Archive for 2007

Thanks again

Posted in Worklife on October 13th, 2007

I feel as though I should write two more posts “between jobs.” This is one of them.

The last six or seven months have been interesting. For most of you, this post was the first you heard about my situation. Things actually started a few weeks earlier, but initially I only contacted a dozen (or so) people. Shortly before that post, I sent similar email to more than a hundred friends and acquaintances.

Within a week, I was overwhelmed by the extent to which other libloggers picked up on my situation, and wrote this post as a followup. I also heard from more than half of the people I sent email to. In all but one case, the responses were heartwarming (and I’ll just ignore the one remarkably heartless response–at least others who really didn’t give a damn or didn’t have anything to say simply didn’t respond).

I won’t go through the other job-related posts; you can read them by selecting the “job” category from the sidebar, if you’re so inclined. I was approached by three groups, in two cases with offers that could be small parts of a patched-together consulting-style future. (The third case is still evolving and may yet be part of what I do. Oh, and I was also approached by Marydee Ojala, editor of ONLINE, with an offer to start a new column there, where I’d written for more than a decade–a suggestion I cheerfully accepted.) Along the way, I recognized two things:

  • My respect for good consultants (and good adjunct faculty and good trainers) grew.
  • I became aware that the kind of self-promotion required to do this effectively, while entirely valid, was so counter to my basic personality that it would substantially interfere with Cites & Insights and other writing projects.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t go that route, and probably be pretty good at it–but that it’s not my style. We also looked at our budget a couple of times during the long summer (we’ve been aggressive savers for some time, we’re terrible shoppers–that is, we don’t much like shopping and acquiring, and that all makes a difference) and came to some conclusions about worthwhile balances.

In the end, as noted here, a long-time friend, Peggy Sullivan, was the key: Not in getting someone to craft a special job for me, but in forwarding a position that she thought I might find intriguing. I did indeed find it partially intriguing; after a conversation with Ann Yurcaba of PALINET, I concluded that it could be a worthwhile challenge that made good use of my skills while encouraging me to expand those skills.

You know the rest. I’ll start in as Director and Managing Editor of the PALINET Leadership Network next Monday, with a whole lot of learning and networking to come. It’s not a full-time position, and that turned out not to be what I really wanted at this point. I’ll be back in touch with two groups, probably deferring any action indefinitely. And we’ll see what happens with one other activity…another one that plays to my skills while providing new challenges, but definitely secondary to PLN.

Mostly, then, this is to say thanks to everyone who posted, emailed, commented, hung out at LSW Meebo, and otherwise supported me during this odd quest. I was deliberately vague at the beginning, wondering what would come up. I’m delighted with the way things worked out, and could not have begun to predict that course.

Thanks. I’ll see some of you in Baltimore in two weeks and a day. I’ll see more of you in Philadelphia in just under three months. And, of course, I’ll continue emailing, posting, reading blogs, and once in a while hanging out with that odd group at Meebo for a few minutes here and there–and writing and learning.

Oh, and reading: After too many months, I was back at Mountain View Public Library yesterday afternoon. Two p.m. on a weekday at a library with excellent evening and weekend hours (including Sunday hours), so the library was…not even close to being deserted, with quite a few people in the bookstacks, a bunch at computers, a group in the Teen Zone, kids in the Children’s Room, and even one or two in the media section. Because, like any good public library, MVPL cherishes books (as do its patrons) and also goes beyond them, in a way that–to my mind–pretty much assures its future.

Hmm. Maybe that’s the other post, in two sentences. We’ll see.


One postscript: If you see sentences with no space separating them, it’s not my sloppy typing. WordPress’ WYSIWYG editor has a nasty habit of swallowing paragraph breaks–sometimes even when you’ve put in the HTML. Some day, I’m sure they’ll fix that; some day, I’m sure Microsoft will fix the Vista notebook wifi problem…

Joshing, spoofing and damage

Posted in Libraries, Stuff on October 12th, 2007

Doing my daily blog scan, I ran into a fairly odd post at a consistently odd site, but in this case the oddity was compounded.

