Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Amy West
Embodying the Librarian Stereotype since 1999. Good natured. Takes correction poorly.
Embodying the Librarian Stereotype since 1999. Good natured. Takes correction poorly.
Amy's posts

Post has attachment
In a desperate attempt to separate existing personal Google+ account from newly opened work one, I give you a pink skull to denote the personal account.

Anyone willing to read this over & tell me if it's clear and/or suggest shorter ways of saying the same thing?

The Government Printing Office (GPO) begins the printing process. The GPO is the source of official versions of federal law. So that citizens can see and refer to new legislation quickly, the GPO first prints each piece of legislation as a "Slip Law". At the end of each session, the legislation that has been passed is bound together in volumes called the United States Statutes at Large. Even though they're bound together, each law is listed individually in the United States Statutes at Large.

Every six years the United States Code, the codification of general and permanent laws of the United States, is published. In the interim, supplements are published that account for legislation passed since the last revision or supplement.

Unlike slip laws or the United States Statutes at Large, the United States Code rearranges all the laws in force into subject areas - this is what it means to codify the law. However, that means that you no longer find each act as passed by Congress all in one spot like you would in the United States Statutes at Large unless that act happened to cover just one legal subject and those cases are rare! Instead, one act will be broken up into several pieces by legal subject and arranged in the United States Code accordingly.

Post has attachment
University of Minnesota

Position Available
East Asian Studies Librarian

The University Libraries invites applications for an energetic and service-oriented librarian to support research, instruction, and the life-long learning needs of students, faculty, and staff working in East Asian studies and with East Asian-language materials.

Core responsibilities include developing collaborative relationships with academic departments, providing research and instructional support services, developing and managing collections, embedding information literacy principles in core teaching and learning channels, and working in cross-library groups to address the major strategic directions of the Libraries and program needs of the campus.

Required qualifications include an ALA-accredited Masters degree in Library/Information Science or an advanced degree with relevant experience, fluency in Chinese and capability with Japanese and Korean languages. Preferred qualifications include an academic background or library experience in Asian Studies and fluency in Japanese and Korean.

For complete job description and qualifications, and to apply, go to:

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Post has attachment
The Center for Systemic Peace makes available many, many handy datasets to all users with internet access - for example, there's this page: Not only is the data available, but there are multiple formats and codebooks for users. That's fabulous!

But I find their statements on copyright, attribution and permissions a little strange. Copyright, if I understand correctly, is about the rights creators have with respect to uses of their works. Even under the most draconian interpretation, copyright still doesn't give the creator absolute control over all uses ever. With that in mind...

One, our copyright librarian argues that data don't fall within copyright (though possibly certain specific presentations of data such as the visualizations produced by the New York Times might be copyrightable). Since data != copyright works in my favor as a data librarian, I'm happy to take that as gospel.

Two, connecting attribution to copyright reflects a confusion of what copyrights actually do for owners (when indeed one is an owner) and best practices in academics. Whether or not something is copyrighted shouldn't be the determinant of whether one cites the original source. Attribution exists to help readers/other users to understand where the author is coming from, which sources were used and to facilitate academic debate by allowing others to retrace an author's argument.

Three, why demand written permission for reproduction/dissemination of large portions of the data when all of the data is posted on the web without restriction? Seems to me like the Center is already reproducing & disseminating their data so widely as to make this requirement nonsensical.

Again, I'm thrilled to have the data available! I think this is a great approach. So, if by chance anyone at the CSP sees this post, please don't stop! Just commenting on what feels like a disconnect between what the CSP is doing and how they view their relationship to their own content.

Anyone else getting notifications that they've been added to or added back to circles of ppl that they thought were already circled? Confused again by G+. Gather that it must relate to new "ignore" option, but still not really clear on what's going on.

Confused. If I +1 something, does it show up as an entry from me in other ppl's stream? If not, does Google think we're gonna all go to each other's profiles and check the +1 tab?

Post has attachment
Not sure what this says about me, but upon reading this summary of research on web code injection + redirects for illicit pharmacies, all I thought was "hey, could we do that for library resources? Cause that would be cool."

Post has attachment
Putting the American Community Survey to use: Urban Institute's Children of Immigrants Database:

The Urban Institute lets you put together tables showing the characteristics of the children of immigrants to the US. The American Community Survey does ask about citizenship status as well as where you were born. So, you may look at characteristics of children with parents who are/aren't citizens in general or you may look at data for children of parents who have immigrated from various regions around the world.

I had to try this once to see exactly what it generated - the labeling could be a little better - but it's a nice tool. It does a nice job of visualizing the demographic changes occurring in the US.

You can compare states and the nation to each other, you can also use the tool to compare characteristics of different parts of the US. So, for example, I compared the nation as a whole to Alabama (where I was born) to Minnesota (where I live now).

You can view tables, charts or both together onscreen or download PDF versions or export the data to Excel.

Nice tool. Thanks Urban Institute.

Post has attachment
Ever wondered how some set of government data came to be collected? There's more than one way and in an article in today's is an example using a regulatory approach:

The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) not only works within a framework of federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, but also "enforces Executive Order 11246 (Executive Order) which requires Federal Government contractors and subcontractors to provide equal employment opportunity through affirmative action and nondiscrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, and sex."

In order to determine whether there is compensation discrimination among federal contractors, the OFCCP is planning to develop a dataset which will track a variety of indicators on compensation by sex, race and ethnicity. As a first step, they have issued a "notice of proposed rulemaking" or the first step in the development of a federal regulation. See!documentDetail;D=OFCCP-2011-0005-0001 for the full text.

What's interesting about this approach is that the OFCCP is soliciting comments from the public on every part of the design of the dataset, from collection onwards. They ask for input on which indicators should be tracked, how the data should be collected and what kinds of analyses the data should support.

Note, "public" comment doesn't just mean comments from individual members of the public. The companies which will be required to report will certainly post their own comments on the questions (many of which revolve around the presumed burden on contractors of submitting this data). As noted in the article in Government Executive, these companies are not pleased with this development.

It's entirely possible that, based on comments received, the database will not be created at all or if it is, created in such a way as to satisfy the contractors. A contractor-approved database would probably not be particularly useful since the least effort by contractors would generate very little data. Then, of course, it's also possible that the agency will go with a plan that generates a significant new dataset even over the objections of contractors.

Regardless of how this turns out, this is not an uncommon method for government dataset development. So, the next time you're looking at some data from the US government and asking yourself "wait, what? why is it like this?", consider researching how the dataset was created. Data are never neutral and government data in particular are subject to political concerns from the outset. The dataset's genesis may explain at least some of its quirks.

Post has shared content
Wait while more posts are being loaded