Archive for September, 2013

68 by 68?

Posted in Stuff on September 11th, 2013

I hadn’t thought about it, but it might not have seemed an unreasonable goal:

68 by 68.

That is, 68 sales of new/recent Cites & Insights Books by the time I turn 68 (coming very soon now). Let’s say, 68 starting either August 26 (when the new books were announced) or, heck, August 1. After all, enough people had committed money in advance to account for somewhere between 17 and 36 sold copies right off the bat…

Barring miracles, that goal seems highly unlikely.

How about $68 by 68–that is, enough sales to generate $68 in net revenue, starting August 26?

Well, I’m about a third of the way there.

The good news: I’ll definitely have enough net revenue to pay for my own dinner on my birthday. Since we’re going to Campo di Bocce, a restaurant I like quite a bit…that offers free dinner on your birthday. I think there’s even enough net revenue to cover the 20% tip on what the dinner would have cost. Maybe.

Oh, and Blake? Yes, I’ve updated to 3.6.1.

Public library spending and benefits: $4 to $1, an FAQ

Posted in C&I Books, Libraries on September 11th, 2013

sizereg

What is it?

Two things, ideally:

  • A tool to help public libraries, Friends of Libraries and consultants tell each public library’s story more effectively in order to retain and improve funding–by helping to show that public libraries are exceptionally good stewards of public money.
  • An overview of public library benefits and how they related to budgets, using the most recent national data (FY2011) and showing changes over two years (that is, comparing it to FY2009).

The 205-page 6″ x 9″ paperback (or PDF ebook) blends discussion with a healthy number of tables and, where appropriate and meaningful, graphs to show the picture for 9,200+ libraries as a whole and divided into ten groups (by size of legal service area). (Some graphs use five colors in the PDF ebook, but the colors and line patterns are chosen so the graphs are fully readable in the black-and-white print book.)

The book represents newer data than Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four, presented in a way that should be easier to understand and use, although it also includes fewer measures and larger (thus fewer) groups of libraries. It also discusses change over time, which the earlier book did not.

How is it available?

The paperback version is available for $19.96 plus shipping (a 20% discount from the $24.95 list price) from Lulu. The ISBN is 978-1-304-35588-1. It will eventually (in a few weeks?) be available from Amazon at $24.95 or whatever discount Amazon chooses to assign.

The PDF ebook (no DRM) costs $9.99 (no shipping) from Lulu.

A special site license PDF ebook edition costs $39.99 from Lulu. This special site license edition explicitly allows a library, library school, college, university, single-state consortium, library association or other single-state agency to make this book available on a server with multiple simultaneous downloads, including use by distance students outside the state.

Why is there a site license edition?

  1. Because it seemed like a good idea for The Big Deal and The Damage Done, so I thought I’d do it here as well, since this book should be useful not only for library schools but for groups of libraries.
  2. Because I know that most American public libraries aren’t going to spend $9.99 for this book, and I’m hoping that some library groups will find it worth making available to them for free.

Will the book get cheaper if we wait to buy it?

No.

What will happen if everybody waits: The book will disappear from the market.

The book says “Volume 1: Libraries by Size.” What about Volume 2?

If the book and related books sell decently, I’ll prepare Volume 2, Libraries by State. You can read the first two of 49 state profiles to see how that would work–pages 33 to 52 of the October 2013 Cites & Insights (the link and pagination are to the single-column “online” version).

Why 49? Because the District of Columbia and Hawaii each have one public library system, so their profiles will be much shorter.

Will it be replaced with a newer version?

Possibly, but not for at least a year, and unless it’s successful, any newer version will be through a traditional publisher, probably making it later and certainly making it more expensive.

Of course, if it’s not successful, I’m guessing I can’t peddle it to a traditional publisher. So…

Can I get a sample?

You can get two samples.

  1. Pages 18-33 of the (online version of the) October 2013 Cites & Insights  includes portions of Chapter 1 and all of Chapter 4
  2. A draft version of Chapter 3 appears on pages 8-24 of the September 2013 Cites & Insights (pagination and link for the online version)

Tell me a little more…

Here’s the beginning of the first chapter:

A good public library is at the heart of any healthy community, and the true value provided by a good library is hard to measure. That value includes children whose road to literacy begins at the library; newly employed workers who use the library to improve their skills and find jobs; every patron who learns something new or enriches their life using library resources; and the myriad ways a good public library strengthens its community as a community center and resource.

