LFI reflections

please share your high level thoughts here, what stood out the most to you, what you’re still pondering, what you’re looking forward to next, whatever else you got. :blue_heart::blue_heart::blue_heart:


For me, first and foremost, was the ability to meet everyone in New York, not only was the workshops amazings but meeting everyone face to face made all the difference proceeding forward. It was easy enough working with everyone online, but getting that real time together meant a lot to me. I think it solidified a lot of the solidarity we wanted in the program, so I hope regular meetings or that bangin’ conference idea would be wonderful.

The lectures were great, and definitely illuminating, and the supplemental reading was again, very helpful. I think the program was run fantastically and we were able to stay on track educational-wise.

There is also the ramifications of being in the program. I now know another 30 librarians as passionate about this topic as I am and that means far more collaboration. I couldn’t recommend it to my colleagues enough.

One tricky part of it being 6 months long was that it’s impossible to plan 6 months in advance (at least for some people like me) so I had a few hiccups where life and other issues got in the way occasionally. But that’s a personal time management issue (or things beyond control).

Working in small groups on the project was great, and allowed more intimate interactions with people I’ve come to care about.

The program should be a required course in all MLIS programs, I think it’s certainly that vital.

Going forward next for me: writing a book, writing more articles to publish, and working with the fantastic people I’ve met along the way. So if anyone ever wants to collaborate, just get in touch with me and we’ll make it happen!


I agree with everything TJ has said! Meeting in person was a real highlight and definitely made group work easier. I would also love so much to meet folks from other cohorts and build even wider connections. I especially agree with TJ that this course should be taught in all library school programs.

As an academic librarian, this program allowed me to work with and get to know public librarians in a way my daily work doesn’t allow for. It is a real shame that once we chose our “path” in librarianship, we get sucked into a silo and have less of an opportunity to work with folks in other types of librarianship. I think supporting and defending a professional ideal, like privacy, has to be done with across the profession and a program like this allows for us to do this work together. Also, my Group 1 group members are AMAZING and I appreciate you all!

This program has definitely changed my practices in a lot of ways and has changed the rhetoric I use in the classroom. My husband has also learned a lot because all I wanted to talk about on Fridays was what I learned during the LFI lecture lol

Aside from repping LFI, helping with recruitment, and spreading the knowledge via my own workshops/lessons, I’d love to know how we could support future LFI cohorts, curriculum development, grant proposals, and future plans.

Also, I’d love to help show gratitude to our guest speakers if that is something that needs to be done.

My future plans: One of my coworkers is teaching a “complex problems” course for 1st year students in the spring semester with the theme So Much Information and has asked me to be guest speaker about privacy stuff! Additionally, I’ll be working to continue pushing for privacy initiatives at my university (things are looking good!). And in the meantime, I’ll be planning student-focused workshops. Very excited for all of things!

Thanks for everything Alison! (And Howard, and James, and Mike!)


I just wrote a whole blog post about it.

I’m also going to echo TJ and say that meeting everyone face to face made a world of difference. I know me and Michele met before the NY meetup (we worked in the same library) just to chat and I think that helped us conceptualized some of our Group’s projects. I too think writing a book would be a great idea, just to share privacy concerns in this moment in time. Who knows what’s going to be happen in the future.

The weekly meetings of Group 1 (we never did come up with a cool team name) outside of lectures was also very helpful. I think our projects were kind of vague starting out, but as weeks went by and we learned new things from the lectures, they became more tangible. I also share Symphony’s sentiment; all of my group members were awesome and I’ll miss working with you all on a weekly basis.

Going forward, I really want to get other CUNY librarians to talk more about privacy issues, be it at the level of figuring out vendor policies, teaching privacy workshops, to ultimately doing privacy audits on our campuses.



