Planet Code4Lib

NDSA Welcomes Three New Members / Digital Library Federation

As of 14 June 2022, the NDSA Leadership unanimously voted to welcome its three most recent applicants into the membership. Each new member brings a host of skills and experience to our group. Keep an eye out for them on your calls and be sure to give them a shout out. Please join me in welcoming our new members.

Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Inc.

Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator supports contemporary emerging artists who explore and experiment with new forms and themes that challenge traditional definitions of Caribbean and Latin American art. Diaspora Vibe is an IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) awardee that has worked in partnership with the University of Miami’s Special Collections and Digital Library of the Caribbean at Florida International University to preserve, digitize, and increase access to its archive focusing on artists from the Caribbean and Latin American Diaspora.

Rochester Institute of Technology Libraries

RIT Libraries has been committed to and engaged in digital preservation activities for seven years. They are excited to become active and engaged members of NDSA in order to learn and develop strategies that will enable them to make a stronger case locally for development and implementation of a digital preservation infrastructure. They are most interested in the areas of infrastructure, sustainability, and standards and best practices.

University of Texas at Arlington Libraries

UTA Libraries focuses on web archives using Archive-It, preserving born-digital related to the collecting areas of UTA Special Collections in the UTA Libraries Digital Archive, powered by Preservica, and preserving data in the Mavs Dataverse with the assistance of the Texas Digital Library. They are excited to be a part of the larger international conversation surrounding digital preservation, staying up-to-date with technological change, and monitoring new developments in the digital preservation field.

Posted by Hannah Wang, Vice Chair of the NDSA Coordinating Committee on behalf of the Coordinating Committee


The post NDSA Welcomes Three New Members appeared first on DLF.

Pseudonymity And Cooperation / David Rosenthal

Ever since I explained the reasons why in 2014's Economies of Scale in Peer-to-Peer Networks, I have been pointing out that Bitcoin isn't decentralized, it is centralized around five or fewer large mining pools. Ethereum is even more centralized; last November two pools controlled the majority of Ethereum mining. On 13th June 2014 GHash controlled 51% of the Bitcoin mining power. The miners understood that this looked bad, so they split into a few large pools. But there is nothing to stop these pools coordinating their activities. As Vitalik Buterin wrote:
can we really say that the uncoordinated choice model is realistic when 90% of the Bitcoin network’s mining power is well-coordinated enough to show up together at the same conference?
and Makarov and Schoar wrote:
Six out of the largest mining pools are registered in China and have strong ties to Bitmain Techonologies, which is the largest producer of Bitcoin mining hardware
Although as I write it is still true that 5 pools control the majority of Bitcoin mining (and 3 pools control the majority of Ethereum mining), over the last 18 months there has been a significant change in the traceability of Bitcoin mining pools. The graph shows that the proportion of pools actively obfuscating their identities has increased, so that "unknown" has been close to and occasionally above 50% of the Bitcoin mining power. It was bad enough that "trustless" meant trusting 4-5 pools, mostly in cahoots with Bitmain. But now "trustless" means trusting a group of miners who are actively hiding their identities and, for all you know, could be one large confederation. Alternatively, they could fear attacks from other miners!

Earlier this month How ‘Trustless’ Is Bitcoin, Really? by Siobhan Roberts drew attention to Cooperation among an anonymous group protected Bitcoin during failures of decentralization by Alyssa Blackburn et al that pushed Bitcoin's centralization problem back to its earliest days. Below the fold I discuss the details.

Roberts writes:
Ms. Blackburn said her project was agnostic to Bitcoin’s pros and cons. Her goal was to pierce the scrim of anonymity, track the transaction flow from Day 1 and study how the world’s largest cryptoeconomy emerged.
Blackburn and her co-authors examined the Bitcoin blockchain using newly developed address-linking techniques:
to achieve both high specificity (>99%) and high sensitivity (>99%), enabling us to study the bitcoin community in detail between launch (January 3rd2009) and parity with the US Dollar (February 9th2011). The end of this period was also punctuated by the launch of the Silk Road, an online, bitcoin-based, black market. This interval captures bitcoin’s transition from a digital object with no value to a functional monetary system.

Using these address-linking techniques, we show that the bitcoin blockchain makes it possible to explore the socioeconomic behavior of bitcoin’s participants. We find that, in line with the findings of Vilfredo Pareto (20) in 1896 (and subsequent studies of many national economies), wealth, income, and resources in the bitcoin community were highly centralized. This threatened bitcoin’s security, which relies on decentralization, routinely enabling agents to perform a 51% attack that would allow double-spending of the same bitcoins. The result was a social dilemma for bitcoin’s participants: whether to benefit unilaterally from attacks on the currency, or to act in the interest of the collective. Strikingly, participants declined to perform a 51% attack in every case, instead choosing to cooperate.
They showed that early mining was concentrated:
Between launch and dollar parity, most of the bitcoin was mined by only 64 agents, collectively accounting for ₿2,676,800 (PV: $84 billion). This is 1000-fold smaller than prior estimates of the size of the early Bitcoin community (75,000) (13). In total, our list included 210 agents with a substantial economic interest in bitcoin during this period (defined as agents that mined bitcoin worth >$2,000 at the time.) It is striking that the early bitcoin community created a functional medium of exchange despite having very few core participants.
And that, as a result, inequality was rampant:
We plotted the distribution of bitcoin mining income on log-log axes during six time intervals between the launch of bitcoin (January, 3, 2009) and when it achieved parity with the US dollar (February, 9, 2011). A power law was visible in each interval. The presence of this distribution in Interval 1 implies the emergence of Pareto distributions within four months of bitcoin’s launch. (See Fig 2.) This underlines the degree of centralization of the bitcoin blockchain, and highlights that Pareto distributions can emerge extremely rapidly.
Blackburn and her co-authors have shown that two current aspects of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the lack of decentralization and the extreme Gini coefficients*, are not later emergent phenomena, but were present right from the start. These results are not surprising. Consider that, before the source code was published, Nakamoto was the sole miner and owner of Bitcoin. The Gini coefficient was 1 and one miner controlled 100% of the mining power. The interesting question is not why early mining and ownership was concentrated, but rather what forces drove them to become somewhat less concentrated and how effective were these forces?.

As regard mining, the observation that there were few initial miners and many mined only intermittently is easy to understand. The community of cipherpunks that was Nakamoto's audience was small and tight-knit. No-one could make an immediate profit minng, so at first only the true believers mined. Mining consumed 100% of a computer that was needed for other uses, so most were not mining 24/7. Note also that there may have been many who tried mining, but discovered that their computer wasn't fast enough to compete, leaving no trace in the blockchain for later researchers to see.

As regards inequality, at first there were few transactions. The only way to obtain significant Bitcoin holdings was to mine them, and there was nothing on which to spend them, so HODL-ing was the order of the day. Newly mined bitcoins accrued to the few true enthusiasts willing to devote a powerful computer to mining.

The concentration of mining power led to many opportunities for 51% attacks. Figure 5 shows that from January:
Until December 2009, the agent with the most computational power (at the time this was Agent #1, Satoshi Nakamoto) had sufficient resources to perform a 51% attack.
Figure 5b
In particular:
During a weeklong period from September 29, 2010 and October 4, 2010, the agent with the most computational power (no longer Satoshi Nakamoto, but instead Agent #2) has enough resources to perform a 51% attack during several 6+ hour long windows. Agent #2 declines to perform a 51% attack, and instead continues to exhibit cooperative behavior.
Figure 5c
This allowed the authors to:
estimate the effective population size of the decentralized bitcoin network by counting the frequency of streaks in which all blocks are mined by one agent (bottom-left) or two agents (bottom-right). These are compared to the expected values for idealized networks comprising P agents with identical resources. The comparisons suggest an effective population size of roughly 5, a tiny fraction of the total number of participants. The grayed out region corresponds to an expected value of less than one streak; for instance, given an effective population of 25 agents, a unilateral streak of length 6 should never be observed in the two-year interval we studied. In fact, we observe 21 such streaks.
Again, this is not a surprise. The fact that consistently productive mining required a dedicated, powerful computer explains why the total productive mining population was about 64 and the effective mining population was about 5. The same fact explains why mining was restricted to Bitcoin enthusiasts, dedicated to making the system work and thus unwilling to subvert it for what were, at the time, paltry financial rewards compared to the prospect of owning a significant fraction of the total future Internet currency. During the period to 9th February 2011 the block reward was 50 BTC, the first "halvening" was on 28th November 2012, by which time about half of all possible Bitcoin had been mined. Thus the theoretical cost of a 6-block 51% attack was 300 BTC, or less than $300. But the potential benefit was limited by the difficulty of spending Bitcoin. Even if one of the 64 agents did not care about the progress of the coin "to the moon", the reward for malfeasance was inadequate.

It is important to note that most analyses of mining behavior assume a relatively homogeneous set of miners. This is not true, and Blackburn et al provide a striking example:
The most protracted vulnerability was in early October 2010, when Agent #2 could have performed a 51% attack during five six-hour periods ... Agent #2 was among the first users to accelerate the bitcoin-transaction-validation process (mining) by employing general-purpose graphical processing units
The most interesting of Blackburn et al's results is:
We show that our top 64 agents are extremely central to the contemporary bitcoin transaction network, such that nearly all addresses (>99%) can be linked to a top agent via a chain of less than 6 transactions (31-33). These network properties have unintended privacy consequences, because they make the network much more vulnerable to deanonymization using a “follow-the-money” approach. In this approach, the identity of a target bitcoin address can be ascertained by identifying a short transaction path linking it to an address whose identity is known, and then using off-chain data sources (ranging from public data to subpoenas) to walk along the path, determining who-paid-whom to de-identify addresses until the target address is identified.

A key limitation of the follow-the-money approach is the need to identify a known agent who is connected to the target address via a short path. Our results imply that, were the identities of the 64 top agents to become known, it would become easy to identify short transaction paths linking any target address to an already de-identified top agent address. This could adversely affect the privacy of bitcoin transactions. Similar vulnerabilities were identified in a recent preprint studying the Ethereum transaction network (2 million addresses), suggesting that many cryptocurrencies may be susceptible to follow-the-money attacks
The "recent preprint" is Percolation framework reveals limits of privacy in Conspiracy, Dark Web, and Blockchain networks by Louis M. Shekhtman et al who:
apply our framework to three real-world networks: (1) a blockchain transaction network, (2) a network of interactions on the dark web, and (3) a political conspiracy network. We find that in all three networks, beginning from one compromised individual, it is possible to deanonymize a significant fraction of the network (> 50%) within less than 5 steps. Overall these results provide guidelines for investigators seeking to identify actors in anonymous networks, as well as for users seeking to maintain their privacy.
Their framework shows:
that the question of anonymity between network actors, and the corresponding ability of a party seeking to deanonymize the individuals based on information from their neighbors, can be solved using tools and methods of percolation from statistical physics ... Furthermore, we demonstrate that classical quantities from statistical physics have important meanings and provide crucial information on the scope to which anonymity can be maintained among individuals in real hidden networks.
Shekhtman et al write:
While some approaches have considered deanonymizing the individuals behind nodes in a network ..., these have typically related to specific encrypted protocols and users have found ways to overcome these issues. In contrast, our approach is fundamental to the nature of privacy when interacting in a network i.e., when interacting with another party, a user often must reveal some identifying information. Using our general framework demonstrated in Fig 1 and based on the topologies of three real hidden networks, we are able to quantify the extent to which this information can be exploited and thus reveal how individuals can be unwittingly identified by their neighbors who failed to remain anonymous.
As applied to cryptocurrencies, the problem for the user is that their pseudonymity depends not just on their own operational security, over which they have some control, but also on the operational security of every other wallet with which their wallets transact, over which they have no control. In other words, pseudonymity requires cooperation. In the same way that informal cooperation was needed to maintain the security of the blockchain, informal cooperation in maintaining operational security is necesary. Unfortunately, it is too hard for ordinary mortals.

Cory Doctoriow made the same point in the context of cryptography generally in The Best Defense Against Rubber-Hose Cryptanalysis:
First, there is the attacker’s advantage. For you to perfectly defend your cryptographic privacy, you must make no mistakes. You must have perfect math, implemented in perfect code, on perfect hardware. You must choose a robust passphrase and never expose it to a third party (say, by keying it in within sight of a hidden camera, or where a sneaky keylogger can capture it).

Not only that, but everyone you communicate with has to be perfect, too — security is a team sport, and if your fellow dissident has a weak passphrase that reveals the contents of your group chat, it doesn’t matter if everyone else in your cell practiced better secrecy hygiene.

The defender has to be perfect, but the attacker need only find a single imperfection. For a spy agency to attack you successfully, they need only wait, and wait, and wait, until you slip up. You will be tired, hunted, demoralized. They will have well-paid operatives who rotate off shift every eight hours and can rewind and review their intercepts when their attention wavers.
Doctorow continues:
Can cryptocurrency resist tyranny? Sure. Of course it can. It’s not hugely practical for this purpose, but cryptocurrency has some utility in defeating financial censorship.
But any accounting of the peripheral role cryptocurrency plays in fighting despotism has to also include the central role that financial secrecy plays in promoting despotism.

Cryptocurrency — and other unregulated financial products —have decentralized many bank-like functions, but they have only increased the centralization of wealth.

When it comes to the rule of law, that is the only centralization that matters. For governments to be accountable to the public, they need to be reliant on the public for their legitimacy.

The best defense against rubber-hose cryptanalysis is a political process that answers to voters, not donors. Every billionaire isn’t merely a policy failure: every billionaire is an engine for producing policy failures.

* Note that the Pareto distribution describes the inequality of income whereas the Gini coefficient describes the inequality of wealth. But the difficulty of spending Bitcoin in this early period means that unequal income causes unequal wealth.

Introducing: Legal and Ethical Considerations for Born-Digital Access / Digital Library Federation

This blog is part of a series comprising a set of guidelines or primers addressing ten complex legal and ethical issues involved in providing access to born-digital archival records. For more information see:

The DLF Born-Digital Access Working Group is excited to share a new published resource: Legal and Ethical Considerations for Born-Digital Access.

This document comprises a set of guidelines for thinking through the complex legal and ethical issues involved in providing access to born-digital archival records (1). The authors provide practical guidance that practitioners and institutions can use to implement legal and ethical access practices. This guidance is grounded in two foundational beliefs: 

  1. There is a potential to harm individuals, communities, and institutions if access is not thoughtfully and strategically viewed through an ethical and legal lens; and 
  2. It is not ethical to restrict access unnecessarily.

The project started from needs shared during
BDAWG’s lunch session at the 2019 Digital Library Federation Forum, where many attendees agreed that their biggest barrier to access was appraisal activities. We shared anxieties about how much to review or what to look for before providing access to large datasets. With funding hard to come by for processing born-digital collections, archivists have been burned in the past when they tried to fulfill their access mandate without the staff or resources to appraise the material before providing access. Meanwhile, the size, scale, and breadth of born-digital collections continues to increase. Faced with these challenges, putting access to born-digital in a “we’ll have to think about that later” bucket is a popular survival tactic for archivists, curators, and library staff. 

How can archivists, curators, librarians, and institutions protect themselves and the subjects in their collections from unintended sensitive data breaches without taking an item-level approach to processing?

This research project attempts to take a first step toward answering that question. Our publication brings together research about many common access restrictions and sensitivities found in archival collections, differentiates how these restrictions may show up in born-digital collections, condenses information into a few pages of material on each topic, and tries to provide concrete steps that workers and organizations can take to mitigate risk when providing access. Our goal is to promote access to born-digital materials despite all of these barriers, and that starts with talking to your donors, building infrastructure, and adopting thoughtful processing procedures.

This blog post is the first in a series that will explore each topical area addressed in the publication:

  • Attorney-Client privilege
  • Copyright
  • Culturally Sensitive Materials
  • Donor Agreement
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Institutionally Mandated Confidentiality
  • Personal Identifying Information (PII)
  • Privacy
  • Terms of Service
  • Finding Support

Within each topical section, the following aspects are addressed:

  • Overview of the topic
  • Collections the issue is most likely to impact
  • Actions for the archivist to take
  • Actions for the institution to take
  • Technical infrastructure to manage restrictions and access
  • Legal considerations 
  • Ethical considerations
  • Case studies
  • Additional resources 

The publication is the result of a collaborative research effort by the Legal Due Diligence Subteam of the Digital Library Federation Born-Digital Access Working Group. The Legal Due Diligence Subteam was established in 2020 to assess issues around privacy, copyright, and other legal and ethical challenges related to providing access to born-digital archival records, and to share this assessment in a centralized place. The Subteam consists of six members:

Jessika Drmacich
Records Manager & Digital Resources Archivist, Williams College

Kate Dundon
Supervisory Archivist, University of California Santa Cruz

Jess Farrell
Community Facilitator, Educopia Institute

Christina Velazquez Fidler
Digital Archivist, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Camille Tyndall Watson
Product Owner, NoveList, a division of EBSCO Information Services

Hannah Wang
Community Facilitator & Project Manager, Educopia Institute

This document has received multiple rounds of peer review. We thank the library and archives community for providing insightful feedback. Reviewers who contributed to this document are identified in the publication.  

The BDAWG Legal Due Diligence Subteam would like to extend our thanks to everyone who made this ambitiously scoped document a community effort! Keep an eye out for monthly posts on different aspects of legal and ethical due diligence for born-digital access!

(1)  Born-digital refers to information created in a computer environment, as opposed to digitized archival material.

The post Introducing: Legal and Ethical Considerations for Born-Digital Access appeared first on DLF.

6 things that you can do as a manager to create more inclusive environments for trans and non-binary staff / Tara Robertson

The increasing attacks on trans and non-binary human rights in the US both anger and scare me. Right now there are over 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the US, with 200 bills in the United States that are attacking trans youth. As a manager, you don’t have control over national or state legislation, but you can set the tone for inclusion on your team and make a big difference for the people you manage. 

While we don’t have exact numbers of trans and non-binary people, according to a poll from Gallup there are more people identifying as LGBTQ than ever before, especially with younger generations. 1 in every 300 Canadians identifies as trans or non-binary and many believe the actual number is higher. The 2021 census in Canada was the first time any country included trans and non-binary people and I anticipate we will see more countries do this. 

I surveyed nearly 50 trans and/or non-binary people about their advice for how managers can create inclusive environments on teams. Here are six things that you can do to create a more inclusive work environment for trans and/or non-binary staff. 

1. Encourage pronoun-sharing, but don’t make them mandatory 

Managers can lead by example. Encourage others to include their pronouns, but don’t require them as it might put trans or non-binary people on the spot. Share your own pronouns: 

  • when introducing yourself at a meeting
  • in your email signature
  • in the staff directory
  • in your display name on Zoom
  • on Slack
  • on your access badge 
  • on conference nametags

A few more tips for more respectful pronoun use: 

Don’t use dated terminology. Survey respondent EL advises, “Don’t ask for someone’s “preferred” name and/or “preferred” pronouns. Ask for their name, and pronouns.” 

Be consistent. Deon recommends managers consistently use people’s correct name and pronouns, even if they’re not in the room, and in all written communication. Deon shares that “it was discouraging to find out my boss was using my preferred name to my face, but my deadname in files/emails that referred to me. Trust me, it’s way more confusing for people to refer to someone by two different names than to just make the switch to their preferred name.” 

If you mess up, apologize succinctly, correct yourself, and move on. Resist the urge to tell a long story explaining why you think you made the error — it’s not about you. If you’re noticing a pattern of getting names or pronouns wrong, either with yourself or others, set up accountability buddies to help you get it right without putting extra work on the trans or non-binary person to constantly correct you. 


How To Affirm the People in Your Life Who Use Multiple Sets of Pronouns includes stories of 10 people who use varied pronouns and how to respect them. 

2. Use inclusive language and foster inclusion broadly 

The words we chose to use are powerful and signal who is welcome and included. Rowan encourages managers to “lead by example and do their best to remove gender biases from their vocabulary.” This could include removing phrases like “you guys” and “ladies” from your vocabulary. Instead, use inclusive terms like “everyone,” “team,” or “folks.” Avoid binary phrases like “ladies and gentlemen” and “men and women” as they exclude non-binary people.


Better Allies has a recommendation of how to create a Slackbot that flags non-inclusive language and suggests alternatives.

3. Don’t tokenize trans or non-binary people 

Like any group of people, trans or non-binary people might be keen to share their singular experience with the team, but don’t assume that they want to — or even can — be the spokesperson for all trans or non-binary people. Dre describes their best manager ever as someone who “Didn’t treat me differently or make a big deal about my identity. Like he didn’t make me the spokesperson or poster child.” Similarly, Sacha says “It’s nice to create diverse teams but also make sure their voices are heard. But also don’t reduce us to our ‘gender specialty‘.”

Also: people will have different lived experiences because of intersecting marginalized identities, including race, age, disability, and more. B. Reid Lewis points out that “someone who is white and was AFAB (assigned female at birth) has a radically different experience than someone who is Black and was AMAB (assigned male at birth).” People also have different life experiences, educational experience, and interests in life, so one trans or non-binary person can’t speak for all trans or non-binary people.

Grant says, “Honestly, it’s about treating me like a person regardless of my identity. I don’t need the fact that I’m trans to be broadcast to everyone who will listen. While my lived experience/identity is important, I value my skills and contributions being recognized much more.”


B Reid Lewis’ post 5 Ways to Make Your Organization More Welcoming to Non-Binary People is based on their own experience.  