Those anecdotes and uncounted benefits make up the flesh and blood of a public library’s story—but there are also the bones: countable benefits, including those reported every year. Even including only those countable benefits, public libraries offer excellent value: by my conservative calculation, most provide more than $4 in benefits for every $1 in spending.

So what?

So this: Public libraries with better funding continue to show a high ratio of benefits to cost. That’s significant, especially as communities recover economically and libraries seek an appropriate share of improved community revenues.

This book is designed to help.

Academic library spending problems: The Big Deal, an FAQ

Posted in Books and publishing, C&I Books, Libraries on September 9th, 2013
The Big Deal and the Damage Done

The Big Deal and the Damage Done

What is it?

A segment-by-segment study of U.S. academic library spending on current serials (mostly Big Deals), “books” (that is, all acquisitions except current serials, including backsets), and everything else–staffing, archives, etc.

The 125-page 6″ x 9″ paperback book (or PDF ebook) looks at spending from 2000 to 2010 (and, briefly, 1996 through 2010), broken down by Carnegie Classification but also by size and sector (public/private, nonprofit/profit).

I believe it makes a detailed and convincing case that Big Deals have done damage to academic libraries and the institutions they serve by siphoning off so much money that non-serial acquisitions budgets have had to be slashed and there’s less money left to pay for librarians, other staff and everything else that makes an academic library work.

How is it available?

The paperback version costs $16.50 (plus shipping) from Lulu.

The PDF ebook (no DRM) costs $9.99 (no shipping) from Lulu.

There’s also a special campus/site license edition, $40 (no shipping) from Lulu, which is the PDF ebook with a modified copyright page to explicitly permit loading it on a campus or site server that allows multiple simultaneous reading or downloads within any reasonably well-defined community (including online students at library schools).

Why is there a site license edition?

Two reasons:

  1. A library asked about the possibility.
  2. There were murmurings about “unglueing” the book, making an ePub version free for everybody, specifically so it would be available to LIS students, and the more I looked at the process, the less I wanted to be involved with it [a long post that I don't much want to write], but I wanted to fill the need.

Will the book get cheaper if we wait?

No–although if it ever reaches $2,500 in net proceeds for the ebook edition(s), I’d be willing to make it freely available at that point. There’s a long, long way to go (around $1,930) before that could happen.

What will happen if everybody waits: The book will disappear from the market.

Will it be replaced with a newer version?

Yes and no.

There will be an updated study that goes through 2012.

No, it won’t be a Cites & Insights book.

No, it won’t be $9.99 or $16.99.

No, it won’t happen until the late spring/early summer of 2014 (assuming NCES releases the numbers in December 2013).

The updated version will be shorter, probably less complete, certainly more expensive.

Can I get a sample?

Yes. There’s the preview of each version at Lulu, but you can also read the first 11 pages and a portion of the conclusion in the July 2013 Cites & Insights (this link is to the one-column “online version,” since it’s a truer replication of the book pages than the two-column “print version”).

Tell me a little more…

Here’s the beginning of the first chapter:

When publishers began offering Big Deals and other forms of serial bundling, they were touted as win-win-win situations: Publishers could remain profitable, libraries could slow down the rate of increase of serials spending and users could gain access to many more serials.

When there’s that much money at stake (over $1 billion since at least 2002) and only one aspect of library collections and services is being addressed, it’s fair to wonder whether there might not be some losers in with all that win. Given that some publishers and librarians continue to tout the Big Deal as a wonderful thing, some going so far as to say that the serials crisis was solved in 2004 with the widespread adoption of Big Deals, it makes sense to look more closely at the current situation.

I believe that Big Deals did some good—but they also did some damage, damage that gets worse as the amount spent on serials (in Big Deals and otherwise) continues to ratchet up faster than inflation.

Damage is done to scholars and students in the humanities and social sciences, where books continue to be key, as money continues to be shifted to serials (most of it for STEM—science, technology, engineering and medicine) at least in many libraries.

