UCLA is in the middle of discussions with the Association for Information and Media Equipment over UCLA’s use of streaming videos and video clips in their online course materials. While teachers have shown videos in classes since there have been videos, the embedding of copyrighted videos in online course, even password-protected course areas, is causing new copyright discussions. While UCLA feels that the TEACH Act of 2003 applies in this case, they are nonetheless ceasing to embed videos in online courses while they try to work out a settlement. Inside Higher Ed has a longer discussion of the issues involved in this article. One of the more interesting wrinkles is that copying a DVD in order to stream it online violates the DMCA which is not covered by the TEACH Act.
Unlike most news content online, the comments really add to the discussion happening here and I suggest checking them out. [via molly]
Sarah Glassmeyer has some great advice for people in the profession who are looking for mentoring or considering being a mentor. I find that aside from more official ALA sorts of set-ups, there are a lot of opportunities to help people who are newer to the profession sort of get their sea legs and sometimes it’s incredibly useful to give/get a “reality check” about what is considered normal in the workplace. I know I’ve benefitted greatly from other more expereinced librarians and technology folks giving me their read on a situation and I like to think I can do the same for others.
First off, I’d like to point out this question from Ask MetaFilter which asks the age old question “I am trying to automate my small school/church/club library. What software should I use?” I gave a few answers, as did a few other people, but the short answer is “There’s no good tool for this” as near as I can tell. Please let me know if I’m wrong.
A few more links people sent me over the last week or so.
Aaron Schmidt has a column in Library Journal about user experience. Here is his first column. The ideas of design and user experience seem sometimes orthogonal to what we do in libraries. We are concerned with content not containers, you know “judging a book by its cover” and all that. Aaron explains why design matters and how it pervades many aspects of what we do. Sarah got the best pullquote out of it already
Every time librarians create a bookmark, decide to house a collection in a new spot, or figure out how a new service might work, they’re making design decisions. This is what I like to call design by neglect or unintentional design. Whether library employees wear name tags is a design decision. The length of loan periods and whether or not you charge fines is a design decision. Anytime you choose how people will interact with your library, you’re making a design decision. All of these decisions add up to create an experience, good or bad, for your patrons.
This comes up in my technology-instruction world quite often. Many things about how a user interacts with a computer are pre-determined or at least have a default setting. So the talking paperclip? Someone made a choice that you would see that, instead of having it be a turn-onable option. The “your computer may be at risk!” messages? You can turn them off but the default is ON. These are all choices, actively or passively made. My feeling is that the more we explain to people that they can re-make some of these choices [get the talking dog away from the search box!] it empowers them to envision their computing experience the way they might want it to be, to know they have choices.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit agains the Library of Congress for terminating a CRS Assistant Director for writing a letter to the editor for the Washington post and an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. Colonel Morris D. Davis was, prior to his CRS position, responsible for the prosecution of suspected terrorists held at GuantaÌnamo Bay.
62. Because of his former position as the Chief Prosecutor for the military commissions, Col. Davis is regularly asked to comment on GuantaÌnamo and the military commissions system. Col. Davis believes he has a unique perspective to add to this debate, and he would like to convey his insights and opinions to the public. Since he was informed that he was being terminated by CRS, however, Col. Davis has declined numerous opportunities to speak publicly about military commissions issues out of fear that he could be subject to further retaliation by the Library and [CRS Director Daniel] Mulhollan.
63. The decision to terminate Col. Davis for his speech has intimidated and chilled other CRS employees from speaking and writing in public. CRS employees are confused, uncertain, and fearful about what outside speaking and writing is permissible.
64. As a result of the Libraryâ€™s and Mr. Mulhollanâ€™s actions, Col. Davis has suffered, and/or will suffer, both economic and non-economic losses, emotional distress, and other compensable damages.