That’s the title of the preliminary edition of my “benefits ratio” study of American public libraries, as discussed in earlier posts. (Those four links are in reverse chronological order; if you want to read the posts and comments from oldest to newest, start with “posts” and work back to “discussed.”)
The 193-page 6×9″ paperback is $49.50, but at least from now through the end of the ALA Annual Conference, it’s discounted 30% to $34.65. (If sales continue at the rate of five a week or more, I’ll retain the discount.)
If you prefer, you can buy a PDF version for $29.50 (and save shipping); that version will go up to $39.50 when the paperback discount goes away. (Lulu doesn’t offer a way to discount an ebook.)
I’m specifically looking for feedback–the book includes the URL for a page that links to a survey, and explicitly invites email feedback no matter how negative it might be. I believe this book–at least in later, refined versions–can be useful for public libraries, but I’m not a public librarian. If I’m wrong–if there’s general agreement that the book is either useless or damaging–it will go away. If people do find it valuable, at least as a concept, I’ll use feedback to produce a more refined version using 2010 data (after IMLS makes that data available).
The earlier posts describe the project fairly well, so I won’t repeat the description here.
I can make a limited number of review copies–PDF only, but since it’s a 6×9 book it should work well on most e-readers–available on request directly to me (waltcrawford at gmail.com) on the following basis:
1. If you ask for a review copy, you’re committing to writing an online review of some sort (on your own blog, on some other website, to a list) and either sending me a copy or a link. (I say “online” because this is a preliminary edition: It should be replaced or defunct before print reviews are likely.) At the very least, I’d expect you to complete the survey, send me direct feedback or both. [A review could be as brief as “What a waste of time” or could include pages of suggestions on how to make a possibly-good idea better.]
2. I do not care whether the review is positive, mixed, negative or slashingly negative. Period. If you’re a friend, what you say in the review will not damage that friendship. Period. I’m looking for honest feedback. I’m willing to believe that this just isn’t a good idea. (I’m absolutely certain that the preliminary version could use a lot of improvement!)
3. I reserve the right to stop sending out review copies at a certain point. Right now, I’m thinking half a dozen, but that could grow to a dozen.
If you look at the preview, you’ll see that the cover is bland. I used one of Lulu’s canned cover designs (a bit less striking than the one for Library 2.0: A Cites & Insights Reader, also a canned design).
That’s because this is a preliminary edition. If there’s a “real” edition down the road, it will have a slightly nicer cover. Probably.
I’m also not adding this book to the C&I Books section at the foot of this blog page, again because this is a preliminary edition–one that may disappear as early as August 1, 2012, depending on feedback and sales.