4. Listen to and advocate for your staff

Managers can advocate for staff both inside and outside their team. A survey respondent said that after they came out as non-binary at work, their manager handled conversations with teammates, other people in the company, and external clients around their name and pronouns. Before doing this, check with the person to see if this kind of intervention would be welcomed and helpful. Naomi emphasizes that “every trans and non-binary person will have different needs (just like cis folks), so the ability to listen cannot be understated.”

Nate Shalev shared that “The best manager I’ve had gave me the space and opportunity to show up just as I was. I’m an autistic trans person and I’m also a great facilitator and leader. This means that sometimes I need the space to not participate and recharge and sometimes I need to be in the front of the room leading a training.” 

Tobey Aumann describes their experience in a leadership training program that included an online assessment of strengths and leadership style but the report that was generated only had binary pronoun options. Tobey’s manager “went to bat with HR who had sourced the program; when the provider said they weren’t able to make any changes, the pilot was canceled and an alternative provider was brought on. I was further reassured by my manager that this was not just for my sake, but for anyone who might go through the training.” 


Bloomberg’s post on how to be a more inclusive ally, colleage and friend to transgender people has some clear definitions and useful advice.  

5. Advocate for systemic change in your organization 

As a manager you are well positioned to advocate for systemic changes in your organization. 

CJ’s advice is to “Do the work. Recognize that you are learning (it’s life long after all) and don’t stop there. Put what you are learning to work/bring it into action. This can look like so many things; preferred names as email addresses, in online systems, when mail is issued from work, names on credit cards, etc.“

Other organization wide changes you might advocate for could include:

  • Gender neutral bathrooms and change rooms
  • Gender neutral dress codes
  • Updating contracts, especially employment contracts, to have they/them as a pronoun option
  • Working with your Learning and Development team to make training about gender diversity available to everyone
  • Asking HR if the mandatory sexual harassment training includes examples of trans or non-binary people
  • Working with your Benefits team to make sure your health benefits 
  • Creating a working group to audit policy documents

Sharoon encourages managers to “Move from performative actions (adding pronouns to email signatures) to making sustained change (policy audit, professional development, accountability mechanisms).”


The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has a toolkit for employers that covers topics like benefits, bathrooms, pronouns, and more. 

TransFocus offers an excellent and affordable Gender Diversity Basics Mini-Course

6. Acknowledge what’s going on in the world

The last few years have changed the boundaries of what we talk about at work. If we want a workplace where all kinds of people feel like they really belong we need to acknowledge the things that are going on in the world that could be impacting people when they show up at work.

Amanda Mitchell shared “On days when transphobic laws are passed or policies are enacted, I’d *love* for a cisgender member of my team to say something like, “Do you need some space?” but more often than not, no one around me has any clue about recent developments, and the overall mood on the team is the same as on “normal” days.”

Sophie suggests allies can showing up for Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilliance (November 20) and International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 30). There are likely community events happening near you, and there might even be internal events at your company.

When traumatic things happen in the world, like transphobic violence or legal attacks on trans rights, check in with your staff. Different people will have different needs and those might change over time. As a manager, ask open-ended questions about what your staff person needs, work to accommodate those, and remind them of mental health resources that are part of your benefits. Kyle Inselman says “I am out at work, and I appreciate that when colleagues and supervisors have done the work to learn about trans people, I get to talk about what’s going on in my life and my community without feeling like I need to educate others in the moment.” 


Raw Signal Group wrote this advice to managers in November 2020 after the US election results were unclear. It’s good advice for managers for checking in when hard or scary things are happening in the world. 

Learn more about Transgender Day of Resilliance through art created by trans people of color

The post 6 things that you can do as a manager to create more inclusive environments for trans and non-binary staff appeared first on Tara Robertson Consulting.

Registration is Now Open for CLIR’s 2022 Events, Keynotes Announced / Digital Library Federation

Join us in Baltimore October 9-13, 2022; October 9: Learn@DLF; October 10-12: DLF Forum; October 12-13: NDSA's Digital Preservation and the Digitizing Hidden Collections Symposium

The Council on Library and Information Resources is delighted to announce that we have opened registration for our in-person conferences happening in Baltimore, Maryland this October: the Digital Library Federation’s (DLF) Forum and Learn@DLF, NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2022: Preserving Legacy, and CLIR’s Digitizing Hidden Collections Symposium.

Our events will take place on the following dates:

We’re also very excited to announce the
keynote speakers for all of our events:

  • David Nemer and Meredith Broussard will be in conversation, moderated by Sara Mannheimer
  • Dorothy Berry will keynote DigiPres with “Keeping Whose History, For Whom: Writing the Stories Digital Preservation Tells”
  • Michelle Caswell will keynote the Digitizing Hidden Collection Symposium with “‘So that Future Organizers Won’t Have to Reinvent the Wheel’: Activating Digital Archives for Liberatory Uses”

the early bird rate, register for Learn@DLF workshops, book your hotel, browse our new community-written Baltimore local guide, and start planning for yet another memorable week with CLIR. 

Learn more about our events and keynotes on the DLF Forum Blog.

Register Today

If you have any questions, please write to us at forum@diglib.orgIf you’d like to know more about our Covid-19 Health Protocols, click here. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Baltimore this fall.

-Team DLF

P.S. Want to stay updated on all things #DLFforum? Subscribe to our Forum newsletter and follow us at @CLIRDLF on Twitter.

The post Registration is Now Open for CLIR’s 2022 Events, Keynotes Announced appeared first on DLF.

Fedora Newsletter – June 2022 / DuraSpace News

Summer’s almost here! Welcome to the June edition of the Fedora Newsletter. This past month we were able to get on the road and see some familiar faces at Open Repositories in Denver, CO. We also met some new folks and want to welcome them with open arms to our community. Read on for more about what’s happening.


Membership – Your support is valuable!

Fedora is an open-source, community-supported program funded entirely by membership contributions. As we move in to membership renewals for FY2022-23, we wanted to thank all of our financial sponsors who continue to actively support this vital piece of software, used by countless institutions across the globe. Your funding supports our staff who work to develop, teach, engage and support all active Fedora users. Without our members, we would not be able to support the preservation of the vital content contained within the repositories of our users. Find out how you can help. Learn more and become a member today!

Fedora at Open Repositories

For the first time in 2 years, Open Repositories was held in-person in Denver, CO and we were fortunate enough to be able to participate in a variety of ways at the conference. This was an exciting opportunity to be able to reconnect with our users, meet new faces and share Fedora 6.0 with attendees.

A special thanks to the following community members for supporting the program during the event:

  • Jared Whiklo, University of Manitoba – Introduction to Fedora Workshop/Technical support
  • Robin Ruggaber, University of Virginia -IMLS Grant Update Poster Session Participant
  • Jon Dunn, Indiana University – Repository Rodeo Fedora Representative

Check us out:

Members of Fedora Governance & Strategic Planning Committee at Open Repositories in Denver, CO

Robin Ruggaber, University of Virginia, and Arran Griffith, Fedora Program Manager, present their poster – IMLS Grant Update: Fedora Migration Paths & Tools – A Pilot Project.

Jon Dunn, Indiana University, presents on behalf of Fedora at the Repository Rodeo session.

It’s Official – Fedora 6.2 is ready to go!

This month we officially launched the most current version of the software – Fedora 6.2. It is available for downloading and use at:

6.2 Features and Highlights:

  • Newly added stats end point
    • View resources in your repository by things like mime type and byte count
  • Asynchronous repository initialization
    • Rebuild operation outside of the web application initialization flow so that users can start up Fedora and query the API without having to wait for the rebuild operation to complete

All other release notes and details can be found on the fcrepo GitHub page here:…fcrepo-6.2.0

Where to Find Us

August – IslandoraCon, Charlottetown, PEI Canada

Presentation:    IMLS Grant – Fedora Migration Paths and Tools: A Pilot Project

September – iPres 2022, Glasgow, Scotlanld

Workshop:        Welcome to Fedora 6.0: Features, Migration Support & Integrations for Community Use Cases

Thinking about heading to iPres? The Fedora Team is still seeking info on interest on travel to Scotland in a SURVEY HERE. We are seeking the community’s thoughts on a Fedora gathering in conjunction with the conference dates (Sept 12-16, 2022) and are using the survey information to plan accordingly.

See a conference you want to attend and have a collaborative idea you’d like to work with the Fedora team on? Email us at We would love to work together on join presentations to help bring Fedora to more users.

What’s Happening in Our Partner Communities


  • Call for Proposals for is now open for Samvera Connect 2022 taking place at the University of Notre Dame from October 24-27, 2022. Submit your proposal here until Aug 8, 2022.
  • Hyku 4.0 released featuring:
    • Cross-site search, theming enhancements, in-app with ENV defaults configuration process
    • See full release notes here:


  • IslandoraCon will be held August 2-5,2022 at UPEI in Charlottetown, PEI.
  • Documentation Sprint taking place June 20-29
    • Sign Up and get more details here:

Fedora Registry

Part of our mission with Fedora 6.0 is to better understand our user install base. As a result, we are reaching out to the community now to help with these efforts. Is your institution in our registry? If so, are all the details up to date? Check out the current Fedora Registry here:

Need an update or need to add your instance? Use this link:

By understanding our install base and what versions of Fedora are being used, we will be better prepared to provide the support necessary for our entire community.

Get Involved

Fedora is designed, built, used, and supported by the community. Join the conversation on our Fedora Slack channelor sign up for our Fedora community mailing list to stay in the loop. You can find more details here.

The post Fedora Newsletter – June 2022 appeared first on

DLF AIG Metadata Assessment Series / Digital Library Federation

DLF Digital Library Assessment


This post was written by the DLF AIG MWG blog subcommittee:

Mandy Mastrovita, Digital Projects Librarian, Digital Library of Georgia
Dana Reijerkerk, Knowledge Management & Digital Assets Librarian, Stony Brook University
Rebecca Fried, Digital Projects & Metadata Librarian, Union College



About the DLF AIG Metadata Assessment Series

This post is the first of a monthly series that discusses metadata assessment issues faced by those working with metadata.Contributions to the series are open to the public. 

If interested, please contribute ideas and contact information to our Google form:

The DLF AIG Metadata Working Group

The Digital Library Federation (DLF) Assessment Interest Group (AIG) Metadata Working Group–also known as the Metadata Assessment Working Group (MAWG)–strives to collaboratively build guidelines, best practices, tools, and workflows around the evaluation and assessment of metadata used by and for digital libraries and repositories. We fulfill this mission  by supporting discussions of metadata assessment and quality control, sharing metadata assessment approaches, and fostering a community of dedicated metadata assessment professionals.

DLF AIG Metadata Working Group Wiki 

DLF AIG Metadata Working Group Website and Repository

The Github repository for the DLF AIG Metadata Working Group’s live/production website is: If you would like to contribute to the website or are interested in joining our GitHub organization and contributing changes, please navigate to our wiki for additional information and to get involved!

2022-2023 Members


Hannah Tarver
Rachel White

Members and subcommittees:

Blog posts/social media

Mandy Mastrovita (coordinator)
Becky Fried
Dana Reijerkerk

Website/MAP Clearinghouse/Tools Clearinghouse

Kate Flynn (coordinator)
Jay Colbert
Chris Day
Tricia Lampron
Shaun Akhtar
Michelle Janowiecki
Wen Nie Ng
Steven Gentry
Daniela Cialfi 


Annamarie Klose (coordinator)
Scott Goldstein
Greer Martin
Rachel White
Elliot Williams

Skill building resources list

Gretchen Gueguen (coordinator)
Kate Flynn
Jay Colbert
Amelia Mowry
Daniela Cialfi 

Abstracting for presentations/publications of note 

Mike Bolam (coordinator)
Jeannette Ho
Chris Day
Rachel White 


Hannah Tarver (coordinator)
Jeannette Ho
Chris Day
Becky Fried
Rachel White
Stephanie Luke
Jeannette Ho
Wen Nie Ng
Andrea Payant
Steven Gentry

Upcoming Meetings

June 23, 2022
July 21, 2022
August 18, 2022
September 1, 2022
September 15, 2022
September 29, 2022
October 13, 2022
October 27, 2022
November 13, 2022

View the 2022 DLF AIG Metadata Working Group Work Plan to stay up to date:  

DLF Code of Conduct

The Digital Library Federation (DLF) is committed to creating and supporting inclusive, diverse, and equitable communities of practice. We strive to be a welcoming organization and the focal point for a digital library culture that is anti-oppression, anti-racist, recognizes intersectionalities, and works compassionately across differences. Together, DLF members advance research, learning, social justice, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies. We know that the best problem-solving and critical thinking happens when people with a wide array of experiences and perspectives come together to work in comfort and safety as peers. We therefore expect participants in the DLF community to help create thoughtful and respectful environments where that interaction can take place. This Code of Conduct applies to all meetings, events, working groups, and other activities organized through the DLF, including those taking place in-person or online. For more information, see

The post DLF AIG Metadata Assessment Series appeared first on DLF.

Microeconomics Of Cryptocurrencies / David Rosenthal

The Microeconomics Of Cryptocurrencies by Hanna Halaburda, Guillaume Haeringer, Joshua S. Gans and Neil Gandal is an extremely valuable survey of the relevant research literature. Their abstract reads:
Since its launch in 2009 much has been written about Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchains. While the discussions initially took place mostly on blogs and other popular media, we now are witnessing the emergence of a growing body of rigorous academic research on these topics. By the nature of the phenomenon analyzed, this research spans many academic disciplines including macroeconomics, law and economics and computer science. This survey focuses on the microeconomics of cryptocurrencies themselves. What drives their supply, demand, trading price and competition amongst them. This literature has been emerging over the past decade and the purpose of this paper is to summarize its main findings so as to establish a base upon which future research can be conducted.
Below the fold, a few comments.

Section 3.1, The longest chain rule discusses the basis for the "consensus" in "Nakamoto consensus". Proof-of-Work both deters Sybil attacks and elects a network node to add the next block to the chain. Because there are inevitable delays in propagating the result of this election across the network, other nodes may initially believe that they were elected and work on a chain with their block added. The "longest chain rule" (LCR) mandates that miners work on the longest chain, which over time leads to consensus. Halaburda et al note:
Kroll et al. (2013) note that Bitcoin’s success relies on three types of consensus: (1) consensus about rules, (2) consensus about the state (i.e., there is a unique ledger), and (3) consensus that bitcoins are valuable. These consensus elements are related to each other. The miners’ source of income are the rewards and fees they obtain when adding a block, which are included in that block. If the blockchain forks, the rewards that are included in a branch are not recognized in the other branches. For those other branches, such rewards do not exist. The value attached to a bitcoin in a block, insofar as its owner plans to eventually spend it, then crucially depends on whether that block is recognized by other users. Consensus about bitcoins’ ”value” thus depends on the consensus about the state of the blockchain.
Section 3.3, Consensus as an equilibrium looks at the stability of this consensus under attack:
a related question was how much computing power did a miner need to unilaterally cause a deliberate fork? This issue was examined by Kiayias et al. (2016). They found that so long as no miner had more than 36% of the computing power, the LCR is a Nash equilibrium. However, for any miner with more than 46% of the computing power, forking is a profitable deviation. In other words, such a miner will always ignore the blocks that have been just mined by the other miners.
Interestingly, they note that a miner forking the blockchain has two options. The first is to release their blocks as soon as they solved the hashing puzzle, and the second is to mine secretly. ... They show that with secret mining strategies the threshold drops from 36% to 30.8%.

The idea of secret mining actually dates back to Eyal and Sirer (2014). Their model is similar to that Kiayias et al. but is motivated slightly differently. They consider the case of a large miner (e.g., a pool of miners) who has just solved the hashing puzzle, and faces the decision of whether releasing the new block to the network or to mine secretly on top of it. Eyal and Sirer give a precise description of optimal, secret mining strategies. The pool mining secretly as long as its branch is longer than the main branch, and releases it otherwise. They find that such a strategy may pay off as soon as the pool has 10% of the hashing power.
Eyal and Sirer's paper was posted to in November 2013, and I wrote about it the same month in The Bitcoin vulnerability.

Thus the theoretical threshold pool sizes for attacks are 46% for forking and 10% for secret mining. Individual pools regularly exceed 10% but have rarely exceeded 46%, however there is nothing to stop pools conspiring. Makarov and Schoar write:
Six out of the largest mining pools are registered in China and have strong ties to Bitmain Techonologies, which is the largest producer of Bitcoin mining hardware
Halaburda et al write:
If a miner broadcasts a transaction, the probability that some other miner will include it in their block and collect the fee increases. In the extreme case, if a miner is the first and only node hearing about a transaction, they may have incentives not to broadcast it at all and hold on to it until they are the one adding the block to the blockchain. It may be especially tempting if the transaction fee is large. Such hold up would cause the validation of this particular transaction to be delayed. This issue, while theoretically interesting, turned out not to be a problem in practice.
This is true but misleading, as it ignores the problems in practice of dark pools, front-running and "Miner Extractable Value" (MEV). I discuss dark pools and front-running in The Order Flow and MEV in Ethereum Has Issues. Fundamentally, the problems exist because miners are themselves transactors.

I first wrote about Eric Budish's The Economic Limits Of Bitcoin And The Blockchain in 2018's Cryptocurrencies Have Limits, which was an:
important analysis of the economics of two kinds of "51% attack" on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, such as those becoming endemic on Bitcoin Gold and other alt-coins:
  • A "double spend" attack, in which an attacker spends cryptocurrency to obtain goods, then makes the spend disappear in order to spend the cryptocurrency again.
  • A "sabotage" attack, in which short-sellers discredit the cryptocurrency to reduce its value.
Section 3.4 Longest-chain attack: a formal model, reviews and extends Budish's analysis with subsequent work. First, some notation:
  • θ is the number of tokens in a block reward.
  • e is the number of dollars per token.
  • c is the cost to mine a block.
  • N is the number of honest nodes in the network.
  • The fraction of nodes controlled by an attacker is A/(A+1) where A > 1.
  • t is the number of blocks to wait for finality.
  • V(e) is the benefit an attacker gains.
Second, some results:
  • Miners' expected rewards must exceed their costs, i.e. Nc.
  • The cost of a majority attack is (ANc − eθ)t.
  • A majority attack is profitable if V(e) > (ANc - θe)t.
  • Budish's constraint for the blockchain to be secure is eθ(A − 1)tV(e), i.e. the benefit must be less than the cost of the attack.
  • Chiu and Koeppl (2017) refine Budish's constraint, which assumes the probability of a successful fork is linear, by observing that it actually follows a power law. The constraint becomes eθt(t + 1)V(e).
Note that all these results make two assumptions. First, they assume all miners have the same power. Second, they assume the network is in equilibrium. Neither is the case in the real world. Halaburda et al observe:
consider the case of Bitcoin which is designed to have θ decreasing over time and, according to Bitcoin’s afficionados, will have a higher future exchange rate e. The only way to maintain Bitcoin’s sustainability in this case is if the elasticity of V with respect to e is less than one. In other words, the value of transactions should not grow as much as Bitcoin’s exchange rate.
Other constraints on the value of transactions are discussed in Section 3.7 below.

Section 3.6, Proof-of-Stake as an alternative consensus mechanism provides an attack analysis similar to that for Proof-of-Work above, starting from work by Saleh, who:
derives sufficient conditions that guarantee that consensus is an equilibrium, once we take into account the depreciation of the token in case of a fork. Saleh then derives two additional results. First, restricting the ability to large stakeholders facilitates and speeds up consensus in case of a fork. The intuition is that such stakeholders have the most to lose from a disagreement, i.e., from the persistence of two or more branches. Second, Saleh finds that the lower the miners’ reward the better. The reason behind this counter-intuitive result is that low rewards enable the accumulation of vested interest in the blockchain (i.e., miners have less incentives to cash out their tokens). Given this, preserving one’s vested interest in the blockchain (the tokens) increase the incentives to favor consensus.
The authors continue with the analysis of Gans and Gandal, which using the same methodology as Budish, concludes:
In the case of Permissionless blockchains (i.e. free entry,) the cost of PoW schemes are identical to the cost of PoS schemes.
The intuition here is that defense against Sybil attacks requires that the reward for an attack be less than the cost of mounting it. There is nothing in this constraint about how the cost is imposed.

If the stake is S and the dollar interest rate is r, the requrement is ANteSrteθV(e). In simple terms, the value of the attack has to be less than the interest on the attacker's total stake for the duration of the attack, less the rewards during the attack.

In Economic Limits Of Proof-of-Stake Blockchains I critiqued the assumptions behind this analysis:
Gans & Gandal assume that PoS nodes are rational economic actors, accounting for the interest foregone by the staked cryptocurrency. As we see with Bitcoin's Lightning Network, true members of the cryptocurrency cult are not concerned that the foregone interest on capital they devote to making the system work is vastly greater than the fees they receive for doing so. The reason is that, as David Gerard writes, they believe that "number go up". In other words, they are convinced that the finite supply of their favorite coin guarantees that its value will in the future "go to the moon", providing capital gains that vastly outweigh the foregone interest.
There are a number of other practical problems here:
  • Presumably, this analysis should be refined using the logic of Chiu and Koeppl because the probability of success decreases with t in the same way.
  • The goal of cryptocurrencies, and in particular Ethereum, is to achieve transaction finality much quicker than Bitcoin's one hour. But even if they were as slow as Bitcoin, the foregone interest on the attacker's stake over one hour ANeSr would be small unless hourly interest rates were extraordinarily high. As I write BTC has a "market cap" of $575B and turns over $22B/day. This is the equivalent of an annual interest rate of about 1,400%.
  • With realistic interest rates the stake has to be extremely high to ensure that the requirement above is met. But this conflicts with Saleh's finding that the lower the miners’ reward the better. The reward term in ANteSrteθV(e) reduces the effectiveness of the stake. Given Bitcoin-like turnover this implies that for safety a large proportion of the available coins must be staked, reducing the proportion available for transactions. A currency where 100% of the coins were staked would be secure but not useful.
A Survey on Long-Range Attacks for Proof of Stake Protocols by Evangelos Deirmentzoglou et al is a useful reference for this topic; I discuss it and many others in Alternatives To Proof-of-Work.

