#NetNeutrality and Libraries and corporate bs

We’re kind of angry about this over at Urban Librarians Unite. Here’s why –

The FCC is set to vote to eliminate net neutrality this December. Urban Librarians Unite joins the dozens of organizations denouncing this action. Open access to information and the unbiased dissemination of information is critical to democracy and education. The “Restoring Internet Freedom” proposed rulemaking of FCC Chairman Pai focuses on how the Internet flourished for two decades of “light-touch regulatory framework.” It didn’t flourish for Americans. During those two decades we saw the exponential increase in the digital divide that left rural Americans disconnected and we saw Internet Service Providers (ISP) interfering with their customers’ access to certain information.

We are just weeks away from an FCC vote tokill net neutrality. Only Congress can stop it.

If you’re a relatively moderate consumer of news and occasionally take a peek at social media, you may see a lot of threads and posts about #NetNeutrality, or #SavetheInternet — and it’s a big fucking deal.

So here’s the deal with Net Neutrality – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) currently requires internet service providers to treat all online data equally. As in, they can’t charge more for highly trafficked sites, they can’t slow down service to others, provide preferential treatment to certain sites, or prioritize access to others — if it’s an ISP, they have to provide the same level of connectivity that is being paid for across all of the internet. This ensures that there is a level playing field for everyone on the internet.

(Disclaimer: that last statement is very generally speaking and in reference only to Net Neutrality — lots of other advantages do exist to companies and content creators online, but at the very damn least, access to their site and to another site that has less attention would be equal.)

Led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the Republican majority FCC now wants to roll back this order; they’re set to vote on it by December 14.

K. Not cool.

Want to know what that may look like?
Business Insider already drafted that up for us, with a bit of an in-depth look into how Portugal allows mobile data providers to handle their business. Basically, Meo, Portugal’s wireless carrier, charges for access to different apps on a tier

Portugal customers of MEO’s tariff pay for the proprietary apps, but for varying big name social apps, they have to cough up additional costs per month.

And all these big name apps? Our Net Neutrality ensures that they can’t pay off a provider to monopolize the market. Our Net Neutrality ensures a fair market for others to rise up and compete against these big names. Our Net Neutrality also ensures that people/consumers can access other avenues aside from these apps that tend to dominate the market.

It happened here. Without net neutrality, our access to applications varied with the network we were connected to. In 2012, AT&T blocked Apple’s FaceTime application for users connected to its network. Users were allowed to access the application once they connected to a different network. FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in re: Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet at 41.

And that’s just one example of how it reversing this order can turn out.

What if ISPs decide that certain sites don’t align with their political/religious/social views?
Without the Net Neutrality order, they could theoretically block access to sites like YouTube, Facebook, or even your own blog where you spew of these radical ideas of how libraries are important as fuck.
Or your digital portfolio, or your online resume…. Or your LinkedIn because there are certain companies there that they don’t agree with or haven’t paid a fee to them…
And on and on and on and on.

Net Neutrality means no blocking, no paid prioritization, no cherry picking which sites or apps get ‘fast lane’ access.

And for those assholes that say that this is all theoretical? Remind them that they’re eliminating the power of choice and they are basically making it legal for companies to silence your free speech and the free speech of others.

Don’t let this corporation-dominated FCC pull one over you.

Save the fucking internet.


Contact Congress

via Net Neutrality and some FCC BS — Urban Librarians Unite

Chapter 10: Wordpress anniversary?!

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 6.54.50 PM

Say what?! 3 years ago?

Just goes to show that blogging is not a strong point of mine! But thanks for remembering our anniversary, WordPress!

I’m nearing the end of the 3rd month of the opening of The Studio! … and its been quite a journey thus far. Short story: teens have been receptive and keep snapping about it, bringing in their friends, and some continue to come back, day in and day out, despite not living near or it being out of their way. The space is still in its “soft opening” stages, but getting it the grand opening stage is an ongoing collaborative effort across departments and sections and all that jazz..

