Info Pros meet-up in San Francisco 10/28 2pm at Radish


Howdy all!

We would be honored if you would join the Information Professionals Social Club for a lovely mid-day meal at Radish, Sunday October 28th, 2012 at 2pm. Located in San Francisco’s hip Mission district, Radish “features an eclectic American menu with high quality, seasonal, and locally sourced ingredients” infused with a Southern flavor. Yum! We can’t wait, and we hope you’ll be there to help us enjoy all this wonderful restaurant has to offer. Please RSVP on Facebook or to either Cyndi Varady or Stephanie Roach. See you there!

What: Information Professionals Social Club October Meet-up
Where: Radish 3465 19th St. San Francisco, CA 94110 415.834.5441
When: Sunday, October 28th, 2012 2pm

IPSC’s mission is to promote networking between information professionals of all walks, this includes seasoned professionals, new graduates,and students. Our informal meet-ups are designed to stimulate conversation, share employment experiences and educational advice, and above all make new friends. Like us on Facebook

Stephanie Roach & Cyndi Varady

Information Professionals Social Club

Research Survey – Social media use by SF Bay Area information professional groups

Are you an officer or social media administrator for a San Francisco Bay Area information professional group? If so, please consider filling out this survey. I will present findings at California Library Association annual conference next month.

Want to know more?

Full details including a description, definitions, links to the survey, etc. are available on my website. An excerpt from my proposal is below:

Social Media Use in the Bay Area Student and Information Professional Community will explore the use of social media by San Francisco Bay Area professional networking groups. Social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and Pinterest will be evaluated for social media presence by library professional groups. Specific strategies in use by group administrators will be identified, and use of platform specific tools such as timelines, events, hangouts, etc. This poster session will establish a baseline for use of social media by San Francisco Bay Area information professional groups, and serve as an exploratory study that will provide data revealing directions for future research.

Findings will be presented in a poster session at the 2012 California Library Association annual conference in San Jose, CA, November 3, 2012, from noon-1pm.

Join the Info Pros Social Club for dinner in Oakland, CA 9/24 6pm #SpiceMonkey



The Information Professionals Social Club will be visiting Spice Monkey for dinner Monday September 24, 2012 at 6pm, and you are invited to join us. Featuring global fusion cuisine, Spice Monkey is a “spice house that combines several world flavors and seasonings to create unique mouth watering dishes.” To join us and meet other Bay Area information professionals and students, please RSVP on our Facebook event page or to either Stephanie Roach or Cyndi Varady. We hope to see you there!

Spice Monkey logo

What? Information Professionals Social Club Meet-Up
Where? Spice Monkey / 1628 Webster Street @ 17th / Oakland, CA 94612
When? Monday 9/24/2012 6pm
Why? Fun!

IPSC’s mission is to promote networking between information professionals of all walks, this includes seasoned professionals, new graduates, and students. Our informal meet-ups are designed to stimulate conversation, share employment experiences and educational advice, and above all make new friends. Like us on Facebook


Poster Session Proposal Accepted by California Library Association – Social Media Use Among LIS Groups #CLA12 #defygravity


Good news!

My poster session proposal was accepted for the California Library Association‘s 2012 annual conference. I’ll be doing research on use of social media by San Francisco Bay Area student and professional groups in the library and information science community.

More details to come soon!

Conference Logo - Defying Gravity - CLA Annual Conference and Exhibition 2012

New Venue! Info Pros meet-up at Cafe Flore in San Francisco, 8/28 6pm #eatdrinkbenerdy


You are invited to join the Information Professionals Social Club  at Cafe Flore for their August meet-up. Cafe Flore is on several “Best of” San Francisco lists. Indulge in the Tuesday night cocktail special (2 for 1 Margaritas), delicious grub, and always upbeat atmosphere. IPSC will provide stimulating conversation about the information professional world. Use this opportunity to meet well seasoned, new, and aspiring information professionals and catch up with old friends, all the while enjoying tasty food and splendid drinks at this all ages cafe.

