Archive for 2008

LibWorld – library blogs worldwide

Posted in Writing and blogging on December 17th, 2008

Did you know about the LibWorld series on Infobib.de?

Libloggers from around the world wrote essays about the state of library-related blogs in their nations.It’s been a fascinating series. (I think it’s still ongoing–for one thing, despite the “.de” in the domain name, Germany isn’t yet represented.)

Thirty of those essays have been revised and combined into a book, LibWorld – library blogs worldwide. It’s a 211-page trade paperback. The Infobib people have priced it very reasonably–$16.96 (plus shipping) for the paperback, and you can download the PDF for free.

I’ve read most of the essays as they came out. (They’re all in English.) The editors asked me to write a Foreword for the book; I was pleased to do so. I think quite a few of you will find it (the book–and maybe the foreword) worthwhile.

Have you heard good music lately?

Posted in Media, Technology and software on December 16th, 2008

That’s a trick question, as the emphasis here is on heard; only you can decide what constitutes “good” in your case.

Or maybe the question is, “Depending on how and why you listen, do you know what you’re missing?”

Don’t worry–I’m not going to get into Audiophilia Extremis. I don’t have that kind of money or those kind of ears. I’m talking about differences that I really believe almost anyone who cares about music will hear–at least subconsciously and probably consciously.

Background

I recently decided to upgrade my 2GB $40 MP3 player (Sansa Express) to a 4GB $50 player, at a total upgrade cost of $10. Which is to say, Office Depot had house-brand 2GB microSD cards on sale for $10, and the Sansa Express has a microSD expansion card.

I long ago reripped all my CDs at 320K MP3, the highest quality for MP3, because I thought I could hear the difference between 192K (which I’d originally ripped at) and 320K–and I was certain I could hear the difference between 128K and 192K, without even paying attention.

So I was going to choose something like 450 tunes to fit into 4GB (at 320K, music typically uses about 2.3 megabytes per minute; figure right around 28 hours of music for 4GB, or around 420-480 songs, given that lots of the songs I like are 4-6 minutes)

But I remembered, before I started in, that I’d planned to do some selective editing of some cuts, and two cuts could be dealt with very easily. (There are quite a few where I’d like to do a bit of editing, but that takes time…) Namely,

  • James Taylor’s version of “Walking My Baby Back Home” has an inexplicable 50 seconds of pure silence at the end of the song–probably a CD mastering error of some sort.
  • The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”…well, I find the last 2+ minutes excruciatingly repetitive, and I can actually do without John’s yelping.

So I downloaded Audigy (again–I’d had it on my old desktop, although I’d never used it) and the MP3/Export plugin. (There’s apparently now a good free competitor to Audigy, which I haven’t investigated: I don’t do a lot of sound editing, obviously.)

And opened “Walking My Baby Back Home,” confirmed that the last 50 seconds were in fact a flat line on the audio visualization, and deleted all but the first three seconds. Then saved it.

And played it in Windows Media Player…and, well, ugh. It was lifeless, a little muffled, uninteresting. Then checked the filesize. Hmm. 2.2MB for a 2.5 minute song.

Whoops. The MP3 export defaults to 128KMP3. I hadn’t checked that.

So, reripped the file (at 320K–I’d set Windows Media Player for that and it’s a sticky setting), redid the edit in Audigy, and saved it again–after changing the MP3 setting to 320K.

It sounded great; pretty much identical to the CD, and worlds better than the 128K MP3.

This should come as no surprise

128K MP3 is somewhere between AM and FM quality, at best. You’re throwing away 90% of the data in the original recording: How can you expect that the results won’t be damaged? (And, of course, “restoring” 128K MP3 to a CD-R as .WAV files does not do anything to improve the sound quality. “Lossy” means just that.)

What did come as a surprise was how obvious the loss was–and this wasn’t through some fancy stereo system or even the lovely Altec-Lansing PC speakers I used to use. It was through $10 Sony clipon semi-earbuds. (I’m not sure what to call them. They have loops that go over your ears; the speakers themselves sit sideways into your ear, but they’re not really in-ear phones. They’re a damn site better than the usual earbuds that come wih music players–and that certainly includes iPods, from everything I’ve heard, but come on: They’re $10 devices!)

Other voices heard from

I was reading an anecdote where someone’s son, home from college for the holidays, happened to listen to a CD of music he enjoyed–and had been listening to on a portable music player at a typical bitrate (probably 128K-164K). And suddenly exclaimed about how much better it sounded, how much more music was there.