More pics and stats to come soon!

Chapter 9, On making a teen space, part 3

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Soft opening today.

No fanfare, just … open. A room, and then room for ironing out the kinks, room for it to be slighly incomplete, but full enough to get the ball rolling.

So how is a teen space made?

Step, by step, by step, by step.

Best practices can tell you what you should start with, the attitude that you should go into this endeavor with, but you won’t know what you need and what you’re missing until you just do. 

Side note that I have to relive over and over: 1 days before soft opening: the big screen UHD TV arrives, with the Apple TV box set to arrive Friday…. and  I realize, I forgot to order the mount. Woops.

How my day went:

Continue reading “Chapter 9, On making a teen space, part 3”

Chapter 9: On Making a Teen Space, Part 1

Starting from scratch is hard, but if done right… well. I won’t know until maybe a year’s time if I really did do it right.

Hopefully among some other reasons (quieting my usual self-deprecating voice here, because Lord, imposter syndrome to the max), I was mainly hired to build up a teen tech studio, which has now been just dubbed The Studio, in the Main Library.

I’m 6 months into my position, and its been one heck of a ride. I wanted to chronicle my efforts into building up The Studio, but between actually building it up and my personal life, I haven’t gotten around to blogging about it much.

Soft opening is in 9 days.

What better time to start than now?

tl;dr – my efforts up until this point have been all over the place, between working across departments, to building up a base of regularly attending teens. 1400+ words, but with pics, so that’s cool right??

Continue reading “Chapter 9: On Making a Teen Space, Part 1”

Chapter 8: On being a mentor…

“Mentor” on my spotlight tool is defined as a highly trusted advisor.

Really, that sort of open-endedness leads me into my spiral of deep thought en la madrugada when I can’t get back to sleep.

tl;dr: with respect to youth services in librarianship, is it mentorship, or is it pseudo-parental-figureship, or is it both? and will it always be this way with working with teens and children? more than anything, mentorship hinges on the emotional connection between people.

giphy.gif
all the thoughts in the late hour!! via giphy 

2nd warning: lots of soapbox below – over 1000 rambling words.

Continue reading “Chapter 8: On being a mentor…”

Chapter 7, On being Jack Gantos’ Handler…

Ok look, lets face it: perks of being a librarian are typically getting pre-published books for review, getting new shipments of books, and …. the smell of new books and old books. Once a year, maybe you get to travel for a conference, depending on budget.

Today, was a big perk –

JackGantos

“So I have to ask. … did you really land in that pool!?!” (In The Trouble in Me).
“Yes, I really did!”
….
“I don’t have any books for you to sign… but I do want one thing. … Can we take a selfie?!”
“Of course!”
3 pictures later…
“OK, this one is Facebook worthy.”

Continue reading “Chapter 7, On being Jack Gantos’ Handler…”

A little bit of Dewey fun

Ricci’s Dewey Decimal Section:

932 Egypt to 640

Ricci = 89339 = 893+39 = 932

Class:
900 History & Geography

Contains:
Travel, biographies, ancient history, and histories of continents.

What it says about you:
You’re connected to your past and value the things that have happened to you. You’ve had some conflicted times in your life, but they’ve brought you to where you are today and you don’t ignore it.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at Spacefem.com


Ricci’s Dewey Decimal Section:

304 Factors affecting social behavior

Ricci’s birthday: 3/14/1990 = 314+1990 = 2304

Class:
300 Social Sciences

Contains:
Books on politics, economics, education and the law.

What it says about you:
You are good at understanding people and finding the systems that work for them. You like having established reasoning behind your decisions. You consider it very important for your friends to always have your back.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at Spacefem.com

Chapter 6, On starting in a new library

All of the nerves and feels are abound tonight.

I’ve been meaning to write this post, but wanted to get a grip on my thoughts and may come back to edit it several times over.

About three weeks ago, I’ve started in an unfamiliar, brand spanking new library system.

