Friday, January 6, 2017

Heroic Librarian Fraud

Cory Doctorow:
Two employees at the East Lake County Library created a fictional patron called Chuck Finley -- entering fake driver's license and address details into the library system -- and then used the account to check out 2,361 books over nine months in 2016, in order to trick the system into believing that the books they loved were being circulated to the library's patrons, thus rescuing the books from automated purges of low-popularity titles.

Library branch supervisor George Dore was suspended for his role in the episode; he said that he was trying to game the algorithm because he knew that these books would come back into vogue and that his library would have to spend extra money re-purchasing them later. He said that other libraries were doing the same thing.
Look for more and more of this sort of thing to happen in the future as human beings fight back against attempts by their managers to control them with software:
The problem here isn't the collection of data: it's the blind adherence to data over human judgment, the use of data as a shackle rather than a tool.


G. Verloren said...

The usage of the alias "Chuck Finley" made me laugh. Apparently these librarians are fans of Bruce Campbell.

Shadow said...

LOL!!! Read your comment while watching Burn Notice.