1 Like

Hi Alison & all:

I am sorry that I “fell off the board” for a little bit – I was keeping up with the readings, lectures but ended up investing a lot of time in my final project – and I was completing LFI on my own time. Anyway! I am back now that I slept last weekend :crazy_face:

I definitely share the sentiments that Symphony, TJ, Junior mentioned above. The speakers and readings were fabulous; it is so valuable hearing from experts beyond the library field speak to the issues of privacy, technology, big data and how librarians can better respond to the challenges of modern times. I was also grateful to having access to the syllabus and some of the material before the Institute began; that allowed me the chance to complete some of the readings before the program started – inevitably life and work happens – and it can be easy to fall behind (I am also someone who needs time to consider things & I am not always great about providing instant thoughtful responses - but that’s just my own personality and way of being). I am so interested and excited about our work, I could have probably read and explored more content (materials on our massive book list will make for great continuing reading now that the Institute is over). It might make sense to have Required Readings (the amount that was assigned during this year’s program was definitely reasonable) and Recommended Readings (for the people who are able and/or interested in taking on more work/deeper dive!) – this would allow you to offer more without necessarily increasing the expectation.

Having the opportunity to meet everyone face to face and get to know people a little bit during our NYC Weekend definitely was a highlight! As TJ & Symphony have both mentioned, there is a lot of value in meeting people all over the country and through different areas of the library field; it is easy to become siloed and that our community represents so many different parts of librarianship, it’s amazing. I do think that the people within the program itself are also very special; I like hearing about the smaller updates that are exchanged through Signal – there is a sense of closeness in this group that is warming to me.

I think that as the program matures or grows, there might be some value in including people who are not librarians in the Institute part; I think that the lecturers were great, but working on a more in depth project with people beyond librarianship will help both librarians and our partners in developing skills and a better understanding of each other’s work and roles.

As I reflect back on the program and topics discussed, one topic and/or area that I think could be better developed is Technology & Kids (youth services, school librarians). We took a broad lens approach but I think that it would be helpful and informative for our community to have focused a week on technology & kids – privacy concerns, legislation, what their privacy rights and protections are and how that differs from adults is very important, and it would be worthwhile to make sure that our community understands these challenges.

I am very excited about all of the ways I can apply and connect people to the information from our community. I hope to support and/or offer trainings, materials, programs (! - I am looking for a position that is less administrative and will allow me to get back into being able to center this work and technology the way I love [and miss]) write more about this and integrate the tools into the communities that I am already involved in. I am very open to and excited about collaborating more generally with everyone, and so glad to be in touch with people who care just as much as I do about these pressing topics.

Thank you, @alison, for making this such a valuable experience and to @james3neal and IMLS for supporting this endeavor.



It takes a while for me to process things to a point so that I can accurately communicate my feelings or form questions, so I’ll probably be turning this LFI experience over in my mind for some time. I CAN say without hesitation that it was an amazing experience (big up NYC trip) and I ended up in places (because of LFI) that I would have never thought to find myself. SO grateful for the give and take with y’all, for Alison and Howard, and as well the opportunity to hear from the journalists, activists and librarians who spent their time to teach us every Friday. Also grateful to my supervisor, who was on board from the git go supporting me in pursuing this endeavor and also giving space to run some of the wild projects and programs that have been realized because of LFI.
As above in this thread, I’ve found surveillance and privacy largely not examined in library admin and IT so it might be especially important to rope more of them folx in for LFI.
Going forward I’m hopefully going to have the opportunity to bring anti-surveillance and privacy work placed in a new position as a Teen Librarian in the branches of the Boston Public Library image.
I’m now working with a group of Northeastern students on student data privacy research, with the City Data Manager on tech acquisitions guidelines, with other teen librarians on a teen data privacy audit, and with my union on creating a political working group to continue to vocalize library worker issues, especially anti-surveillance. Wot!?!


you guys, I am feeling very moved reading all your reflections <3

Participating in LFI was much more than I expected. I am so glad that I took such good notes throughout the process (and that we have the videos to view over and over again ) because I crammed so much knowledge into my head in the last 6 months. I need to hold on to all of this juicy goodness. Aside from the weekly lectures, I appreciate getting together in New York- getting to know one another face to face, and to take part in all the on-site presentations. I really am thrilled to have been paired up with such a bad ass group of librarians – the entire cohort, but especially Junior, Symphony, Qiana, Nicole, Michelle N. and Jonathan. I appreciate our weekly discussions and efforts to produce our final projects.

I have already started to integrate some of the privacy practices in the semester long credit courses that I teach to within the Library Information Technology department at my college. This can help to inform dozens of library workers every semester. I hope to work with Megan K. on offering workshops to library staff and faculty (outside of the library) at the college. I can certainly used what I learned to potentially work with IT to examine our current systems. I do plan to do bigger things, but for now am building some momentum. I also plan to keep on learning.