Section 3.7, Transaction fees reports on various analyses of the future of Bitcoin as the mining reward decreases and fees become the major, and eventually the only source of miners' income:
Auer Graph 9
Halaburda et al don't cite Beyond the doomsday economics of “proof-of-work” in cryptocurrencies by Raphael Auer, which shows that:
with block rewards – which, at present, represent the vast majority of miners’ income and thus underpin the security of payments – being gradually phased out ... the security of payments is also set to deteriorate. Graph 9 gives an outlook regarding how waiting times could increase in the years to come, based on the above considerations of what is required to deter an attack
The graph was based on average transaction fees of 0.18BTC/block, close to today's 0.14BTC/block. Note that fees thus cover only about 2% of the cost of a transaction; they ar 98% subsidized by inflating the currency and speculation. Auer's analysis implies that currently transaction finality takes much longer than 6 blocks, but it assumes:
that attackers can rent any equipment they want at a stated price. The attack vector is thus certain to succeed
The difference between the two curves is the two assumptions about the difference between honest miners' cost per hash and the attacker's rental cost per hash. These rental economics are not currently a realistic scenario, but if Bitcoin's price continues to fall the pool of uneconomic mining power that is potentially rentable increases and thus the transaction finality waiting period tends to increase.

The long-term problem with a fee-only system is different. The average cost per transaction includes both the fee and the block reward. The graph shows it currently varies between $100 and $250/transaction, which is clearly enough to deter attacks. There is no possibility that a fee-only Bitcoin could charge $100-250 for the average transaction, so it would inevitably be less secure.

Cryptocurrency boosters continually complain about credit card fees at less than 3%. It is true that at present, with a relatively low demand for transactions, the total cost per transaction averages about half that. But:
  • Card fees are fixed, Bitcoin fees are set in an auction. Predictability has value.
  • In many cases a significant proportion of the fee is rebated to the originator of the transaction as an incentive in the competitive market for cards.
  • When the fixed supply meets variable demand, fees spike enormously. In April last year the average fee per transaction hit $60.
  • If the average fee to keep a fee-only system secure was $175/transaction, and it was 1.5% to compete with credit cards, the average transaction would be $11,666.67.
It isn't plausible that Bitcoin, with a limit of 7 transactions/sec and 1 hour finality, could ever provide a significant part of the overall transaction flow. But suppose it somehow did, so that people actually depended upon it to transact. Then, if some event caused a spike in demand for transactions, fees would spike and those unable to afford $60/transaction would face an indefinite wait for their transactions to be processed, while the rich would pay the price and get theirs processed. The resulting spiraling backlog would drive fees ever higher, while the inability to transact drove the majority of citizens to panic. This is a recipe for social collapse.

Classical Musicians v. Copyright Bots / Information Technology and Libraries

The COVID-19 pandemic forced classical musicians to cancel in-person recitals and concerts and led to the exploration of virtual alternatives for engaging audiences. The apparent solution was to livestream and upload performances to social media websites for audiences to view, leading to income and a sustained social media presence; however, automated copyright enforcement systems add new layers of complexity because of an inability to differentiate between copyrighted content and original renditions of works from the public domain. This article summarizes the conflict automated copyright enforcement systems pose to classical musicians and suggests how libraries may employ mitigation tactics to reduce the negative impacts when uploaders are accused of copyright infringement.

Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) / Information Technology and Libraries

The field of explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) advances techniques, processes, and strategies that provide explanations for the predictions, recommendations, and decisions of opaque and complex machine learning systems. Increasingly academic libraries are providing library users with systems, services, and collections created and delivered by machine learning. Academic libraries should adopt XAI as a tool set to verify and validate these resources, and advocate for public policy regarding XAI that serves libraries, the academy, and the public interest.

Contactless Services / Information Technology and Libraries

Contactless services have become a common way for public libraries to provide services. As a result, the strategy used by public libraries in China will effectively stop the spread of epidemics caused by human touch and will serve as a model for other libraries throughout the world. The primary goal of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of the contactless service measures provided by large Chinese public libraries for users in the pandemic era, as well as the challenges and countermeasures for providing such services. The data for this study was obtained using a combination of website investigation, content analysis, and telephone interviews for an analytical survey study of 128 large public libraries in China. The study finds that touch-free information dissemination, remote resources use, no-touch interaction self-services, network services, online reference, and smart services without personal interactions are among the contactless services available in Chinese public libraries. Exploring the current state of contactless services in large public libraries in China will help to fill a need for empirical attention to contactless services in libraries and the public sector. Up-to-date information to assist libraries all over the world in improving their contactless services implementation and practices is provided.

Research on Knowledge Organization of Intangible Cultural Heritage Based on Metadata / Information Technology and Libraries

Metadata has been analyzed and summarized. Based on Dublin Core metadata, combined with the characteristics and forms of intangible cultural heritage, this article explores the metadata for intangible cultural heritage in knowledge organizations based on relevant resource description standards. The Wuhan woodcarving ship model is presented as an example of national intangible cultural heritage to control the application of metadata in intangible cultural heritage knowledge organizations. New ideas are provided for the digital development of intangible cultural heritage.

Applying Topic Modeling for Automated Creation of Descriptive Metadata for Digital Collections / Information Technology and Libraries

Creation of descriptive metadata for digital objects tends to be a laborious process. Specifically, subject analysis that seeks to classify the intellectual content of digitized documents typically requires considerable time and effort to determine subject headings that best represent the substance of these documents. This project examines the use of topic modeling to streamline the workflow for assigning subject headings to the digital collection of New Mexico State University news releases issued between 1958 and 2020. The optimization of the workflow enables timely scholarly access to unique primary source documentation.

Ontology for the User-Learner Profile Personalizes the Search Analysis of Online Learning Resources / Information Technology and Libraries

We hope to contribute to the field of research in information technology and digital libraries by analyzing the connections between Thematic Digital Universities and digital user-learner profiles. Thematic Digital Universities are similar to digital libraries, and focus on creating and indexing open educational resources, as well as improving learning in the information age. The digital user profile relates to the digital representation of a person’s identity and characteristics. In this paper we present the design of an ontology for the digital User-Learner Profile (OntoULP) and its application program. OntoULP is used to structure a user-learner’s digital profile. The application provides each user-learner with tailor-made analyses based on informational behaviors, needs, and preferences. We rely on an exploratory research approach and on methods of ontologies, user modeling, and semantic matching to design the OntoULP and its application program. Any user-learner could use the OntoULP and its application program.

Rarely Analyzed / Information Technology and Libraries

The relationship between physical and digitized rare books can be complex and, at times, nebulous. When building a digital library, should showcasing a representative slice of the physical collection be the goal? Should stakeholders focus on preservation concerns, high-use items, or other concerns? To explore these conundrums, a special collections librarian and digital services librarian performed a comparative analysis of their library’s physical and digital rare books collections. After exporting MARC metadata for the rare books from their ILS, the librarians examined the place of publication, publication date, and broad subject range of the collection. They used this data to create a variety of visualizations with the open-source digital humanities tool Tableau Public. Next, the authors downloaded the rare books metadata from the digital library and created illuminating data visualizations. Were the geographic, temporal, and subject scope of the digital library similar to that of the physical rare books collection? If not, what accounts for the differences? The implications of these and other findings will be explored.

Gathering Strength to Combat Access Inequality / Information Technology and Libraries

Nestled on the northern edge of Lake Ontario, Prince Edward County is home to a six branch public library system that is proud to have created a robust and vibrant relationship with the local school board. Through the lens of access, this article explores the steps taken by the public library to create meaningful connections with administrative staff on the school board level in order to bring practical training and resources to teachers and students in order to enhance and support their learning. 

Call for Samvera Connect 2022 Proposals / Samvera

Submit a proposal for a Panel or Presentation!

The Program Committee for Samvera Connect 2022 is pleased to announce the Call for Proposals for Presentations and Panels.  The Conference will take place October 24th – 27th at University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana.  

We invite proposals for sessions and panels to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas related to any aspect of the planning, design, development, and implementation of Samvera solutions, as well as related topics relevant to our community that includes developers, managers, system operators, librarians and other interested persons.

We are seeking proposals for 20-minute presentations (+5 minutes for questions), short (20 minute) panels and long (40 minute) panels.   

The CFP will remain open until August 8th, 2022.  Selected presenters will be notified soon thereafter.

CFPs for lightning talks and posters will be announced in the coming weeks.

Proposals should be submitted using the following form.  

You may find it helpful to refer to the programs from previous Connect conferences.

Thank you for helping us make this year’s Samvera Connect conference another great event!  

The post Call for Samvera Connect 2022 Proposals appeared first on Samvera.

Developing research analytics support services in research libraries / HangingTogether

The following post is part of a series  related to the provision of bibliometrics and research impact services at OCLC Research Library Partnership institutions.

Libraries and their parent institutions are keen for quality analytics about their research activities and impact. Similarly, researchers increasingly require knowledge of the responsible use of research metrics to facilitate their research and career management activities. As result, we’ve been observing the establishing of bibliometrics and research impact (BRI) services (also commonly called “research analytics”) in libraries, and we’ve previously hosted webinars where institutions like the University of Waterloo and Syracuse University have shared details about their programmatic efforts.

Last month we heard from three more institutions about how they are taking the first steps to develop BRI services, with presentations by:

  • William Mischo, Interim Head, Grainger Engineering Library Information Center, Berthold Family Professor Emeritus in Information Access & Discovery, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Matthew R. Marsteller, Associate Dean for Faculty, Carnegie Mellon University Libraries 
  • Mei Ling Lo, Science Research Librarian, Rutgers University – New Brunswick Libraries 

A video recording of this presentation is now available. In this blog, I’m providing some highlights from the event, but it’s really no substitute for watching this highly informative recording yourself. Slides and links to other resources are also available.

Works in Progress Webinar: Developing research impact services–Perspectives from three OCLC Research Library Partnership institutions

BRI services to support colleges, departments, & institutional leaders

At the University of Illinois and Carnegie Mellon, library personnel are working with academic departments and colleges to provide analytics and visualizations of research impact, using tools like SciVal, the Scopus and Web of Science APIs, as well as the local campus RIM system (Pure and Elements, respectively). Both institutions are taking a team-based approach with existing staff members (similar to what Syracuse shared earlier this year), as they seek to build knowledge, develop skills, and demonstrate the need for these activities; the addition of dedicated staff is expected at some point in the future.

Bill Mischo provided an overview of the tools and services used at Illinois, to provide data and visualizations to support grant requests, promotion and tenure preparation, program evaluation, and more. There are a lot of resources available at Illinois for supporting research analysis, including the local RIM system, Illinois Experts (using Elsevier’s Pure). In one slide, pictured here, Bill demonstrated how Illinois Experts provides insights on which journals (including OA journals) Illinois researchers publish most heavily in.

List of OA journals where UIUC researchers have the most publications, 2014-2019

Matt Marsteller described similar activities at Carnegie Mellon, to provide research metrics support to campus using a complex array of platforms, tools, and data sources. CMU uses the Symplectic Elements RIM system to aggregate content from an array of internal and external sources, to serve as central data store for further analysis, as he demonstrated in this slide.

CMU uses Symplectic Elements as its campus RIM system

Services to support researchers

Mei Ling Lo’s presentation focused on how the Rutgers–New Brunswick Library has developed a workshop series that addresses the synergies between library resources and research analysis. She provided great examples of how these workshops can support researchers with an array of needs, such as literature discovery, identification of experts and potential collaborators, and a richer understanding of the value of a publication, beyond the citation count. Some of the workshops in their series include titles like:

Rutgers-New Brunswick workshop offerings on research analytics topics

She also made a compelling argument for BRI competencies to be included within the information literacy framework.

Libraries provide significant value to researchers and campus

All three speakers remarked on the significant skills and value the library can offer in this space–both to researchers as well as to a broad array of campus stakeholders. A persistent challenge is increase awareness with these audiences, which report finding value when they know these resources exist–and use them.

Join us in July for a discussion on BRI service development

As part of our ongoing efforts to convene RLP members around bibliometrics and research impact, we invite RLP affiliates to mark their calendars for an informal follow-up discussion with Mei Ling, Bill, and Matt on Thursday, July 28 at 11 am EDT. We encourage you to attend both to learn and share about your own institutional efforts (even if those are still nascent). Watch our listservs or check our main RLP web page soon for upcoming registration information.

The post Developing research analytics support services in research libraries appeared first on Hanging Together.

Advancing IDEAs: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, 2022 June 14 / HangingTogether

The following  post is one in a regular series on issues of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility, compiled by Jay Weitz.

What libraries really are

“At a time when librarians across the country have faced baseless allegations and threats of criminal charges from parents who’ve accused them of providing pornography to children,” Mendell Morgan director of the El Progreso Memorial Library (OCLC Symbol: ELPML) in Uvalde,Texas, USA, “wanted to show the community what, in his view, a library really is. A refuge. A safe place. An escape.” So writes Mike Hixenbaugh, a senior investigative reporter for NBC News, based in Houston, Texas, in “Uvalde librarian thought about canceling storytime. Instead, she made it a refuge.” After initial hesitation, children’s librarian Martha Carreon joined Morgan in keeping the library open the day after the shootings. “Carreon thought she was there to comfort [the children]. In the end, it was the other way around.”

Fireproof Tale

Since it was first published in 1985, Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale has ended up on the American Library Association’s list of the books most often challenged in US libraries. Thanks to the intersection of several circumstances — including the leaked United States Supreme Court draft decision about abortion and the recent television adaptation of the novel — attention to the controversial book has ticked up again. Atwood and the publisher Penguin Random House have announced an “unburnable” edition “Printed and bound using fireproof materials … designed to protect this vital story and stand as a powerful symbol against censorship.” Proceeds from the auction of this unique resource will go to support PEN America, the nonprofit organization defending freedom of expression. Martin Pengelly tells the tale in “Atwood responds to book bans with ‘unburnable’ edition of Handmaid’s Tale” in The Guardian.

Accurate representation of Indigenous children

The Oregon Library Association (OLA) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Antiracism Committee presents the third episode of its new podcast, Overdue: Weeding Out Oppression in Libraries. The episode entitled “Making Space for Accurate Representation with Dr. Debbie Reese” features Dr. Reese, a Nambé Pueblo writer and scholar who has maintained her American Indians in Children’s Literature blog since 2006. She talks about her work providing “critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books,” the importance of accurate representation, and how library workers can support Indigenous children with collection development, displays, cataloging, and more. Committee co-chair Ericka Brunson-Rochette, Community Librarian at the Deschutes Public Library (OCLC Symbol: DCH) of Bend, Oregon, USA; and Kristen Curé of Oregon’s Springfield Public Library (OCLC Symbol: OXY) conducted the interview with Dr. Reese on 2022 April 1.

“The Silent History of Libraries”

On June 15, 2022, 3:00-5:00 p.m. Eastern, the American Library Association’s Library History Round Table (LHRT) Holley Lecture and Research Forum presents a free virtual event that will feature two lectures on “The Silent History of Libraries.” Dr. Mary Carroll and Dr. Louise Curham of the School of Information and Communication Studies, and Dr. Holly Randell-Moon of the School of Indigenous Australian Studies, Charles Sturt University (OCLC Symbol: LK1) will speak on “Whiteness and Goodness: An Initial Exploration of the History of Australian Libraries and Collections as Forces of Social Control.” Dr. Melissa Smith and Dr. Beth Patin of the School of Information Studies, Syracuse University (OCLC Symbol: SU2) will present “Back on the Map: Using Reparative Storytelling to Un-silence the History of the Dulcina DeBerry Branch in Huntsville, Alabama.” Various incarnations of the Dulcina DeBerry Branch of what is now the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) (OCLC Symbol: MWD) existed between 1940 and 1968. Additionally, Dr. Kurt Hackemer, Professor of History, Provost, and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of South Dakota (OCLC Symbol: USD), will deliver the Edward G. Holley Memorial Lecture on “Animated Cartoon Shorts and American Perceptions of World War II.” LHRT will also present three of its 2022 library history writing awards.

“Cultural Diversity Issue” of the IFLA Newsletter

Kazakhstan Human LibraryHuman Books” by Marina Poyarkova is licensed under CC BY 4.0. Courtesy of IFLA.

Marking May 21 as the UNESCO World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, the May 2022 issue of the IFLA Newsletter (2:5) has been dubbed “The Cultural Diversity Issue.” In her editorial, current International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) President Barbara Lison, Library Director of the Stadtbibliothek Bremen (OCLC Symbol: YYX), Germany, writes briefly about the role libraries play “not just in providing access to a wide range of content that broadens horizons and exposes people to new experiences, but also in proactively supporting learning, exchange, and meetings of different perspectives.” In honor of the fortieth anniversary of what is now the IFLA Section on Library Services to Multicultural Populations (MCULTP), the issue also features an interview with Section Chair Lan Gao of the Youth Services Department, Cleveland Public Library (OCLC Symbol: CLE), Ohio, USA, about the mission and history of the section. IFLA Policy and Research Officer Claire McGuire writes about “Measuring the Impact of Cultural Diversity on Development: how libraries can get involved.” There is also a report from Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University Library (OCLC Symbol: KZNUL) about its “human library” program, which intends to promote understanding so as to diminish prejudice and discrimination. Among the underrepresented minorities involved since the program began in 2016 have been “People with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community as well as young women in science.”

Black women’s voices in primary sources

Choice, the publishing unit of ALA’s Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), will present a free webinar “Strategies for Uncovering Black Women’s Voices in Primary Sources” on June 16, 2022, 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Dr. Ashley D. Farmer, Associate Professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin (OCLC Symbol: IXA) will speak about the challenges of “excavating the archives of Black women intellectuals” and strategies involved in discovering their work in primary source databases (including those of the webinar’s sponsor, ProQuest, and other sources).

Services for autistic students

A free Infopeople webinar from Project ENABLE, “Library Service for All: Current Trends in Library Programs and Services for Autistic Children and Teens,” will be presented on June 21 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Discussion will focus on “what autism is through the lens of neurodiversity, and how characteristics of autism may manifest in the library environment.” Library practices have been evolving along with changes in technology, to better serve autistic students. Dr. Amelia Anderson, an assistant professor of library science at Old Dominion University (OCLC Symbol: VOD) in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, and Sue Kowalski, the middle school librarian at Pine Grove Middle School (OCLC Symbol: PG#) in East Syracuse, New York, USA, will be the presenters.

Intellectual freedom and social justice

ALA’s Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) hosts a free symposium “Where Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice Meet: A Call to Action” from noon to 4:00 p.m. Eastern on July 12 and 13. On the first day, the balance between the core values of social justice and intellectual freedom as applied to library policies, community values, “neutrality,” and current challenges will be discussed. Empowering participants to take action, develop policies, and build coalitions and consensus will be the focus of day two. A special edition of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy devoted to “Social Justice and Intellectual Freedom: Working within a Divided Nation” will collect papers on the symposium theme.

The post Advancing IDEAs: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, 2022 June 14 appeared first on Hanging Together.

Where Did The Number 3 Come From? / David Rosenthal

The Keepers Registry, which tracks the preservation of academic journals by various "keepers" (preservation agencies), currently says:
20,127 titles are being ‘kept safe’ by 3 or more Keepers
The registry backs this up with this page, showing the number of journals being preserved by N keepers.
The NDSA Levels of Digital Preservation: An Explanation and Uses from 2013 is still in wide use as a guide to preserving digital content. It uses specifies the number of independent copies as 2 for "Level 1" and 3 for "Levels 2-4".

Alicia Wise of CLOCKSS asked "where did the number 3 come from?" Below the fold I discuss the backstory.

Back in 2011 I gave a talk at Netherlands Beeld en Geluid in Hilversum entitled How Few Copies?. The Beeld en Geluid (B&G) is the Dutch audiovisual archive. The large majority of the bytes they preserve are video, so their average content unit is big. The cost of preserving bytes is more than linear in the number of bytes, so the answer to the question "how few copies do we need to be safe?" is an important input to their budget. The same is true for many other digital preservation services.

In the real world, perfect digital preservation would need an infinite budget. With a finite budget, some stuff will get lost. I explained the theoretical ideal:
We can spend more to keep more copies, or be more careful with each copy, and hopefully lose less stuff. Its a trade-off. In theory, for each technology there is a curve like this, relating the number of copies to the probability of loss. Each additional copy improves reliability, subject to the law of diminishing returns.

In theory, for each number of copies there is a curve like this, relating the cost per copy to the probability of loss. Each additional dollar improves reliability, subject to the law of diminishing returns.