True golden-ear readers (if there are any of you out there) will be appalled that I’m listening to MP3 at all, or that I even consider CD to be good sound quality. (Even worse, I believe that some of the CD-Rs I used to record, consisting of 320K MP3 expanded back to WAV, may just possibly sound better than the original CDs–which turns out to be at least theoretically possible, given jitter issues. Let’s not press that point.) Understand: I don’t claim to be golden-eared, and may not be too far away from hearing aids. $500 headphones and $50,000 speakers would just be wasted on me, I suspect.

I was using the $10 Sonys, which are great for travel (the Sansa Express is an unusually compact player–basically a fat flash drive–and it and the Sonys fit into a little zipped change purse that I can drop in my pocket), because my old home headphones (a $30 Radio Shack set with titanium elements, probably made by Koss) fell apart: the cheapo plastic hinges just snapped after a few years of use.

Since then, I’ve acquired some surprisingly decent headphones–Sennheiser PX100, oddly-foldable on-ear (but not circumaural) phones that cost $37.50 at Amazon. (They just arrived today. The first time I’ve ever purchased audio equipment based on Consumer Reports’ recommendation. They’re excellent by my standards, but headbangers and bass fanatics won’t like them. They’re designed to travel well.) I’m sure the differences would be even more obvious on these, to say nothing of anything like high-end equipment.

Try it yourself

If you have even halfway decent headphones (or speakers, for that matter), and if you’re listening to low-bitrate downloads or rips, and if you have a CD with any of the music you’re listening to…well, give it a try. Actually listen to the same songs (particularly songs with voices and acoustic instruments, e.g., guitar, piano, whatever–folk, jazz, you name it) in both forms. Pay attention.

I think you’ll find there’s just more music than you’ve been hearing–maybe not more notes, but a lot more to the notes. You’ll hear the instruments more clearly, you’ll get more out of the singers.

There’s also a subconscious aspect to this, at least for many (most?) of us. If you find that you stop listening to your digital music after half an hour or so, you may be suffering “digital fatigue”–the nature of the loss and artifacts in low-bitrate digital music tends to be tiring. I love Pandora, but I really can’t listen to it for more than 20-30 minutes; it makes my ears hurt. That’s true of almost all streaming music.

Maybe you’ll find that you don’t hear a difference or don’t care about the difference. Maybe you’ll find that you do.

If you do, there are steps you can take:

  • Rerip your CDs, either to .WAV (if you have loads of disk space and devices that can handle it) or a lossless format such as FLAC (again, if you have loads of space and compatible devices), or at least to high-bitrate MP3 (I’d suggest 256K or high VBR at a minimum; 320K is the max). After all, disk space is cheap these days–surely you can afford a gigabyte for every seven hours of music?
  • If you use a portable player, think about the tradeoffs. Do you really feel the need for 2,000 songs on your 8GB player? Personally, I’d rather have 450 songs I really care about than 4,000 songs that I may never listen to more than once a year. But that’s me. (I wound up with 463 songs, after going through the 2,200 I have on hard disk and informally rating them. I could squeeze a few more in, but this is good. If I wanted to include all the songs that I rated at least as “pretty good” (3 stars) instead of just “very good” (4 stars) and “excellent” (5 stars), I’d need an 8GB player. Maybe next year. Maybe not: The very good/excellent playlist is both varied and quite wonderful.)
  • If you’re still using the earbuds that came with the player–no matter how much the player itself cost–try something a little better. $10 will get you semi-decent devices; $20 will buy fair sound; $40 will buy pretty good sound. From what I’ve read and heard, most name-brand players (including iPods, Sansa’s devices, Muze and Creative’s players) will produce much better sound than the default earbuds provide; they just need better earphones.

I won’t tell you what kind of music you should enjoy. I will suggest that some of you may not be really hearing the music you love–and that you’ll enjoy it more when you do. (And you don’t need to go for broke to do that: Note that my “stereo system” at this point cost $87.50 total, and is very satisfying.)

A cellphone incident (and an obligatory note)

Posted in Stuff, Technology and software on December 16th, 2008

As (almost) always, it ain’t the tool, it’s the users. (There’s a Maria Muldaur lyric that comes to mind, but I can think of no first entendre for it…)

A few days ago I was having lunch at a newish nearby Japanese restaurant. Their hot item is all-you-can-eat sushi (done sanely: you order three pieces, then can keep ordering as you wish–but if you leave any, you get charged for the leftovers)…but they also do a great bento box, which is what I was having:

Miso soup, salad, kim chi, rice, half a sectioned mandarin, and two items–in my case, mixed tempura and beef teriyaki.

