Archive for August, 2007

Maybe real topics next month

Friday, August 31st, 2007

I just realized that it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about much of anything except the new book and the addition of new sales channels–unless you count the old movie reviews.

My apologies. Not that there haven’t been plenty of interesting, even provocative posts out there. I’ve commented on a few and thought about commenting on several more. I’ve considered and rejected several posts here. Heck, one or two of the threads even hark back to previous issues of Cites & Insights directly or indirectly.

August has been a strange and difficult month for a number of reasons.

I’m hoping September will be better. I think September will be better. Except that I won’t publish a book in September (unless you count Amazon’s official publication dates, in which case I’ll publish two of them!).

Of course, this blog bears the name it does for a reason–and my original “goal” was to do a couple of posts a week for a while to see if it was worth doing. Somewhere along the line I picked up a medium-sized audience and gratifying number of links. Heck, Technorati seems to think I have an “authority” of 125 (whatever that might mean) and, right at the moment, I’m close to breaking into the top 40,000 for a day or two…

So, well, random it is, all the more so when I’m juggling completion of one book, starting another one, starting up a new column in an old and beloved venue, starting in on the next C&I…and thinking about aspects of the future at the same time.

Friday. Time for the last long weekend of [U.S.] summer. Enjoy.

Public Library Blogs: now available at Amazon

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples

I said I’d post as soon as Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples was available at Amazon.

It seems to be available now, although it might not ship until September 14. (CreateSpace requires a formal publication date, which can’t be changed once assigned…similarly, it’s possible that Amazon copies of Balanced Libraries won’t ship until September 1, but that’s the day after tomorrow.)

At the moment, I think the only way you can find the book is by its ISBN, either 10-digit (143480559X) or 13-digit (978-1434085591). I’d guess that other search terms–Walt Crawford, Public Library Blogs, etc.–should work in a day or two, since that was the pattern with Balanced Libraries. Saturday, September 1: Other search terms now retrieve the book.

So far, the footer here and on my two other sites links directly to the Cites & Insights Books page at Lulu and the individual estore pages at CreateSpace, for those who prefer the bright-white interior paper and don’t mind slightly poorer cover quality.

I’ll probably leave it that way. I certainly understand why you might prefer to buy the books from Amazon–free shipping, you probably already have an Amazon account, you’re more comfortable with the firm–and that’s fine: Whatever way you choose to buy the book (or books!) is great. I get less revenue from Amazon copies (about $3 less per copy), but that’s OK too–actually, if you’re saving $3 on shipping, we’re square.

Which to buy? Your call, and I’ll probably discuss this in the October C&I (which may be delayed to very late September, for “job”-related reasons). The covers seem to be better at Lulu. The paper from Lulu is prettier and more traditional…but the paper from CreateSpace/Amazon (OK, BookSurge, which is the agency doing the production) may result in better readability. I think Amazon production cycles are shorter. As an author, I appreciate the fact that Lulu lets me have one customized storefront for multiple books–turns out CreateSpace won’t do that.

Anyway: It’s there. It continues to be a book that would benefit most public libraries (and absolutely belongs in every library school library!) and maybe some academic libraries.

First cut on the Academic Library Blogs project, incidentally: 211 blogs from 169 libraries (not quite that many institutions)–and yes, England is represented this time. So are Wales and Scotland and Australia and Botswana and New Zealand. And, of course, several provinces in Canada–more than in the current book.

50 Movie Pack Hollywood Legends, Disc 2

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

A Walk in the Sun, 1945, b&w, Lewis Milestone (dir.), Dana Andrews, Richard Conte, George Tyne, John Ireland, Lloyd Bridges, Sterling Holloway, Huntz Hall. 1:57.

The walk is from the beach at Salerno to a farmhouse six miles inland; the time, the Allied invasion of Italy in World War II. Quite a good movie, with (as the sleeve says) “long quiet stretches of talk with random bursts of violent action whose relevance to the big picture is often unknown to the soldiers.” There’s some damage, but it’s a fine war movie with good performances. $1.50.

The Most Dangerous Game, 1932, b&w, Irving Pichel and Ernest B. Schoedsack (dirs.), Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Leslie Banks, Robert Armstrong. 1:03.