What we'd like to do is to put these two sets of graphs together, like this:
Then, given a target loss probability, we could work out the most cost-effective technology and replication factor. Or, given a budget, we could work out the best achievable loss probability.
My talk made two main points. First:
Why don't we have such a graph? There are two main reasons. The first is that, although they aren't nearly reliable enough, storage systems are very, very reliable. To measure a system's loss rate involves looking at a huge amount of data for a long time, so gathering the data for a graph like this is way too expensive to be feasible. The second is that the loss rate depends critically on the details of the internal design and implementation of every component of every system. We have to do this infeasibly expensive experiment for every single system, we can't do it once and generalize.
We don't even have the data upon which to base realistic simulations of the data loss in real systems, because we can't model correlations:
Why are correlations between causes of data loss important? Suppose we have two replicas, and at some point one replica fails. Some time after that, the failure is detected and a repair process is initiated, copying from the other replica. If the second replica fails after the initial failure and before the copy is completed the data will be lost. Thus the critical number is not the probability of a replica failing, but the probability of a second replica failing during the detection and repair interval after a first failure.
And thus, second:
We'll just have to make the best decisions we can without the graph. Even though we can't draw the exact graph, we know the shape it will have, and thus we can formulate some rules of thumb, all of which are subject to diminishing returns:
  • The more copies the safer.
  • The less correlated the copies the safer.
  • The more reliable each copy the safer.
  • The faster failures are detected and repaired the safer.
In the normal case, these rules are in descending order of importance; extra copies are more important than less correlation is more important than increased copy reliability is more important than faster detection and repair.
I expect my talk was less helpful than they hoped.

All this is to say that there is no strong theoretical justification for the criterion for safety being three, or any other number. In theoretical computer science there is a very strong theoretical result dating from 1982, called Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT). This proves that 3f+1 replicas can in the worst case survive f simultaneous failures. This would lead to the idea that, to be safe against one failure, four replicas are needed. Or to be safe against two failures, seven replicas are needed.

So why do the Keepers Registry and the NDSA use three not at least seven? There are two reasons:
  • BFT is sound computer science, showing that the system behaves perfectly provided it encounters no more than f simultaneous failures. But from the engineering perspective the issue is that if it does encounter more than f simultaneous failures, it fails completely. So the engineering question is "what is the probability of f+1 simultaneous failures during the system's designed life?".
  • Seven would imply a system 233% as expensive. In practice, there normally isn't really enough money for three high-quality replicas, so choosing seven means spending 58% less on each replica. The result would be that they would fail a lot more often, because of the law of diminishing returns. This would greatly increase the probability of two simultaneous failures.
Theory provides a clear answer, engineering provides a question about probabilities.

The Keepers Registry is right to focus on the number of different services preserving a unit of content. Lets look at the rules of thumb given a target of three:
  • The more copies the safer. Presumably, each of the three services maintains more than one copy, so the number of copies is likely several times three.
  • The less correlated the copies the safer. Presumably, each of the three services is running different software, is under different administration, and is geographically distant from the others.* So although the correlations among the copies at each service will be quite high, the correlation among the different services will be low.
  • The more reliable each copy the safer. Each of the three services is striving to be reliable, so the level of reliability of each of them will be relatively high.
  • The faster failures are detected and repaired the safer. Presumably, each of the three services is running fixity checks on a different, uncorrelated schedule.
Overall the assessment is that, despite a number that appears to have no theoretical justification, in the real world content preserved at three independent services is probably safe against anything short of economic collapse or a major Coronal Mass Ejection. While both these threats are plausible, as I discussed in Seeds Or Code?, if they happen society is likely to have bigger problems than re-reading old academic papers.

*) Note that it is more and more likely that the services are using Cloud For Preservation, and it is quite possible that they are all using the same cloud provider. The Keepers Registry should be recording whether, and if so which, cloud providers underlie each of the services they are tracking.

Samvera Partner Profile: University of Hull / Samvera

Organizations active in the Samvera Community can become Samvera Partners, and make a commitment to support the Community through participation and annual dues. Get to know one of our founding Partners, University of Hull.

How long has University of Hull been involved in the Samvera Community?

The University of Hull was one of the founder institutions of the Hydra Project in 2008 (which became Samvera in 2017), following initial discussions at the Open Repositories conference that year.  The original basis for the initiative was to identify a way of creating flexible repository solutions that met different digital content management needs, an emerging theme from the conference.

Which Samvera technologies do you use?

We initially created a local Hydra repository based on the initial collection of gems developed in 2012.  This was upgraded to version 6 of this set in 2015.  That repository remains in production, but with a target to migrate collections to different solutions in 2022-3.  One of these solutions will be a Hyrax repository that has been established to manage a digital archive, which we are looking to expand use of to accommodate other content types.

Tell us a bit about your repositories. How have you customized them to meet your specific needs?

The initial repositories were built fairly much as vanilla implementations of the available software.  There were, though, three areas where we did add local customisation: the management of permissions, to adapt the repository to our local infrastructure and how we needed different colleagues to have different access rights; the development of admin and display sets to help us manage collections; and the look and feel of the repository and its workflows.

The newer Hyrax repository has not been adapted per se, other than to integrate it into a digital preservation workflow that creates archival DIPs that act as the basis for ingest to the repository.  We are also not using the default Blacklight interface, but feeding content into a standalone Blacklight that acts as the local archival catalogue.

What is your favorite feature of your repository?

This has to be the ability to hold and surface different types of digital content alongside each other.  This has been a goal for the Community for many years and the solutions for it have shown steady evolution to improve the functionality in this area.

How do individuals at your organization participate in the Samvera Community?

We have endeavoured to attend events in the US as much as possible and as budget permits.  Individuals have contributed to different working and interest groups over the years.  Being located in the UK, we have also established and maintain the Samvera Europe user group to foster exchange of experiences and developments in a UK/European context.

What value does Hull receive from participating in the Samvera Community?

We have gained immense value from participation in the Community, which has helped us to develop our ideas for what we want and need from a repository, provided support in the ability to implement those ideas, and the space to explore different options with fellow professionals working in the same field.

The post Samvera Partner Profile: University of Hull appeared first on Samvera.

Using engine_cart with Rails 6.1 and Ruby 3.1 / Jonathan Rochkind

Rails does not seem to generally advertise ruby version compatibility, but it seems to be the case taht Rails 6.1, I believe, works with Ruby 3.1 — as long as you manually add three dependencies to your Gemfile.

gem "net-imap"
gem "net-pop"
gem "net-smtp"

(Here’s a somewhat cryptic gist from one (I think) Rails committer with some background. Although it doens’t specifically and clearly tell you to add these dependencies for Rails 6.1 and ruby 3.1… it won’t work unless you do. You can find other discussion of this on the net.)

Or you can instead add one line to your Gemfile, opting in to using the pre-release mail gem 2.8.0.rc1, which includes these dependencies for ruby 3.1 compatibility. Mail is already a Rails dependency; but pre-release gems (whose version numbers end in something including letters after a third period) won’t be included by bundler unless you mention a pre-release version (whose version number ends in…) explicitly in Gemfile.

gem "mail", ">= 2.8.0.rc1"

Once mail 2.8.0 final is released, if I understand what’s going on right, you won’t need to do any of this, since it won’t be a pre-release version bundler will just use it when bundle updateing a Rails app, and it expresses the dependencies you need for ruby 3.1, and Rails 6.1 will Just Work with ruby 3.1. Phew! I hope it gets released soon (been about 7 weeks since 2.8.0.rc1).

Engine cart

Engine_cart is a gem for dynamically creating Rails apps at runtime for use in CI build systems, mainly to test Rails engine gems. It’s in use in some collaborative open source communities I participate in. While it has plusses (actually integration testing real app generation) and minuses (kind of a maintenance nightmare it turns out), I don’t generally recommend it, if you haven’t heard of it before and am wondering “Does jrochkind think I should use this for testing engine gems in general?” — this is not an endorsement. In general it can add a lot of pain.

But it’s in use in some projects I sometimes help maintain.

How do you get a build using engine_cart to succesfully test under Rails 6.1 and ruby 3.1? Since if it were “manual” you’d have to add a line to a Gemfile…

It turns out you can create a ./spec/test_app_templates/Gemfile.extra file, with the necessary extra gem calls:

gem "net-imap"
gem "net-pop"
gem "net-smtp"

# OR, above OR below, don't need both

gem "mail", ">= 2.8.0.rc1"
  • I think ./spec/test_app_templates/Gemfile.extra is a “magic path” used by engine_cart… or if the app I’m working on is setting it, I can’t figure out why/how! But I also can’t quite figure out why/if engine_cart is defaulting to it…
  • Adding this to your main project Gemfile is not sufficient, it needs to be in Gemfile.extra
  • Some projects I’ve seen have a line in their Gemfile using eval_gemfile and referencing the Gemfile.extra… which I don’t really understand… and does not seem to be necessary to me… I think maybe it’s leftover from past versions of engine_cart best practices?
  • To be honest, I don’t really understand how/where the Gemfile.extra is coming in, and I haven’t found any documentation for it in engine_cart . So if this doens’t work for you… you probably just haven’t properly configured engine_cart to use the Gemfile.extra in that location, which the project I’m working on has done in some way?

Note that you may still get an error produced in build output at some point of generating the test app:

run  bundle binstubs bundler
rails  webpacker:install
You don't have net-smtp installed in your application. Please add it to your Gemfile and run bundle install
rails aborted!
LoadError: cannot load such file -- net/smtp

But it seems to continue and work anyway!

None of this should be necessary when mail 2.8.0 final is released, it should just work!

The above is of course always including those extra dependencies, for all builds in your matrix, when they are only necessary for Rails 6.1 (not 7!) and ruby 3.1. If you’d instead like to guard it to only apply for that build, and your app is using the RAILS_VERSION env variable convention, this seems to work:

# ./specs/test_app_templates/Gemfile.extra
# Only necessary until mail 2.8.0 is released, allow us to build with engine_cart
# under Rails 6.1 and ruby 3.1, by opting into using pre-release version of mail
# 2.8.0.rc1

if ENV['RAILS_VERSION'] && ENV['RAILS_VERSION'] =~ /^6\.1\./ && RUBY_VERSION =~ /^3\.1\./
  gem "mail", ">= 2.8.0.rc1"

Backblaze On Hard Disk Reliability / David Rosenthal

It has been a long time since I blogged about the invaluable hard drive reliability data that Backblaze has been publishing quarterly since 2015, so I checked their blog and found Andy Klein's Star Wars themed Backblaze Drive Stats for Q1 2022, as well as his fascinating How Long Do Disk Drives Last?. Below the fold I comment on both.

Apart from the appropriate Star Wars quotes Klein uses as section headings, there are a number of interesting tidbits in the Q1 2022 stats. First, a tribute to the disk vendors' "kaizen" (continuous improvement) process:
The lifetime annualized failure rate for all the drives listed above is 1.39%. That was down from 1.40% at the end of 2021. One year ago (3/31/2021), the lifetime AFR was 1.49%.
Iit may not sound like much, but improving the reliability of an already incredibly reliable product by 0.1%/year is a significant achievement.

Second, when I say "incredibly reliable" I mean something like this:
The 6TB Seagate (model: ST6000DX000) continues to defy time with zero failures during Q1 2022 despite an average age of nearly seven years (83.7 months). 98% of the drives (859) were installed within the same two-week period back in Q1 2015.
Only 86 drives out of a total of 886 have failed in nearly seven years.

Third, Klein's innovation of two forms of a quadrant chart:
Each point on the Drive Stats Failure Square represents a hard drive model in operation in our environment as of 3/31/2022 and lies at the intersection of the average age of that model and the annualized failure rate of that model. We only included drive models with a lifetime total of one million drive days or with a confidence interval of all drive models included being 0.6 or less.
Klein describes each quadrant thus:
  1. Retirees are drives that are no longer reliable and should be replaced.
  2. Winners are drives that have performed well for a long time.
  3. Challengers are drives that are currently performing well but are still young.
  4. Muddlers are young drives that are performing less well.
Even more interesting is Klein's second version of the qudrant chart, featuring only the "Winners":
Each drive model is represented by a snake-like line (Snakes on a plane!?) which shows the AFR of the drive model as the average age of the fleet increased over time.
This chart is extremely informative:
Interestingly, each of the six models currently in quadrant II has a different backstory. For example, who could have predicted that the 6TB Seagate drive (model: ST6000DX000) would have ended up in the Winners quadrant given its less than auspicious start in 2015. And that drive was not alone; the 8TB Seagate drives (models: ST8000NM0055 and ST8000DM002) experienced the same behavior.

This chart can also give us a visual clue as to the direction of the annualized failure rate over time for a given drive model. For example, the 10TB Seagate drive seems more interested in moving into the Retiree quadrant over the next quarter or so and as such its replacement priority could be increased.
Last December Klein posted How Long Do Disk Drives Last?, updating a version posted in 2013:
The initial drive life study was done with 25,000 disk drives and about four years of data. Today’s study includes data from over 200,000 disk drives, many of which have survived six years and longer. This gives us more data to review and lets us extend our projections. For example, in our original report we reported that 78% of the drives we purchased were living longer than four years. Today, about 90% of the drives we own have lasted four years and 65% are living longer than six years. So how long do drives last? Keep reading.
What Klein wants to figure out is the half-life of the drive:
The number that should be able to compute is the median lifespan of a new drive. That is the age at which half of the drives fail. Let’s see how close we can get to predicting the median lifespan of a new drive given all the data we’ve collected over the years.
Klein plotted the survival rate, the proportion of drives still alive, against the age of the drives. He noted that:
The life expectancy decreases at a fairly stable rate of 2% to 2.5% a year for the first four years, then the decrease begins to accelerate. Looking back at the AFR by quarter chart above, this makes sense as the failure rate increases beginning in year four. After six years we end up with a life expectancy of 65%. Stated another way, if we bought a hard drive six years ago, there is a 65% chance it is still alive today.

Klein then used the data to project out over six years, which is the limit of the statistically significant data they have:
What happens to drives when they’re older than six years? We do have drives that are older than six years, so why did we stop there? We didn’t have enough data to be confident beyond six years as the number of drives drops off at that point and becomes composed almost entirely of one or two drive models versus a diverse selection. Instead, we used the data we had through six years and extrapolated from the life expectancy line to estimate the point at which half the drives will have died.

How long do drives last? It would appear a reasonable estimate of the median life expectancy is six years and nine months.
This is actually all another tribute to the engineers. The failure rate, the slope of the graph, is low until the drive warranty expires, and then increases. This (a) decreases the vendors' warranty costs, and (b) implements planned obsolescence, motivating the drives' replacement and generating income for the vendor. Thus economics means that drive life is probably stable into the future, although AFR during the first 4-5 years is likely to continue its slow decline, making the break in the slope of the graph sharper.

Summary and Thoughts on Being/Becoming a Senior Support Engineer at GitLab / Cynthia Ng

Ever since becoming a Senior Support team member at GitLab, I’ve had various conversations about becoming and being a Senior level team member; even more so after I became a Senior Support Engineer (SSE). A couple of recent conversations made me realize that a lot of team members have questions and we should have a … Continue reading "Summary and Thoughts on Being/Becoming a Senior Support Engineer at GitLab"

You Can't Have One Without The Other / David Rosenthal

I made the point of this post in my EE380 talk, and several times before that. But it was easy to miss, being buried half-way through a long argument. I'm rewriting it here to make it easy to link to specifically.

I can paraphrase an important part of the epidemic of Blockchain Gaslighting as "cryptocurrencies have all sorts of problems but blockchains are a fantastic new technology with all sorts of uses that are nothing to do with financial speculation". Below the fold I show why this is false.

First, it is necessary to add back two details that the gaslighters deliberately leave out:
decentralized cryptocurrencies have all sorts of problems but permissionless blockchains are a fantastic new technology with all sorts of uses that are nothing to do with financial speculation
Centralized cryptocurrencies and permissioned blockchains are completely different technologies from the ones the gaslighters are talking about.

In my EE380 talk I wrote:
Because there is no central authority controlling who can participate, decentralized consensus systems must defend against Sybil attacks, in which the attacker creates a majority of seemingly independent participants which are secretly under his control. The defense is to ensure that the reward for a successful Sybil attack is less than the cost of mounting it. Thus participation in a permissionless blockchain must be expensive, so miners must be reimbursed for their costly efforts. There is no central authority capable of collecting funds from users and distributing them to the miners in proportion to these efforts. Thus miners' reimbursement must be generated organically by the blockchain itself; a permissionless blockchain needs a cryptocurrency to be secure.

Because miners' opex and capex costs cannot be paid in the blockchain's cryptocurrency, exchanges are required to enable the rewards for mining to be converted into fiat currency to pay these costs. Someone needs to be on the other side of these sell orders. The only reason to be on the buy side of these orders is the belief that "number go up". Thus the exchanges need to attract speculators in order to perform their function.

Thus a permissionless blockchain requires a cryptocurrency to function, and this cryptocurrency requires speculation to function.
That is the argument in a nutshell. An application built on a permissionless blockchain cannot escape from the cryptocurrency that secures the blockchain.

Announcing the winners of the Open Data Day 2022 small grants / Open Knowledge Foundation

Open Knowledge Foundation is excited to announce the list of organisations who have been awarded small grants to help them host Open Data Day events and activities across the world.

We received 296 small grants application this year and were greatly impressed by the quality of the event proposals.

This year we are supporting 14 events; 10 open data events and 4 events for the “Ocean data for a thriving planet” category. 

Unlike previous years, this year’s open data events supported by the small grants can take place anytime from 5th June 2022 until 31st August 2022. We are extremely grateful to our partners Microsoft, who have provided funding for this year’s small grants scheme.

Here are the organisations who will receive small grants:

Open data events

  1. Tanjona Association (Madagascar)

Host 2 days workshop to help/prepare the young generation from multidisciplinary backgrounds to think together about a solution from open data to protect Madagascar biodiversity and tackle the climate change issues.

  1. Bolivia Tech Hub (Bolivia)

Explore the unorganized biodiversity data with the help of the technical and non-technical community by organising the data exploration, better utilising the available tools, and sharing the finisings.

  1. Dream Factory Foundation (Botswana)

Use open data to educate and inspire a call to action for environmentalists and agricultural experts in Botswana to start using sustainable and climate-smart agricultural methods in order to improve production yield and promote a more sustainable environment.

  1. Lekeh Development Foundation (Nigeria)

Build the capacity of the coastal community in Ogoni on practical air quality monitoring for effective environmental management.

  1. Fundación Datalat (Ecuador)

Promote the use of environmental open data to map the state of the forest and natural parks in Ecuador through a mapping exercise with offline visualization techniques.

  1. SUUDU ANDAL (Burkina Faso)

Hold workshops with experts in Ouagadougou and Dori and discuss how communities can use data for local and global development in the context of governance and security in Burkina Faso. 

  1. Agro Tech Liberia (Liberia )

Create awareness around the importance of the development, dissemination, and use of food and agriculture-related data for strategic planning, and design of policies and programs for the achievement of the zero hunger goal of the SDGs.

  1. YouthMappers (Tanzania)

Mapping flood protection zones and evacuation routes to improve preparedness and response capabilities to urban floods among local communities in Morogoro Municipality and Ifakara Town Council, Tanzania.

  1. Center for Studies University, Society and Science/UNIFESP (Brasil)

Map the main sources of financing and the flow of resources that should be directed towards the scientific and technological development of Brazil.

  1. Digital Openers AB (Sweden)

Present method using Freedom of Information, share results from investigative budget transparency survey, and involve participants in using the data for the upcoming Swedish election.

Ocean data events

  1. Escuela de Fiscales  (Argentina)

Host blended event with panel presentation and workshop to Involve citizens and civil organisations in the use of data for environmental activism and ocean protection.

  1. U-INSPIRE (Indonesia)

Generating new ocean data for a coastal community in Krui, Lampung Province. A sharing session to discuss how the disaster impacted their livelihood and share how to monitor their surroundings using a few low-cost sensors and build it together with the community so they can maintain the sensor.

  1. Organization of Journalists Against Drugs Abuse and Crimes (Tanzania)

Train journalists on how to seek data to increase media coverage or engage them on a variety of coastal resilience topics, including ecosystem rehabilitation, livelihood, and food security, shelter and infrastructure, land use and development, managed retreat, and more.

  1. Society for Women’s Education and Awareness Development (India)

Establish an alternative paradigm for sustainable development with peoples’ power and involve fisher people in transformative politics to bring in the same. Organise training programs for youngsters in the fishing community to train them with available data on sustainable development, inter-generational equity, governance, and gender justice.

About Open Data Day?

Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world, where we gather to reach out to new people and build new solutions to issues in our communities using open data.

Groups from around the world create local events on the day where they use open data in their communities. It is an opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business, and civil society.

Need more information?

For more information, you can reach out to the Open Knowledge Foundation team by emailing You can also join the Open Data Day Google Group to ask for advice or share tips and get connected with others.

IIPC 2022 Recap / Harvard Library Innovation Lab

This past week was the annual gathering of the International Internet Preservation Consortium. This year, the event was hosted online by the Library of Congress, and we were excited to be able to attend sessions from folks all over the globe.

The programming will be available in full in a couple of weeks (we will send the links out with our next newsletter!), but here are some highlights from the live event that we think our community would find particularly relevant:

Arquivo404: This project from Portuguese archive Arquivo uses Memento protocols to allow website administrators to back up pages with various web archives. "This presentation will show use cases of the Arquivo404 service, detail the technologies it uses and provide some insight on the configurations it allows, namely the addition of other web archives for the search"

Optimizing Archival Replay by Eliminating Unnecessary Traffic to Web Archives: Our friends from the Internet Archive and Web Science & Digital Libraries Research Group at Old Dominion University have been conducting research on the speed of archival replay. "We discovered that some replayed web pages cause recurrent requests that lead to unnecessary traffic for the web archive. We looked at the network traffic on numerous archived web pages and found, for example, an archived page that made 945 requests per minute on average."

