ALA Annual 2017, Chicago & Data Detox Day at Brooklyn Public Library!

I just got back from wonderful Chicago and the American Library Association Annual Conference! I love Chicago, and I had a great time exploring the all the riverwalks and lakefront promenades between conference sessions!

Conference highlights include a session on Collecting Library Data: Policies and Data Management Procedures for Improvement. Jenica Rogers (Director of Libraries, SUNY Potsdam) described a general level of comfort from students and administrators on library data collection, while Kristin Briney (Data Services Librarian, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Sara Mannheimer (Data Management Librarian, Montana State University) focused on data security, privacy policies, and ethical data collection practices for libraries.

LITA’s Top Tech Trends panel was interesting as always; I also had a lot of great chats with vendors in the exhibition hall, and I talked to quite a few librarians about their work in the poster sessions.

The only disappointing part of attending the conference this year is that I missed Data Detox Day at Brooklyn Public Library! Data Detox Day was an event I helped plan along with several BPL colleagues (Alex Hagenah, Cerelia St Bernard, Elizabeth Willse, and Eric Horwitz) and Aurelia Moser from Mozilla Science Lab during a one-day, shark-tank style “Big Idea Day” developed by Brynna Tucker and BKLYN Incubator.

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Congratulations to my fantastic Data Detox Day colleagues! (photo: Gregg Richards, Brooklyn Public Library)

Data Detox Day was modeled off the Glass Room exhibition, but tailored for a library setting to serve the local community and take advantage of the Central Library’s unique position as an inclusive and flexible space. We transformed the Information Commons into a house of data horrors to educate visitors on common data security risks, and staffed our “detox center” with volunteer “data doctors” to offer solutions and practical advice on shoring up online privacy and security practices. We had help from participating artists, including Aram Bartholl, Sam Lavigne, Hang Do Thi Duc, Ingrid Burrington, and Tega Brain. I wish that I could have been there on the day of the event, but I hear it went off spectacularly well!


(All photos of Data Detox Day were taken by Gregg Richards of Brooklyn Public Library.)