Damage is done to libraries as serials take an ever-bigger chunk of the total budget, leaving less for not only books but also staff, preservation, computers, archives, programming and new initiatives.

I began looking at actual numbers while preparing a preconference on open access. One of the sillier arguments against open access (and especially against gold OA) is that there’s really no serials problem—that Big Deals solved it.

That’s only true if “solved” takes on a fairly unusual meaning. In 1996, before Big Deals had become common, taking U.S. academic libraries as a whole, serials took 17% of all spending. Books (including back runs of serials and other materials) took 10.4%.

In 2002, at which point Big Deals were well established, serials were up to 22.5% of all library spending—but books were up a little too, taking 11.9% of library spending.

In 2010, serials were up to 26.1% of all library spending—nearly as much as books and serials combined in 1996. Books? Down to 10.6%–frequently of reduced budgets.

Meanwhile, the remainder budget—that is, everything except current serials and other acquisitions—fell from 72.6% to 63.3% of library budgets overall. That’s a serious drop.

How much of serials spending is for electronic access? At a minimum, it’s grown from 15% in 1998 (the first time it’s broken out) to 70% in 2010, doubling its market share since 2004 (when it was 35%).

Gunslinger 50 Movie Pack Disc 5

Posted in Movies and TV on September 8th, 2013

The Day of the Wolves, 1971, color. Ferde Grofé (dir.), Richard Egan, Martha Hyer, Rick Jason, Jan Murray, Frankie Randall. 1:35 [1:31]

I guess you can call any movie a “gunslinger” movie if guns are involved—and they certainly are in this odd movie about a sort-of perfect crime. Here’s the setup: Jan Murray with a beard—who looks exactly like Jan Murray with a beard—recruits six men of low morals (all of whom have beards), flies them all to LA where they’re variously met by “Acme Construction” station wagons (but no Roadrunner!) and told by tape recorder not to ask questions, not to talk, to put on gloves, a blindfold and dark glasses and that the trip will take about 2.5 hours.

They all wind up in this deserted structure somewhere in the desert, where Number One (Murray) introduces them as Numbers 2 through 7 and explains that no names are to be used, nobody is to discuss where they’re from or take of the gloves, and they’ll all find out why. Oh, and as per the letter, they’ll get a minimum of $50,000 for three days of their time. (That’s roughly a quarter million in 2013 terms.)

The gig: A perfect crime. They’re going to take over an isolated town on payday—knock out the roads out of town, blow the power and knock out the phone company, lock up all the cops, then rob the two banks, the two supermarkets and the major businesses in town. All very neat, over in three hours—and since nobody but the leader knows who any of them are, and they’re all disguised with beards and don’t leave fingerprints, voila.

This assumes, of course, that none of the locals is armed and chooses to be a hero. Like, say, the upstanding police chief (Egan) who’s just been fired the day before because the town council thought he was too upstanding, or something like that. Who, of course, has a few shotguns at home.

Without giving too much away, four of the crooks do manage to fly out of town, and the getaway’s also designed to be perfect. Which it would be, even though one of the three crooks shot by the ex-chief didn’t survive to be questioned. Unless, say, Jan Murray’s regular gig is as a clown hosting a kid’s TV show who takes off his clown suit to tell stories, chooses (ahem) seven kids to help him, calls them by number and both looks and sounds exactly like Number One without his beard…

This “perfect crime” would be a lot tougher these days—you’d also have to knock out every cell tower within a fairly wide radius, and you could probably assume that every third resident of an Arizona town would be armed. (The flick was filmed in Lake Havasu City, with credits, and although they give the town a different name, “Havasu” can be spotted in at least one business sign.)

Oddly enough, it’s a fairly entertaining if somewhat implausible flick. Given the costs incurred by Number One for plane tickets, the airplane to fly them in and out of the town, weaponry, the pilot, etc., etc., I’m not sure this would be a big enough heist to be worthwhile, but never mind. The print has vertical scratches at times. I’ll give it $1.25.

This Man Can’t Die, (orig. I lunghi giorni dell’odio), 1967, color. Gianfranco Baldanello (dir.), Guy Madison, Lucienne Bridou, Rik Battaglia, Anna Liotti, Steve Merrick, Rosalba Meri. 1:30.

