Thanks again for your contribution to $4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets (and related books).
As you no doubt know by now, the campaign failed, and your contribution has been returned.
I can think of several possible reasons for the failure (books to help libraries improve budgets aren’t as sexy as hot new devices or as intriguing as other possibilities, I don’t have a wide enough social network, I didn’t pound pound pound on it enough…whatever), but see little point in attempting to analyze the failure. It could have been worse–the final figure was just over $500, or just over 20% of the goal.
Since you have some interest in this project, here’s some suggestions for what you can do now:
1. $4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets, Volume 1, Libraries by Size is now available. It’s a 213-page 6″ x 9″ book. The link here will take you to the paperback (which is priced at $24.95, since it will–eventually–be available on Amazon, but it’s discounted 20% at Lulu, making the price $19.95). It even has an ISBN: 978-1-304-35588-1. It’s also available as a $9.99 PDF ebook or a site license edition PDF ebook for $39.99, the latter explicitly allowing multiple simultaneous usage and downloads within a library school (including distance students), single-state library consortium, state library association, college, university or other similar situation. I think the book came out very well. You can read more about it at Walt at Random, and the draft version of Chapter 3 is still available as most of the September 2013 Cites & Insights. (That link brings up the single-column PDF version; the chapter begins on Page 7.)
2. If you’re buying $4 to $1 for a library school or a library or as a consultant, and especially if you’re buying it in print, I’d also suggest The inCompleat Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four, a $26.99 433-page 8.5″ x 11″ paperback that provides the most complete discussion I know of regarding 2010 public library benefits and budgets ($4 to $1 uses 2011 data and changes from 2009; it uses fewer measures and simplified benchmarks). It combines tables, graphs and discussion–and it’s inCompleat only because it lacks multicolor line graphs for some measures. The Lulu book page includes a preview that should give you a good sense of what the book is like.
3. Your Library Is… : A Collection of Public Library Sayings just came out yesterday (the working title was A Library Is…). It came out much better than I expected. The link takes you to the 163-page 6 x 9″ $16.99 paperback; an $8.99 PDF ebook is also available–but I recommend the print book, given that this is the kind of book you want to read a few pages of, bookmark, then come back to every day or two. The book includes 1,137 unique mottoes and slogans as well as 88 mottoes and slogans shared by 205 public libraries. Some sayings are humorous; some are profound; some may be inspiring. By the way, you can also get a special deluxe PDF ebook (what makes it deluxe? it wraps the front and back book cover images at the front and back of the ebook) for free–by contributing at least $50 to Cites & Insights and requesting a copy when I thank you for your contribution. (Or, for that matter, you can contribute at least $100 and, on request, I’ll send you an autographed paperback copy–but that will take a few weeks!) The Lulu book pages (either link) include a preview that should give you a good sense of what the book is like.
4. What about Volume 2, Libraries by State? I believe it would be a fascinating set of comparisons, but it’s not directly useful for individual library purposes. I’ve prepared the matrix and set of measures to be included (dropping two of the measures from Libraries by Size to save space), and I plan to prepare the draft version of the first two states and introductory material, to appear in the October 2013 Cites & Insights, probably out next week. Volume 2 will appear if there are enough sales of Volume 1–at least 50 and possibly 100 before I prepare the rest of the book and publish it.
5. One last thing. The final offer for the $2,500 goal, which would have returned $2,400 to me, was that I’d make the PDF version of Volume 1 entirely free. I’ll restate that offer in terms of sales: When (or if) sales of Volume 1 total $2,400 in net revenue (which would only take about 80 site-license copies or about 300 individual copies), I’ll reset the PDF price to $0. The same goes for Your Library Is…: If it ever reaches $2,400 in net sales, I’ll make it free. (“Sales” through donations to C&I will count as $8 each toward that goal.)
That’s more than enough! This letter will also appear as a post at Walt at Random. As you’ve probably already guessed, your email addresses are blind copies, since some of you preferred anonymity.