I left an organization that I had been with for 6 years (not counting the year that I was laid off) and had grown up with since my wee little toddler days.

 

I won’t bog down the post with my internal struggle except for this – many different factors, both personal and professional, led me to make this change.

 

Initially, when I applied outside of the system, I was seeking a personal-life change. After some time I pretty much then forgot I had applied for two jobs, and long after the interviews, I finally achieved some personal equilibrium. Then… much to my surprise, I was offered both positions, at about the same time (three days apart). Insert multiple pros and cons lists here, and I accepted the position I am in today due to purely professional reasons, and for this, I’m pretty proud of myself. I feel like I did not run from anything, the way I felt like when I initially applied out– I really felt like I took the time to think things through.

 

But of course, with any new job, nerves are bound to set in.

So, three weeks in, here are some of my insights and tips into beginning a new adventure in the field, whether it be moving from one organization to the next, one department to another, or getting a promotion!

 

  1. Observe, observe, observe

…before speaking first. Observation in general is key if you want to see rhythms and work culture. I’m a firm believer your coworkers are a pivotal piece to your work happiness. If you’re feeling like you’re jiving along with everyone, you may be blessed with a #workfam! – which is super awesome. But in other situations, especially in a large building with numerous departments and 200 people whose names you won’t ever hope to remember… observation prior to word vomits can help gain the respect of your colleagues. Things/policiesprocedures/organization can be different from past experience and that may be for a particular reason that is unknown to you thus far. While I often tout “I don’t care what people think!” – remember that you’re going to spending 40 hours a week in this new place, and it’ll be advantageous to adjusting to the new environment if observation comes before action/reaction.

  1. Know when it is appropriate to mention your previous job… and when it may be overkill

I’m the kind of eager beaver that will swap librarian-war stories – and talking about previous work experience is unavoidable when others ask about it especially if they know you from conference presentations and networking events.

But in certain cases, if they ask “How was Miami?” I know it is small talk. There is a big difference if they ask “How was this done in your previous location?” because they have professional curiosity and may want to see if there are ways to improve upon certain operations.

But now I’ve set up a mental counter in my head for every time I mention my previous branch in Miami, or Miami in general. I think I made it plenty clear that I love Miami, I still live in it, still use my borrowing privileges, still am part and operate a PAC that supports it. But upon entering a new organization, I think it is important to remember that previous experience should not be a clutch and should not be the bar by which to measure every and all interaction by. This new organization is not really… new anymore – it is yours. And ownership of that org and the position that you hold in it really can help acclimation.

  1. Be enthusiastic

“I got hired – I’m employable.” Reflect on this. This organization did not hire you believing that you could not complete the job. They did not hire you believing that you could only meet core competencies. They hired you because you have the capacity to rock your new job. Tell yourself this.

I’ve taken for granted the grounding that I felt just one month ago, the clout that I had, the easy rapport between other branches, the camaraderie. I am currently ungrounded, and it is downright scary. But I remain enthusiastic because I get to try my best to succeed in this new venture … and others also believed that I could – and that is exciting. Even changing systems, I have an obligation to the public, and that does not change, and it is exciting that I can explore what that means in this new place.

  1. Remember that you won’t have the keys to the kingdom… right away.

I think, see tip#1. Things won’t happen overnight, no matter how far into the deep end you are thrown.

  1. Pro-tip from a good friend and colleague: it will take a year to settle in.

I’m writing this here, but I can only hope it happens sooner rather than later.

  1. Remember, above all things: your boss…. is the public.

I’m feeling a little crazed about this one. I have a particular goal in mind, and a number of people have a hand in the project, and a number of people have a vision, and I have my own vision, and there are different personalities and politics.

It is easy to get bogged down by it all. But above all else, the programs and services that are offered are not for the library. They are for the people.

Sure, there’s a probationary period to pass – and of course, a paycheck to make sure to get – but I think if professional values are adhered to, it suddenly becomes much easier to walk with a lighter load and complete the goals at hand with everyone’s vision in tow.

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