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Author Archive

International Data Privacy Day

Happy International Data Privacy Day! January 28 is an international holiday* focused on raising awareness about the importance of online data privacy. This year, the Electronic Freedom Frontier is emphasizing the need to protect student privacy, most notably in a Google Apps for Education environment (which includes us). Google has been especially criticized for how... more

New Privacy Policy at ZSR

ZSR recently published a new privacy policy. Libraries have always been serious about safeguarding the privacy of their users, with the American Library Association stating all the way back in 1939, “It is the librarian’s obligation to treat as confidential any private information obtained through contact with library patrons.” In the 1930s, that “contact with... more

World Backup Day

If you aren’t too busy celebrating Cesar Chavez Day*, the 98th anniversary of the US taking possession of the Danish West Indies**, or Gordie Howe‘s 87th birthday, please note that today, March 31, is also World Backup Day. (Why March 31? Because you don’t want to be an April Fool.) The website points out that... more

Did Google Drive Just Become Our Institutional Repository?

Spoiler alert. Odds are, you didn’t notice that sometime in the last couple of days, the tiny text in the bottom left corner of your Google Drive display stopped saying something like “3GB (10%) used of 30GB” and now just says “3GB used”. That’s because Google no longer has any limit on the storage available... more

Adobe Digital Editions – Update

Last month, I posted some information about privacy issues related to Adobe Digital Editions, version 4.0. The quick summary is that the ADE 4.0 reader app was: Reporting a lot of reader behavior back to Adobe (what you were reading, when, what page you were on) Reporting metadata for all ADE-encrypted e-books found on your... more

Patron Privacy and Adobe Digital Editions: The Situation at ZSR

Threat level: goldenrod. We’re okay – see summary at bottom. [To avoid confusion, note that there are two separate pieces of Adobe software discussed here, with very similar names. Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) is a library of tools to enforce digital rights management; for library e-books, this usually means encrypting it so that it can... more

Open Access Theses and Dissertations

Last month, I was happy to announce the availability of Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD), otherwise known as the 1.6-million record bibliographic database I’ve been building on my laptop, and that we’re hosting at http://oatd.org/. It won’t be news to anyone that libraries and grad schools have worked hard over the last decade or... more