Linkedin to libraries: drop dead

They have explicitly told us that libraries are not a big enough market share to warrant a custom solution. However, once I told them that this was pretty insulting they flipped their stance, telling me that libraries a social good project for them.

I agree with you that they may just not be a viable library solution anymore. We of course would hope that they could find a way to work with us. Microsoft is not a small company and if we really are a social good project then this would be the time to stand up and show their commitment to our values.


I thought it was just me.

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No idea what setting could be different between the two, they all look the same to me. I use the same workaround going direct, but it’s annoying extra steps.

If the library patrons aren’t forced to create a LinkedIn account, how are they going to spam all of your friends and family? How are they going to give all of your data, including unencrypted passwords, to hackers? Libraries are killing their business model.


Couldn’t the librarians just create a bunch of fake profiles, then sign in all the computers in the library with these profiles, so that patrons just have to sit down at the computer and use the service?

Sorry, meant to post to the general thread, not reply to you in particular. Damn thumbs…

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Been a problem for a while.

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Libraries across the country are publicly standing up for their commitment to privacy. We’ve started an online petition where those in support of privacy rights can add their names to this growing list.


Fun fact, LinkedIn Learning supports authentication via secure identity provider protocols like Shibboleth, which would allow the institutions to limit what access LinkedIn gets to your data. BUT auth-based access requires that your price basis be your ENTIRE POTENTIAL USERBASE (i.e., everyone listed in your identity provider). If you want a price based on actual user-base size (the number of people actually logging into and using LinkedIn Learning) then you have to do the “please give us your personal details and library card number” thing.

In practice, this means that only large, degree-granting academic institutions can use the auth-based approach. If you’re a (relatively much smaller and poorer) public library, the only thing in your budget is going to be the privacy-compromising approach.

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If a library is providing access, you will have to authenticate as a library user as well, so your LinkedIn account will be linked to your real library account.


They would be breaking the TOS rules against account sharing almost certainly. It would be up to LinkedIn to retaliate in this case, but they would have no problem locking the accounts.

It could go either way. Years ago Rosetta Stone pulled out of the library market, after getting a lot of brand name recognition thanks to library publicity. I think the assumption was that there users would pay for the software rather than lose access. They were probably right in the short term.


Sure, but having a userbase of 500,000 doesn’t mean the price has to be 500,000 times the price for a single account. I think it is reasonable to assume that .02% of your patrons are going to be regular users.

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Thanks. We can’t really troubleshoot third-party blocking tools, however. charges libraries a large sum of money to use their platform. My library is in a town of 72,000 people and we were quoted $15,000 for use for a year. We were able to combine with other libraries and get this price down but not much.
Many libraries may not be able to continue to use the service because of privacy laws that are enforced in their state. I know many municipal libraries that are having these contracts reviewed by their law term to see if it violates the law.
Finally, LinkedIn claimed that they need the login to assure the user was a real person. This is laughable for two reasons. The first has been mentioned that anybody who creates an account can give a fake name. The second is most libraries require a photo ID to get a library card. We have already verified that our users are real people. So this is total BS on the part of LinkedIn.


Ima Library
Iona Card
Anita Book
Len Doubt


Good. The fewer people using, the better. The only thing worse than employers using for mandatory training is employers who substitute subscriptions for actual training and professional development. YouTube on the whole is a better training resource, and empirically, less full of thinly-disguised ads. (One of my recent mandatory courses was a 45-minute ad for “Grammar Girl” disguised as “Professional Grammar in the Workplace.” Thanks, HR!)

This is true – the cost per user goes down as the userbase goes up, certainly – but the ratio of total to active users in a public library is WAY different than the same ratio at a university. And it’s enough to make the auth approach infeasible for most public libraries.


Sure, let’s start sending everyone to a training resource where you are always about three clicks away from flat earth propaganda, and where no videos are ever vetted for veracity. I see no problems with this whatsoever.


I was able to get to flat earth propaganda in three clicks from this post. (Search “flat earth”, click on the “a store for flat earthers by flat earthers” post, click on the link inside.) Welcome to the Internet. I’d argue that on the whole, curated paid-for crap is worse than unfiltered “free” crap, because it has a perceived weight of authority behind it. Sure, you’re not (probably) going to find Top Ten Jewish Conspiracies on Lynda, but you’re also probably not going to find that searching for “how to write Excel 2016 macros” on YouTube. And you might actually get what you’re looking for, not a 45 minute pitch for a separate subscription to someone’s Excel 2008 videos.

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Oh, no. There are sites on the internet that have standards.

Youtube has no standards. And no rigor and no interest in maintaining even a pretense of informational value. Sites like Wikipedia are actually objectively better, because pages there are actually curated by real humans with at least some level of expertise and not algorithms.

(There are often good channels on YT, but the mercurial and anarchic nature of YT’s algorithms makes real learning there cumbersome unless you have a well-refined BS filter to start with.)


Youtube’s algorithms always push you into extremism. You search for “how to write Excel 2016 macros” and two hours later you’re watching videos on Python and LibreOffice.

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