Rich hunter on a boat trip; the buoys don’t look quite right to the captain, but he insists they continue—leading to a shipwreck which he alone survives. He winds up at a castle on a remote island, hosted by Count Zaroff, who recognizes him as a great hunter and boasts of hunting “the most dangerous game.” Other than a bunch of Russian-only servants, the only other ones there are a couple (also survivors of a shipwreck), with the man a somewhat drunken mess. Eventually, it becomes clear just what the most dangerous game is. Scratchy soundtrack but an effective, fast-moving flick. $1.50.

The Stars Look Down, 1940, b&w, Carol Reed (dir.), Michael Redgrave, Margaret Lockwood, Emlyn Williams. 1:50 [1:40]

British drama set in a coal mining community and apparently full of social implications—the union’s pretty much deserted the working men, the mine owner’s hiding a map that indicates that the mine is in danger of being flooded, a strike doesn’t help. Strike leader’s son goes off to university on scholarship but somehow drops out before the last year to marry a gold-digger he’s barely met—and who is, of course, desperately unhappy (and indolent) in the mining town. The problem is that the movie doesn’t go anywhere—sure, there’s the expected flood, sure, the conniving wife runs off with someone else, but there’s no sense of conclusion. Maybe the missing 10 minutes would help? $1.00.

The Bigamist, 1953, b&w, Ida Lupino (dir.), Joan Fontaine, Ida Lupino, Edmund Gwenn, Edmond O’Brien. 1:20.

Harry Graham is a traveling salesman for the company he and his wife run in San Francisco; he seems to spend most of his traveling time around LA. He’s grown a little distant from his wife of eight years, and somehow winds up in bed with Ida Lupino in LA—and that one occasion, naturally, leaves her pregnant. Thus the title, and the film seems to say “well, he’s a decent man who got mixed up.” I could suggest that decent men don’t cheat on their wives, but I suppose that would be Puritanical. Scratchy but well-acted (with Joan Fontaine and Ida Lupino, what would you expect?). $1.25.

A partial list of intriguing public library blogs

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

This is the last of the introductory series of posts discussing promoting Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples. (And aren’t you glad I didn’t include the cover in all of them? In case you’re wondering, it’s a library–a very old library.*)

Here’s what I removed from the end of Chapter 3, after thinking about it a lot. I removed it because it’s so partial–I found even more blogs intriguing in one way or another, and decided it was inappropriate to single some of them out.

Still, for what it’s worth… (yes, I’ll do another post when the book[s] become[s] available via Amazon)

As I was gathering information on these blogs, which typically included reading or at least skimming three months of posts, I was impressed by the variety, personality and vitality found in so many blogs. I’ve always been an optimist about public libraries; this book has increased that optimism considerably.Here are some of the blogs I found particularly intriguing for one reason or another—in Zip order, since I’m gathering them as I make the last pass through the profiles. The reasons may be obvious from the profiles; they may not.

  • FPL Teen Blog 01702
  • Carver Public Library . blog 02330
  • Newton’s Quick Job Search Blog 02459
  • Director’s Blog 03060
  • From the Reference Desk 03060
  • Dover Public Library news 03820
  • Latest entries from 06111
  • The Short List 06426
  • Darien Community Matters (and other Darien blogs) 06820
  • Westport Public Library MOVIE & MUSIC blog 06880
  • West Long Branch Public Library 07764
  • Highland Park Public Library Teen Blog 08904
  • Administratively Speaking (and other Goshen blogs) 10924
  • Children’s Department Paperless Notebook 15102
  • Sellers Library Teens 19082
  • Birmingham Public Library’s Latest News, Reviews & Information 35203
  • Worthingteens 43085
  • Turning the Page… 45202
  • SJCPL Blog 46601
  • Ann Arbor District Library 48104
  • MADreads 55703
  • What’s New @ Coloma Public Library 54930
  • Kids Lit and other Menasha blogs 54952
  • PaperCuts 66604
  • ICARUS… the Santa Fe Public Library Blog 87501
  • The Librarian’s Own Grove 92501
  • Mostly NF (and other Pierce County blogs) 98446
  • Seldovia Public Library 99663
  • Fahrenheit 451: Banned Books L0S 1E0
  • Invisible Ink [Australia]

What I find intriguing and what you find worth examining are entirely different things, or at least they should be. I think all of these blogs may be worth quick looks, but I’m not recommending any of them as models for your blogs. Every community is different; every library blog should reflect the interests and needs of its community and the interests and capabilities of the library’s staff.