And, as usual when I go out for lunch on my own, reading a science fiction magazine.

That’s background.

Two cell phone users

A few years back, Mountain View techies tended to be polite enough that they’d take their cell phone conversations out of restaurants to the sidewalk–or even turn off their cell phones. (I know: Hard to imagine, isn’t it?) But, of course, we’ve all learned that “remote people” are more important than people actually around us, haven’t we–and that it’s rude to expect not to have other people shouting various intimacies at us.

Anyway: A young mother at the table next to mine, maybe 5 feet away (I assume she was a mother, as her remarkably well-behaved infant was with her) got a call. She answered…in either a conversational tone or lower. I might have been vaguely aware that talking was going on, but no more so than if two good friends were sitting at the table. Not even a slight annoyance.

Then, at the other end of the restaurant–I’d guess 70 feet away, maybe more–a guy at the sushi bar got on the phone. For the first of several calls. I could hear every. single. word. I couldn’t possibly not hear every single word. Tuning it out to be able to read was surprisingly difficult.

Oddly enough, neither the semi-polite young woman nor the boorish man were the Borg: Neither had the semi-permanent ear attachment.

The moral

It ain’t the tool, it’s the users.

The obligatory and not-quite-unrelated note

Yes, I’m aware of the new Pew “futurists” report.

I’ve even read it–not just the summary, but the whole 100+ pages.

I took note of the “hand gestures in the air” comment, and have one of those for the academic who stated as fact that “We all want to steal.”

I looked at the “experts” in this odd survey, and wondered whether a more meaningful set of predictions for 2020 might not be gained by randomly choosing 2,000 people on the street, preferably including some of the New Homeless… I mean, Jeff Jarvis? Good lord…

And after reading it, I’ve decided this post is all the comment I’ll have. It’s not even worth a segment of a future “futurism” piece. (Sorry, Seth. Your comments were all strikingly sensible. So were quite a few of the others.)

Who hides success?

Posted in Books and publishing on December 15th, 2008

I’ve argued in a number of places,over a number of months, that it’s strange and discouraging (if you’re an ebook believer) that Amazon doesn’t release sales figures for the Kindle.

My basic assumption has been, and continues to be, that in the real world of consumer electronics, you don’t hide sales figures unless they’re awful. Of course, Amazon plays by Amazon’s rule.

Here (and thanks to Charles W. Bailey, Jr. for the link) is what I regard as strong confirmation of my belief:

“Sony divulges Reader sales”

By Sony’s standards, 300,000 (over more than two years) isn’t exactly blockbuster success–but it’s a number, and a number big enough to mention.

“Observers” say the Reader and the Kindle are neck-and-neck in sales. But, you know, nobody outside Amazon knows the Kindle’s numbers. And that’s not the way consumer electronics or most other consumer fields work…unless companies are ashamed of the sales figures.

And Sony says it’s sold three million ebooks over two years. That is, to be sure, less than one-tenth of one percent of print book sales–but it’s a real business.

Cites & Insights 9:1, January 2009, now available

Posted in Cites & Insights on December 14th, 2008

Cites & Insights 9:1, January 2009, is now available.

This 30-page issue (PDF, but each section is available in HTML form from the links below) includes:

Bibs & Blather (pages 1-5)

Announcing The Liblog Landscape 2007-2008 and an early-bird special ($22.50 through January 15, 2009). Also announcing Cites & Insights volume 8 in paperback form (a great way to show your support for C&I and my blog research)…and notes on other books and the start of a new volume.

Net Media: Wikipedia Notes (pages 5-13)

“Verifiability, not truth,” Wikipedia’s growing pains, the power of the editor and rise of the Wikicrats, and other notes on the messy reality of Wikipedia.

Retrospective: Pointing with Pride Part 9 (pages 13-18)

Solving the “missing issue” problem (oops) and ten notes from ten issues.

Offtopic Perspective: 50 Movie Hollywood Legends, Part 2 (pages 18-26)

A wild variety, from classics such as Love Affair, Meet John Doe and The Man with the Golden Arm to pathetic cases like Chandu on the Magic Island to the pure oddity of Home Town Story, a GM-commissioned charmer about how wonderful and pure big business really is (with a bit part by a young Marilyn Monroe).

