October 3, 2007

Little Mama Library and Trust in the Digital World

Filed under: precat — tsladmin @ 5:44 am

Library sign posted by the gloaming
originally posted by thegloaming

This is my new favorite library sign. I always think you can send a better message using humor than heavy-handedness, although in this case, the librarians are also making a great statement about privacy.
I’ve been mulling over a lot lately the trust librarians have built up with users just through our actions (they speak louder than words, right?). I think there’s a lot we can do here, teaching people (and especially students) how to manage their online identity. “How to be a good digital citizen” should also include how to represent yourself online, in addition to how to participate and media literacy in general.
I’ve also been thinking about “persistence” a lot lately, and I’ll be writing more about that because I think it’s one of our biggest assets in the digital world (from many different angles, too).
In the meantime, I’m happy to see Bloglines has incorporated OpenID, something I wish libraries – and particularly library vendors – would pay more attention to. To learn more about what Bloglines is doing in this area, go to http://www.bloglines.com/about/news and scroll down to the current second item (or just try going here). (Hopefully the folks at BL are in the process of turning this page into a blog so that we can point to specific news in the future, rather than one long page. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more.) Bonus points to them for adding openID authentication in the first place.
I’d like to think libraries could be influential in educating Americans about the benefits of OpenID and help folks tame some of this chaos. The more sites that use an open standard like this (cough, libraries, cough), the better it is for all of us. And let’s face it, in a situation like this, who are you going to trust – your local library or Big Brother?


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