*The Library at Ephesus, to be exact. Credit my wife for the photograph. Any blame for clumsy cropping and color shifts in rendering go to me. My proof copy of the CreateSpace/Amazon version has a somewhat purplish sky instead of deep Mediterranean blue; your color may vary, I hope.

Public Library Blogs: A few metrics

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples demonstrates again what appears to be true of any group of blogs: There is no such thing as an average blog–and they vary so much that the mean and median for any given measure tend to be very different.

So it is with these 252 blogs. Here, then, the metrics I used (all based on posts during March, April and May 2007), with the mean (the average of all blogs), the median (the point at which half the blogs have a higher number and half have a lower), and the limit for “outliers”–most commonly the top quintile for a given measure (that is, the top 20%). The book lists the outliers for each measure. Within the descriptions that make up the bulk of the book (of which metrics are a tiny part), metrics always appear–and they’re boldfaced (or, in one special case, italicized) if they’re outliers.

  • Frequency (number of posts): The mean is 23.7 posts, roughly two per week–but the median is 12.0 posts, slightly less than one per week. The top 20% have 33 or more posts during the 92-day quarter. (If you’re wondering, 10 average at least a post a day.)
  • Comments: The mean is 4.5 comments–but the median is zero, since only 118 of the blogs had any comments at all, and 25 of those had one comment each during the quarter. Quite a few of them don’t allow comments, generally for sensible reasons. (Note: I eliminated obvious groups of spam comments from the counts–and no, I didn’t consider teens dissing one another as spam). The top 20% have five or more comments during the three-month period.
  • Comments per post: You already know the median (zero); the mean is 0.3, with only 45 blogs exceeding that modest figure. I listed the 41 blogs (16%) averaging at least half a comment per post; fourteen averaged at least one comment per post.
  • Illustrations: Average 18.6 during the quarter, median 5.0; top 20% start at 24 illustrations.
  • Illustrations per post: Average 0.7 per post, median 0.5 per post. Too many blogs have essentially 1.0 illustrations per post (book review blogs, etc.) to use a boundary at the 20% mark, but I list the 44 blogs (17%) with at least 1.1 illustrations per blog.
  • Total length: The whole set of blogs totaled just over a million words for the three-month period; the average blog had 4,120 words, but the median was 1,968 words. The outliers in this case are slightly more than 20%; I used 5,000 words as a reasonable cutoff.
  • Average length per post: The “average average” was 187.3 words–roughly two typical paragraphs. The median was 153.8 words. In this case, I noted two outlying groups–those with longish posts (I used 251 words per post as the cutoff, roughly the top 20%) and those with considerably shorter-than-average posts (I used 89 words per post as the cutoff).
  • Longevity: I didn’t attempt to calculate a mean or median, and blogs had to be around for at least six months to qualify. (I did not remove blogs that had no posts between June 1 and the completion of the study. Summer can be strange at some libraries.) Of the 252 blogs, 155 began during 2006 and another 38 began in the last half of 2005. I list the other 59, the 23% that had been around at least two years by the time of the study.

The mythical “average public library blog,” then, began in early 2006 and had 24 posts with five comments, 19 illustrations and a total of around 4,000 words or around 180 words per post. For what that’s worth.

Public Library Blogs: Varieties of blogs

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples

So what varieties of blogs are in the book?.

No, I don’t mean how many use WordPress or Blogger or whatever. I didn’t record that (and didn’t test printability). It just didn’t seem particularly relevant in this case.

I mean what the blog’s “about.” The most common category is what I characterized as “General”–multipurpose blogs, not aimed at a particular age group, that include library news and hours, events, new materials reviews, what have you. These also include several cases where the library website is a blog, or where the blog feeds directly into the library’s home page.

97 of the blogs fall into the General category, including both blogs for libraries serving fewer than 1,000. Here’s some of the other categories, in the same seemingly meaningless order* as in Chapter 2 of the book.