This post at Improbable Research (blog of the Annals of Improbable Research, the folks who bring you the recently-awarded Ig Nobel prizes for “research that makes you laugh…then think”) includes the text of a letter to The Guardian.

Here’s a bit of the letter, but you need to click the link above for the full outraged flavor (or flavour, in this case):

I’m thinking that to make fun of these efforts is to belittle them unfairly. This is hurtful and insulting to the researchers; and might possibly do actual harm by inhibiting future grants. Not funny. Not funny at all. The IG really seems to stand for the IG Norant morons who are “awarding’ these prizes without thinking their consequences through.

The writer–Mark State–says the Ig Nobel awards “spoof” research and that the group hides the “actual information” about the research papers (and researchers) it honors. Given that the awards PR accurately states the nature of each paper or research effort and provides bibliographic information and links when available, that’s pushing the truth.

The reality is a little different than this outraged letter suggests. Most Ig Nobel award winners attend the ceremony. That would suggest to most reasonable people (I believe) that they understand that the Ig Nobels are joshing, not attacks–and that, in fact, Ig Nobels help to humanize what can be pretty arcane fields by making a little friendly fun. I’d be astonished to hear of a case where a researcher couldn’t get a grant because and earlier paper had won an Ig Nobel; I would not be surprised at all to see Ig Nobel recipients include the honor in their vitas. (I’d be surprised if they didn’t!)

I mean, would you go to an awards ceremony if you felt the award was actually an attack that could do you harm?

I was going to point back to a post I’d written about an Ig Nobel-award winning paper by a librarian–and then realized that it wasn’t a post; it’s a brief section of Trends & Quick Takes in the next issue of Cites & Insights (not out yet, and the essays aren’t edited; some time in the next two weeks, for sure).

Here’s what I wrote:


The Trouble with The

Once in a while, something jumps the queue—such as a librarian winning the Ig Nobel prize for Literature. That happened this year, and Glenda Browne (of Blaxland, Blue Mountains, Australia) managed to attend the ceremonies. The award was for “The definite article: acknowledging ‘The’ in index entries,” which appeared in The Indexer 22:3 (April 2001—the Ig Nobel people need time to recognize worth).

It’s a four-page article—well, actually just over three, plus references. It’s also a legitimate article—Browne explicates some of the bedevilment caused by The as an initial word. In “indexing” Cites & Insights, I drop “The” in every case—and that sometimes yields slightly odd results. (I used to invert them, but that’s even stranger.) But…

Where does The Hague belong? (One answer: Use the proper name of the city, Den Haag—but I jest, of course.) It belongs in the T’s. And if you’re indexing first lines of poems, all those lines starting with “The” also go in the Ts—but not corporate names. Or do they? The Los Angeles Symphony goes in the Ls, not the As…see The Hague. Isn’t this fun?

Browne’s discussion of “The nature of ‘The’” is excellent and might itself justify the Ig Nobel—you might laugh, but you’ll also think. Browne suggests double-indexing as a solution and offers reasons for doing so—and also reasons for ignoring the The.

Of course, if you use most any PC-based system that sorts (for example, music organizers), there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find The Beatles and all those other groups down in the T’s—but some systems are clever. Sometimes.

I love the last sentence: “Similar arguments apply to ‘A’ and ‘An’ but these are beyond the scope of this article.” Indeed.


Of course it’s a serious paper, albeit done with some recognition that it’s a tough topic to keep an entirely straight face about.Had it not been for the Ig Nobel awards, I wouldn’t have heard about the paper. Oh, and by the way, Glenda Browne attended the awards. Somehow, I don’t believe she feels she’s been damaged or belittled.

Sidebar: The IR post can’t be sure which Mark State wrote this letter, but suggests the possibility that he’s a 2006 candidate for the Toronto Mayoralty–State signs himself as a Toronto resident. State must have run an interesting race: He seems to have come in last in a field of 30+ candidates, with 194 votes out of 584,484 cast. I guess that would leave me feeling a little peevish too…

Where are you?

Posted in Libraries, Writing and blogging on October 11th, 2007

Look at your library’s home page.

Can you tell me within one minute what city and state (or province, or nation) your library is located in–without prior knowledge?

