smart people use smart libraries – library ireland week

This was sent to me over Twitter and I loved it. It’s a promo for Library Ireland Week which starts March 7th by Areaman Productions.

Australian librarians and their copyright dance – puttin’ on the writs

Video of staff from the National Library of Australia performing at their 2010 Christmas party. Fun! [thanks iain!]

Heading to Portland for PLA?

Library students Turner Masland, Rebecca Chernay, Amy Frazier and Serenity Ibsen have made a delightful video The Visiting Librarian’s Guide to Portland. Donut and coffee suggestions and a lively soundtrack. And remember: Couch Street is pronounced “cooch.” Aaron Schmidt has also written a Walking Guide to Portland that is useful and the PLA Blog has a list of Portland libraries in case you’re like me and like to visit local libraries while you’re out and about.

and now for a change of pace, library 101

Please enjoy the Library 101 video and look for all your favorite librarians. Would love to see a credit list someplace.

using YouTube to promote fun library activities

So I gave a talk at NJLA, one of my favorite talks, called Advanced YouTubery. Brett Bonfield saw it and liked it and took some of the ideas to heart with this fun video promoting the Collingswood Library’s 5k race to raise money for a teen area in the library. Neat.

talks I’ve done that might be helpful to you

So, my resolution to write all new talks for 2009 is meaning I spend a lot more time on them. “All new” may be a bit of a stretch since one of my recent talks contained a part of an earlier talk, but they’re all revamped and recontextualized. I was away for eight days. I did a training at the North Country Library System — a consortium that serves many tiny libraries just like mine, only in upstate New York instead of Vermont — that was a lot of fun. I then drove down to the Jersey Shore for one of my favorite library conferences, NJLA.

I don’t know exactly why NJLA is always so fun. I think it’s a combination of a well-organized and fun conference put on by an organization that doesn’t seem to be going broke and held in a neat location. The New Jersey librarians I have met there are a mix of older and younger librarians who seem to work and play well together. Maybe it’s just that they get my jokes. I did a talk about how to do some advanced stuff on YouTube and then also did an expansion of the Firefox talk that I did at Computers in Libraries.

As always my slides, notes and links are online and you can see them on these two pages.

Enjoy and if you came to any of these talks, thanks for being such a great audience.

ACLU: Internet content filters, not for governments to decide

“Government imposed censorship is very different from censorship imposed by a parent.”
“Internet content filtering does in fact have flaws… It overblocks.”

Thanks to Sarah for the heads up and kudos for the ACLU using your research. I find that numbers, not emotional appeals are what are going to really help make the case against governmentally-mandated filters. Here’s hoping.

What happens in a copyright dispute on YouTube?

One the the benefits of my free agent status is that I can occasionally push the envelope on certain rules in a spirit of “see what happens” realizing that some small town in Vermont won’t be bankrupted if I get sued. I’ve often said that I’d like to see more civil disobedience from libraries concerning copyright legislation (especially concerning public performance rights to movies and ability to make copies of our own content) but it’s not happening quickly. That said, as you may know, I make some videos and have put them on YouTube. One of them was popular for a little while. Sadly, that one had a soundtrack from a Beausoleil album that I liked and did not have permission to use. The other much less popular video was just some shots out the window driving in a rainstorm while listening to the radio. The song in question comes on the radio for about the last minute of my video.

Last week I got an email from YouTube saying… I don’t still have the email but in short their Video Identification tool had matched a song in two of my videos and my videos had immediately been removed from public viewing. My options were to 1. delete the audio and/or use their AudioSwap feature to replace it 2. dispute the copyright claim on a few grounds 3. delete the video. I opted to try AudioSwap for my popular video, sort of sad because it removes my voiceover and other sound effects, but decent because it’s a better option than removing the video entirely. I replaced the soundtrack with a free track from AudioSwap. If I felt like I had time and energy I’d write to Michael Doucet and see if he’d give me permission, but it’s probably not even him but his record company, etc. The AudioSwap interface is clunky and may or may not put an advertisement in your video (and hasn’t worked yet for me but I keep trying) but it’s a good option to have.

In the second case, I really feel like I have a decent Fair Use case, so I filled out this form. The form says that I think the clip is fair use under copyright law. It’s my responsibility to “understand the law” according to YouTube, and that is my understanding of it. I had to “sign” it and also type [well copy/paste] the line that says I’m not intentionally abusing the dispute process. After I did that, I was sent to this help article to see what will happen next. The article warns

If the content owner disagrees with your dispute for any reason, they will have the option to submit a copyright takedown notice which will result in the disabling of your video and/or penalties against your account. To avoid penalization, only submit legitimate dispute claims.

So, we’ll see. I think I’m right. I hope the copyright holder thinks so too. At the very least they will be bored with four minutes of windshield rainstorm before they even hear their song and even then they’ll probably be straining saying “Is that it?” At the worst, I’ll get some sort of “penalty against my account” of unspecified awfulness. So, for those of you too timid to try this at home, or possibly being cavalier about the audio you swipe, that’s my report of the consequences … so far.

holiday antics from the National Library of Australia

“Staff from the National Library of Australia performing Thriller at the 2008 staff Christmas party”

something fun for a rainy Tuesday

Hi there — I’ve been answering a lot of Palin-related email over the past few days and getting ready for some upcoming travel. I found this link during non-work-related web surfing and enjoyed the fact that it’s a fun, possibly awesome YouTube video that got the attention of the Guardian’s film critic and it was put together by Alonzo Mosley (pseud.) a self-described librarian in Florida who did the research that makes it so terrific. Here’s his blog where he’s also recently posted a centennial edition of the 100 movies, 100 quotes video.