I saw this flick three years ago as part of the 20-movie Spaghetti Westerns pack—and of course it’s also in the 44-movie Spaghetti Western megapack. I remembered it as being reasonably well done, and I watched it again—all the way through. It’s an excellent print—no apparent flaws in video or sound.

Here’s my writeup from the June 2010 Cites & Insights:

On one hand, this one has English-language credits and no language oddities—and it’s fair to assume this doesn’t come from a videotape used for American TV showings, given bare breasts in a couple of scenes. On the other, there’s an unfortunate amount of sadism (the villains in this one are really villainous) and a lot of shootings—but after all, it is a spaghetti Western.

Martin Benson’s a mercenary on a government mission to find out who’s sending guns and booze to a renegade tribe (in 1870—the location’s not clear, but the date is). Meanwhile, marauders have gone to the ranch where his parents and siblings live, killed the parents and ravaged one daughter (so badly that she may never speak again!), and ridden off.

Little by little, the plots intersect. It’s not quite clear whether the title refers to Martin or to Tony Guy, presumed to be a wounded member of the marauders but, as it turns out, actually a government undercover agent. If you’ve seen many cowboy B films, you’ll guess who the primary villain is long before it’s made clear.

Lots of scenery. Pretty good score. Some very strange secondary parts and dialogue, par for the course. Beautiful women (with remarkably well-tailored clothes for 1870) and the handsome loner hero, Martin. Long, complex shootouts with no false nobility. A ballad for the opening and closing titles that makes no sense at all (also par for the course). Google translates the original title as “I hate long days,” but the alternate U.S. title “Long days of hate” seems a little more plausible… Not great, not terrible. What the heck: $1.25.

I didn’t see a lot of on-camera sadism as I watched it this time; maybe I’m inured to spaghetti westerns? One of the gang subleaders is clearly a sadist, however. Apart from that, I’ll stick with the review—but it seemed to hang together better the second time around. I’ll up the rating to $1.50.

Dan Candy’s Law (orig. Alien Thunder), 1974, color. Claude Fournier (dir. & cinematography), Donald Sutherland, Gordon Tootoosis, Chief Dan George, Kevin McCarthy. 1:33.

I could just say “couldn’t finish, didn’t rate,” since at about 1:21 there was a disc flaw that froze the movie. But that’s not quite true. As I suspected, the flick is available (albeit in the shorter 1:15 version) on the Internet Archive; I watched the last 10-11 minutes there, so certainly didn’t miss more than a minute or any significant plot points. And this is, with rare exceptions, a slow, slow movie—and one where the “pan & scan” consisted of using the center portion of the flick regardless of content. Either that, or the direction and cinematography (by the same person!) were incompetent: There are frequent cases where the person speaking is invisible, and some where you see a table with a hand at either edge of the frame because both participants are off to the sides. It’s also a grainy scan, and portions are almost unwatchable. (The original was full Cinemascope ratio, 2.35:1. Cutting that down to 4:3 or 1.33:1 without paying any attention to what you’re doing, as is clearly the case here, means throwing away 56% of the image—I was seeing less than half the picture.)

I looked this up (by the original title) after writing this review. Apparently you can now buy the movie in wide-screen, but the box copy may give you some sense of how incoherent this actually is: “He hunted his best friend’s killer—while he hunted him.” He him who wha?

Regardless of print quality, portions of this Canadian movie are almost unwatchable because of the acting, the directing, the cinematography and the plot, even if the plot is supposedly based on a true story. If you buy the Internet Archive synopsis, the true story is of the 1885 attempt by Dan Candy, Northwest Mounted Police Constable, to bring Almighty Voice (Tootoosis), a Cree who killed his partner, in for a fair trial after he’s been a fugitive for a year. But it comes off as a manhunt—with both sides being hunter and hunted, until a huge mass of NMP (later RCMP) troops overwhelm the situation (after losing three or four men) by sheer force. The original crime? The Cree slaughtered a cow that was part of Her Majesty’s Herd because his people were starving. He surrendered, and it was clear that he was going to be hung in the morning as an object lesson. Apparently (it’s hard to tell from the movie) Candy removes the Cree’s chains, making it possible for him to escape—and kill Candy’s partner.

