Cites & Insights 6:11 available

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 6:11 (September 2006) is now available for downloading.

The 22-page issue (PDF as usual, but most essays are also available as HTML separates from the home page) includes:

  • Perspective: The New Site & COWLZ: A Lost Opportunity? – The largest essay: Why C&I moved, and the history of COWLZ (such as it is), from start to (apparent) finish, with notes on the gray literature of librarianship.
  • Bibs & Blather – A few things I’d rather not write about and some quick followups from previous issues.
  • Trends & Quick Takes – 4 “trends” (including a back-and-forth on gen-gen) and four quicker takes.
  • The Censorware Chronicles – 10 things you might not know about censorware and a new (and better) “Internet filters: A public policy report”
  • The Library Stuff – Nine or sixteen items, depending on how you look at it.
  • My Back Pages – Nine little rants

And for those of you who stayed away for the summer: Don’t forget Cites & Insights 6:10, August 2006: “Looking at Liblogs,” a 30-page essay looking at 213 blogs from library people.

9 Responses to “Cites & Insights 6:11 available”

  1. Steve Lawson says:

    I enjoyed the 2/3 or so of the issue that I have read. Two comments (hope these aren’t too long):

    On Rachel Singer Gordon’s kid and gen-gen (p. 11 of C&I): I’m no fan of gen-gen, but as the parent of a four-year-old boy, I understand where Gordon is coming from when she writes about her son. DVDs are the standard way of watching TV for my son; when watching live TV I frequently have to remind him that I can’t rewind or skip commercials.

    More significantly, the Web has already conditioned his idea of what is possible and available to him when it comes to media. For example, he is really into rockets right now. I can go to YouTube or and pull up footage of just about any Apollo mission liftoff that he would like to see, or multiple views of Space Shuttle launches. He takes for granted that he can get all this stuff immediately. When he suggests something that I can’t find, he simply doesn’t believe me. “Dad, you have to look!”

    On FeedBurner (p. 21 of C&I): I am a happy FeedBurner user, as they provide services that I find useful (and that I think people who want to subscribe to my blog feed might find useful) for free. Please don’t think that when people ask you to re-subscribe to their FeedBurner feed, they are doing so because they want to serve you ads. It’s probably because they are tired of seeing their readership split between multiple feeds and want to funnel all users to their fully-featured feed.

    If I start getting ads in other people’s FeedBurner feeds, you can bet I’ll unsubscribe. If FeedBurner start putting ads in my feed, I’ll drop them immediately.

  2. walt says:


    Certainly not “too long”–I don’t impose a length limit on comments (and neither does WordPress). Also, both interesting and points well taken.

    Are these proposed as comments for a later Feedback section in C&I?

  3. Steve Lawson says:

    I wasn’t “proposing” them as such, but you are welcome to use them that way if you like. I should embed a Creative Commons attribution-noncommercial license on everything I put on the web. 🙂

  4. walt says:

    Steve, Actually I would argue there’s an implicit CC by-nc license on comments, since comments are submitted to a blog that has that license. Technically, though, C&I isn’t non-commercial…

    [Hmm. Actually, I didn’t need to ask. I always ask before using *email* in C&I, but comments are already public, so…]

  5. Iris says:

    Another wonderful issue, Walt. In fact, I just spent a stimulating and enjoyable afternoon and evening reading several of the back issues that I’d missed while I was traveling this summer. (And I’m still blushing to find my name in print a couple of times.)

    I particularly appreciate your pieces on Balancing. I’m thinking specifically of your article in issue 6:9, “Finding a Balance: Libraries and Librarians.” While it is true that we develop meaning through difference (chairs and tables are similar in form and use, but we have distinct concepts of “chairs” and “tables” because of their differences), focusing solely on difference cuts us off from valuable information as well. Focusing solely on difference causes unnecessarily polarizing debates between “factions” that could accomplish so much more if they were to recognize differences but capitalize on the best of their similarities and differences. This is true of everything from politics to “gengen.”

    And in the latest issue (6:11), the bit about Bill Gates reminds me of our interactions with a particular professor at my college. He demands incredible amounts of research, but then hints that we must not be working hard enough for the college if we have so much time to “donate” to his non-class-related research. Maybe this is why Ayn Rand rages against altruism. It can devalue the rest of the work you do in the eyes of some. (I’m currently listening to “Atlas Shrugged” as a book on tape checked out from the library. I find this method of learning Rand’s philosophy hysterically funny. Libraries would surely never make it into her utopia.) But giving up on altruism because an unpleasant few make life difficult would be letting them win.

  6. walt says:

    Iris, thanks for the thoughtful (and kind) comment. Good point about altruism–but without altruism, we really would be in a nasty, brutish position. (You could think of altruism as enlightened self-interest; I think there’s a good case to be made for that. It does require a slightly broader sense of “self.”)

  7. That’s the “gatekeeper/A-list” controversy, which I could personalize as “Why Seth Finkelstein lacks the audience and influence his research should warrant.”

    Thanks for the praise! Too true 🙁

  8. Couple-three comments.

    Re: COWLZ and preservation… has anyone considered DList and E-LIS? I don’t think either turns up its nose at grey lit.

    The indexing question is intriguing, and ties into some things I’ve been thinking about re: librarians and OA. Keep an eye on da blog for more…

    I’m going to have to comment on the whole “influence” thing. You knew I would, didn’t you? And thank you for the kind words on my conference post. And I prefer “whuffie” to “reputation” partly because it’s shorter and easier to type, and partly because that’s just how SFnally informal I can be sometimes.

    And on moving from Boise State — am I right that you had to change one absolute URL in a whole lot of files, and that’s what took you an hour? Next time, zip ’em up and send ’em to me with a description of the needed change. I can replace across files with TextWrangler in ten seconds. 🙂

    (Windows programmers’ editors offer similar functionality; this isn’t just a Mac thing. You don’t have to give up WordPad, but it doesn’t hurt to have jedit or Crimson Editor around too, for the three or four bits of geeky functionality that save hours of time.)

    Good issue! I found a lot of things to read out of it.

  9. walt says:


    I wouldn’t think of E-LIS or DList for a serial, although that may be shortsighted. If COWLZ had gained ongoing leadership with sufficient knowledge, that’s the kind of question that might have been answered.

    I’ll wait to see your influence post.

    The “hour” was mostly thinking about what I had to do and moving the files to the right Windows directory (because the FTP client integrated into my web editor gets cute about replicating subdirectory structures, which I don’t want it to). The editing itself was so fast–certainly less than 15 seconds per file–that even bothering with “zip ’em up and send ’em to me with a description” would take longer than the actual process.

    Sure, there are batch tools–but [and here comes a long-standing Crawford mantra], for something you only do once every [month|year|five years], sometimes using the tools you know and taking an extra hour is the sensible approach. (Also known as “why I don’t go out of my way to memorize special keystroke combinations or function-key ways to avoid using menus”: It’s not worthwhile unless I’m doing it frequently.)

    If I was going to “save hours of time” even once a year, I’d acquire and learn the new tools. To save half an hour once every five years, it’s just not worth it: I’d spend more time relearning the tool than I’d ever save. [I use a “programmers’ editor” at work, UltraEdit, but not at home…]

    And, as always, thanks for the kind words.