  • Book (new books and summaries); Eight blogs
  • Books and more (primarily books but some related posts): Seven blogs
  • Book clubs and discussion groups: Six blogs
  • Book reviews (sometimes including book clubs, but primarily reviews): Twelve blogs
  • Reviews of all sorts of material: Four blogs
  • Movies and music: Four blogs
  • New item lists with little or no annotation: Three blogs
  • New materials, including lists and discussions: Five blogs
  • Director’s blogs: Eleven blogs
  • Library events: Ten blogs
  • Genealogy: Four blogs
  • Technology: Six blogs
  • Children and KidLit: Eight blogs
  • Teens: 36 blogs!
  • Tweens: One blog
  • Young adults (which could, of course, be teens): Six blogs
  • Adult literacy: One blog
  • Censorship and banned books: One blog
  • Websites of interest: Two blogs
  • Community, city, state posts: Two blogs
  • Construction projects: Two blogs
  • Digital collections: One blog
  • Essays (that didn’t seem to fit any other category): Two blogs
  • Friends of the Library: One blog
  • Gaming: One blog
  • Job advice: One blog
  • Library staff: Three blogs
  • Local history: One blog
  • Nonprofits: One blog
  • Parents: One blog
  • Podcasts: One blog
  • Readers’ Advisory: One blog
  • Reference: Three blogs

Here’s two paragraphs of Chapter Two, immediately following the detailed list of blogs by type:

The lists above should challenge some of your assumptions as to what smaller libraries can and can’t do. Book review blogs when your library serves fewer than 15,000? See 46923, 06096, 02090. Do directors of under-20,000-user libraries do their own blogs? Maybe even 10,000! See 05301, 06820, 10924, 60521—and, a little larger, the remarkable back-and-forth blog at 60901.

Surely only larger libraries could devote blogs to genealogy? 46511: Service area 3,100. A children’s book blog from a 9,100-person library: 45419. Teen blogs for libraries of under 20,000? Eight of them—go look at the list (and don’t forget the YA blog for a library serving 8,700 people).

What will work for your library and serve your community? That’s up to you to determine–but these examples may help.

*I thought the order made sense at the time, but I’m no longer sure it does. If you see meaning in this order, let me know–maybe I’ve just been going through it too often.

Public Library Blogs: A little more detail

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

This post from early August sets forth the purpose of Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples. A little more on that:

Public libraries vary enormously in service size, funding and staff resources. What works for a library serving half a million people with $120 per cap funding may seem wholly out of reach for a library serving 7,000 people with $20 per cap funding (or, for that matter, for a library serving 7,000 people with $120 per cap funding but the smallish staff likely in that library).

I’m hoping this book will help librarians see whether blogs might work for their library by offering a range of examples that speak more directly to their situation. I’m also hoping that showing the diversity of specialized public library blogs will be useful to those considering such blogs.

As an earlier post noted, I’m not looking for “bad blogs”–and I don’t know someone from outside a library and its community can judge whether that library’s blog is “bad.”

The book doesn’t even point out “good blogs” as such (for much the same reason). I put together a list of blogs that intrigued me for various reasons, as I did the penultimate editing pass–and finally left that list out of the book, because it’s either too short or too long and in any case inappropriate. I might post the list in a later post (or include it in the Cites & Insights extravaganza on the book.

Which libraries are included? In general,

  • If your library has a blog in English, that was listed in either the LISWiki “public library blogs” page or the Blogging Libraries Wiki “public library blogs” page in late May 2007 and
  • That blog demonstrably began before January 2007 and
  • That blog has at least one post in at least two of the three months March, April, May 2007 (i.e., one in March and one in April or one in March and one in May or one in March and one in May) and
  • I was able to reach the blog and verify all of that,

then you’re almost certainly in the book. One or two may have dropped out because I couldn’t reach them or for other reasons.

I hope to send email announcing the book to all 196 libraries, or at least those libraries for which an email address is within two or three clicks of a blog.See bottom of this post. In the meantime, here’s a list of the libraries in a form that included libraries should have no trouble understanding, but that doesn’t take too much space here. Namely, it’s the way the book is organized: by Zip code for U.S. libraries, postal code for Canadian libraries, and country/library for the few libraries outside North America.

Libraries are included for these Zip codes and postal codes:

