Balanced Libraries: A reminder

Balanced Libraries: Cover

Still available at my Lulu storefront or directly, with full information and preview pages. Also available (on bright-white paper instead of cream book paper), with ISBN 978-1434805256, from Amazon.

The 247-page paperback is $29.50. If you prefer a PDF ebook, it’s $20, only from Lulu.

Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change is my contribution to the ongoing set of discussions, experiments and changes in libraries and librarianship that sometimes carries the name “Library 2.0.”

It’s been out for about 14 months. I think it’s still a valuable contribution to the ongoing set of discussions.

Why should I buy this book?

Here’s what some reviewers had to say:

Pete Smith at Library Too:

I recommend this book to anyone interested in ‘Library 2.0′ and other contemporary issues, as Crawford sets them in their wider context. Yet it covers broader issues than just the latest technology, and does so in a considered way. As such, it will also stand when today’s issues are yesterday’s debates. It is passionate, yet not partisan; timely, yet not time bound.

Jennifer Macaulay at Life as I know it:

I would recommend this book to any of my colleagues. Whether one likes the term or not, the concept of Library 2.0 is important as are the discussions that have taken place around it. Reading Balanced Libraries is a great way to learn more about Library 2.0 – in a very non-threatening way that won’t cause people to become overwhelmed by the winds of change that seem to always be surrounding us.

Wouter at Wow! Wouter over het Web – well, you’ll just have to read the review (if you read the language)

John DuPuis at Confessions of a Science Librarian:

One of the best things about this book was that it provoked an awful lot of internal debates as I was reading it. You know how when you’re reading a book and suddenly you’re stopped in your tracks by something? It doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree (and I certainly didn’t agree with everything in Crawford’s book), it makes you think, it makes you start a kind of virtual discussion with the author. You find yourself saying, “But, what if…” or “You know, that’s not how I think that would happen…” or “Right on, and what about…” It takes a long time to read a book like that, because so much of your time is spent digesting what you’ve read. It often took me a day or two in between chapters to process. Lee Smolin’s The Trouble with Physics, which I was reading more or less simultaneously, was the same.

John Miedema, now at

Balance is not a sexy idea, but Crawford helps makes sense of the debate, showing how both change and stasis can be troublesome for libraries, providing a fresh take on the timeless wisdom that technology must serve the library mission, not the reverse.

Those are all brief excerpts from thoughtful reviews. Go read the full reviews, and decide whether this book would be worthwhile for you or your library.

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