Retrospective: Pointing with Pride Part 10 (pages 26-30)

This final Retrospective appears here because the next issue will (with luck) be a little different–and I didn’t want to stretch it out until March. Just a few selections and comments.

Public Library Blogs: a mention!

Posted in Liblogs on December 13th, 2008

I don’t think I’ll add more comments on my own, just point you to “Walt Crawford’s Public Library Blogs: essential reading if your library is (even thinking about) blogging.”

And add my thanks to Kate Davis, one of the many fine Australian libloggers. This certainly started my weekend out on the right foot…

50 Movie Comedy Classics, Disc 3

Posted in Movies and TV on December 12th, 2008

Speak Easily, 1932, b&w. Edward Sedgwick (dir.), Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, Ruth Selwyn, Thelma Todd, Hedda Hopper, Sidney Toler. 1:22.

Buster Keaton—but this time in a full-length sound movie (another Buster Keaton Production). He’s a professor, Professor Potts, living a sheltered life and without enough savings to broaden his horizons. He gets a letter saying he’s inherited a fortune and takes off (although the letter’s actually a phony from Potts’ assistant/colleague, designed to get him to take a vacation).

He encounters a truly awful theatrical group, led by Jimmy Durante, and falls for one of its players. With his fortune backing it, the group goes to Broadway. There’s a fair amount of Keaton’s physical comedy and fish-out-of-water character throughout, including Potts’ first encounter with alcohol—and it all winds up in a remarkable 15-minute theatrical sequence, physical comedy of the highest order as the Professor unintentionally converts the sad-sack show into a hit comedy.

All in all, an enjoyable movie, and the last scenes are both funny and well-played. The print and sound track are both fairly good (with a few flaws). $1.75.

Li’l Abner, 1940, b&w. Albert S. Rogell (dir.), Jeff York, Martha O’Driscoll, Mona Ray, Buster Keaton, Edgar Kennedy, Doodles Weaver. 1:18 [1:10].

Some IMDB reviewers felt that Speak Easily was an atrocity as a Buster Keaton movie. I disagree. I’m guessing they haven’t seen this—which, if viewed as a “Buster Keaton movie” (the sleeve lists him as the star), really is an atrocity. He plays Lonesome Polecat, a local Indian (I guess)…and about the best you can say is that he’s only in the movie for a few minutes, and at least he doesn’t have to deal with phony bugeyes, like Pansy ‘Mammy’ Yokum does, or false noses and other absurd prostheses like many other characters.

OK, it’s a comic strip movie. I get that. They do use makeup and whatever to make it look as much like the comic strip as possible—to the point of silliness. And, like some other comic strip movies, it’s…well, just not very funny, unless you’re enormously fond of Appalachian stereotypes. I’ll admit I was never a diehard Li”l Abner fan (actually, I don’t think any local paper ran the strip); maybe if I was, I’d love this flick. Maybe the missing eight minutes are wonderful. As it is…well, the print’s not too bad, so I’ll give it a reluctant $0.75.

It’s a Joke Son, 1947, b&w. Benjamin Stoloff (dir.), Kenny Delmar, Una Merkel, June Lockhart, Kenneth Farrell, Douglass Dumbrille. 1:03.

This movie features a self-caricature, Senator Beauregard Claghorn, a Southern gentleman who hates even the word North and who orates a fine bold streak—but who’s also totally under his wife’s thumb. It also involves a teetotaling Southern ladies’ club and the effects when Claghorn mixes up the grape punch—aided by a little boy who doesn’t really read and pours in several different bottles of “grape juice”—all of it highly alcoholic. The main plots are the relationship between his daughter (a lovely June Lockhart) and her beau, who Mrs. Claghorn doesn’t think is good enough for the daughter (but who he rather takes a liking to), money from his mint farm, and a race for the State Senate in which the incumbent is an old fool totally in the pocket of a gang and Mrs. Claghorn is put up for election by the ladies’ club.