WARC Collection Summarization: We send copies of our Perma collection to the Internet Archive as part of our preservation plan - and have worked with the team at the Internet Archive to optimize the way that we share our collection. This presentation is by our collaborator on their team, and is related to our work together. "Items in the Internet Archive’s Petabox collections of various media types like image, video, audio, book, etc. have rich metadata, representative thumbnails, and interactive hero elements. However, web collections, primarily containing WARC files and their corresponding CDX files, often look opaque. We created an open-source CLI tool called 'CDX Summary' to process sorted CDX files and generate reports."

The Evolving Treatment of Wayback Machine Evidence by U.S. Federal Courts: Friend of LIL Nicholas Taylor took a deep dive into how U.S. federal courts have been evaluating the efficacy of Wayback Machine content for use in court. This chart outlines the four different ways that lawyers have argued for the use of a web archive as evidence:

chart of web archive evidentiary success

Keep an eye out for recordings of the full sessions as well as Q&A sessions! Thanks to IIPC and the Library of Congress for pulling all of this together!

Article retraction / William Denton

I have retracted “On Two Proposed Metrics of Electronic Resource Use” (Code4Lib Journal 52, September 2021). I asked of the editors:

I request that the article be retracted. My use of personally identifiable information led to comments at the journal and a complaint to my employer (York University). To assist with the resolution of the matter I am voluntarily withdrawing the article.

I thank the editorial committee of C4LJ for its prompt attention to this.

The old and the prudish: an examination of sex, sexuality, and queerness in Library of Congress Classification / In the Library, With the Lead Pipe

By Tiffany Henry, Rhonda Kauffman, and Anastasia Chiu

In Brief

Despite the fact that scholarship and knowledge about sex and sexuality have grown enormously in the last century, these topics in the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) schedules have remained stagnant, particularly in the HQ schedule (a classification subclass), entitled “The Family. Marriage. Women.” In this schedule, multiple structural issues in organization and placement of topics demonstrate a deeply sex negative attitude that has seen relatively little change in over a century. This article takes a deep dive into the negative attitudes toward sex and sexuality in the LCC HQ schedule, analyzing the ways in which sex negativity manifests structurally in LCC, and is informed by a thematic review of schedule editions between 1910 and 2020. It turns critical efforts that are traditionally applied to the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) in critical cataloging literature, to the deeper underlying structure of LCC. Though critiques and shortcomings of both LCC and LCSH on the treatment of LGBTQIA+ topics are well noted in the literature, very few examine the underpinnings of LGBTQIA+ marginalization as informed by sex negativity. This article examines some major issues in the HQ schedule with an eye toward providing a roadmap for future revisions. We aim for readers to realize what it means for structural inequity to exist in LCC, the harm that that structural inequity can impart, and to take a critical eye to the foundational classification used within numerous libraries, beyond the subject headings overlaying and masking that classification.



“Marriage with deceased wife’s sister.”

“Social purity.” 

These are but a few topics within the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) that focus on human sex and sexuality. Despite the fact that scholarship and knowledge about sex and sexuality have grown enormously in the last century, the treatment of sex and sexuality topics within LCC have remained stagnant. 

Library classification systems like LCC organize knowledge into a systematic order whereby catalogers assess materials and assign classification numbers based on standardized criteria in tandem with subject headings, resulting in the physical embodiment of that classification that we see on the shelves – a shelf list of titles grouped by common subjects or authors, situated relationally adjacent to one another. Catalogers rely on Library of Congress publications like the Library of Congress Classification Schedules to help guide them in selecting the right classification number for their materials, often relying on scope notes and references to help guide their decisions.

In thinking about library organization structures, classification can be understood metaphorically as a skeleton that organizes the physical collection of a library, overlaid (and sometimes masked) by controlled vocabularies. Much of the research involving the critical cataloging movement has focused on controlled vocabularies and subject analysis, and particularly examine the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). We argue that classification structures also deserve substantial critique and work. The topics that a classification structure lifts up can be seen as individual “bones” of a library’s skeleton. A topic’s appearance in classification makes it a locus point that many controlled vocabulary terms can be organized around — a bone with its attendant muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Interrogating the ways that subject headings reinforce oppression and marginalization and changing them as we expand our understanding of “inclusive language” is a worthy endeavor. Yet, these efforts cannot add up to structural change if we do not also attend to the bones around which the muscles are organized, and the ways that they also perpetuate erasure, stigmatization, stereotyping, and disempowerment.

This marginalization is particularly evident in the section of the Library of Congress Classification schedule that deals with sex, sexuality, and queerness. Housed within the H schedule for social sciences, the bulk of the LC classification that deals with sex and sexuality occurs in subclass HQ, entitled “The Family. Marriage. Women” (see Table 1 for an excerpt of this subclass). Its title is the first clue as to its outdated overall outlook. The order, structure, and hierarchy presented in the HQ class schedule has changed very little since its creation in 1910. The implication of the lack of change and adaptation in the HQ schedule is both negative and significant considering that LCC is the primary classification scheme used in academic and research libraries worldwide. 

As catalogers working within academic and research libraries, all three authors have come across titles classed in HQ and individually questioned placement or presence of specific class numbers or the structure of the schedule itself. As people trained to classify materials and who have either currently or previously done classification as part of our regular job duties, we are often baffled or outright offended by some structural choices within the HQ schedule. To determine why warrants further investigation. 

Table 1. Excerpt from the Library of Congress Classification Outline Subclass HQ (HQ12-449 Sexual Life) (Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division, n.d., p. 16).

  • HQ1-2044: The Family. Marriage. Women

    • HQ12-449: Sexual life

      • HQ19-30.7: Sexual behavior and attitudes. Sexuality
      • HQ31-64: Sex instruction and sexual ethics
      • HQ71-72: Sexual deviations
      • HQ74-74.2: Bisexuality
      • HQ75-76.8: Homosexuality. Lesbianism
      • HQ77-77.2: Transvestitism
      • HQ77.7-77.95: Transexualism
      • HQ79: Sadism. Masochism. Fetishism, etc.
      • HQ101-440.7: Prostitution
      • HQ447: Masturbation
      • HQ449: Emasculation. Eunuchs, etc.

Problem Statement

The HQ schedule presents many areas in need of further critique and structural change given the broad range of topics classed there. Despite its title, the HQ schedule includes a large, yet unnamed section dedicated to sex and sexuality. We chose to interrogate the way sex and sexuality show up in the LCC HQ schedule, primarily in the range of HQ12-472, a section that specifically covers human sex, sexuality, and similar topics. In our analysis, we identified an extreme level of sex negativity, defined as “a negative attitude or stance toward any sexual behavior other than procreative marital coitus” (“Sex Negativity,” n.d.). Sex positivity, by contrast, is “a positive attitude or stance toward sexual activity between consenting individuals when this is seen as promoting healthy relationships and forms of self-expression. Sex is seen as neither good nor bad, per se, and the purpose of sexual relations is not deemed to be confined exclusively to procreation through marital coitus” (“Sex Positivity,” n.d.). 

Sex negativity, which is deeply and systemically ingrained in our society, is intimately tied with anti-queerness because it narrowly normalizes procreative marital sex only. This effectively marginalizes a great many queer people, in part because the institution of marriage is denied to queer people in many legal jurisdictions, and in part because many queer ways of being include an understanding of sex as relationship-building, identity-building, and pleasurable, which is seen through a sex negative lens as inherently immoral, dirty, or otherwise negative. Sex negativity shows up in many ways, and in many places across HQ12-472. For example, many classmarks in this range lack explanatory notes to clarify vague and dubious labels, such as “Curiosa” (HQ25), implying an unwillingness to engage directly with topics related to sex. 

Queerphobia and transphobia are also deeply endemic to HQ’s treatment of sexuality, and are often underpinned by sex negativity, precisely because sex negativity denies the possibility that for many people, relationality can be more important in sex than procreation. HQ reduces queer identities down to what is visible in mainstream media, and by lumping together topics that queer and trans communities and scholars often understand as separate, even if related. For example, as the section on “Human sexuality. Sex” (HQ12-449) handles queer sexual orientations, it lifts up “gay,” “lesbian,” and “bisexual” people, but otherwise only provides “sexual minorities” as a catch-all, without specific designations for any other specific sexualities, and provides no room for works exploring the broad spectrum of sexuality, including but not limited to pansexuality, greysexuality, aromanticism, polyamory, and asexuality. 

We see HQ manifest its sex negativity and anti-queerness through five major mechanisms: granularity or spacing issues, scope note issues, harmful topical correlations due to proximity, issues with labels, and high stagnancy over time. The presence of sex negativity and anti-queerness in the structure of HQ can impart harm by reflecting back at library users either perspectives that may disparage part of their personal identities or promote a very narrow and singular idea of what sex is and should be for everyone. How knowledge is organized is directly shaped by the culture and era that produced the system; LCC is no exception. The presence of both sex negativity and anti-queerness merely reflects how both topics have historically been regarded in U.S. culture, given the history and origin of LCC.

Below, we situate our approach and perspective as part of the critical cataloging movement, and provide some analysis of major ranges and themes in HQ that exemplify sex negativity and anti-queerness.

Literature Review

To inform our analysis of HQ, we consulted sources that we see as “secondary sources,” analyzing cataloging systems and issues with a critical, or social-justice-oriented, lens, as well as “primary sources” which directly govern the cataloging systems that we are interested in. Our secondary literature helps us frame our perspective and analysis within the movement of critical cataloging (or #critcat). The “primary” literature provides an understanding of the overall governance of LCC, and thus, how the issues that we see came to be and how they compounded over time. 

Brief overview of critical cataloging

We situate our work within the critical cataloging movement overall, by analyzing HQ with a critical, queer, feminist, and holistic lens. The lens through which we work is by no means original or new, and many radical and critical catalogers have argued for similar ways to critique cataloging work and cataloging tools. Sanford Berman is perhaps the most well known for his work to author and submit numerous changes to biased LCSH beginning in the late 1960s, targeting terms that were outright chauvinist, racist, and Euro- and Christian-centric (Berman, 1971; Roberto, 2008). Berman is commonly known as the founder of radical cataloging, a term used to describe ways in which catalogers can look critically at catalog records and headings (especially those supplied by LC), as they are often incomplete and disregard the viewpoints and experience of marginalized populations (Roberto, 2008). Radical cataloging was originally imagined as an approach that “addresses the root issues that can make access to information problematic” (Lember et al., 2013). 

Somewhat recently, critical cataloging evolved within critical librarianship, a movement of librarianship that examines social justice issues in our work (Critlib: About / Join the Discussion, n.d.). Critical cataloging, which revitalizes some of the principles of radical cataloging, recognizes the power of labeling and naming (Olson, 2002), takes into account potential harm or benefit of terms being used, and exposes and challenges the ways in which we replicate the systems of oppression within society and the library profession (Critlib: Critcat, n.d.; Drabinski, 2008; Watson, 2020). The current wave of critical cataloging efforts to revise subject headings and classmarks includes perhaps most famously the recommendation for the change to the subject heading “illegal aliens” to “noncitizens” or “unauthorized immigration,” and “aliens” to “noncitizens” (Baron et al., 2016; Price, 2021). A collaborative worksite, the Cataloging Lab (Fox, 2018a, 2018b), was recently created to lower barriers to proposing new classification numbers, subject, and name authority headings. New headings have been created thanks to the work of Cataloging Lab participants, including “Afrofuturism” (“Afrofuturism,” 2019), and “SayHerName movement” (“SayHerName Movement,” 2021), and many new headings and revisions to existing headings have been suggested. Indeed, the current movement in radical and critical cataloging has remained true to its roots of calling attention to the systemic systems of oppression within which we work, a framework within which this article is placed.

A bulk of cataloging literature that criticizes Library of Congress Classification and Subject Headings, which we seek to add to, points out that these systems were not originally intended to organize the entirety of knowledge as we currently use it; their original intent was to organize a very specific collection of volumes for the United States Congress in the late nineteenth century. This is evidenced by large sections of the LCC specifically devoted to American history (classes E&F); and political, military and naval science (J, U, and V schedules respectively) (Higgins, 2012; Watson, 2020). Their scope and focus have a definite bias toward Western, American, white, heterosexual, cisgender, Christian, and male points of view as one would imagine would be the case for a controlled vocabulary and a classification system created “within a Western framework of late Victorianism, rampant industrial expansion, and feverish empire-building” (Berman, 1971). 

Treatment of sex and queerness in LC cataloging systems

A major body of scholarly criticism about LCSH and LCC’s treatment of sex and queerness already exists. A bulk of this literature focuses on LCSH, which correlates strongly to LCC, but is separate from it. While this article focuses on a classification rather than on subject headings, many of the approaches that we take to analyze a portion of the HQ schedule are drawn from approaches detailed in this LCSH work. 

It is no secret that the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) have a problematic history of using pejorative and outdated terminology. LC has a process for suggesting new or modifying existing terms and references for the vocabulary, which is the same process used to suggest additions or changes to LCC. However, both can be considered “rigid system[s] defined by hierarchical organization that [are] extremely slow and resistant to change” (Howard & Knowlton, 2018). The process of creating or changing terms can be challenging, as Watson (2020) summarized for the proposal process for the terms “Asexuality (Sexual orientation)” and “Asexual people;” previously “Asexual” only appeared in reference to asexually reproducing plants in biology. The proposal was first rejected, and after much philosophical discussion and rewriting, the two headings were accepted as new subject headings in 2016. If making changes to LCSH is difficult and painstakingly slow, the process for making changes to LCC is even slower. 

Throughout LCSH, queer identities are heavily stigmatized, if not outright erased, a trend that we find correlates strongly to how queer identities are represented in LCC. The only subject heading that uses the term “queer” in LCSH is “Queer theory” (Roberto, 2011; Kauffman & Anderson, 2018), compared to the 100+ terms that include “queer” in Homosaurus, the international linked data vocabulary of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) terms (Homosaurus: An International LGBTQ+ Linked Data Vocabulary, 2019). Terms that do appear in LCSH are heavily binary, with straight as the default, and gay, lesbian, or bisexual as the other options for sexual orientations (plus, now, asexuality). The options for sexual orientations and identities fail to illustrate the fluidity and nuances of sexual identities. As Roberto (2011) observes, “Queer identities do not have an explicit place in LCSH.” We argue that for both similar and different reasons, the same is true of LCC.

Since Roberto’s 2011 article on transgender identities was published, some hierarchies of terms within LCSH have changed. Roberto notes that at the time of writing, “Gays” was used for “Gay people,” “Gay persons,” and “Homosexuals,” which still holds true today, as does the term “Sexual minorities” for LGBTQ people at large. Roberto also noted cross references for “Sexual minorities” included “Gender minorities,” “non-heterosexual people,” and “Sexual dissidents,” all of which are “use for” references for “Sexual minorities” today. “Use for” references are acknowledgements of natural-language terms in LCSH, and they lead people from natural-language versions of a term to the authorized version of a term. Much like “Soft drinks” is a use-for term for “Soda pop” and “Sodas (Beverages),” if a person searches for “Gender minorities” in a catalog, they will be redirected to resources with the subject heading “Sexual minorities.” Cross references are those related terms that LC includes to say to a user, “You might also like…” Cross references for “Sexual minorities” today include, “Asexual people,” “Bisexuals,” “Gays,” and others. While there have been changes to LCSH within the last decade, there still exists the element of marginalization and othering of non-gay, non-lesbian, non-bisexual people, lumping them into “Sexual minorities,” without even acknowledging that they are people. 

Substantial literature analyzes how the terms chosen as the authorized form in LCSH and references between terms can also be problematic. The act of naming terms is quite powerful and encodes systemic bias into the means by which library materials are discovered and organized  (Matienzo, 2015; Olson, 2002). “Paraphilias” is the current term for what was previously called “Sexual deviation,” and prior to that, “Sexual perversion.” These changing terms originally drew directly from medical literature, such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). 

Likewise, a term’s placement within the LCSH hierarchy can be problematic. For instance, “homosexuality” was filed under “Sexual deviation” and prior to that under “Sexual perversion” before it was moved to “Human sexuality. Sex” after 1980 (Adler, 2017; Drucker, 2017). LCSH terminology regarding homosexuality and its placement within and outside of sexual deviation and perversion has mirrored its treatment within the DSM, and subsequent social movements to remove homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder from the DSM (Adler, 2017). Sandy Berman even petitioned to have the subject heading “Sexual perversion” changed to “Sexual deviation” and went further to suggest its cancellation as a cross reference to “homosexuality” and “lesbianism” (Berman, 1971). In short, the placement of terms within a vocabulary’s hierarchy insinuates judgment, and while changes have been made, they are slow to match the speed of societal change. 

These issues of naming, placement, harmful correlations through proximity, and stagnancy over time also show up in LCC, in part due to the high level of correlation between it and LCSH. Our analysis adds to these existing observations by digging into precisely how they show up in LCC, and by adding consideration of an issue that manifests most clearly in classification: a lack of space for granularity on topics of queerness and sex.

Critical classification

The body of literature on critical classification and knowledge organization looks like a trickle in comparison to the roaring waterfall of literature on subject terms and controlled vocabularies, and our article seeks to contribute to filling some of the gap by offering a classification-specific analysis. Yet, the existing body of literature is not insubstantial. For example, it is particularly robust in the area of Indigenous Knowledge Organization. Yeh & Frosio (1971), Lincoln (1987), Webster & Doyle (2008), and Lee (2011) all problematize LCC’s treatment of Indigenous people and cultures. Cherry & Mukunda (2015), Littletree & Metoyer (2015), and Littletree, Belarde-Lewis, and Duarte’s work (2020) delve further to highlight and present Indigenous-centered ways of seeing and understanding Indigenous knowledges.

LIS scholarship also includes many other critical perspectives specific to LCC. Foskett (1971) presented a (White) feminist critique of LCC, as well as a general critique of cultural norms in cataloging that upheld (and uphold) the myth of “neutrality” in classification work. Soltani (1996); Kublik, et al (2003); Idrees & Mahmood (2009); Higgins (2012); Baker & Islam (2020); and Hart (2021) each presented cases of LCC’s othering, exoticization, and erasure of women and people of color all over the world, and put forth guidance to radically correct LCC, or to adapt it to local and culturally specific contexts. A common thread across these pieces is their reminder to catalogers that it is always significant that LCC originated as a system designed for the specific collection focuses of the United States Congress’s library, and holds all of that collection’s biases. 

Additionally, a growing body of critical literature on LCC focuses specifically on queer sexualities and genders. Keilty (2009) illustrates the paradoxical nature of classifying queerness at all, pointing to many ways in which queerness simultaneously defies and relies on categorization and classification. In their paper on classifying a queer community organization’s collection, Nowak and Mitchell (2016) detail the practical problems of using LCC, including how extremely small the call number ranges for queerness and queer people are. Adler (2017) provides a great deal of historical context for the rampant bias against queer sexualities in HQ, and contends that LCC is not just a reflection of mainstream bias against queer people, but a structure that reseeds and recreates that bias in research libraries across the US and around the world. Howard & Knowlton (2018) depict the practical difficulties of describing and classifying African American Studies and LGBTQIA Studies works that result from LCC’s and LCSH’s anti-Blackness and anti-queerness. 

We draw, with gratitude, on all of these existing observations to critique HQ, and seek to add to these threads by showing, through an analysis of sex and queerness in HQ, that the ways that bias manifests in LCC can be complex and intertangled, well beyond what the systems that exist to correct it were designed to address.

LCC/LCSH proposal process and the problem of literary warrant

To better understand how the issues that we see came into being and are maintained over time, it is important to understand how the official revision process works for LCC. Accordingly, we also consulted both the Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO) Manual (Schiff & Program for Cooperative Cataloging, 2007) and the Classification and Shelflisting Manual (CSM)’s “F50” classification proposal guidelines (Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division, 2013). 

The SACO Manual is important because the SACO program is responsible for organizing the maintenance of official LC vocabularies such as LCSH and LC Demographic Terms, as well as the LCC schedules. It is part of the Library of Congress’s Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), and its proposals are reviewed and decided upon by the Library of Congress Policies and Standards Division (PSD). LC PSD is also the body that maintains the CSM, which provides guidance to catalogers on how to understand and use the LC Classification system. The policies set forth in the SACO manual on how to propose new subject headings and class numbers serves as a supplement to the rules set forth by CSM, providing extra guidance on how and when to create proposals, as well as examples. 

Both of these major manuals display a deeply-ingrained reliance on “literary warrant” for all alterations and new class numbers in the governance of LCC and LCSH. Literary warrant is a principle based on the idea that “classes are created to cope with the literature that must be classified by the scheme, rather than on the basis of any theoretical analysis of knowledge, either documentary or philosophical” (Broughton, 2015, p. 164). It requires catalogers to furnish a title as evidence that the change requested in the LCC proposal is “necessary.” Both the CSM F50 and SACO manual provide multiple examples of specific titles and situations that would demand a proposal. In twenty examples given in the SACO manual, only one did not contain or require literary warrant. In that example, the illustrated modification was a minimal change to ensure that terminology used in LCC matched a corresponding LCSH (2007, p. 223). Similarly, within CSM the only proposal example without a specific work tied to it is an example of adding a “see reference” (Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division, 2013, pp. 56–57). Both examples are very small in relation to the overwhelming body of literary-warrant-based examples; this weighting of examples creates an impression that proposals not based on literary warrant should be extremely rare and that catalogers are virtually always expected to provide a work as a basis for their proposals.

