a bunch of different jobs/careers that including being a stage manager, a location scout, a bookseller, a liaison to publishers on behalf of independent booksellers, a lifeguard, a development officer at a nonprofit, and an insurance salesperson. (I’m still atoning for that last one.)

My first inclination would be to destroy YouTube Kids, because it turns precocious toddlers into zombies and introduced my family to the horror that is Blippi. But my goodness that device has been a lifesaver when I need 30 minutes of not actively parenting, so… I would turn my magic wand towards self-driving cars. Even though I think their capabilities are over-hyped, I don’t want them to destroy all hope of improving public transportation and give rich people more opportunities to isolate themselves from everyone else.

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#4

Hi, everyone!

My name is Chad Clark, I use he/him pronouns. I live in Chicago with my partner and two toddlers boys who adamantly believe there is no worse fate in this world than being called a pirate by another toddler at daycare.

Public libraries are my full-time gig and have been since 2011. Before that, I worked as an IT administrator slash outreach coordinator (we were a tiny crew!) for a non-profit combating handgun gun violence.

If I could wave my wand and destroy one piece of technology right now, it would be anything exploiting optical imaging over ultralong ranges. Like photographing subjects 28 miles away in a smog-plagued urban environment and certifiable stuff like that.

Can’t wait to get started!!

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#5

Hi all!

I’m Symphony, pronouns she/her. I’m from St. Louis and a year ago, I brought all my stereotypical midwestern tendencies to Washington, DC to take a position at American University. My title is Resident Librarian, but my actual work is with the research, teaching learning department. I work mostly with students in the first year writing courses.

Back in St. Louis, I worked as a high school English teacher for six years, a job I landed one month after my college graduation. I see myself as an educator foremost, thus my librarianship is largely influenced by my time as a teacher.

LFI has me extra excited to be in a guided learning environment again. I love being a student and, to be honest, I am trying to avoid my constant inner voice that is like “let’s get another graduate degree!” (I can’t afford the one I got :joy:). I am super ready for a learning process that involves actionable, applicable content that I can use right away in both my personal and professional life. I cannot wait to share with my colleagues and students the things we will learn over the next six months.

My first inclination for the use of my magical powers would be to destroy self-driving cars, like Carolyn already mentioned. I, too, want more robust public transit, high speed rail systems, and communities (especially dense urban areas) that don’t prioritize individual car travel. As a newer bike commuter, I want cycling infrastructure that keeps cyclists and pedestrians safe. The last thing I want is new technology that prioritizes the car.

But also, I want educational technologies to be greatly re-thought, which might involve burning the whole thing down. The last couple years I was teacher, my district became Google schools and all of our secondary students received district-issued chromebooks. Obviously, the access to this technology was a game-changer for so many of our low-income students and their ability to fully engage in the learning process. BUT students and their parents had really no idea about how much information is being gathered about them at any given moment. For my students who were dependent upon their Chromebooks as the only tech in their home, everything was done in a way that is potentially viewable to the district - from parents paying bills, to students filling out FAFSAs, to students Googling whatever it is they need to know. While I no longer work with high school students, so many of my current college freshmen come from those environments but have never been taught to protect their digital selves - or why they would need to.

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#6

Hello!

My name is Kimberly Trinh-Sy (she/her), and I am originally from Milwaukee, WI. I have lived in Minneapolis, MN for about 20 years now, and I currently work as the adult services librarian at Franklin Library, which is part of the Hennepin County Library system. Franklin sits on Minneapolis’ American Indian Cultural Corridor, birth place of the American Indian Movement (celebrating 50 years!), and our neighborhood is also home to the largest Somali community in North America. My library is an incredibly dynamic and fascinating place to be every day. Of the 41 libraries in our system, Franklin ranks number one in both visits (per square foot) and computer use. This is notable because we are also one of the smallest buildings, so we are busier than our large downtown and suburban branches.