Thing is, it’s funny. Claghorn thinks North Carolina should be Upper South Carolina; he still buys Confederate Victory Bonds. (He’s slender, well-spoken and fairly good looking; this isn’t playing on physical stereotypes. There are also no racial issues involved in the movie.) The title comes from Claghorn’s line whenever he says something, I say, says something he deems funny and gets the usual silent response. The acting suits the movie, the action is internally consistent, it moves right along. The 22-year-old June Lockhart is simply stunning and also good in her role (but then, isn’t she always?). (The Claghorn character as played by Kenny Delmar was a regular on the Fred Allen radio show. The Warner Bros. cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn was a takeoff on Claghorn.) The print and soundtrack are both fine. Since it’s just over an hour, I won’t give it more than $1.25.

Zis Boom Bah, 1941, b&w. William Nigh (dir.), Grace Hayes, Peter Lind Hayes, Mary Healy, Benny Rubin, Richard Gallagher, Roland Dupree, Huntz Hall. 1:01.

This one’s tough. On one hand, it’s a charming one-hour movie about college, family, song & dance, and kids redeeming themselves—and it has some characters playing themselves. The basic plot: A successful singer whose son (under another name and being raised by his grandfather) is attending college on her dime looks into how it’s going, finds the son is a spoiled young man and the college is in trouble, and cuts off his allowance. She buys the local student hangout (there’s some funny stuff here) and, through various means, winds up somehow saving the college and its football team and turning all the spoiled kids into polished entertainers.

So far so good. Decent print. Decent sound—with one big and, in this case, nearly fatal exception: Whenever there’s music, it’s distorted enough that it’s painful. In a movie that relies heavily on musical numbers, including most of the last quarter of the film, that’s a pretty serious flaw. With it, I can’t give this more than $0.75.

East Side Kids, 1940, b&w. Robert F. Hill (dir.), Leon Ames, Dennis Moore, Joyce Bryant, Hal Chester, Harris Berger, FrankieBurke, Dave O’Brien. 1:02 {1:00].

Now I remember one reason I put off buying this set: It has at least five movies with the East Side Kids, and I thought three such flicks in the Family Classics set was at least two too many. We shall see; it looks as though the name East Side Kids covered a lot of different casts.

In this case, there’s the bad-kid-turned-good-cop bit, with him opening up a club to keep the gang off the street—but his friend’s facing execution for something he didn’t do, and if that happens, some of the kids will be completely lost. Meanwhile, there’s another nogoodnik acquaintance involved with a counterfeiting ring. At one point, the copy himself is the suspect.

I guess it’s all vintage East Side Kids—but it’s before Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall and is better than the others I’ve seen. On the other hand, it wasn’t particularly funny. Judged as a comedy, I’m not sure it would get any score at all. Judged as a one-hour flick on its own merits—well, the print’s OK. Being very generous and assuming some folks just love the East Side Kids, $0.75.

A Library Carol: Too good to ignore

Posted in Stuff on December 11th, 2008

Once again ignoring my usual “no simple links” non-rule:

George Needham, Joan Frye Williams and half a dozen others did a special podcast for InfoPeople: “A Library Carol.”

It takes a little while to download (at least it did for me), and it’s something north of 20 minutes long. And worth every minute.

I may be influenced by the fact that my first “theatrical” experience in a short and wholly undistinguished career was in a grade-school presentation of A Christmas Carol. Can you guess which part I played? (By the time I was whatever passes for grownup and briefly involved in community theater, my acting qualities were apparent: I helped with sound and lighting.)

Oh–and don’t let the bright lights get to you. You know how it is with visual effects in podcasts…

PC Magazine: 27 years and out

Posted in Stuff on December 10th, 2008

A few days ago, I canceled my auto-renewing subscription to PC Magazine.

It should have been a slightly wrenching experience. I’ve been reading PC Magazine as long as there’s been a PC Magazine–27 years, I think. It was “The bible” for personal computing from shortly after its inception, through the massive issues (600+ pages in some cases) before it went twice-a-month, into the almost-as-massive twice-a-month issues…and finally to the thinner-and-thinner monthly issues.

The print publication goes away after the January 2009 issue. But it looks as though they’re maintaining (and renewing?) subscriptions for a “digital version.” Sorry, but I’m not interested.

Thing is…

PC Magazine started going away years ago. It stopped being “the bible,” dropped exhaustive group reviews and long, serious articles, started using bigger pictures and less text–and, for a while, didn’t even include the basic facts about items under review. For those, you had to go online.

Effectively, the print magazine had become a promotional item for PCMag’s website.

I remember page after page of automobile reviews, usually with some pathetic excuse for them being in a technology magazine. I remember comparative reviews where you couldn’t really make sense of them because they wouldn’t consistently list basic facts.

