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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Lunchtime Listen: Future Crimes

future crimes

Lunchtime Listen: Book Discussion on Future Crimes, C-SPAN, Book-TV (February 25, 2015).

Marc Goodman talks about his book, Future crimes: Everything is connected, everyone is vulnerable, and what we can do about it (New York : Doubleday, 2015), about how criminals, corporations, and governments use technology to disrupt the lives of people around the world.

Although Goodman does not address the preservation of government information, his book provides a useful context to the challenges of successfully protecting any large store of data. His analysis of the state of cyber security should make government information professionals question the wisdom of relying solely on individual government agencies to secure long-term access to essential government information.

A good alternative is to build digital FDLP collections in FDLP libraries. The LOCKSS Digital Federal Depository Library Program is one, partial, model for this because it provides duplicate copies of GPO’s FDSys distributed in more than three dozen libraries using the proven technology of the LOCKSS system.

An additional and even better model would be for more FDLP libraries to build their own digital collections of federal government documents. By building separate collections catered to the needs of their own (geographically unlimited) communities, such collections would have the added security benefit of being separately funded, separately administered and managed, and separately secured using different technologies.

Lunchtime listen: Jody DeRidder and the human side of digital preservation

I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to go to this year’s Best Practices Exchange conference — one of the best conferences for government information librarians, archivists and digital preservationists to share ideas and brainstorm about what works and what doesn’t! — so was glad that Kevin Driedger of the Preservation Imperative podcast posted his recent interview with interview with Jody DeRidder, head of digital services at University of Alabama and one of the keynote speakers to this year’s BPE — where she talked about “Mapping the digital preservation wilderness” (PDF of slides).

Jody’s interview echoed much of what we here at FGI have been talking and writing about for years. To wit, that selection (by librarians with field expertise!), collection development, and local library control of digital content are extremely important to digital preservation efforts going forward. She also noted that these preservation efforts will need to be done collaboratively — or “crowd-sourced” — because of the sheer amount that needs to be preserved.

Please take a listen to Jody’s interview. It’s well worth it!

Jody DeRidder: the human side of digital preservation

Jody DeRidder, Associate Professor and Head of Digital Services at the University of Alabama is my inaugural guest on Preservation Imperative. As I mention in the interview, she wasn’t on my radar as a potential guest for this show until I saw her presentation at the most recent Best Practices Exchange. Her presentation was titled Mapping the Digital Preservation Wilderness.

via Preservation Imperative: Jody DeRidder: the human side of digital preservation.

Lunchtime listen: will we suffer from collective “Digital Amnesia?” Are we already?!

“Digital Amnesia”! is a 45 min. video about the Internet Archive, the [[Library of Alexandria]], the longnow foundation, and the [[Royal Tropical Institute]], a Dutch government library that the government closed (all the books went to alexandria!). Some very nice sentiments here about the continuing importance of libraries to preserving both paper and digital information and what happens when the vast majority assumes wrongly that everything can be found online.

Our memory is dissipating. Hard drives only last five years, a webpage is forever changing and there’s no machine left that reads 15-year old floppy disks. Digital data is vulnerable. Yet entire libraries are shredded and lost to budget cuts, because we assume everything can be found online. But is that really true? For the first time in history, we have the technological means to save our entire past, yet it seems to be going up in smoke. Will we suffer from collective amnesia?

This VPRO Backlight documentary tracks down the amnesiac zeitgeist starting at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, whose world-famous 250-year old library was lost to budget cuts. The 400.000 Books were saved from the shredder by Ismail Serageldin, director of the world-famous Library of Alexandria, who is turning the legendary library of classical antiquity into a new knowledge hub for the digital world.

Images as well as texts risk being lost in this ‘Digital Dark Age’. In an old McDonald’s restaurant in Mountain View, CA, retired NASA engineer Dennis Wingo is trying to retrieve the very first images of the moon. Upstate New York, Jason Scott has founded The Archive Team, a network of young activists that saves websites that are at risk of disappearing forever. In San Francisco, we visit Brewster Kahle’s Internet Archive that’s going against the trend to destroy archives, and the Long Now Foundation, which has put the long-term back on the agenda by building a clock that only ticks once a year and should last 10,000 years, in an attempt to reconnect with generations thousands of years from now.

Lunchtime listen: Net Neutrality in the US: Now What?

[[Vi Hart]], best known for her amazingly clear mathematical videos on YouTube, has created this *must-see* video about [[Net Neutrality]], the principle that ISPs should treat all data on the internet equally, not discriminate or charge differentially — or worse, block or throttle certain kinds of traffic like BitTorrent!

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently mulling a new net neutrality proposal that would allow big ISPs like Comcast to discriminate. Vi Hart explains all about net neutrality, why this proposed rule is BAD, and what you can do to register your complaint with the FCC. Check it out, and send it to everyone you know!

Lunchtime listen: Barbara Fister keynote at Library Technology Conference 2014

Barbara Fister starts out her keynote — at a library technology conference no less — by saying “it’s not about technology…the work you do really is about understanding people and how they connect to one another and how they share ideas. The way we think about our purpose shapes what we do.” and she was off!

Fister touched on so many issues effecting libraries in the 21st century. The overarching themes of her talk were the universality of libraries — love the slide of the people’s library in Istanbul’s [[Taksim Gezi Park]] — the economics of information, Ranganathan’s 5 laws — which she helpfully updated! — open access publishing, core library values, and pushing back against the corporatization and commodification of information and libraries. Watch the whole way through because she drops knowledge bombs throughout!

“We’ve enabled this mass appropriation of our culture. collectively we need to find ways not just to negotiate better terms of service for ourselves but to provide an alternative to the market-driven philosophies that are distorting and corrupting our information ecosystem.”

Video streaming by Ustream

Barbara Fister has coordinated instruction at the Gustavus Adolphus College library in St. Peter, Minnesota, for over 25 years, but is still learning how to help students (and faculty) learn. She has studied students’ research processes, examined the relationship between writing and research, and teaches an upper division course on how information works.

She has written widely on open access to scholarship and is interested in the future of publishing of all kinds. Popular literacy practices and the ways reading communities form online is the subject of her upcoming sabbatical research. She also is a writer of fiction, having published three mysteries. She is on the board of the non-profit organization, Sisters in Crime, and coordinates a project to monitor gender patterns in reviews and awards within the crime genre.

You can follow Barbara’s generalist tendencies on Twitter (@bfister) and through Library Journal’s Peer to Peer Review or the Library Babel Fish blog at Inside Higher Ed.

via Keynote Speakers | Library Technology Conference 2014.