If you can’t, maybe you should consider revisions to your website.

Oh, and if you have a blog or many blogs: Do those blogs list your library’s address? Do they link directly to your home page (and vice-versa)?

There’s an interesting discussion on PUBLIB (where I usually work). Part of it has to do with exactly the first question: Figuring out where a library is…when all you have is the library’s name (and that name may not even be the name of the city or town). I’m sure some of you don’t read PUBLIB and work in public–or academic, or school–libraries.

I actually ran into this quite often when I was preparing Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples: Not only blogs with no links to the library’s website, but library home pages that didn’t tell me where the library actually was.

Sure, most of your web users probably visit the physical library first and get the website URL from the library card or bookmark or something. They know which Madison or Ontario or Orange County or Cambridge or … they’ve reached. (I’m not saying any of these multiply-occurring city and county names has a problem with their websites; these are just random examples.)

Maybe that’s why I didn’t make a big point of it when I was doing the book. I don’t mention the difficulties I had figuring out which library was which; I didn’t think it was relevant to the book. But the fact is that without Worldcat Registry, I might never have been certain where a library blog actually came from in one or two cases–and yes, I sent email to a Canadian province that should have gone to a U.S. state.

You’re proud of your website, right? If you aren’t, it probably needs work. And if you are, you should be proud to display it not only to those you’ve guided there, but also to others who’ve stumbled upon it indirectly. And you sure don’t want people thinking you’re that other [enter ambiguous name here--and if you think your city's name isn't ambiguous, you should check].

I live in Mountain View. There are at least a dozen Mountain Views in the U.S. and Canada–including, bizarrely, a “census designated place” called Mountain View in Contra Costa County, which is only a few dozen miles from here. I just checked MVPL’s website, which is now a page within the City of Mountain View’s website. A little ways down the left sidebar, I see this:

585 Franklin Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
Phone: 650-903-6337

OK. Street, city, state, zip code. Can you say the same for your library?

[Psst: Academic library websites could use proper addresses as well. Take a look at the disambiguation page for "St. Mary's College" at Wikipedia, to name one possibly-extreme example.]

Plotting a new course (and an apology)

Posted in Stuff, Writing and blogging on October 10th, 2007

So what have I been doing during this two-week break? Not writing those five meaty posts on my list, for sure–but some of those may turn into C&I essays in any case.

In addition to clearing out some mental cobwebs and tossing away old regrets, and of course writing for the next C&I and working on the Academic Library Blogs book (if it ever happens), I’ve been seeing how a future schedule might work and make sense. Here’s what I see so far.

  • Given that the new position is explicitly part-time, I’m aiming for a total of 40 to 45 hours a week for professional activity, both “work” and writing. That would be a significant reduction from the 60 to 65 hours I’ve been averaging, and leave time to get back to reading more books, getting a little more sleep, and thinking about some of the writing a little more. (Since another very-part-time gig may yet turn up, I’m actually aiming for 35 to 40 hours total at the moment. We shall see.)
  • I’d picked up a cheap pedometer (unfortunately, way too easy to reset inadvertently) about six weeks ago and started checking out what I’d need to add to my daily routine to reach 10,000 steps a day (roughly five miles). Turned out adding a daily walk of roughly a mile did it–and given the lovely scenery out at the old workplace, it’s a shame I didn’t start doing that years ago. (Key factor: I’d been doing at least 1.25-1.5 miles a day on the treadmill.) But…
  • Working at home could be a whole lot more sedentary. That’s a danger. So I’m taking preventive action, and I hope to keep it up. Two parts to that. First, I’m replacing the 40 to 60 minutes a day I used to spend driving (to and from work and to and from lunch) with something like 1.4 to 2 miles a day of extra walking–either walking to a nearby strip mall to buy a sandwich, or walking to the same mall to mail letters, or just walking. That takes 18 to 30 minutes, since I walk at around 4mph on a level surface. And I’m upping the average treadmill time, from 18-25 minutes to 25-30 minutes (watching old movies in fewer but longer segments–currently, two segments each for more of the old one-hour oaters). Those walks also make good, effective breaks, getting out of the house as well as off the computer. I expect to live for a good while longer; I’ve always been a fast walker who enjoyed walking; I’m hoping that doing it long and often will help assure that I can keep doing it. (And, to be sure, keep my weight down.)
  • Yes, I’m sleeping in a little later, but I’m still a morning person–but morning now starts around 6:15 instead of 5:30. So I sit down at the computer somewhere between 7:20 and 8:00, instead of the old 6:55 to 7:15.
  • Right now, a “typical” schedule of 7:30 to 11ish, long lunch/walk/errands break, 12:30-1ish to 3-4ish, then exercise, shower, and *maybe* a short computer session roughly 5 to 6:15, will work nicely. That’s actually more than enough time, but it looks like a workable overall schedule, particularly if I skip the late-afternoon session many days to read or dream instead. And, to be sure, the computer almost never goes on after dinner: That’s been true for a while, and I intend to keep it that way. Added note: That leaves out weekends, of course…which used to amount for maybe 8 of those 65 hours. I’m trying to keep that down to 6, and to use it as overflow as needed.

