The Work of a Working Group

Yasmeen ShorishThis post comes from Yasmeen Shorish, an Associate Professor and the Data Services Coordinator at James Madison University. Her research focuses on changes in scholarly communication, data information literacy, and issues related to representation and social justice in librarianship.

Taking the time to reflect on this year’s DLF Forum, I am struck by how much the Technologies of Surveillance (ToS) Working Group has accomplished. In the year since its inception, the engaged and creative members of the working group have generated important questions, started policy investigations, begun to draft data risk assessments, set out to design a curriculum, and produced an explainer and glossary for the community. As co-founder and co-convener, I have been beyond impressed with the collaborative efforts of the working group. Within a week of its release, the explainer document was already cited in a presentation at the OpenEd18 conference! We have accomplished more than I could have hoped and we are on track to produce a comprehensive community guidance document at the DLF Forum 2019.

When Shea Swauger and I conceived this, we knew that we wanted to use a collaborative leadership model where we would expect subgroup leaders to rotate as necessary and where we would also invite new leadership to co-convene the group. The one-year mark is the perfect time for me to roll off as co-convener and to welcome a new partner to join Shea. This rotating leadership keeps the working group vibrant with new ideas and perspectives.

With so much work happening in the privacy and surveillance realms, it is our good fortune that Scott Young, co-PI of the IMLS Forum on Web Privacy and Web Analytics project, has agreed to join ToS as co-convener. Scott with be able to help bridge the work of these two groups and help us leverage the strengths and progress of the efforts. I say “us” because I still plan on contributing and participating in ToS, just in a different capacity; as a member of the working group, contributing mainly to the advocacy and instruction subgroups. This work is so vital and important, and the people involved are so brilliant, that I couldn’t – and wouldn’t – just walk away.

So thanks, DLF. Thanks for the great Forum, where participants of our working lunch brought new ideas and insights for us to consider and incorporate, and thanks for facilitating this space for ToS to do this work across libraries and institutions in a collaborative and productive way. I am so grateful to have been able to help grow such a dynamic and awesome community.

See you on the listserv!

Learn more about ToS at and

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