Monthly Archives: December 2014

Episode #068–Rebekah Cummings, new PR Librarian for the Utah Library Association


Today, Rebekah Cummings joins the podcast to talk about her new PR role for the Utah Library Association.  We discuss an amazing play about Librarians coming to Utah called Alabama Story and ULA’s recent statement about Net Neutrality.  Don’t worry friends, Rebekah is still working at the Mountain West Digital Library as well.

Evil Librarians Podcast 068

Resources we discuss:

Alabama Story

ULA and Net Neutrality

Mountain West Digital Library

Ello: Simple, Beautiful, Ad-free, and Definitely BETA

logo_808707_printIf you have not been introduced to yet, allow me the pleasure. Ello is a nascent social network with a conscience and a manifesto (which reads).

Your social network is owned by advertisers.

Every post you share, every friend you make, and every link you follow is tracked, recorded, and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.

We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity, and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.

We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce, and manipulate — but a place to connect, create, and celebrate life.

You are not a product.

Powerful stuff. Useful stuff? Not quite yet.  I love the mission of Ello, but have little use for the service thus far.  The key to a good social network for me, is being able to find the people that I want to interact with.  I do not socially network randomly very often.  Ello is still in Beta format and is by invitation only.  Anyone can request an invite, but currently I cannot find enough of my family and friends on Ello to actually consider abandoning Twitter or Facebook.  So, as long as I have to continue using Twitter and Facebook, Ello is not yet taking hold in my life.  But I want it to.  I do not want to be Mark Zuckerberg’s reluctant product any longer.

There are important questions to ask though.  Is Ello’s model sustainable?  They believe that it is.  The company is registered as a Public Benefit Corporation, which is a for profit business that creates a benefit for society.  From their own site this means:

1) Ello shall never make money from selling ads;

2) Ello shall never make money from selling user data; and

3) In the event that Ello is ever sold, the new owners will have to comply by these terms.

In other words, Ello exists for your benefit, and will never show ads or sell user data.

That does not mean that it is sustainable though.  Will they make enough profit or raise enough money to have the capacity to support the large networks that we all now expect?  Will they have the resources to protect data from hackers?  Not selling our data does not mean that it is protected.  Will this turn into a donation supported PBC?  As a huge supporter and user of, I would much rather donate $10 a year for a great social network, than continue being the product of Twitter and Facebook.  All of these questions will be answered in time, but most importantly, Ello must grow.  Its functionality and usefulness will grow for me, as I am able find the people I want within its network.







By: Dustin Fife, Outreach Librarian for Utah Valley University

Jessica’s Rules for Work

by Jessica Breiman

It has been a long week at work and thus I have failed at posting to Innovation Action Update like I was supposed to! I wrote a draft of a long post about homeless populations and libraries, but never quite finished it up (you know how that goes, right?). So here are a few thoughts for your Friday afternoon, catalyzed by my week at work, and some conversations with colleagues.  They are Jessica’s Rules for Work and are based entirely on my own strengths and weaknesses, which may not be your strengths and weaknesses, but nevertheless may get you thinking about the topic.

  1. Be kind. It is just as easy to be kind as to not be kind, so even if you are annoyed, frustrated, and pissed off (and even if you have every right to be), still be kind.
  2. Do take a deep breath but don’t take it personally. By which I mean, when I feel put upon or pissed off about a situation at work, I hereby instruct myself to take a deep breath and remind myself that work is not me. What happens at work does not define me, so I shouldn’t take it personally when things don’t go my way.
  3. Be honest. This does not mean brutally honest (a phrase which has never made sense to me), but be honest with colleagues, supervisors, employees, and patrons. Will my supervisor get this project from me in its best form at 8am on Monday? If not, then instead of promising it to them, I should say, “I can have a draft ready for you Monday. If I have a few more days, the project will be in better shape when it reaches you.”
  4. Do not expect honesty. By which I mean, people often spread themselves too thin and overpromise. If someone guarantees that they will have something to me by Monday and I don’t have it by Monday, I can throw a fit and be pissed at the person for not telling me the truth, or I can say, “Look, I know you have a lot on your plate. I have to your part of this project by X date. If I can’t get it by then, I will need to ask someone else to provide it for me. Can you get it to me or do you have too much on your plate right now?” That said, sometimes people are not honest for a variety of reasons, some political, some emotional, some other miscellaneous. Do not expect too much of people.
  5. Keep your mouth shut. If you’re feeling whiny or put upon or unfairly treated, it is best to lay those troubles on folks outside of work. It’s better if your coworkers and supervisors don’t know what you look like when you’re pitching a snit fit.
  6. What is told to me stays with me.
  7. Give and get help. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” and the corollary to that is not to be afraid to say “I don’t know. Can you help me?”
  8. Ask for what you want and be assertive. But also be prepared with evidence and documentation that you need what you need.
  9. The corollary of #8 is: don’t get attached to outcomes.
  10. Volunteer for stuff. Nobody has time for these committees. I certainly don’t and you probably don’t either. But you know what? Sometimes you get to meet cool folks and learn something new. Sometimes the work is deadly boring, but at least I can socialize with others outside of my department, which can lead to other fruitful collaborations.
  11. Sometimes stuff just doesn’t go your way. Go have a glass of wine and hang out with your fluffy puppy. Lou2
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