Changing work habits so substantially is a slight shock to the system. I’m sure these patterns will vary over the next months and years (and, of course, will be wildly disrupted before and after conferences and vacation trips). But I think the general parameters make sense–for me, for now. More walking, a little less working, and maybe a little more focus.


About the apology. On this post at Information wants to be free, I added a comment that overgeneralized what Dorothea Salo was saying. I conflated several different posts (not all from her) and got it at least a little wrong.I attempted to add a comment today at that post, apologizing to Dorothea. Apparently my comments are being trapped as spam. So I’ll do it here. I still think there’s too much “exclusion of the middle” in the field, but in this case Dorothea was not saying what I heard. That happens. Sorry.Oh, and I certainly agree that librarians must be willing to take some initiatives in trying out new things, at least some new things, at least some of the time. Stagnation helps nobody.

Random thoughts in between

Posted in Passé on October 9th, 2007

It’s really past time for me to do some “regular” posts–posts that have nothing to do with job searches and new books. I’ve got a list of candidates; maybe I’ll get to them as time goes on. Meanwhile, here’s a few random thoughts that don’t deserve individual posts. One bit of context: This is the second week of a two-week period of deliberate unemployment, intended to clear my head and refresh my energies so that I can do a great job for PALINET. So far, I think it’s working.

  • If you’re waiting to hear more about my departure from OCLC RLG Service Center, don’t hold your breath. I never planned to write memoirs (and have now discarded most of the papers that could go toward memoirs), for the perfectly sound reason that I’m not in the pantheon of celebrated people. If I ever do write memoirish things that are more than casual posts, they’ll almost entirely concern my non-work library life. I had 39 years in the library automation game, most of them good years. That life is over. I’m focused on the future.
  • I’ve now realized just how odd it was to state publicly that I was leaving a position not because “it was a bad fit” or “to explore other opportunities” or whatever, but because the position was being terminated. That’s almost as bad as admitting that I stopped writing “The Crawford Files” in American Libraries not because “three years was long enough” or “it was time to explore other kinds of writing” or “I was running out of appropriate topics” (which is, indeed, the actual reason I stopped writing “PC Monitor” for ONLINE at the end of 2006), but because the column was dropped by the publication. Oops. I did that too, didn’t I? Clearly, I was raised badly, never learning that “honesty is the best policy” has a big escape clause “…except when it could make you look bad.”
  • Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve come to the conclusion that when somebody writes a post noting various problems that they’re having–problems that legitimately deserve some sympathy or empathy–and says they don’t want a pity party…well, most of the time they do sort of want a little tiny pity party, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
  • When someone says “Nobody ever said…” with regard to some statement currently viewed as extreme, what they usually mean is either “Nobody ever used that precise set of words, although some people definitely wrote things that reasonable people would interpret that way” or “You shouldn’t actually look at the history–nobody should be held accountable for what they said two years ago.”
  • There’s a big difference between not picking up on every tool that comes along and being unwilling to use new tools when they make sense. To my mind, for many people (myself included) the former is a way to maintain some kind of balance–in fact, we do not all need to know X intimately, whatever X happens to be. (I don’t need to know how to modify a Second Life avatar. Neither do most other librarians.) But being unwilling to adopt a tool that makes sense for a real-world application you have because you’ve never used it before: That’s a sign of rigidity and impending retirement that I hope never to suffer from.
  • What? You want a real-world example? I never created a wiki–because I had no problem for which a wiki seemed to be the best solution. My new job will make heavy use of a wiki–actually, the wiki is the fundamental medium. I knew that before I applied for the job, and it appears to be the right tool for the job. So I’ll become a whole lot more familiar with the intricacies of one kind of wiki software–because it’s the right tool for the job.