The critique of literary warrant is already something of a tradition in critical cataloging (Biswas, 2018; Watson, 2020). To add to it, we offer an observation that orienting the proposal process around literary warrant introduces two major issues, one regarding the size and scale of proposed changes and another around its reliance on the publishing industry for equity and representation. The proposal process is optimized for smaller alterations to LCC. The examples given in both the SACO manual and CSM F50 guidelines suggest that successful proposals alter only one or a couple of classmarks at a time. Otherwise, changes may require multiple proposals, often contingent on prior ones’ acceptance and implementation. That approach is prohibitive given the time and effort required by both the petitioner and PSD review committee. Even with breakthroughs in knowledge published in the formats that libraries value most, reflecting those changes in LCC for collection organization will be a slow process. There are also known inequities around who and what traditionally gets published, and thus, what gets collected by libraries (Roh & Inefuku, 2016). For example, Roh (2016) highlighted in her article the racial disparities found within publishing by noting the whiteness of both scholarly publishing (Greco et al., 2016), and mainstream publishing (Lee and Low Books et al., 2016, 2020). Literary warrant then replicates the inequities in publishing in our knowledge organization systems. 

Thematic Review of HQ Over Time

In order to explore how classmarks and class ranges have or have not changed over time, including their placement within the hierarchy, as well as the introduction of new topics, we compared editions from 1910, 1920, 1950, 1965, 1980, and 2020, analyzed particular labels, themes, class ranges, and classmarks over time. Some general findings are noted here.

We see labels and granularity of categorizations for sex and sexuality remain largely unchanged until after 1965, with the introduction of distinct classmarks for “Lesbians,” “Gay men,” “Bisexuality” (see Table 2), “Cross-dressing. Transvestism,” as well as “Sexual behavior and attitudes” for specific groups of people like boys, girls, men, women, etc. introduced in the 1980 edition, and remain largely unchanged today.

“Homosexuality” has appeared since the first edition in 1910, and was initially nested under “Abnormal sex relations,” whose label was changed to “Sexual deviations” by the 1980 edition. It currently sits under “Human sexuality. Sex.” (See Table 2)

Curiously, HQ73 has undergone some changes and is currently described as “Sexual minorities. General works.” However, prior to and including the 1965 edition, this same classmark was described as “Abnormal sex relations. Sexual perversion in woman.” We did not see any entry for HQ73 in the 1980 edition.

Table 2. Selection of HQ classmarks across Library of Congress Classification editions, with nesting terms included.
Edition Year 2020 ed. 1980 ed. 1965 ed. 1950 ed. 1920 ed. 1910 ed.
Group 1 HQ18.6: Sexual attraction N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Group 2 HQ25: Curiosa HQ25: Curiosa HQ25: Curiosa HQ25: Curiosa HQ25: Curiosa HQ25: Curiosa
Group 3 HQ71-72: Sexual practices outside of social norms. Paraphilias HQ71-72: Sexual deviations HQ71-72: Abnormal sex relations HQ71-72: Abnormal sex relations HQ71-72: Abnormal sex relations HQ71-72: Abnormal sex relations
Group 4 HQ73: Sexual minorities. General works N/A HQ73: Abnormal sex relations. Sexual perversion in woman. HQ73: Abnormal sex relations. Sexual perversion in woman. HQ73: Abnormal sex relations. Sexual perversion in woman. HQ73A: bnormal sex relations. Sexual perversion in woman.
Group 5 HQ75-76.965: Human Sexuality. Sex. -Homosexuality. Lesbianism HQ75-76.8: Sexual deviations. -Homosexuality. Lesbianism HQ76: Abnormal sex relations. -Homosexuality HQ76: Abnormal sex relations. -Homosexuality HQ76: Abnormal sex relations. -Homosexuality HQ76: Abnormal sex relations. -Homosexuality
Group 6 HQ75.3-.6: Lesbians HQ75.3-.6: Lesbians N/A N/A N/A N/A
Group 7 HQ75.7-.8: Gay men HQ75.7-.8: Gay men N/A N/A N/A N/A
Group 8 HQ74-.2: Bisexuality HQ74-.2: Bisexuality N/A N/A N/A N/A

The majority of changes within HQ regarding sex and sexuality that we see in the 2020 edition were made in the 1980 edition and after, broadly acknowledging the sexual revolution, women’s liberation, and gay liberation movements of the 1960s-1980s. Further analysis of our findings is detailed below.


We have selected seven topical examples to highlight how sex negativity, anti-queerness, or both manifests in the HQ schedule. Each instance of sex negativity or anti-queerness analyzed here carries one or a combination of the five mechanisms named earlier: issues with granularity, a lack of or problematic scope notes, harmful associations created by proximity, issues with the labeling of class numbers, and high stagnancy of the class schedule over time.

Naming sex and sexuality in the schedule

The first and largest example of sex negativity in HQ lies in the incongruence between the name of the schedule, “The Family. Marriage. Women” and the fact that roughly its entire first third (HQ12 to HQ472) is about sex and sexuality. Notably, sex and sexuality topics are organized and placed before class numbers that speak to the schedule’s title, including families, marriage, parenthood, and women. This treatment of sex and sexuality in the class schedule, and the conspicuous lack of direct naming of sex in the schedule title, ensure that sex is heavily framed as being inseparable from marriage and family.

Furthermore, there is very little in the schedule that builds room for any understanding of sex and sexuality as having significant purposes of pleasure, relationship-building, or building self-identity. The closest that the 2020 edition of the HQ schedule comes to any acknowledgment of these aspects of sex lie in the range “Sex instruction and sexual ethics” (HQ 31-64), which includes some space for works on specific sexual practices. Yet, even here, because the focus of the section is on “teaching” and “ethics,” its main impact is not ultimately to affirm that sex serves more purposes than procreative ones, but rather to signal that only specific types of sex are normative and appropriate, namely sex between married heterosexual couples. 

Treatment of queer sexualities and identities

A prime example of HQ’s failure to provide granularity or sufficient space to topics related to sex, is its treatment of sexualities and sexual identities, particularly queer ones. We define granularity or spacing issues as instances in which there is either a dearth of numerical space given to broad topics, disproportionate space devoted to niche topics within the classification subclass, or the absence of specifically naming topics. Avoiding specifically allotting space and naming topics for non-majority sexualities and sexual identities contributes to the erasure of non-heterosexual identities. In this instance, non-heterosexual identities are only allotted a meager five integers’ worth of space between HQ73 and HQ78, with little delineation among the many varied sexual identities that exist. The HQ73 to HQ78 range is the only space that delves into non-heterosexual identities, with minor exceptions for same-sex marriage (HQ1033) and same-sex divorce (HQ825). The inadequate level of space for granularity directly contributes to the queer and trans erasure throughout the entire schedule.

Table 3. Excerpt adapted from Library of Congress Classification, HQ: The Family. Marriage. Women (Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division, 2020, pp. 456–458)

  • HQ73-73.63: Sexual minorities
    • Sexual minority parents
      • Cf. HQ75.27+: Gay parents
      • Cf. HQ755.7+: Parents. Parenthood
  • HQ74-74.9: Bisexuality. General works
    • Cf. HQ1035+: Bisexuality in marriage
    • Cf. RC560.B56: Psychiatric aspects
  • HQ74.2-74.6.A-Z: Bisexual women
  • HQ74.7-74.9.A-Z: Bisexual men
  • HQ75-76.956.A-Z: Homosexuality. Lesbianism
    • Including queer theory
    • Cf. D804.5.G38: Gay victims of the Holocaust
    • Cf. E98.S48: Indian gays and lesbians
    • Cf. HQ1033+: Same-sex marriage
    • Cf. QP81.6: Physiology
    • Cf. RC558+: Psychiatric aspects
  • HQ75.14-75.16.A-Z: Gay and lesbian studies
  • HQ75.25-75.26.A-Z: Travel
  • HQ75.27-75.28: Gay parents
    • Cf. HQ75.53: Lesbian mothers
  • HQ75.3-75.6.A-Z: Lesbians
    • Cf. HS3357.L47: Lesbian Girl Scouts
  • HQ75.7-76.2.A-Z: Gay men
  • HQ76.25: Homosexuality. Lesbianism. General works
  • HQ76.26: Juvenile works
  • HQ76.27.A-Z: Special classes of gay people, A-Z
  • HQ76.34-76.35.A-Z: Same-sex relationships
    • Cf. HQ1033+: Same-sex marriage
  • HQ76.4-76.45.A-Z: Homophobia. Heterosexism
  • HQ76.5-76.8.A-Z: Gay rights movement. Gay liberation movement. Homophile movement
  • HQ76.85: Gay conservatives
  • HQ76.9-76.95.A-Z: Gay press publications
    • Class here works on publications of any type produced by the gay and lesbian community
  • HQ76.96-76.965.A-Z: Gay and lesbian culture

It is clearly visible that too many subjects have been crammed into a small range of class numbers given the liberal use of decimals in that range to expand. What falls between HQ73 and HQ78 attempts to capture and place nearly all things pertinent to queerness, not only naming (a select few) queer identities, but also aspects of queer culture, and more. While attempting to be inclusive, this is actually to the detriment of the people that this space describes and represents. Some examples of what falls into this range include “Travel” specifically for queer people at HQ75.25, “Gay parents” at HQ75.27, “Gay rights movement. Gay liberation movement. Homophile movement” at HQ76.5, and “Gay and lesbian culture” at HQ76.96 to name only a few. This demonstrates how broad the subjects are in this range for so little space within the classification schedule. The use of decimal points to fit in a newer class number within the established schedule is a typical LCC cataloging practice and is seen in numerous, if not all available LCC schedules. Its pervasive use in the HQ73 to HQ78 range indicates initial disregard during design of the class schedule.

Providing very little space for subjects covering numerous aspects of queer and trans identities illustrates the indifference LC catalogers had for it during construction and development of the schedule. There was no anticipation that the subject would grow, and that more than five class numbers would be needed in the future. This is another example of how heteronormativity is reinforced by the class schedule if the inclusion of queer identities and people are treated as an afterthought. Due to the lack of initial space afforded in the class schedule and the use of more decimals to accommodate new subjects, it does not encourage further growth. Catalogers using LCC are less inclined to establish new class numbers in a range where the numbers are already so close together. It is work that can be done but becomes harder to do as time passes and subject area knowledge expands. Encouraging growth within a LCC class schedule is visualized via numerical gaps between class numbers and the overuse of decimals in class numbers indicates the opposite.  

Again, this already small class number range and lack of delineation of subcategories does a poor job at differentiating sexual identities, providing nuance where needed, as well as placing topics relating to all queer and trans communities together without critical thought on placement or distinctions. Broad strokes are utilized in the HQ73 to HQ78 range for all queer identities. Only “gay”, “lesbian”, and “bisexual” identities are directly named while other queer identities that might fall outside the popular imagination and mainstream media such as pansexuality, greysexuality, aromanticism, polyamory, and asexuality receive an inadequate umbrella term of “sexual minorities.” While space is given for both trans and intersex people at HQ77.7 and HQ77.97 respectively, the placement and labeling of the class numbers appears to be less of a thoughtful integration of these subjects.

By contrast, the class numbers assigned to Computer Science (QA75.5-76.95), an entirely new field of research since LCC was originally constructed, was squeezed into a small space but is organized with multiple delineations for subcategories and aspects of the field. Subcategories include reserved class numbers for many topics, including types of programming (QA76.6-76.66), an A-Z list of individual programming languages (QA76.73 A-Z), and another A-Z list of special topics in computer software (QA76.76 A-Z). Even within this small number range, a breadth of topics is covered with surprising granularity. Applying similar attention to sexual and queer identities by assigning specific class number ranges to them would give a legitimate place to these otherwise erased sexual and queer identities that fall outside of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans. 

Discrimination based on gender, sex, or sexuality

Another example of HQ’s lack of granularity on topics related to queerness and sex is that there are very few class numbers directly dealing with discrimination based on gender, sex, or sexual orientation. There are four named class numbers total related to sexuality- and gender-based discrimination within HQ: 

  • Homophobia. Heterosexism (HQ76.4)
  • Transphobia. Transgender discrimination (HQ77.96)
  • Intersex discrimination (HQ78.4)
  • Sex discrimination against women. Sexual harassment of women. Sexism (HQ1237) 

Each of these topics is broad in nature, but cramped within very little numerical space in the schedule. The lack of space afforded to a broad swath of topics further reinforces the reduction and erasure of queer identities, by restraining classification of the ways that anti-queer and anti-feminist movements have impacted the histories and cultural processes of queer communities. Topics as nuanced as discrimination, gender-based harassment, and sexism in totality need more than four LCC class numbers to adequately delve into each subject. The lack of granularity is a disservice to the importance of the topic, especially within a schedule purportedly about sex and human sexuality. We see less than whole integers between the numbers assigned for each of these very broad types of discrimination, cramping catalogers’ capacity to describe them with the specificity that they need to be understood.

The remaining class number dealing with discrimination is a numerical outlier compared to the other three but also has a similar granularity issue. The class number HQ1237 covers the subjects of sexual harassment, discrimination against women, and sexism. It is worth noting that the distance in the schedule from the HQ73-HQ78 range implies that this class number was conceptualized to cover works about cisgender women. This only furthers the trans erasure seen throughout other parts of the schedule. Unlike the other class numbers covering the topic of discrimination in multiple forms, HQ1237 is allotted a whole integer. While this presents more of a modicum of space than the four discrimination-related topics that we identified in the range that we were primarily interested in (HQ12-472), it nevertheless allots only a single integer to three related, but distinct topics. Each subject covered by HQ1237 could warrant its own class number at a minimum, given the potential depth of the topics. 

We observed above that only a few queer identities that are visible in the mainstream media are afforded their own place in HQ. In a similar fashion, HQ only recognizes a few select types of discrimination and harassment based on gender and sexuality. While the discrimination against people who are queer, trans, intersex, and women is certainly worthy of their own space carved out in the classification, these groups of people are not the only ones who experience oppression or discrimination. The existing discrimination-oriented call numbers are afforded so little space, that it is difficult to imagine room for acknowledgement for the discrimination against other groups of people who also experience gender- or sexuality-based discrimination. Although we find that all four class numbers are more recent additions to the HQ schedule based on our historical analysis, we also find that there are other new classmarks and ranges with deeper and more granular coverage in other classes, which makes the argument that the topics are “new” a rather inadequate excuse for the lack of space made for them in HQ. As phenomena, sexism and discrimination or harassment based on gender, sex, or sexual orientation are not new, and the level of scholarship and cultural conversation about them warrant far more space and granularity than they are given in HQ.


During our examination, we collectively stopped in our tracks at HQ25 “Curiosa,” which occurs under “Sexual behaviors and attitudes.” There are no subcategories, and it is also separate from the miscellaneous category of “General special.” It lacks any scope notes or explanation to clarify what should be classed in this vaguely-labeled class number, and the vagueness and prurience of the label engenders sex negative and anti-queer understandings of the topics classed there, which though not clear, can still be understood as being non-normative, and related to sex. To find out what has been placed in this section, we searched our libraries’ and LC’s catalogs, as well as OCLC’s WorldCat, and discovered that books classed here cover a range of general topics pertaining to sex and sexual activities, including sex tips to spice up a marriage, aphrodisiacs, and one title called Curiositates eroticæ physiologiæ; or tabooed subjects freely treated by John Davenport, published in 1875, with the table of contents “Generation — Virginity and chastity — Marriage — Circumcision — Eunuchism — Hermaphrodism — Death.” Many of the works were published in the late 19th and early 20th century, with a large break until the 1970s and then again in the 2000s, where many are presented as popular culture books on human sex and sexuality, and are given the subject heading “Sex – Miscellanea,” for example Sex facts : a handbook for the carnally curious by Leslee Welch (1995) or The Mammoth book of erotic confessions by Barbara Cardy (2009). 

Curiosa appeared in the first edition of HQ in 1910 and remains unchanged today. While curiosa might mean “unusual or erotic books” (“Curiosa,” n.d.) or be a euphemism for pornographic works (“Curiosa, n.,” 2021), we posit that in HQ, this was a puritanical catchall for those sexual activities and subjects that are not considered polite to speak of, but are not quite considered “sexually perverse.” The lack of scope notes and poor terminology creates a veil of mystery behind a term that severely needs updating. In a more sex positive environment books classed here could be placed under a term like “Human sexuality. Sex – Popular Works” that celebrates human sexuality and curiosity, rather than placing it in an antiquated moral catchall of “Curiosa.”

Sex instruction, sex education, and sexual ethics

Morality, religion, and marriage are embodied deeply into the section of HQ that addresses sex instruction, sex education, and sexual ethics (HQ 31-59). The ways the class numbers and labels within the HQ31-59 range purport a specific view of sex through the moral and ethical lens of heterosexual marriages is a prime example of type of structural sex negativity seen in HQ.

As if to create a foundation for this section, one of the first references for “Sex instruction and sexual ethics” is a “see also” reference for “HQ728-743 Treatises on marriage,” associating sexual ethics with marriage, and connoting that sexual ethics outside the context of maritality or extramaritality, such as ethics of consent, or ethics of shared marital agreements around extramarital sex, are not worth speaking of. The label and structure of “Sex instruction and sexual ethics” insinuates a moral judgment on sexual pleasure. This is the portion of the schedule that directly addresses specific sexual practices, even if they are enormously phallic-centric, and includes “Specific practices and techniques A-Z” and explicitly mentions dildos, oral sex, and penis pumps (HQ31.5 A-Z). Even these somewhat sex positive sections are lacking inclusivity of other activities and preferences, such as BDSM, sexual role play, or sexual positions, to name a few. Immediately following this section is “Sexual ethics” (HQ32) – its placement not unnoticed.

Embedded within “Sex instruction and sexual ethics” is “Sex teaching,” which has no scope note to help a cataloger distinguish this from “Sex instruction,” or to define the parameters of the topic. Embedded within “Sex teaching” occurs “Sex instruction in the schools,” which lacks a clear scope note as well and can mean many different things. The labeling and placement under “Sex instruction and sexual ethics” connotes the anti-sex-education view that any type of sex education equates to mechanical instruction on sexual intercourse, and to endorsement of sexual risk-taking. Without a scope note, it is unclear what the topic encompasses. Is “Sex instruction in the schools” comparable to sex education that students might get from school that includes various topics including human sexual anatomy, sexual activity, sexual reproduction, “safe sex” practices, sexual health, or abstinence-only sex education, or any combination thereof? None of the subtopics relating to current sex education curricula in schools appear in this range or near the current label. The only mention of “sexual health” within the HQ31-59 range is a see reference in a completely different class schedule for medicine (RA788). The lack of a scope note or additional related subtopics forces catalogers to guess what is meant to be classed in “Sex instruction in the schools.”

Marriage with deceased wife’s sister 

One of the most surprising class numbers that we found during our analysis of the HQ schedule was one that fell outside our primary range of interest, HQ12-472. It was “Marriage with deceased wife’s sister” at HQ1028, and we include it in this analysis because of the parallel that we see between its issues and those of the other topics that we analyze from HQ12-472. Appearing in the first edition of the schedule published in 1910, works classified here date back to the early 18th century about men marrying their sister-in-law after the death of their previous spouse. This class number and its label initially struck all the authors as an oddly specific instance of remarriage to name so plainly. To get a sense of how this call number has been used and is applied in cataloging, all three authors did a cursory search of our respective institutional library catalogs, OCLC, and the Library of Congress Catalogs. Searches of our catalogs yielded either no results or lead to works published in the late 19th or early 20th century. OCLC and LC catalogs contained mostly works from the 18th and 19th centuries on discourses, sermons, and pamphlets on the morality and legalization of men marrying the sister of their deceased wife. These quick searches confirmed that the call number might be a historical relic of an earlier era. The cursory catalog searches gave us a sense that the call number is no longer in regular use and that this topic is not currently being written about. Falling out of contemporary scholarly discourse while still maintaining space in the classification structure is stagnancy in action. The potential strangeness of this class number is more visually evident in a modern catalog to contemporary library users and illustrates the unchanging nature of the class schedule. Moreover, this stagnancy leads to issues with appropriate labeling, proximity imbuing problematic associations, and further reinforcement of sex negativity.

“Marriage with deceased wife’s sister” (HQ1028) appears with a range (HQ1018-1026, HQ1031-1041) dedicated to either stigmatized or “non-normative” forms of marriage (see Table 4). This is another example where the influence of sex negativity influences the structure of the schedule, imbuing the social stigma regarding what kinds of sex are appropriate to nearby HQ1028. 

Table 4. Excerpt adapted from Library of Congress Classification, HQ: The Family. Marriage. Women (Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division, 2020, p. 473).

