Shorthand for UMSL’s new Institutional Repository Library, IRL is in the care of its curator and crafter, Lena Marvin, who has a map with lots of gray dots pulled up on her computer screen inside the Thomas Jefferson Library.
“It gives you all these fun little points indicating where an item has been downloaded,” Marvin explains during a quick tour of the newly launched site. “And if you click on one, you can see what has been downloaded where. So this student newspaper issue, for instance, has just been looked at in Japan.”
Marvin, who began working at UMSL Libraries 10 months ago, fell in love with information and “finding things,” as she puts it, long ago. That’s what drew her into the field of library science to begin with – and seems to make her a great fit for her current task: helping people near and far find the great things that are being produced on campus.
Marvin’s also a knowledgeable resource on all things technology. A fan of hacker culture and maker culture, she’s been using Linux since 2001. And for the past 10 years she’s also been a weekly presence on Harlem Community Radio in New York City. Even after moving back to the Midwest last year, Marvin has continued on as a co-host for the “Community and Technology” show that airs every Wednesday on WHCR 90.3 FM.
On this particular day, Marvin expects the afternoon’s discussion to focus on the Federal Communications Commission’s new privacy rules, fake shopping apps going into the iPhone store and how police are using social media and tools such as something called a Stingray.
“Coming from the point of view of a librarian, I will talk about metadata and just how much information is there,” she says. “So if the NSA isn’t keeping all of our calls but they are keeping all of our metadata, what does that mean? Should I be concerned that someone knows who I’m calling, where I’m calling from, when I’m calling and for how long that call is? Yes, that’s actually a lot of personal information.”
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Lena Marvin is a Co-Host of the “Community and Technology” Radio Program. It airs in New York City (and Streams Globally) on Wednesday Nights From 5-6pm EST on WHCR