That’s six little items, more than enough for now. I do plan to do more substantive posts. There’s no question that PALINET knows about this blog and about Cites & Insights–after all, the press release on my hiring mentions both of them. There’s no question that PALINET assumes I’ll continue blogging and publishing C&I, does not intend to censor or guide the content of either one, and assumes I won’t violate internal confidences or otherwise violate unstated blogging guidelines.

I would say blogging might be irregular as I dive headlong into the new situation come next week–but when has blogging at this here blog ever been regular?

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering: Yes, I will be at Midwinter 2008. Annual, too. Always barring various disasters, to be sure.

A special thanks to Peggy Sullivan

Posted in Worklife on October 5th, 2007

I think it’s worth noting that the PALINET position discussed here didn’t just come to me–and I didn’t happen upon the job posting by scouring all available library jobsites.

A friend forwarded the job posting to me, with the thought that I might find it interesting.

Dr. Peggy Sullivan was ALA Executive Director when I was LITA President. A few years before that, she was ALA President. She was a pleasure to work with back then (when I was LITA President–when she was ALA President, I was a fledgling in the organization and exclusively associated with ISAD, the former name of LITA). She believes in what she does and believes in people. She’s had a distinguished career. I’m honored to call her a friend.

And, to be sure, as promised in a very early job-related posting, I’ll be sending her a complete autographed set of my books–past, present and future.

50 Movie Pack Hollywood Legends, Disc 3

Posted in Movies and TV on October 5th, 2007

Monsoon, 1943, b&w, Edgar G. Ulmer (dir.), John Carradine, Gale Sondergaard, Sidney Toler, Frank Fenton, Veda Ann Borg, Rita Quickley, Rick Vallin. Original title: Isle of Forgotten Sins. 1:22 [1:16, same as National Film Museum print]

The sleeve description says “A young couple travel to India to a remote jungle village, to announce their betrothal to the bride’s parents…” and so on, and lists George Nader as the star. If the person preparing the sleeve copy checked IMDB or standard reference works, they no doubt based that on the 1952 flick Monsoon—directed by Rodney Amateau, starring George Nader, Ursula Thiess, Diana Douglas and others.

This is an entirely different movie with an entirely different plot, filmed nine years earlier (with an entirely different title) and not even set in the same country. It’s about greed, gold, diving and weather; it starts in a South Seas gambling hall/brothel and winds up in a similar establishment. In between? Better than you might expect, partly because there really are no heroes among this strong cast. $1.25.

Borderline, 1950, b&w, William A. Seiter (dir.), Fred MacMurray, Claire Trevor, Raymond Burr, José Torvay, Morris Ankrum. 1:28.

Maybe I saw too much of Raymond Burr on TV, but his bad-guy movie roles always strike me as suiting him better—and this one’s no exception. Burr is a drug ringleader (or one rung below leader) in Mexico, MacMurray and Trevor two different American agents sent—by two different agencies—to infiltrate the gang. Naturally, each of them thinks the other one’s part of the gang. Naturally, they fall in love. Naturally, it all works out. It is an odd combination—part comedy, part noir, part “melodrama” as the sleeve says—but, to my mind, t works pretty well. For that matter, MacMurray makes a fine leading man and tough guy. I found it enjoyable and the print’s pretty good. $1.50.

Indiscretion of an American Wife, 1953, b&w, Vittorio de Sica (dir.), Jennifer Jones, Montgomery Clift, Richard Beymer, Gino Cervi. Dialogue by Truman Capote. Original title: Stazione Termini. 1:12, 1:30, 1:03 in U.S. release [1:03].