  • 01301, 01557, 01702, 01824, 02048, 02090, 02188, 02330, 02347, 02459, 02860, 02895, 03060, 03743, 03773, 03820, 03842, 03849, 04030, 05301, 06096, 06111, 06426, 06810, 06820, 06850, 06870, 06880, 07753, 07764, 07922, 08043, 08525, 08542, 08831, 08857, 08865, 08904
  • 10924, 11576, 11743, 11747, 11772, 11795, 12074, 14103, 14203, 14468, 14489, 14551, 14569, 14850, 15102, 15213, 16743, 18350, 19082, 19083, 19103, 19380, 19543, 19602
  • 20186, 20912, 21017, 22922, 27203, 27263, 27530, 29506
  • 31906, 32801, 33401, 33755, 35203, 38111, 39043
  • 40004, 40475, 40769, 41011, 43050, 43085, 44087, 45133, 45202, 45419, 46410, 46511, 46601, 46703, 46802, 46923, 47250, 48104, 48170, 48218, 48730, 48917, 49242, 49440, 49503
  • 50613, 50701, 53010, 53040, 53119, 53703, 54901, 54911, 54930, 54952, 54963, 54967, 55305, 55746, 55981, 56007, 56649, 58102
  • 60053, 60067, 60068, 60077, 60091, 60106, 60172, 60190, 60410, 60438, 60462, 60477, 60491, 60513, 60521, 60526, 60901, 61401, 65801, 66049, 66061, 66101, 66212, 66523, 66550, 66604, 66801, 67357, 67701
  • 70501, 74003, 74501, 75491, 76092, 77054, 78701
  • 80903, 87501, 89012
  • 90620, 91502, 92501, 92648, 93721, 93940, 94063, 94086, 94102, 94903, 95032, 95678, 97005, 98446, 98503, 99663, 99801
  • K0K 2K0, K7L 1X8, L0S 1E0, L3Z 2A7, L4J 8C1, L4P 3P7, M4W 2G8, N1H 4J6, N1S 2K6, N2L 5E2, S6V 1B7, T1R 1B9, T8N 3Z9, V8W 3H2
  • Australia: Casey-Cardinia, Eastern Regional, Sutherland Shire, Yarra Plenty; Ireland: Galway; New Zealand: Wellington

Next (in a day or two or three…), a few notes about the kinds of blogs and some sample metrics.

I have attempted to send an email notification to each library (sending in groups of 8 to 10), or to provide the same notice via a library’s contact form if no email addresses appear to be available.

In 10 or 11 cases, I was unable to locate either an email address or a contact form, or the contact form rejected the message. My apologies.

In another three or four cases, I suspect the contact form converted several brief paragraphs into one overwhelming paragraph that probably looks like spam.

And there may have been two or three cases where a mailing problem (apparently one email address had a hidden character that Gmail treated as either a space or an at sign) caused one or two mails to disappear.

For some 180 libraries, though, you should have received a courtesy note. It’s not a solicitation to buy: That’s entirely up to you! (“You too can be listed in this directory, for a mere charge of…” Nope. Not happening here.) I won’t even know who buys copies, which I think is as it should be.

Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples

Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples is now available at Cites & Insights Books. Price: $29.50 plus shipping and handling.
The 299-page 6×9 trade paperback (x+289 pages) features descriptions and sample posts for a wide range of blogs from 196 public libraries of all sizes, in the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.

If your library is considering a blog, this book should help you find blogs from comparable libraries to consider as examples. If your library has a blog and is considering more (or revising the ones you have), this book should help you find interesting examples–the public library blogging community is remarkably diverse!

For now, Public Library Blogs is only available from the Cites & Insights Books store at, printed on 60lb. cream book stock. In a few days, a version on bright white paper and with an ISBN will be available from CreateSpace–and, a couple of weeks after that, from

Update Monday, August 27: Public Library Blogs is now also available from CreateSpace, ISBN 978-1434805591. At least in the proof copy, the cover is more purplish than I’d like, but it’s within bounds–and in this case I have to admit the text looks better on the bright-white paper. While it’s possible that it can be pre-ordered from Amazon in a few days, it probably won’t ship from there until the official publication date of September 14, 2007. End Update

I’ll do a couple of posts over the next few days offering a little more detail on what’s in the book, and of course the October Cites & Insights will have lots of information. (I’ll also be letting the 196 libraries know the book is out–at least all of them I can find email addresses for.) For now, just a quick note on the range of service area populations for the 196 libraries:

  • Under 1,000 (actually under 400): two libraries
  • 1,000 to 2,400: five libraries
  • 2,500 to 4,600: eight libraries
  • 5,000 to 9,900: 17 libraries
  • 10,000 to 15,000: 16 libraries
  • 16,000 to 24,000: 20 libraries
  • 25,000 to 33,000: 20 libraries
  • 34,000 to 46,000: 17 libraries
  • 51,000 to 69,000: 17 libraries
  • 75,000 to 97,000: 11 libraries
  • 100,000 to 137,000: 19 libraries
  • 146,000 to 240,000: 21 libraries
  • 260,000 to 497,000: 10 libraries
  • More than 670,000: 13 libraries

Balanced Libraries: Now available with ISBN, price increase

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Balanced Libraries

Two changes effective today for Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change:

The book should also be available on Amazon, but only the U.S. site, tomorrow or the next day, at either $29.50 or a discounted price. (Amazon listing is supposed to be automatic with CreateSpace, but there may be a delay). Update: Checking the CreateSpace FAQ carefully, it can be 15 days or more for the Amazon listing to show up.