Prior to Franklin Library, I was an academic librarian at a community college for six years. Before becoming a librarian, I was a classroom teacher (mostly middle/high school English) for eight years. When I started teaching, online course management systems were still in their infancy, and few schools had 1:1 laptop or tablet programs. I am really excited for LFI for a lot of reasons, one of which is to learn about and help contextualize the rapid changes in technology that have affected, in particular, schools/education.

It’s hard to think about what piece of technology to destroy. Every time I think of one, I consider the useful aspects about it. (I guess that is representative of why we are all here to study privacy – it’s so easy to rely on convenience and not think enough about potential harm.) I am feeling kind of grumpy about cookies lately for a couple reasons. One, because of the obvious way they track web history. Two, because I think they make us more passive and less in control of our online security. I encounter so many patrons who don’t remember their passwords because they are saved on personal devices, but when they don’t have access to those devices or need to sign in on a different location, they don’t know how to regain access to their e-mail, school CMS, or other important data.

I am really looking forward to getting to know all of you!

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#7

Nice to see another former English teacher here! :slightly_smiling_face:

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#8

Hola! Yo soy Grace Riario. I am she/her. I was born in Quito, Ecuador. Currently, I have the privilege to be the Interim Director at a Library System in New York. Love what I do.
I also love to travel and scrapbook. So if anyone needs some tips on where to go on vacation, let me know.
The one piece of software I would love to disappear is Twitter. It saddens me that people are making life decisions based on 298 characters. In my opinion, Twitter has facilitate bullying to occur easily.
Let’s have a great first session on Friday.
Grace

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#9

Hello,

My name is Wren, He/Him pronouns. I’m from Los Angeles, but currently work at a public library in Jackson, WY (where it is currently snowing). I have been in Jackson for three years. My role here is a lot of technology based instruction – I teach old people basic computer skills, help english-as-a-second-language patrons with whatever they need, teach kids how to program in Python, and just recently started offering an “Intro to Hacking” course aimed at millennials. I have a lot of freedom to develop my own content, so that is nice. In the future I am looking to move into an academic library role, specifically something science-y, since my undergraduate degree was in molecular biology. Outside of work, I try and do some social good by working/volunteering with the local domestic abuse shelter. This year I planned and taught an elective class at the high school on consent and gender norms.

I am excited about learning what librarians can do in negotiating with vendors to protect their patrons. And also excited to make some connections with other like-minded individuals.

If I could destroy one technology product it would probably be adware, or the ability to advertise online. It would limit the market demand for personal data and also hurt the big technology companies.

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#10

Hi!
I’m Haley Holmes, she/her, and I live in San Antonio, TX. I’m originally from Pensacola, FL which is a great place to visit, not so much to live. I’ve been in San Antonio for 15 years and am the Coordinator of Services to Adults for the San Antonio Public Library. Before this position, I was a branch manager for 7 years and had the privilege to open a new branch where I had a fabulous innovative team.

I worked in academic libraries before moving here, all in Technical Services type roles. I even spent a year in periodicals at the Library of Congress. I’m the only librarian in my system who does not have a masters in library or information science. I had already finished a masters in Psychology when I decided to become a librarian. The program director at the University of North Texas convinced me to pursue a doctorate instead of a second masters. Pretty much only my mom and my library director called me Dr. :slight_smile:

I’m excited about everything we are going to learn as part of LFI. I honestly know nothing about these topics and am looking forward to becoming enlightened.

I too think that social media is evil and does more harm than good. My dissertation was about knowledge construction as a result of reality tv, and I see a lot of parallels with social media and its potential to change how people think.

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#11

Hi everyone,

My name is Abubakar Tidal, but I go by Junior (he/him/his). I’m originally from a small coal mining town called Whitesburg, KY but have called Brooklyn, NY my home for the last 13 years. I am the Web Services & Multimedia Librarian, Associate Professor for the New York City College of Technology, CUNY.