This one’s supposed to be a minor classic, but of course anything by Vittorio de Sica is supposed to be a minor classic. The plot’s pretty simple: Jennifer Jones (the “American wife”) has been somehow involved with the “Italian” Montgomery Clift and is now returning to her husband and child. The two meet in the train station and talk and talk and emote and talk and… Unfortunately, Capote or no Capote, it’s not very interesting talk. I’m not anti-romantic: I saw and loved Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, and generally like good romances. This one…well, at just over an hour it seemed way too long; I can’t imagine sitting through the 90-minute version. For serious fans of de Sica or Jones, I’d reluctantly give it $1.

The North Star, 1943, b&w, Lewis Milestone (dir.), Lillian Hellman (screenplay & story), Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, Walter Huston, Walter Brennan, Ann Harding, Farley Granger, Erich von Stroheim, Dean Jagger. Music by Aaron Copland. 1:48 [1:45].

What starpower! What historical drama! What sweep! What…well, nonsense, at least historically. The first quarter of the movie is bizarre, as it depicts the healthy, happy, well-fed, joyous occupants of a Ukraine farming village who all have what they need thanks to benevolent Communism. They sing, they dance, they have little in common with real Ukrainians at the start of World War II. Then their idyllic way of life is shattered by the Nazi invasion; the remainder of the movie is all about the occupation of their village, barbaric draining of children’s blood by evil doctors, and the brave defense by a group of horse-riding village men hiding in the hills.

If you read the whole set of IMDB reviews, you might think this is some sort of early Hollywood Communist plot (you know that old Commie Walter Brennan, right?)—as opposed to a wartime propaganda film made at the request of the President, to help convince Americans that Russians were our allies and should be thought of more favorably. This is, then, a true period piece: A picture that could not have been made with that much star power two years earlier or five years later. All that said, and all those fine actors admired, it’s just not a very good movie–not only does it romanticize the USSR, it’s sort of a mess dramatically. At most $1.

The job: Director & Managing Editor, PALINET Leadership Network

Posted in Passé on October 4th, 2007

Here’s the press release:

Walt Crawford Named Director & Managing Editor of PALINET Leadership Network

Philadelphia, PA, October 2, 2007 — PALINET is pleased to announce the appointment of Walt Crawford as Director and Managing Editor for the PALINET Leadership Network. Crawford is an internationally recognized writer and speaker on libraries, technology, policy, and media, and the creator, writer and publisher of Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, an ejournal on the intersections of libraries, policy, technology, and media published monthly since 2001. He also maintains a blog on these and other issues, Walt at Random. He was recently listed as one of the 31 most frequently-cited authors in library literature 1994-2004 (the only American writer on that list outside academic libraries.) Cathy Wilt, PALINET’s Executive Director, comments: “We are thrilled to have Walt direct the development of this library leadership community of practice. The PALINET Leadership Network and PALINET members will certainly benefit from his substantial experience, not to mention his editorial wit and wisdom.”

About the PALINET Leadership Network

Currently in beta release, the PALINET Leadership Network is an innovative online member service for library leaders designed to create a community of practice by sharing informative articles, forums on current issues, and collaborative discussions on cutting-edge topics. Designed as a wiki platform, the PALINET Leadership Network provides the latest innovations and most current leadership information in the library arena and beyond. It is an ideal vehicle for staying current with literature, blogs, and other leadership conversations, as well as a critical tool for mentoring staff.

About PALINET

PALINET, a member-owned and governed regional library network, was founded in 1936 and is one of the largest U.S. networks, serving 600+ members throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. PALINET provides innovative training opportunities through its classroom and online distance education programs and live events and discounts on hundreds of library services from more than 80 business partners through its group purchasing program. For the latest information on PALINET, visit www.palinet.org.