And we have the spectacle of PC Magazine‘s “double columnist” (he gets two columns), the ever-irascible John Dvorak, becoming more and more of a self-parody over time.

I started in on the penultimate print edition yesterday. The December issue is typically the Technical Excellence Awards issue, with a sizable article naming and explaining the magazine’s annual Technical Excellence Awards. (I’m old enough to remember the year that the cover had it as “Tehcnical Excellence”)

This year: A cover line for the awards. Inside, one page with a big picture of the award seal and a description of what a wonderful thing the awards are, and mentioning a few–

and a half-page article (including illustrations) on the awards themselves.

That’s just pathetic, and pretty indicative of the shell of its former self PC Magazine has become.

I’m not willing to risk an automatic $36 renewal. Will “digital subscribers” have access to stuff that’s not on the free PCMag website? I’m not sure I care.

Someone on a library list noted that Christian Science Monitor is “going digital” (not quite true: they’re retaining a weekly print edition) and PC Magazine dropping print and suggested a “snowball effect.” Well, maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it. Consider the cases:

  • Given that very local newspapers are doing better than pseudo-national metro dailies, should it be surprising that there’s not support enough for a fourth national daily newspaper in the US? (Wall Street Journal, USA Today and, to some extent, the New York Times‘ image of itself as the other three.)
  • PC Magazine had become the poor relative of its website years ago–in the announcement of dropping the print edition, they noted that the editorial staff was already paid as part of the website. I think it got hit by a range of things, some of them its own doing–e.g., high circulation meaning high ad rates meaning the advertisers that made PC Magazine big could no longer afford it.

Will other print magazines and papers disappear? Well, they do every year (always have), so why should the future be any different? (Are magazines being born and are big-circulation magazines gr0wing in circulation? Yes on both counts.) Will print magazines “become digital” as a matter of course?

I’m not a futurist. I won’t say it can’t happen. But I don’t see any snowball…


Remember: Just 36 more days to buy The Liblog Landscape 2007-2008 for a mere $22.50.

And if you’d like to support C&I and my blog research in a tangible manner, why not buy the downloadable version of Cites & Insights 8: 2008 (or C&I 7:2007 or 6:2006), or even the print version (with exclusive additional material in 2006 and 2007, and great covers on all three)? Each sale–particularly each downloadable sale–counts as direct, visible support.

Opinions needed: Three-day urgent request

Posted in Cites & Insights on December 9th, 2008

I have a quandary and I think I need to make a decision by Friday, December 12. Help?

The quandary

Should I try to do another “discursive glossary” like this one?

The pros

  • It’s been five years, not a bad interval.
  • It was a fun issue to do and quite well-received (although a few people seemed to think it was a lot more complete than I ever intended it to be).

The con

One big one: I’m not sure I can actually add value doing a “glossary” like that again.

Between Wikipedia, other quick web reference sources, the areas I’m just not dealing with any more, the fact that I haven’t been following specific legislation lately…

Well, I’d have to do a lot more work to come up with (say) 40-50 new items for the issue, in addition to those I could salvage and update (which I estimate to be about a third of the old issue).

There’s another minor “con”: If I do it (it would be the February 2009 issue, out in time for Midwinter), I’d need to put a bunch of other stuff in the January 2009 issue–and that “other stuff” currently amounts to more than 33,000 words, awfully long for an issue. (Probably 36-38 pages after copyfitting.) If I don’t do it, two of the seven essays currently lined up for January immediately move to February, bringing the January issue down to 25,000-26,000 words (still 30 pages or so, but that’s not so bad).

Quick opinions?

If you have an opinion on this, add a comment (or send me email) between now and Friday, December 12, 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (4 p.m. EST).

If you have specific topics or words or terms that you believe would make great additions to such a special issue, ones where you think I could add value, feel free to include them.

Thanks.


Followup, Friday, December 14:

In addition to the comments here, I received three other comments (email, etc.), all saying “Do it if you can.”

And CW came up with a great suggestion, seconded by Pete–a suggestion that means I should be able to do a plausible issue without too much difficulty.

So the January issue will be a little strange (I’m holding two not-terribly-time-sensitive sections over to March, but there’s stuff I really want to get out of the way), which isn’t unusual.

And, if all goes well, the February issue will be some sort of glossary/followup and will appear at least a few days before ALA Midwinter (which, fortuitously, is late next year).

Thanks again.


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