  • HQ1018: Remarriage
  • HQ1026: Consanguineous marriage
    • Cf. HV4981: Social pathology
  • HQ1028: Marriage with deceased wife’s sister
  • HQ1031: Mixed marriages. Intermarriage. Interfaith marriage
    • Including material on mixed marriages in general
    • Cf. GN254: Racial crossing
    • Cf. HQ750+: Eugenics
  • HQ1032: Intercountry marriage
  • HQ1033: Same-sex marriage
    • Cf. HQ825: Same-sex divorce
  • HQ1035: Bisexuality in marriage
  • HQ1036-1041: Marriage of people with disabilities

“Consanguineous marriages,”  another term for close kin marriages, occurs at HQ1026, and “Mixed marriages. Intermarriage. Interfaith marriage” at HQ1031. All three of these class numbers were established in the 1910 edition of the schedule, with HQ1031 originally labeled as only “Mixed marriages” with a reference to “Racial crossing” or interracial marriages. A class number for “Same-sex marriage” was added at HQ1033 in the 2020 edition of the Library of Congress Classification Schedule. The past and present class numbers in this swath of the schedule all allude to marriages that were stigmatized and often legally regulated (within a U.S. context, at least). Tacitly, it commonly stigmatized non-marital sexual relations, and the class numbers and labels gathered in this range exhibit extremely similar patterns to those that we observe in HQ12-472. We posit that this is because of who tends to be coupled in the marriages that are specifically called out in this range. These kinds of marriages have been or are culturally frowned upon due to the presumption that these couples would have sex. Proximity of these class numbers to each other strengthens the sex negative ideas present elsewhere in HQ and promotes a specific idea of which sexual relationships and interactions are deemed culturally normative. It reinforces a type of cultural gatekeeping by perpetuating ideas around who is permitted to marry and which unions are considered appropriate.

Sex work

The class range labeled “Prostitution” (HQ101-440.9) has appeared in all editions of LCC since 1910. Unsurprisingly, it is a range in which sex negativity is rife both in analysis of the current schedule and in analysis of historical changes over time. At the broadest level, sex work has always been seen and understood as “abnormal” in LCC, and for many years, this manifested literally, through labeling as it was included in the “Abnormal sex relations” range (HQ71-449). (As noted above, that range also contained “Homosexuality,” limited at the time to a single classmark, HQ76). By 1980, “Prostitution,” had been subsumed within a larger range, called “Sexual life” (HQ31-449). However, by tacitly retaining the norm that “Prostitution” is part of a logical cluster with “Sadism, Masochism, Fetishism, etc.” (HQ79), “Sex tourism,” (HQ444-445), and “Masturbation” (HQ447), the issue that began as a judgmental label became an issue of proximal association between topics that aren’t particularly related, other than by being types of sex that are even more taboo than sex already is in general. 

In its present form, the range displays its sex negativity in many other ways. This includes the high granularity of classmarks that associate sex work with criminality and “impurity,” and low granularity of classmarks that associate sex work with anything other than social stigma. Because most taxonomies function with the assumption that a parent concept is fully explored by its child concepts, this creates a social reality within HQ wherein sex work has no salient traits other than criminality and social impurity. There are no classmarks, or references to classmarks in other schedules, about sex worker movements for decriminalization and labor protections. Nor are there any classmarks or see references about anti-poverty and sex work legalization policies as sex trafficking prevention policies, despite the growth of these efforts in the global sex workers’ rights movement, particularly after the 1970s. However, there are long-established classmarks for “Regulation” of prostitution (HQ121–125), “Human trafficking” (HQ280-285), and “Social purity” (HQ291-295). These absences and presences tell a story about how LCC sees and understands sex work – as something to be socially stigmatized as non-procreative sex, and legally criminalized to solidify the social stigma. 

The granularity issues are compounded by the associations created by many of the sequences of classmarks in this range, as well as by explanatory note issues interspersed within the range. For example, the sequencing of “Human trafficking” (HQ280-285), “Social purity” (HQ291-295), and “Rescue work” (HQ301-440.9) directly one after another tells a particular story about how sex workers are seen and understood in the schedule (see Table 5 below). To start that sequence, “Human trafficking” has a note directing catalogers to classify works that are about human trafficking in general, in addition to works about sex trafficking specifically, in this subrange. Given that this is a subrange nested within “Prostitution,” this implies an understanding of sex trafficking as the main form of human trafficking, erasing significant histories of other types of labor exploitation involving trafficking.

Table 5. Excerpt adapted from Library of Congress Classification, HQ: The Family. Marriage. Women (Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division, 2020, p. 460)

  • HQ101-440.9: Prostitution
    • Class here works on prostitution in general and on female prostitution
    • For works on male prostitution see HQ119+
    • (…)
    • HQ280-285: Human trafficking
      • Class here works on human trafficking for prostitution as well as human trafficking in general
    • HQ280: Periodicals. Societies. Serials
      • e.g., International Congress for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic
    • HQ281: General works
    • HQ285.A-Z: Cases, A-Z
    • HQ291-295: Social purity
      • HQ291: General works
      • HQ293: General special. Prophylaxis
      • HQ295: The White Cross
    • HQ301-440.9: Rescue work

From there, the ranges that immediately follow are “Social purity” (HQ291-295) and “Rescue work” (HQ301-440.9). Although there is room for new classmarks to be established between each of these, nothing has been established to interrupt their proximal associations in over a century, calcifying the association between human trafficking, the concept and movement of “social purity,” and “rescue work.” The “social purity” of HQ291-295 refers specifically to the 19th century anti-prostitution movement, evidenced by the inclusion of a special classmark for the White Cross, a social purity organization founded in the 1880s. The social purity movement is often understood as a response to moral panic over high levels of news reporting of the time on sexually transmitted diseases and sex trafficking, and was largely informed by Christian moral ideals of sexual chastity. “Social purity campaigns surrounding moral policing of prostitution, incest, masturbation, drink, sex education, and the censorship of obscene forms of literature and entertainment took place […] throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Europe, each exhibiting their own distinctive national emphases” (Morgan, 2008). The continued retention of “social purity” in HQ recognizes that even in the absence of the movement itself, the concept of “purity” as something that diametrically opposes sex as work continues to be a cultural force that drives the stigmatization of sex and sex work.

The immediate following of “Social purity” by “Rescue work” creates another link in the association chain, positioning the social purity movement’s Christian chastity values as the impetus to “save” sex workers and survivors of sex trafficking, not from the harm inherent in trafficking or exploitation, but from the “impurity” seen as inherent in sex as work. For years, survivors of sex trafficking and trafficking intervention experts have pointed out that this term has the negative impact of centering the “rescuer” as a (White) hero, disempowering and removing agency from trafficking survivors, and removing agency from all sex workers by positioning sex work as something that inherently cannot be consented to. Tying trafficking intervention efforts to the social purity movement in library resource organization in this way has the negative impact of imbuing the organization scheme for sex trafficking intervention efforts with sex-negative values, which are antithetical to many modern anti-trafficking experts’ values. 

Further up in the range currently labeled “Prostitution,” the classmark “Drugs and prostitutes” (HQ120) uses race to associate sex work with stigma and criminality. It is notable that this classmark was established sometime between 1965 and 1980, a timeframe that significantly lines up with the rise of the War on Drugs campaign, which destroyed thousands of Black and Brown communities through mass incarceration (Alexander, 2012; Rudolph, 2010), and created an indelible connection in the American consciousness between drugs, Black and Brown people, and the vague idea of “danger” or “risk-taking” (Provine, 2011). The creation of the “Drugs and prostitutes” classmark in this timeframe inescapably imbues it with all the same harmful associations, while also enlarging the range’s clear positioning of sex work as a topic about which the only salient conversations to be had are associated with criminality. This classmark’s establishment in the schedule solidified the sex negativity already inherent in the range, and additionally layered on a deeply harmful idea that drugs, Black and Brown people, and sex work all go hand-in-hand as nexuses of “risk.” Its placement directly after the subrange for “Prostitution–Regulation” (see Table 6 below) has the impact of strengthening sex-negative associations between criminality and sex work. 

Table 6. Excerpt adapted from Library of Congress Classification, HQ: The Family. Marriage. Women (Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division, 2020, p. 459)

  • HQ101-440.9: Prostitution
    • Class here works on prostitution in general and on female prostitution
    • For works on male prostitution see HQ119+
    • (…)
    • HQ119-119.4: Male prostitution. Male prostitutes.
    • HQ120: Drugs and prostitutes
    • HQ121-125: Regulation

Overall the divide between the HQ schedule’s portrayal of sex work and the positions and rhetoric of movements informed by sex workers’ lived experiences is very wide, and riddled with issues that are difficult to address through the LCC proposal process, which arguably discourages catalogers from attempting to create any sex-positive change in HQ101-440.9. For example, though “sex worker” became a Library of Congress Subject Heading in 2017, and is clearly noted as a broader term for “prostitute,” “sex work” remains unestablished and catalogers are directed to use the subject heading “prostitution” in its place. Among other things, keeping “prostitution” as the dominant LCSH to be used in place of “sex work” preserves a tidy 1:1 correlation between the “prostitution” LCSH and the LCC range for “prostitution” (HQ101-440.9), evading the work of expanding the LCC range’s scope at all beyond what it currently covers.

Conclusion & Future Work

The examples detailed above are only a sampling of the sex negativity and anti-queerness in the HQ classification schedule. Overall, they are exemplars of the five distinct ways that sex negativity and anti-queerness manifest (and sometimes intertwine) in HQ. Granularity issues, inadequate scope notes, issues with topical proximity and implication of association, problematic labeling, and high stagnancy over time all contribute to the continued reduction, erasure, and disempowerment of queer identities. Furthermore, the broad range of structural issues in only a limited section of HQ (12-472) on sex and sexuality demonstrates that a feasible solution cannot be achieved solely through the established revision process for LCC. 

We decided to approach to detail the problems in HQ through written scholarship, rather than directly engaging in the LCC proposal process for specific reasons. First, the proposal process is currently limited to small changes, at most one or two classmarks at a time. We estimate that the issues that we have analyzed in this article alone could potentially take hundreds of proposals to mitigate, and many would need to be proposed in sequence, with later proposals relying on earlier proposals to be accepted in order to achieve the new goal structure. This is an excessive level of work, even with the power of collectives like the Cataloging Lab or SACO. Second, we realized in our research that the existing proposal system essentially requires a readily available solution that simultaneously fixes the issue and adheres to the guidelines set forth by the PSD. The onus is on the cataloger who submits a proposal to recognize, explain, and find the precise 1:1 solution for the issue with the classification schedule. This requirement for every proposal is overtaxing and causes retention of many problems. It excludes potential solutions that can address structural issues that do not neatly fit within guidelines or structures. Much as a coloring book provides a structure for some creativity but limits our capacity to shape what is depicted on the page, the LCC/LCSH proposal system only allows us to select certain colors for our proposals, and strongly discourages us from straying outside its boundary guidelines and structures. Some of those guidelines and principles, such as literary warrant, (which requires all proposed changes to LCC to be based upon the publication of a book and its acquisition by a library), are such high barriers that it is impossible for LCC to be a realistically “living” document that reflects and responds to changes in knowledge and research. 

The proposal system’s barriers essentially limit collective imagination to such a degree that it can be difficult to even imagine the full extent of changes that could affirm queer identities and sex positivity in HQ and beyond. One radical step that we propose to address the named issues with HQ is to re-imagine what changes could occur in the class schedule if the existing proposal system’s constraints were not in place. What could the HQ schedule look like if we tried to unravel its endemic sex negativity and anti-queerness, and replace them with sex positivity plus better integration and inclusion of queer subjects? What shifts could be implemented to the schedule if we could exceed the existing boundaries and color outside the lines?


The authors wish to thank the editorial board of In the Library with the Lead Pipe for the opportunity to share our research. We wish to particularly thank our peer reviewers, Adrian Williams and Dr. Nicole Cooke, and our editor, Ian Beilin, for their time and thoughtful comments.  


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DLF Digest: June 2022 / Digital Library Federation

DLF Digest

A monthly round-up of news, upcoming working group meetings and events, and CLIR program updates from the Digital Library Federation.

This month’s news:

  • We’re excited to announce the newest DLF group, the Technology Strategy for Archives Working Group (TS4A)! Organized by the facilitators of the IMLS-funded Lighting the Way project, TS4A will focus on supporting archives and technology workers, management, and leadership. Head to the DLF blog to learn more about TS4A, and register for the group’s June kickoff meeting below!
  • School’s out! If you’re looking for summer road trip listening recommendations, catch up on the rest of our HBCU college tour in CLIR’s Material Memory podcast before season 3 concludes later in June.  
  • CLIR and DLF will be closed Friday, June 17 in observance of Juneteenth.

This month’s DLF group events:

DLF Technology Strategy for Archives (TS4A) – Kickoff Call

Tuesday, June 28, 2 pm ET/11 am PT; Register in advance for call-in information

Join the DLF Technology Strategy for Archives Working Group’s (TS4A) first open meeting for a chance to learn about our newest working group and provide input on future planning. Like all DLF groups, TS4A is open to ALL, regardless of formal role, experience, or institutional affiliation; however, please make sure to register in advance for this meeting.

This month’s open DLF group meetings:

For the most up-to-date schedule of DLF group meetings and events (plus NDSA meetings, conferences, and more), bookmark the DLF Community Calendar. Can’t find meeting call-in information? Email us at

DLF groups are open to ALL, regardless of whether or not you’re affiliated with a DLF member institution. Learn more about our working groups and how to get involved on the DLF website. Interested in starting a new working group or reviving an older one? Need to schedule an upcoming working group call? Check out the DLF Organizer’s Toolkit to learn more about how Team DLF supports our working groups, and send us a message at to let us know how we can help. 

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New “Technology Strategy for Archives (TS4A)” Working Group / Digital Library Federation

This post comes to us from new group facilitators Mark A. Matienzo, Assistant Director for Digital Strategy and Access at Stanford Libraries, Audra Eagle Yun, Head of Special Collections and Archives and University Archivist at UC Irvine Libraries, Greg Wiedeman, University Archivist at University at Albany Libraries, and Max Eckard, Assistant Director of Curation at the Bentley Historical Library. All were participant-advisors and facilitators on the Lighting the Way project (Mark was the Project Director), and share an interest at the intersection of archives, technology, strategic planning, and facilitation methodologies.

The Lighting the Way project provided archives, library, and technology workers an opportunity to collaborate in facilitated activities to support strategic planning for archival programs. As participant advisors and facilitators, our experience showed us that archives workers suffer from many structural forces and often lack the administrative support, technical infrastructure, and permanent staff required to fully meet our mission. We have a critical need for time, collaborative space, and structure to face these strategic challenges together. We are excited to announce, then, that we are forming a new DLF group focused on supporting archives and technology workers, management, and leadership, and that we are inviting you to be a part of it!

What is TS4A?

The group’s conveners envision that this “Technology Strategy for Archives (TS4A)” community of practice will:

  • Provide a space for strategic planning and visioning to support holistic and programmatic practitioner-led planning of the social and technical ecosystem of systems and people that support archives programs.
  • Share information about emerging initiatives and to explore opportunities for early stage collaboration across institutions. 
  • Apply facilitation methods that are generative and care-focused to support creative and inclusive approaches to envision strategy and future planning.
  • Potentially steer participant-driven subgroups dedicated to specific needs or challenges, and provide ideas about how to connect and collaborate with others outside TS4A to support the work.

TS4A is open to anyone interested in these topics regardless of formal role, experience, or institutional affiliation. (You do not need to be a DLF member to participate.) Participants are encouraged to bring strategic challenges and other topics from their own institutions to assist with their own local planning.


TS4A originated as a result of the findings of Lighting the Way, a two-year IMLS-funded project focused on improving archival discovery and delivery through practitioner-led strategic planning. Our work found that effective strategic planning and transformational change requires collaboration across many people with varying expertise and levels of positional power. Project participants identified the importance of facilitated working sessions and the desire to have further opportunities to collaborate on strategy with colleagues across institutions. We also found that sharing and collaborating on early stage work is valuable for archives and technology workers given the sector’s tendency to present only on completed work. 

Get Involved

While group intends to hold quarterly meetings on Zoom as working sessions to allow its members to practice collaborative strategic planning, to kick things off we will:

  • Hold our first, public meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 11am PST/12pm MST/1pm CST/2pm EST. This will be an open call to get interest and input on future directions for the group. Please register for the meeting in advance so we know how many attendees to expect.
  • Hold a second, in-person working session at the 2022 DLF Forum in Baltimore, MD. Date and time TBD. For this launch meeting, we invite interested DLF attendees to shape our future activities supporting practitioner-led strategic planning and identifying opportunities for collaboration.

We hope to see you there! In the meantime, we have started to populate our Google Drive Folder with the above information and we also have a DLF Listserv that anyone can join.

We look forward to building this community with you!

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Advancing IDEAs: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, 2022 May 31 / HangingTogether

The following  post is one in a regular series on issues of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility, compiled by Jay Weitz.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, June 2022

Public activism in what we now know as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community (LGBTQ) in the United States dates back at least to the late 1940s and early 1950s, and with the founding in 1950 of the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles and in 1955 of the Daughters of Bilitis in San Francisco.  But it was the 28 June 1969 uprising against police harassment at Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn that was the defining moment of the nascent movement then generally called “gay liberation.” Because the Stonewall Rebellion occurred on the last weekend of June 1969, the last Sunday in June early on became the most commonly celebrated “Gay Pride Day” around the United States.  Soon, the commemoration of the impact of the LGBTQ community on society grew to encompass the entire month of June. The Library of Congress makes available an extensive site about Pride Month, related research guides and other resources, and audio and video materials.

Established as National Lesbian and Gay Book Month in the early 1990s by The Publishing Triangle, Rainbow Book Month has been administered since 2015 by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services and what is now the Rainbow Round Table (formerly the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table).  Going back to 1971, the GLBTRT had granted the Stonewall Book Awards “for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.”  In fact, the awards have evolved over the years to where there are now three Stonewall awards:  the Barbara Gittings Literature Award for adult literature, the Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award, and the Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award.  The full list of honored books, mostly including links to their records, can be found at Stonewall Book Awards List.

The Publishing Triangle, The Association of LGBTQ People in Publishing, gives no fewer than ten awards in various nonfiction, fiction, poetry, play-writing, and related categories.  It also maintains its own pair of lists, the first listing the “Best Lesbian and Gay Novels” up to the late 1990s, supplemented by an additional 88 books suggested by visitors to the website.

Leslie M. Van Veen McRoberts of Michigan State University (OCLC Symbol: EEM) writes “A Legacy of Life, Love, and Hope in Special Collections: The Papers of LGBTQ+ Anthropologist Stephen O. Murray” in the May/June 2022 issue of Archival Outlook (pages 8-9) from the Society of American Archivists. The Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections, donated by Dr. Hong after the 2019 death of his husband Murray, comprised the largest cash gift ever to the MSU library and will include the materials of Murray, “one of the earliest LGBTQ-focused sociologists.”

Consequences of banning books

From banning books to blocking library databases

“Republican lawmakers across the country are proposing legislation that would target online library databases and library management technology — tools built by a half-dozen large companies that catalogue millions of books, journals and articles that students peruse for assignments,” writes Washington Post education reporter Hannah Natanson. In her article “The next book ban: States aim to limit titles students can search for,” Natanson warns that, in contrast to the headline-grabbing disputes over school library book bans in the United States, these attempts to regulate library databases have received relatively little attention.

Book bans and Advanced Placement

The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) reminds us that the growing efforts to ban materials and “divisive concepts” threaten considerably more than what is already obvious. On the Intellectual Freedom Blog, Gretchen Corsillo, Director of New Jersey’s Rutherford Public Library (OCLC Symbol: QYD), writes “Book Challenges Could Affect AP Course Designation.” The College Board, the not-for-profit organization “dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education” and which administers the SAT and the Advanced Placement (AP) Program, reiterates the principles on which AP is based in What AP Stands For. “These principles are not new; they are, rather, a reminder of how AP already works in classrooms nationwide. The following principles are designed to ensure that teachers’ expertise is respected, required course content is understood, and that students are academically challenged and free to make up their own minds.” Among the seven enumerated principles are “foster[ing] an open-minded approach to the histories and cultures of different peoples” and opposition to censorship and to indoctrination. As Corsillo concludes, “If enough titles are removed from a school’s curriculum that it ceases to adhere to the AP framework, the students will ultimately suffer through no fault of their own.”

Serving students with special needs

Library services for children with special needs and their caregivers is the focus of “A Sense of Support: Libraries curate accessibility collections for young patrons and their caregivers,” by Annemarie Mannion. Among the programs highlighted are the Youth Accessibility Support Collection of Bloomfield Township Public Library (OCLC Symbol: EVX) in Michigan, USA; the Sensory Toy Collection of Sunderland Public Library (WorldCat Registry ID: 11352) in Massachusetts; and the Accessibility Support Collection of Arlington Heights Memorial Library (OCLC Symbol: JBL) in Illinois. Starting small and paying close attention to the needs of the community are key points to keep in mind when trying to build such vital services.

Peer mentoring for librarians of color

Two librarians of color who met as academic library staff members and mentored each other through the process of earning their MLIS degrees write about the value of peer mentorship, especially in a profession that remains overwhelmingly white, in “Pairing Up.” Taylor Healey-Brooks, African American collections and community engagement librarian at the Douglass-Truth Branch of Seattle Public Library (OCLC Symbol: UOK) in Washington, USA; and Michelle Lee, research and instruction librarian at Clayton State University (OCLC Symbol: GMJ) in Morrow, Georgia, say that institutions need to prioritize, study, and support such mentoring also in order to increase both the diversity of the profession and the retention of librarians of color.

The post Advancing IDEAs: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, 2022 May 31 appeared first on Hanging Together.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles / David Rosenthal

One thing that has been true since the first GPU hit the market is that a better one is close behind. The same has been true since the first mining ASIC hit the market. I first wrote about this in 2018's ASICs and Mining Centralization. Recently, Alex de Vries and Christian Stoll estimated that:
The average time to become unprofitable sums up to less than 1.29 years.
This of course causes Bitcoin's massive e-waste problem. But David Gerard links to a fascinating blog post entitled The problem with bitcoin miners in which Paul Butler describes a more immediate problem it causes. The explanation is below the fold.