I received my MLS and Master’s in Information Science from Indiana University, Bloomington. I’m a Filipino-American (1st gen) and my mom is actually a retired public librarian. When I was being a troublesome kid, she would make me shelf read the stacks as a form of punishment.

I’m most excited about learning from others participating in LFI. I’m looking forward to hearing other people’s perspectives on privacy.

I suppose if I had to destroy a piece of technology it would be robocalling software/AI. It’s invasive, usually involves a scam, and has interrupted my lunch break more than once!

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#12

Yes! Same! It is amazing how many former English teachers I know who are now librarians. We could start a club :smile:

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#13

Hello all!

I’m Jeff Lambert, he/him. I’m a relatively recent New Yorker (four years this August) by way of New Hampshire, DC, Philly, and Massachusetts. I’ve been working in libraries for ~nine years, and for the past two I’ve been coordinating technology training for patrons and staff at Queens Public Library. We have 65 locations across New York City’s most diverse borough. Nearly 50 percent of the 2.3 million people who call Queens home were born outside the United States.

I get to play with lots of emerging technology at work (VR, 3D printing, arduinos), but a big part of my job is exploring the intersection of technology and privacy. In partnership with colleagues at Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and the Metropolitan Library Council, my team and I implemented a city-wide staff training initiative on online privacy and digital safety in the library context. We’ll be moving into Phase 2 of this project this summer, so I’m thrilled to see how this work might intersect with our LFI conversations.

Lately I’ve been working a lot around Census 2020, which will be the first time that individuals are expected to respond electronically rather than by paper form. This presents a huge potential for an undercount, with gaps in both digital literacy skills and broadband access. Here in Queens, we’re particularly concerned with the inclusion of a citizenship question and the data privacy issues raised by digital self-response. We’re folding some of our census awareness work into larger data literacy efforts, as part of an IMLS-funded initiative to expand the roles of libraries in municipal open data ecosystems.

Biometrics, facial recognition, and computer vision all freak me out, and seem like areas that could be deployed by state actors and law enforcement in bad faith or used in algorithmic decision making to the detriment of individuals. Looking forward to learning and un-learning with you all over the next several months!

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#14

Greetings
My name is Patricia Ball everyone calls me Pat. I live in Douglasville, GA and work in Marietta, GA a 30 minute commute. I am the branch manager for a medium size library.
I have always had a love for technology and have done lots of research in the area.
I am excited to be a part LFI so that I can help patrons and my library system better understand what issues we need to be aware of when online or when dealing with vendors.
If I had magic powers I would turn off face recognition as well. I am more concerned about what my cell phone is tracking and who has access to the information.
I am looking forward to learning.

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#15

Hi Everyone!

I’m Leigh Ann, I respond to she/her pronouns, but I’m also slightly against gendered language, so I prefer they/them. I grew up on a reservation in the very remote/rural upper peninsula of Michigan, and currently live in slightly less remote New Hampshire.

I’m the emerging technologies librarian at the Pelham Public Library, also in New Hampshire, right on the boarder with Massachusetts. I’m only the second person to hold this position, so there’s still a lot of freedom in what projects and programming I want to pursue. I also still like to consider myself a zine librarian as well, even though my current library doesn’t have a collection. In another life I helped set up community zine libraries and archives, and still tangentially connected to the first one I helped with (The Forgotten Zine Archive).

I’m most excited to get to know all of you! When I was working on my masters I was part of a group that had monthly meetings, and called themselves the ‘Radical Librarians Collective’, and knew lots of like minded professionals, but have struggled to find the same sort of camaraderie since leaving.

As for technology I’d destroy, my first thought goes to those many websites that scrape personal information, and make it more accessible/public. I’ve been working with a few patrons to have their information taken down from sites like Spokeo, Intelius, Whitepages, Mylife, and the like. I’m consistently shocked at the number of responses they get where the site refuses to take information down because it’s technically ‘public information’.

