Library Insider: A Conversation About Privacy With Becky Yoose

We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about the Library’s privacy efforts and what patrons can do to increase their privacy when using Library resources, so we sat down with Becky Yoose, The Seattle Public Library’s Library Applications and Systems Manager, to find out more about privacy at the Library.

What is your role in the library’s patron privacy efforts?

I have many roles! The first role is to ensure that the data we collect for evaluating services places as little risk as possible in identifying individual patron activity. Essentially, making sure that we are not unnecessarily storing personally identifiable information about patrons themselves and what the patrons do, like checkouts or computer sessions or reference questions.

"Protection" image courtesy of Blue Coat Photos via FlickrAnother role is working with the IT Director in making sure that the vendors follow the confidentiality policies that the Library has in place, ensuring that they are treating patron data as securely as we would treat it. The third role that I have is with the Open Data Initiative for the City – I am the privacy champion for the Library. Continue reading “Library Insider: A Conversation About Privacy With Becky Yoose”

For the Love of Data: An Open Data Release

lovedatascienceBack in the spring of 2012, Book 1 of the Fifty Shades trilogy did something for the first and last time at SPL—the physical copy circulated more copies than the e-book version.  Over the next three years, the e-book version had over 500 circs per quarter. Meanwhile, by early 2014, circulation of the physical book dropped to fewer than 100 per quarter. Continue reading “For the Love of Data: An Open Data Release”

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

~ posted by Ann G.

Sadly, this post is NOT going to be about pretty pictures or images.  It is about data visualization—WAIT, DON’T STOP READING!  They can be fun!  Whenever you see an infographic (which is one small subset of the many types of data visualizations), like this one about what happens to your body in the first 60 minutes after drinking Coke, you’re looking at someone’s vision of what the underlying data are telling us (remember, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics, so you should always be a savvy consumer of any chart you see). Continue reading “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

You Know You Love Data…

~ posted by Ann G.

Or, if you don’t now, we can help you become the best kind of data geek!  Even if all you do is read news articles, in print or online, you need discerning data skills, to know what to believe.  Data is also behind many of the cool apps we use on our mobile devices.  The library is hosting an awesome program on October 13 (at 6 pm downtown), called From Data to Action: Open Data and You,” where you can start thinking about data, how to use it and how it might fit into your life (and how some Seattle developers created cool apps!).  We hope you’ll join us! Continue reading “You Know You Love Data…”