Cafe Flore art logo

What: IPSC August Meet-up
Where: Cafe Flore* /
2298 Market Street
San Francisco
, CA USA 94114 /
(415) 621-8579
When: Tuesday, Aug. 28th @ 6pm

Please RSVP to event organizers Stephanie Roach or Cyndi Varady, or on the IPSC Facebook event page .

IPSC’s mission is to promote networking between information professionals of all walks, this includes seasoned professionals, new graduates, and students. Our informal meet-ups are designed to stimulate conversation, share employment experiences and educational advice, and above all make new friends.

*Please note this post was updated to reflect a change in venue for the event, originally scheduled for 21st Amendment Brewery, which was unable to accommodate our group.

Daphne Koller: What We’re Learning from Online Education #TED

Daphne Koller talks about the potential of distributed education and massive open online courses.

Daphne Koller:

There are some tremendous opportunities to be had from this kind of framework. The first is that it has the potential of giving us a completely unprecedented look into understanding human learning. Because the data that we can collect here is unique. You can collect every click, every homework submission, every forum post from tens of thousands of students. So you can turn the study of human learning from the hypothesis-driven mode to the data-driven mode, a transformation that, for example, has revolutionized biology. You can use these data to understand fundamental questions like, what are good learning strategies that are effective versus ones that are not? And in the context of particular courses, you can ask questions like, what are some of the misconceptions that are more common and how do we help students fix them?

Bay Area info pros meet-up (Oakland, CA) #librarians #ipsc


Information Professionals Social Club July 2012 Meet-up

Conga Lounge, Oakland, CA

You are invited to come join the Information Professionals Social Club for our July meet-up at one of Oakland’s best Tiki Bars. Just blocks from Rockridge BART, we’ll send off co-founder Cyndi Varady to Canada in style with Mai Tais. The event officially starts at 6pm, but feel free to come early and enjoy the Conga Lounge‘s happy hour from 5-7. Invite your library, museum, archive and other information professional friends and colleagues to join us there!

What? IPSC Meet-up
Where? Conga Lounge; 5422 College Avenue; Oakland, CA
When? Tuesday, July 24th 6pm

RSVP to either Stephanie Roach or Cyndi Varady or on Facebook. Hope to see you there!

Like us on Facebook!

Info Pros May meet-up, FIVE Bar, Berkeley CA, 5pm, 5/26


Come join the Information Professionals Social Club for our May meet-up at FIVE, in Berkeley. A Modern American Bistro & Bar, FIVE features a stylishly reinvented menu of familiar favorites. Please RSVP either to Stephanie RoachCyndi Varady, or on the Facebook event page, so we’ll know how many will join us.

What? IPSC May Meet-Up
When? 5pm Saturday 5/26
Where? FIVE; Hotel Shattuck Plaza; 2086 Allston WayBerkeley, CA 94704
The IPSC’s mission is to promote networking between information professionals of all walks, this includes seasoned professionals, new graduates, and students. Our informal meet-ups are designed to stimulate conversation, share employment experiences and educational advice, and above all make new friends.

A Technical Services Librarian’s Comments on Eli Pariser’s “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You”

Overview of The Filter Bubble

Eli Pariser’s The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You (2011, Penguin) is an overview of the effects of the current trend of algorithmic personalization on not only search results and information feeds online (particularly Google and Facebook), but on the psyche of internet users everywhere–and of course, on democracy.

In a personalized world, we will increasingly be typed and fed only news that is pleasant, familiar, and confirms our beliefs–and because these filters are invisible, we won’t know what is being hidden from us. Our past interests will determine what we are exposed to in the future, leaving less room for the unexpected encounters that spark creativity, innovation, and the democratic exchange of ideas. –Publisher description (full)

I found the book after watching Pariser’s TED Talk (Feb. 2011) on the topic, which is effective and to the point. The book though, is worth the read as it takes the argument beyond the surface, and into the depths: Pariser willingly explores the dangers of this trend to our democracy.