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#17

There’s a great episode of Reply All about the inventor of adware; I think you’d enjoy it!

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#18

Your tech gripe reminds me of this episode of Reply All in which they discuss the Mexican government’s use of social media to distract and direct votes (hmm…sounds familiar).

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#19

Hi everyone,

My name is Andrea Puglisi; I use she/her/hers pronouns. I grew up in Connecticut and up until very recently spent the past twelve years living in Berkshire County (I recently left my position of five years as the Tech Engagement & Digital Services Librarian at the Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library). I am currently living in Western MA and I am currently exploring how to return back to living in the Berkshires while working at my new position as the Adult & Technology Services Director in Longmeadow, MA. I spend a fair amount of time over in the Albany, Hudson, Catskill area and I am excited to see a few LFI librarians who aren’t too far from where I haunt!

I am excited about LFI because I want to continue to improve my understanding of how to best adopt, guide and instruct my library and the public on how to navigate technology beyond a surface understanding. I have also been thinking about how LFI will shape some of the next steps in my career. A significant piece of my work and professional identity is heavily connected to managing library communications and social media marketing. I have felt so conflicted about all of this over the years and what it means for my own privacy and wellness, and I suspect that LFI will ultimately result in my changing if/how I decide to continue on this path. I do not expect the LFI group to decide for me what to do about this, but I hope to be challenged and to identify any changes I can make to better protect myself (and if that is even possible).

As far as the technology that I would destroy right now if I had the wand to do it (!), would be personalization algorithms. We are currently seeing what happens when people are routinely delivered content that is curated for people based on interest, history, emotion, attention and “engagement” – all of which is currently being manipulated by corporate interests which reward confirmation bias. These systems are eroding our politic and our ability of having a shared understanding of the world. So, if I could eliminate a technology from the world – it would be these exploitative, corporate systems that are designed to provide personalized experience to information seekers.

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#20

Hi! I just used those training materials in our Privacy & Security class last week! They were super helpful to fill in some gaps and help give structure as I was putting together curriculum, the students really enjoyed the personas exercise.

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#21

Hi y’all!

My name’s Stephanie (Steph) Milberger; I prefer she/her pronouns. I’m originally from Louisiana but grew up in Dallas and now live in Rockwall, a small suburb just east of DFW, with my husband and three kids, two pugs, and one cat. (Our home’s an insane asylum and the inmates run it.)

Currently I’m an adult services librarian at Rockwall County Library, which serves all of Rockwall County (the smallest county in Texas); it encompasses the tiny cities of Rockwall, Heath, Fate, and Royse City. (Fun fact: local legend says a giant built the rock wall for which we’re named.) Before that, I worked as lab support for UT Southwestern, assistant to the news director and sales assistant at an NBC station in ABQ, NM, a preschool teacher, and a youth services librarian. I also spent several years as a stay-at-home mom.

Many of our patrons are retired or barely computer literate, which concerns me on multiple levels, especially as tech continues to evolve. (Does anyone else feel like the unofficial IT help desk for their community? I love helping but mostly feel woefully inadequate.) LFI both thrills and terrifies me; it feeds a growing need to know what’s on the edge of my periphery but still lurking in the shadows. I’m super aware of my ignorance regarding these matters, but I look forward to working/geeking out with y’all and learning in such a supportive and open environment.

I’ve been most bothered by the intrusive way tech has begun to rule our lives in the name of safety, such as when I bought a used car recently. My bank required my car to have monitoring software installed to insure the car’s maintenance and driver safety. My insurance offers lower rates based on my driving using this software; it’s creepy stuff like this that wigs me out because it’s become so commonplace. How to combat this when you’re living on a budget and need those rates? We’re being needled into constant monitoring for our “protection”. Brings to mind the movie Serenity (2005), the opening scene:

River - “We meddle. People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think. Don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.”

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