New position: Removing the uncertainty

Posted in Passé on October 3rd, 2007

Apparently my previous posts regarding “what I’ll be doing next” weren’t quite clear enough about the level of uncertainty. So, let me be as clear as possible:

I’ve signed the contract. I will be taking on an interesting, challenging, worthwhile responsibility starting October 15. I’ve made the near-term travel arrangements involved in that responsibility. I even picked up the discounted ALA Midwinter/Annual registration using the name of the agency on my badge copy.

What I haven’t done yet: Posted a formal announcement of exactly what the position is. I want to coordinate that announcement with a formal announcement from the agency. These things take a little time.

Will I be adding other new things? Possibly: This isn’t a full-time job (technically, it’s not a job at all, as I won’t be an employee as such.) But this will be my core position–the one that gets the most attention.

Sponsorship for Cites & Insights is also clear at least through 2008: YBP will continue to sponsor C&I.

I’ll post more when there’s more to post. That should certainly be within the next two weeks.
In the meantime, I would say that posting here might be even lighter than usual, given that I’m sort-of taking two weeks off (as described previously)–but I won’t say that, for two good reasons:

  • I’ve always said that bloggers shouldn’t feel obliged to tell us why they’re not blogging for a period, unless it suits them to do so. Life trumps blogging: always has, always will.
  • Blogging frequency here has always been erratic and unpredictable. My original “target” was two posts a week; based on that target, I’m covered through early 2011. I know there will be at least one more post this week (I’m watching the final movie on Disc 3 of the Hollywood Legends set, and you know what that means), and I could suddenly be inspired or irritated to put out several other posts.

Heck, I might even do a post about the freshet of posts from people who find themselves with a truly annoying version of “blogger’s block”: Where instead of simply not blogging for a while (no harm, no foul), people are sitting at the keyboard for significant periods of time and still not coming up with posts. Now if I had something useful to say about that…

#9: Better than #8. No, really.

Posted in Writing and blogging on September 30th, 2007

Meredith Farkas just posted the results of her request for people’s “three favorite librar* blogs.”

It’s an interesting list; I’ll have to check it out at leisure to see which blogs I need to add to my already-bulging Bloglines list.

Oh, and this here blog came in #9, next to last of those actually listed in descending order (a thoughtful choice on Ms. Farkas’ part). “Favorite.” Hmm. I’m pleased and a little surprised.

That’s one lower than in the OEDb post that convinced Meredith to do her survey.

If either of these means a lot, I’m much more pleased by this #9 than by the other #8.

A key point here, though, is one of many excellent ones Meredith (or Farkas or Ms. Farkas–so I’m inconsistent…) makes about “favorite,” particularly for people like me who don’t have clear favorites (but did respond):

When forced to pick only three favorites, though, we pick the ones that mean the most to us at that particular time.

Noting one of the comments–Cool Librarian is in my Bloglines list; I do read it; I do enjoy it. It just wasn’t one of the three that sprang to mind as having been most thought-provoking over the two or three weeks prior to the survey. (I don’t remember my response, and I’m sure it wouldn’t be the same today.)

Yes, I do plan to check each link in that list, and I’m sure I’ll add several of them to Bloglines–at least for a while.


What? Two posts on a Sunday afternoon? Well, you know, this is the second day of a 16-day weekend for me, so…

OK, that’s not quite true. I like the idea of doing absolutely nothing for two weeks but clearing my mind, becoming one with the universe, going for long walks, etc. But in the real world…

  • Tomorrow: Put in hotel requests for Midwinter (yep, I’m going to Midwinter…); send in final paperwork for OCLC; deal with contract stuff for new position (I think).
  • Later in the week: Probably make travel arrangements connected to new position. Certainly go back to MVPL and start checking books out again.
  • Realistically, get at least one or two essays done for the November C&I–since I haven’t done any so far.
  • Do at least a couple of dozen blog analyses for the academic library blog project, to keep that moving.
  • Probably come up with topic for at least one column, maybe write the column.
  • Rearrange home office space to clear out old crap and leave room for new important stuff.
  • And, yes, take enough time to relax, clear my head, do even more walking than usual, and get used to a different pace.

I’m most assuredly not complaining. But taking two weeks “between jobs” isn’t quite the same as a two week vacation. Fortunately, we’re planning one of those too…for next spring or summer, that is.


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