Another update, August 27, 2007: The book now shows as live on Amazon, and I can find the book page via the ISBN but not yet through “Walt Crawford” or “Balanced Libraries.” Orders are being accepted, but since the official publication date is set as September 1, orders won’t ship until then. It appears that Amazon is quoting $29.00 rather than $29.50 as both list and their price. End update

Differences between the versions:

  • The cover is better–crisper and with better color–on the Lulu version, but the CreateSpace/Amazon cover is OK.
  • Both books use heavy 60lb. paper, but the CreateSpace/Amazon version uses bright white paper where the Lulu version uses cream “book” paper. To my eye, the Lulu version is prettier–but the CreateSpace/Amazon version may be easier to read, since the contrast is higher. (If you’re comparing this to, say, ALA Editions trade paperbacks–the CreateSpace paper is heavier and considerably whiter.)
  • I removed the “Continue the Conversation” page at the end of the book, since the post-per-chapter idea didn’t really work. I also added “Mountain View, CA” to “2007” under “A Cites & Insights Book” on the title page and noted the edition change on the title verso.
  • The CreateSpace/Amazon cover has an ISBN. The Lulu version will continue not to have an ISBN.
  • My revenue per copy is a little bit lower at the CreateSpace estore than at Lulu. It will be substantially lower at Amazon–but if it’s more convenient to order via Amazon, that’s fine with me. (It will still be a little higher than via Lulu at the old price–but only by a few cents.)

I’m still waiting for the Lulu proof of Public Library Blogs: 252 Example…and will certainly blog as soon as it’s available (assuming that it’s OK, which I do–but I’m not quite sure enough to open it for sale without seeing it!). It’s here and I think it looks great: here’s the initial announcement with more to follow.

The Storied Library

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

This post is probably long overdue, but now that the first essay seems to be gaining some traction among liblogs and elsewhere…

You may find this series at WebJunction worth reading. It consists of six articles (which originally appeared at roughly one-month intervals, which is also how I wrote them), the first of which is accompanied by “an expansion, with resources”–a significantly longer backgrounder.

I’m not sure what to say about the series. It was written on work time (WebJunction is part of OCLC), beginning this March. It’s “work for hire”–OCLC owns the copyright, but since it’s licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC license, that only matters if I want to include the columns in a future book (or other commercial venture) or someone else wants to do the same. In those cases, you or I would need OCLC’s permission.

I think it’s a good series. I’ve been saying for more than a decade that calling libraries “the information place” is seriously wrong and misguided. The idea that public libraries are mostly (not exclusively) about stories, using a broad definition of “stories,” is neither original nor new. (Wayne Wiegand has written about this stuff, far more literately than I do.)

This is also the series that caused me to stop making fun of consultants who “borrow your watch and tell you what time it is”– the third column in the series discusses the usefulness of having someone else visit your library to see the things about it that you’re likely to miss, just because it’s where you are. So, yes, having a consultant come in to tell you what you are can be worthwhile, even if in retrospect you say “but we should have known all that.”

Here’s the page from WebJunction, since the link at the beginning of this post may not be good for too long (I won’t be the “featured resource” forever!):

Featured Marketing Resource: The Storied Library

Walt Crawford

Read Walt Crawford’s series of articles on how to develop, communicate, and celebrate your library’s story.

The Storied Library—Introduction to the concept.

The Storied Library: Filling In the Story—An expansion, with resources, of the “Storied Library.”

What’s Your Story? —Walt talks to small libraries about story and brand, and figuring out what’s special about the stories they have.

The Storied Library: Developing Your Story —This installment sends librarians on a “fishing trip” to help put their library’s story into perspective.

Expanding Your Story, Finding Their Stories —Understand your library’s place in your community—both as a physical space and as an influence in people’s lives.

Telling Your Story — Once the story is crafted, it is ready for its audience.

Your Community’s Stories—Tips on how to publish your library’s story.