Eli Pariser’s The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You got me to thinking about how librarians should respond to the Internet trend towards personalization, and particularly the role of technical services librarians in partnership with instruction librarians. I believe that information literacy education, and perhaps a degree of information activism, are key to responding to personalization in such a way that users are able to meet their information needs online, and that also encourages online innovators to develop the Internet responsibly. Users must understand how they are affected by personalization online, so that they can seek information widely, in an unbiased way and push for services that serve them rather than passively use those that seek first, to advertise to them.

Library users like Google, and expect to use tools like Google (if not Google itself) in order to find the information they need, whether for work or school, home or play. Thus, they need to understand how Google and the other online platforms they use on a day-to-day basis work in ways that affect them. Librarians and other information professionals have a clear teaching responsibility in this regard. We can also advocate for a learning environment in which teaching information literacy is understood to be important. Further, we can partner with information technology specialists and innovators to make sure that the online search environment empowers individuals and thus fosters democracy.

Teaching information literacy, according to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), “enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning.” And having that control is key. Once control is taken out of the hands of the users, it becomes harder for information needs to be met. It is noteworthy that control can be hidden behind complex technology, coding languages and algorithms at work in online information retrieval systems. In this environment it becomes harder to see that control has been lost at all. Control and information literacy are linked.

An information literate individual is able to: Determine the extent of information needed; Access the needed information effectively and efficiently; Evaluate information and its sources critically; Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base; Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose; Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally. (ACRL, 2000)

How can an individual become information literate if they are not able to meet the above criteria defined by ACRL because the technology involved and search process itself is not transparent enough? Or because we as information professionals aren’t doing a good enough job of teaching information literacy? Or because we aren’t pushing back, and working to change the online information landscape so that it doesn’t become a danger to democracy?

In recognizing the overlap between information literacy and information technology (concepts such as fluency with information technology have been proposed to express this), the effectiveness of information literacy can be improved (ACRL, 2000). Still, I can’t help but wonder if there is a disconnect in the library landscape, between technical services and public services and the teaching of information literacy / information technology fluency. It would be interesting to study whether or not this is so. Because IT and e-resources often land squarely in the domain of technical services, is there a lost opportunity to collaborate with those in public services who are in charge of instruction?


ACRL: Information Literacy Competency Standards in Higher Education (Jan. 2000)
National Research Council. Being Fluent with Information Technology (1999)
Ted Talk: Beware the Filter Bubble (Feb. 2011)
New York Times Review (June 2011)
The Filter Bubble website
Google Books Preview

Need to learn web design? Web of Languages webinar coming May 30th

Web of Languages

Web of Languages. A webinar to be presented May 30th, 2012. Sponsored by the California Library Association.

Ever wonder what the programmers are talking about when they mention AJAX? Have you heard of jQuery but aren’t entirely sure what it is or what it does? Are you interested in learning more about usability in web design? Attend the webinar “Web of Languages: An Introduction to Usability and Developing Web Applications with AJAX and jQuery” on May 30, 2012 from 1:00pm-4:00pm PDT to find out more.

Details: “Web of Languages” introduces the basic to early intermediate librarian, library staff member, student, web developer or administrator to usability, as well as developing applications with AJAX and jQuery. Derek Christiansen, Web Technologist for San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science, will define AJAX and present a number of SJSU applications of AJAX; Cary Gordon of the Cherry Hill Company will discuss the uses of jQuery in web development; and Sarah Houghton, Acting Director of San Rafael Public Library, will provide perspective on web usability with an overview of web development techniques for library websites and web applications. The purpose of the program is to introduce these technologies and techniques so that librarians and library staff can better understand and visualize what is possible using these web development techniques.


Early bird registration (Mail-in registrations must be received by the CLA office by 5pm, May 15, to receive the early-bird registration rate):

  •     $35 non-members
  •     $25 CLA members
  •     $20 student members

After May 15:

  •     $45 non-members
  •     $35 CLA members
  •     $30 Student member

Can’t make the event? Register to access the archived webinar after the event:

  •     $25 (members and non-members)

Registration and full program information is available on CLA’s website (

Deadline: May 29, 2012

Questions: Contact Suzanna Conrad ( or Stephanie Roach (

Program sponsored by the California Library Association’s
Information Technology and Technical Services Interest Groups