Butler writes:
Bitcoin miners have a relatively simple businesses to model. They spend a bunch of money up front on mining equipment (dominated by the cost of the actual mining hardware), and then have recurring costs of operations (dominated by electricity costs).

Generally, miners use straight-line depreciation over five years to account for purchases of mining hardware. At face value, this is a defensible decision. Mining machines turn electricity into hash computations, and the rate at which miners turn electricity into hashes is mostly constant until the machine goes kaput. Five years straight-line depreciation is standard for computer hardware under GAAP, the accounting standards that US-listed miners are bound to.
Butler uses historical hash rate data to compute the actual depreciation curves for mining hardware, plotting the percentage of the initial bitcoin production rate against time in quarters for each quarter since Bitcoin's inception. The graph shows that initially (bluest lines), when GPUs were introduced, they stopped producing after about 5 quarters. Recently (magenta-est lines), ASICs last longer, stopping producing after about 4 years. But for the whole of Bitcoin's existence the hardware has depreciated far faster than the GAAP's five year straight line.

Under GAAP, the value of the mining hardware in the company's reports is much higher that its value in terms of generating Bitcoin. Butler plots the rate of Bitcoin generation per million dollars of reported assets against time and explains:
If it’s true that miners are sitting on a bunch of overvalued assets, we should see a downward trajectory when we plot revenue over assets. Here’s the ratio for two big public miners, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) and Marathon Digital Assets (MARA). I’ve annualized the monthly amounts to account for differences in month length, and linearly interpolated their reported property, plant, and equipment (PP&E) asset book value between filing dates.
In simple terms, this excess depreciation means that the company's real cost for creating income is much higher than they report, and thus their real profit as a continuing business is much less than they report, because they are not putting aside the money they will need to replace obsolete hardware.

So far, so interesting, but expressed in terms of Bitcoin per million dollars of assets. What really matters is million dollars of income per million dollars of assets. Over the year in that graph, the Bitcoin price dropped from about $49K to $39K, and is now down below $30K. So if Butler had drawn the graph in dollar terms the drop would have been far faster.

Butler suggests that investors simply look on these mining companies as a bet on the future moonwards progress of Bitcoin:
In Q1 2022, miners collectively earned approximately 82,000 bitcoin, of which ~81,000 came from the block reward and the remaining ~1,000 (1.2%) came from mining fees. RIOT earned 1,405 of these, or 1.7%.

As of writing, there are 1,960,775 bitcoin remaining to be mined. If RIOT could sustain their 1.7% share of the mining market, they would earn 33,333 of those bitcoin. At today’s cost of $30,000 market price, all of those bitcoin would be worth just under $1B. RIOT’s market cap is currently just above $1B. Even in a fantasy world where RIOT could sustain its market share and never pay for electricity, hardware, staff, etc., it would still be a more expensive way to own a stake in the pool of unmined bitcoin than just spending the same money on bitcoin today. All that’s left for miners after the new bitcoin are all mined is that sliver of transaction costs that currently represents 1.2% of miners’ revenue.

MARA’s numbers look similar. They earned 1,258.5 bitcoin in Q1, or 1.5% of the market. 1.5% represents remaining 29,411 bitcoin, or $882mm worth at today’s cost. Their market cap is $1.2B.
Butler makes a strong case against the miners, but in two respects it should have been much stronger. First, he estimates the miners' effective income by multiplying the number of Bitcoin they mine by the current "price". This assumes that they can sell all the Bitcoin they mine at the current "price". This is a significant over-estimate, as David Gerard has been pointing out for some time, most recently here:
"Bitcoin miner Riot Blockchain (RIOT) produced 511 BTC in March and holds 6,062 BTC. ... HIVE Blockchain Technologies produced 278.6 BTC and over 2,400 ETH in March. As of 3 April, HIVE held 2,568 BTC and 16,196 ETH. ... Miners just love holding cryptos, see. It’s not that they can’t sell them for fear of crashing the market, because number can only ever go up."
That is, these miners have not sold an entire year's production. HODL-ing like this has been a losing game. In mid-April Bitcoin was around $40K. Even if they had sold all their rewards since, the Bitcoin stashes of those two miners alone would have lost more than $86M, or about 110 days' notional income in 45 days. Bitcoin miners in aggregate can't sell the notional $9.86B/year of their rewards because there isn't $9.86B/year coming in to the system from "greater fools". So their actual income in dollar terms is much less than Butler's estimate.

Second, Butler underestimates the rate of depreciation. He assumes that the ASICs are obsolete when they can no longer keep up with the hash rate so are no longer mining any Bitcoin. That is wrong. ASICs are obsolete when the Bitcoin they mine no longer pay for the electricity they use. The newer ASICs aren't just faster, they also use much less energy per hash. Look again at the depreciation graph, which suggests current ASICs go obsolete after 16 quarters. But Alex de Vries and Christian Stoll's estimate of 5 quarters to obsolescence is based on comparing the ASIC's production with the cost of their power consumption, which is the correct approach. The curves in the graph are correct out to the 40% line, but then should drop to zero.

Butler's post has an amazing sting in the tail:
There’s one group of people for whom bitcoin mining is an extremely lucrative business: executives. Last year, one MARA executive earned over $220 million in cash and stock-based compensation, in a year when the company’s total revenue was $150 million. RIOT’s top five executives collectively took home a more modest $90 million in a year with a net loss.

This, I think, points to the crux of the problem. Investors have been happy to provide capital to these companies, looking for anything in the public markets that provides some exposure to bitcoin, without paying much attention to what the companies are doing.

I don’t think it ends well.
PS: Butler's earlier post Betting Against Bitcoin is another well worth reading.

Cryptocurrency Catch-22 / David Rosenthal

A major criticism of Bitcoin is that its blockchain processes only around 230K transactions/day, of which only about 10% are "economically meaningful. That is less than 5 "economically meaningful" transactions between individuals' wallets per minute. 90% are wash trades, and 7.5% transactions between exchanges.

As I described in Fixed Supply, Variable Demand, when the limited supply of Bitcoin and Ethereum transactions meets spikes in demand, the result is huge spikes in fees. This has made cryptocurrency boosters such as Vitalik Buterin unhappy:
Buterin didn’t predict the rise of NFTs, and has watched the phenomenon with a mixture of interest and anxiety. ... their volume has overwhelmed the network, leading to a steep rise in congestion fees, in which, for instance, bidders trying to secure a rare NFT pay hundreds of dollars extra to make sure their transactions are expedited.
The solution is obvious, greatly increase the rate at which the system can process transactions. Ethereum 2 is proposed to implement sharding, allowing parallelism. Avalanche claims 3400 transactions/sec with 1.35sec finality. Problem solved! Not so fast. Follow me below the fold.

First, very low fees sound like a good idea but they are a double-edged sword. The Solana blockchain's competitive advantage was very low fees and the result was:
On April 30, NFT minting bots began flooding the Solana network with 4 million transactions per second, causing the network to lose consensus. The project tweeted that "Engineers are still investigating why the network was unable to recover, and validator operators prepare for a restart." The network was offline for seven hours.

This is hardly the first instability the network has demonstrated, much to the chagrin of its users. Transaction flooding is an issue on Solana in part because of the low transaction fees compared to networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which have relatively high gas fees that would make flooding extremely expensive.
Avalanche didn't make that mistake:
In Avalanche, we use transaction fees, making such attacks costly even if the attacker is sending money back to addresses under its control.
So, the fee per transaction has to be high enough to deter flooding, but low enough to attract transactions.

Miners' income comes from both fees and the block reward. The point of the reward is to incentivize enough mining to make the cost of a Sybil attack greater than the profit to be made from a successful attack. Thus it can't be too low. But the block reward works by creating new coins, so it is inflationary. Thus it can't be too high.

But there is a further complication to this Catch-22. Bitcoin regularly reduces the block reward, aiming eventually to eliminate it and depend solely on fees. Raphael Auer showed that, as the rewards in a block become less than the fees in the block, the system becomes unstable. Another way of expressing this is that the average reward per transaction must be more than the average fee per transaction. Bitcoin handily satifies this condition at present, the total cost per transaction is around $100, but the average fee per transaction is around $2. This has the useful effect of disguising the real cost of Bitcoin transactions.

Thus we have the following constraints:
  1. Fees need to be high enough to deter flooding.
  2. Fees need to be low enough to attract transactions.
  3. Rewards need to be high enough to keep the blockchain secure.
  4. Rewards need to be low enough to preserve the value of the currency.
  5. The reward per transaction needs to be more than the fee per transaction.
If we vastly increase the supply of transactions, well above the demand for transactions, the fee per transaction that the market will sustain will decrease significantly, risking violating constraint 1. The average fee per transaction will be less than the reward per transaction, satisfying constraint 5, but the total per-transaction cost (reward+fee) will be high, risking violating constraint 4.

If, on the other hand, the supply of transactions is below the demand, the fee per transaction will spike (as we have seen), risking violating constraints 2 and 5.

Thus we need to ask in whose interest a vast increase in the supply of transactions would be? It pretty clearly isn't in the miners' interest, as we see with the history of attempts to increase the Bitcoin block size. Liimiting the supply of transactions allows the miners to profit handsomely in periods of high demand. At first glance low fees would appear to be in the users' interest, but in practice it isn't. Low fees lead to flooding, and outages like Solana's. In practice, miners control the system, so even if it were in the users' interesst it wouldn't matter. Catch-22.

More Metastablecoins / David Rosenthal

My most recent post was on the metastability of "algorithmic stablecoins", as amply demonstrated by the UST/LUNA pair on May 8th. This post is about the other kind of stablecoin, ones like Tether that claim to be backed by reserves at least as valuable as their "market cap". For different reasons, these also turn out to be metastable. Below the fold, I explain.

On May 12th, Molly White reported:
Tether, the largest stablecoin, had a major wobble. Pegged to the U.S. dollar and widely used throughout the cryptocurrency ecosystem, even a fractional cent deviation from its peg can have enormous ramifications. Tether spent six hours below $0.99—at one point slipping down to $0.95—in the most significant deviation from its peg in recent history.
Tether claimed to have no problem satisfying withdrawals in the region of $2B from its cash reserves. A week later Bryce Elder reported that:
The world’s most popular stablecoin on Thursday posted a letter from MHA Cayman, an offshore outpost of UK mid-tier accountants MHA MacIntyre Hudson, that attests for consolidated total assets of just over $82.4bn. ...

MHA’s snapshot is from March 31, so it doesn’t capture the USDT coin’s subsequent $8bn drop in market value. It shows less than 5 per cent of reserves in cash, a sum eclipsed even by the mysterious and undefined “other investments” category.

Nevertheless, higher weightings of money-market funds and US Treasury bills meant more than half Tether's total reported assets were in categories considered highly liquid
Leaving aside the question of how credible these "attestations" are (they are not audits), there remains the question of why anyone would sell their USDT for 95 cents on the dollar?

The explanation starts with this observation from Elder:
Tether’s closed-shop redemption mechanism means it cannot be viewed like a money-market fund. Processing delays can happen without explanation, there’s a 0.1 per cent conversion fee, and the facility is only available to verified customers cashing out at least $100,000.
Elder quotes a report from Barclays that takes up the story:
The only way to get immediate access to fiat is to sell the token on an exchange, regardless of the size of holding . . . [W]hile redemption is ‘guaranteed’ at par, the secondary market price of tether can trade lower, depending on the willingness of holders to accept a haircut in return for access to immediate liquidity. As last week’s price action suggests, some investors were willing to accept a nearly 5 per cent discount to liquidate their USDT holdings immediately.
Barclays continues:
We think that willingness to absorb losses, even though USDT is fully collateralized and has an overnight liquidity buffer that exceeds most prime funds, suggests the token might be prone pre-emptive runs. Holders with immediate liquidity demands have an incentive (or first-mover advantage) to rush to sell in the secondary market before the supply of tokens from other liquidity-seekers picks up. The fear that USDT might not be able to maintain the peg may drive runs regardless of its actual capacity to support redemptions based on the liquidity of its collateral.
"pre-emptive runs" are another way of saying metastability. Partly the problem is that, even if you believe the quarterly attestations, they are published after a significant delay. The most recent one was seven weeks out-of-date when it was published. During that time, BTC had fallen from around $47K to around $30K, a 36% drop. Elder writes:
The lack of a realtime view in combination with the short-dated nature of the whole portfolio can raise suspicions about end-of-quarter window dressing.

All of which makes stablecoins more like ETFs than money-market funds, says Barclays. The issuer is selling a token, after which secondary markets take control. But with ETFs, there is full transparency on the underlying portfolio, which enables market-makers to keep ETF shares trading in line with their benchmark. In the case of stablecoins, market liquidity and sentiment determine how close to realisable net asset value the token will trade
Barclays wraps it up:
There is, in theory, an arbitrage to be made via the token’s creation and redemption processes. This is analogous to ETFs, which trade around their NAVs, while market makers use the create/redeem processes to maintain prices at levels close to the underlying collateral. Overall, there are several reasons why even this layer of arbitrage may fail, for example, if there are no willing arbitrageurs, if they do not have enough balance sheet to absorb all the selling flows, or if they fear that their requests to redeem will not be honoured in time or in full. Ultimately, full collateralisation helps to reduce stablecoin risk, but does not eliminate it.
There are two parts to the problem, even if the backing is more than enough to cover all redemptions:
  • Arbitrageurs do not have unlimited capital to devote to maintaining the peg.
  • Any delay in redemption consumes arbitrageurs' capital.
But is Tether fully backed even if we believe their attestations? Patrick McKenzie points out in Tether Required Recapitalization In May 2022 that:
The Consolidated Reserves Report alleges assets of $82,424,821,101 and liabilities of $82,262,430,079. This implies approximately $162 million in equity, via standard balance sheet math. You can think of $162 million as the overcollateralization cushion of Tether. If the value of its assets declines by more than $162 million, it requires recapitalization or will, with mathematical certainty, become undercollateralized.
The Consolidated Reserves Report alleges that Tether’s reserves included, as of March 2021, $4,959,634,446 of “Other Investments (including digital tokens).” A 3.27% decrease in the value of these investments wipes out all Tether equity and causes their tokens to be undercollateralized.
Clearly, Tether's "digital tokens" will have declined in value significantly since March 31st, and McKenzie points to other investments, such as a $62.8M investment in Celsius, that have similarly tanked. He concludes:
even if we believe Tether’s reserves report for the sake of argument, and we grant them very favorable assumptions as to their asset mixes and sagacity as traders, we still arrive at the result that they required recapitalization of the reserves. Their own numbers indict them.
An indication that traders share some of McKenzie's skepticism is that, 12 days after Tether dramatically lost its peg, it has continued to trade marginally below $1.

To sum up, metastability is a dynamic process. A static view of the stablecoin's reserves, let alone a static view that is seven weeks out-of-date, is misleading. The only kind of stablecoin that has unlimited, instantaneously available fiat currency backing, and is thus not metastable, is one issued by the central bank, a CBDC.

Non-CBDC stablecoins do not have unlimited, instantaneously available backing, and are thus metastable. Their arbitrage barriers are, in practice, higher than those of algorithmic metastablecoins, but this is a difference of degree only.

Web Archives in Repositories / Ed Summers

I’m fortunate to be back at code4lib again this year. It gives me hope to see this conference working in the same spirit as it started out with, albeit with much honed mechanics. It is also refreshing to be talking about someone else’s work, in this case the work that the Webrecorder project has been doing to shift archival practices for web content.

Rather than archived web content being placed into repositories, web archives are typically repository infrastructures in and of themselves. I call this pattern Web Archive As Repository, as opposed to Web Archive In Repository. It has been hard to notice the difference before because the latter has been pretty much unthinkable.

The classic shape of web archives has been (perhaps necessarily) designed to be monolithic, and has evolved into a fairly expensive infrastructure, that only a few institutions are able to sustain over time. Needless to say, maintaining digital content over time is the whole point of a digital repository. The higher the maintenance costs, the fewer web archives there are. The fewer web archives there are, the more their collecting practices effect the shape of what types of content are collected.

Classic Web Archive Architecture (Monolithic)

One of Webrecorder’s primary contributions over the past few years has been the creation of a data format known as Web Archive Collection Zipped or WACZ, which allows this monolithic architecture to be teased apart by separating the process of creating an archive, from the process of publishing it. I think this sets the stage for a more diverse set of actors who perform each of these steps, and also raises some important questions about what social and political impacts this could have.

Disaggregated Web Archives Architecture (WACZ)

I recorded a practice version of the talk to make sure I could squeeze all the content into the 15 minute slot. Here it is if you are interested:

Introducing the 2022 Authenticity Project Fellows / Digital Library Federation

The HBCU Library Alliance and the Digital Library Federation are pleased to introduce 10 fellows selected for the Authenticity Project, a mentoring, learning, and leadership program for early- to mid-career libraries, archives, and museum staff from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This program, which welcomed its initial cohort in 2019, and is supported by a generous grant from IMLS, will conclude this year.

Authenticity Project fellows will be mentored by experienced library professionals from the HBCU Library Alliance and/or DLF communities. They will participate in facilitated, online networking, and discussion sessions during the summer. In October, fellows and mentors will receive full travel, lodging, and registration expenses to attend the 2022 DLF Forum and related events taking place in Baltimore, MD.

Congratulations to our Authenticity Project fellows! Mentors for the fellows will be announced in the coming week.

Meet the Fellows:​​

Vanesa Evers

Vanesa Evers (they/she) is the Digital Publishing Librarian at Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library in Atlanta, GA. Vanesa received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA) from Sarah Lawrence College in 2013 and a Master of Science in Library & Information Science (MSLIS) from Drexel University in 2019. Having worked in a variety of creative and professional organizations, Vanesa is passionate and dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion work. With a background in creative writing, Vanesa writes poetry with the importance of intersectionality in mind, exploring topics like the experience of being a Black woman, sexual orientation and gender identity, and religion. Aside from creative writing and librarian roles, Vanesa enjoys making jewelry and miniature greeting cards.  


Jocelyne Caldera

Jocelyne Caldera holds bachelors’ degrees from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro in Arts Administration and in Music. In May of 2020 she completed her MLIS and now currently serves as the College Archivist for Bennett College. Though she hasn’t had this position for very long, she greatly admires its 149 year long history and firmly believes in its goal of helping young women of color discover and pursue their own passions. 

Her professional interests include cataloging, digital preservation, and general archival conservation. In her spare time, she likes to read, listen to music, practice viola, and play video games!


Sloane N. Clark

Sloane Clark is a twenty-year veteran in the library science field who recently graduated from University of South Carolina’s museum management program. Sloane speaks three languages, (Spanish, English and Chinese) and has lived and traveled in China.




Martina Dodd

Martina Dodd is an Atlanta based art historian and curator. Her concept driven shows have touched on topics relating to race, gender and power dynamics.

Dodd holds a MA in the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas from the University of East Anglia and a BA in Anthropology and International Studies from Johns Hopkins University.  She is currently the Program Director of Curation and Object Based Learning at the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center and a founding editor of DIRT, an online independent platform and resource for accessible critical arts discourse within the DC, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area.


A headshot of Sabrina with a pearl necklaceSabrina Dyck

Sabrina Dyck is a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Lawson State Community College (LSCC) and serves as the liaison to the Art, Humanities, and  Social and Behavioral Sciences Departments. As a self proclaimed “purveyor” of all things history, she continues to enjoy fostering an appreciation for the past through the use of archival and primary source materials in her teaching to prompt “lively” dialogue. Through participating in the Authenticity Project, she hopes to learn more about digital archives, preservation, and how to better prompt archives in her work. In her downtime, she enjoys spending time with family and watching documentaries. 




Graphic: Authenticity Project Icon: Black quote set above gold block set.Bryan Fuller

Bryan Fuller is a librarian at Morgan State University and work in GIS.  He is interested in Digital Humanities like Literary and Historical GIS and text mining, and is currently working on a text corpus project.





Gregory Hill

Gregory Hill is the Circulation/Administrative Services Librarian at Livingstone College. Gregory’s journey into librarianship began as a library assistant with goals to become a librarian. Following two years of working in this capacity, he applied to the Library and Information Studies department at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Upon graduation, he received a promotion along with an even greater understanding of library services resulting from course completion which provided depth on topics pertinent to the foundation of librarianship. However, libraries have continuously evolved to meet the needs of users as digital access provides electronic resources and relevant sources of information through advancements in technology. This fellowship allows for personal growth as I am able to learn, but also contribute to the network in which our knowledge of the profession grows through each other’s involvement as colleagues. 

Renise M. Johnson

Renise Johnson is currently the Head of Access Services/Systems Librarian at Morgan State University.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of the Virgin Islands. Ms. Johnson holds a MLIS from the University of Pittsburg. She has been in her current position since August 2017. Ms. Johnson’s passion for helping people is displayed on a daily as she interacts with students, faculty and the community at Earl S. Richardson Library. Her responsibilities include developing user friendly services that are welcoming and responsive to the users.



Tasmine Moore with a white top and necklaceTasmine Moore

Tasmine Moore is the Reference Collection Development Librarian at Mississippi Valley State University. Tasmine holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computers Information Science and an MLIS degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, and also received her EdS degree in Curriculum Instruction and Assessment from Walden University. She has over ten years of experience working in an academic library and is passionate when it comes to helping students. She loves learning innovative ways to enhance my knowledge and skills in the technology world. Tasmine’s hobbies include hunting, reading, fishing, and relaxing with family.  



Jordan Signater

Jordan Signater is a Reference Librarian at the Prairie View A&M University’s John B. Coleman Library.

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