Becky Yoose | Movers & Shakers 2019 – Digital Developers

Metadata librarians, catalogers, and library technologists who want to tear down silos need only look for one of the online communities that Becky Yoose has created or helped create. At conferences, they can seek out “The Hat” that she wears to signal a gathering of library professionals interested in improving metadata, website development, and customers’ finding experiences.

Becky Yoose

CURRENT POSITION

Library Data Privacy Consultant, LDH Consulting Services, Seattle

DEGREE

MA-LIS, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2008

FOLLOW

@yo_bj; Troublesome Catalogers and Magical Metadata Fairies (facebook group); yobj.net; chooseprivacyeveryday.org/de-identification-and-patron-data; libtechwomen.org

Photo ©2019 Matt Lawrence Photography

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Tech Connector

Metadata librarians, catalogers, and library technologists who want to tear down silos need only look for one of the online communities that Becky Yoose has created or helped create. At conferences, they can seek out “The Hat” that she wears to signal a gathering of library professionals interested in improving metadata, website development, and customers’ finding experiences.

Yoose has built connections and communities at public and academic libraries across the field. By facilitating networking and knowledge exchange, she hopes to aid professional development and growth, especially among female library technologists.

One measure of the impact her community-building has had is growth in the online group Troublesome Catalogers and Magical Metadata Fairies. Starting with 300 participants on Twitter in 2009, it has grown to more than 5,000 members on Facebook discussing complex issues.
In 2015, Yoose revitalized #mashcat online discussions, events, and webinars to address silos among web developers, metadata librarians, and catalogers that impede progress in improving patrons’ ability to find items they’re seeking. The online harassment of women in tech fields and the many female library technologists experiencing imposter syndrome led Yoose to help develop LibTechWomen.org, offering library technologists who identify as female a place of support and professional growth, Yoose says.

Yoose regularly presents at national library conferences, such as the Public Library Association and Code4Lib, on balancing data analytics with privacy, preventing burnout, the role of code in discoverability, and more. She also publishes frequently, most recently about improving customers’ experience while protecting patron privacy. For example, when Yoose worked at the Seattle Public Library (SPL) from 2015 to 2019, immigrants and refugees voiced concerns about not wanting their library data shared with other government agencies. “Collecting patron data in a way that respects privacy and stays within the ethical standards set by the library profession is challenging work—doable in some cases, as at SPL, but challenging,” Yoose says.

In January, Yoose took the next step of her professional journey, leaving SPL—where she had been library applications and systems manager—to start a consulting service that will guide libraries and vendors in protecting patron data without sacrificing operational needs.

Her role in building online communities continues. She not only helps members tear down barriers and succeed through skill-building but also promotes libraries’ retention of talented and creative professionals and ultimately supports the development of good customer service, Yoose says. “You have the power to change the trajectory of someone’s life.”

 

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