The partner, not there for that long, is long-time actor Kevin McCarthy doing a fine job as the Noble Mountie. Sutherland as Candy comes off as…I dunno. Crazed? Strange? Obsessive, even before the hunt? (Yes, he was young—but this was four years after he played Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H, so I’ll blame the director. I’ve now read that Sutherland considers this the worst movie he ever made.) Maybe I’m just not the target audience. (Chief Dan George is OK, but has very little to do. In fact, that’s true of everybody…this is a slow movie that could readily be cut down to less than an hour.) I’d be hard-pressed to give this more than $0.25.

Seven Alone, 1974, color. Earl Bellamy (dir.), Dewey Martin, Aldo Ray, Anne Collings, Dean Smith, James Griffith, Stewart Petersen, Dehl Berti. 1:37.

A heart-wrenching story of courage, as the disobient eldest son in a seven-sibling family, on its way to Oregon in a wagon train, keeps the family together after both parents die and the train leaders say the kids should go back East—oh, and the rest of them should go to California because it’s too late in the Fall to make Oregon. The kids sneak off (with Kit Carson’s assistance), sneak along a day or so behind the small group who insist on going to Oregon, lose them…but of course it all eventually turns out all right, even with an infant with no mother’s milk, several days in untracked winter wilderness, etc., etc.

Apparently based on the true story of the Sager family, which should make me feel bad about calling this “family entertainment” a pile of crap. But…let’s see. It’s made clear that the appropriate way for the kid’s father to deal with his pranks is to take off his belt and whup the kid. The kid helps make clear that a wife’s place is to obey her husband (choosing carefully-selected never-wrong Bible verses). Thus it’s clearly appropriate that immediately after the wife says they’d leave their pleasant Midwestern farm to go west “Over my dead body,” the very next scene has her smiling alongside her husband driving their wagon, because, you know, he’s the boss. (And she’s pregnant again.) The kid continually ignores good advice, clear through to the end. We have “thieving Redskins.” “Gunslingers”? Well, the kid’s carrying a rifle and there is one gun battle between settlers and natives at one point… Pat Boone does the opening and closing theme, and it was sappy even for Boone (this is before Boone became a religion writer for an extreme-right website). This is Family entertainment with a capital-F. Badly written, badly acted, badly directed. One review says this is great because you’ll learn the history of the Oregon Trail. Really?

I see the phrase “politically correct” turns up in several of the favorable reviews. It appears that I should love the movie because it Promotes Family Values. Sorry, but that’s not enough, especially given the selective set of values it seems to espouse. Maybe the Sager story’s worth telling—but not in such an awful movie. I guess the scenery merits $0.50.

Silence, partial or full

Posted in Stuff on September 5th, 2013

There might not be any posts here for a few days, quite possibly not until September 10.

There are some things I care about that seem to have gone into a total stall, and I suspect my best course is to try to ignore them and definitely not talk about them. (Nothing health-related, marriage-related or otherwise real-world seriously important!)

So: I’m still around, I’m reasonably healthy, I’m even working on an essay now and then. And that’s about it.

Self-publishing reality check 1

Posted in C&I Books on September 3rd, 2013

I know this all takes time (that is: especially for libraries to purchase books), and I won’t do this very often, but since the fate of $4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets volume 2 depends largely on sales of volume 1 and of Your Library Is…, I thought it might make sense to note total sales to date once in a while (no more than once a week or unless there’s a huge surge, I promise).

Therefore: Total copies sold to date (not including the copy I purchased)…

As of August 29, 2013: Two copies of $4 to $1, one of Your Library Is…  — all in print.

As of September 3, 2013 at 2:15 PDT: See August 29.

[As for The Compleat... and The inCompleat...: None as of September 3 at 2:15 PDT.]

 

 

Sorry.

Posted in Stuff on September 3rd, 2013

Apparently “I” just sent email to 192 people inviting them to view my book recommendations on goodread.

Sorry.

I finally decided to join goodread, both to see what’s being said about my own books (what? you wouldn’t do that? really?) and maybe eventually to store book notes & recommendations. Or not.

As I read the description of the function, I thought it was using my Gmail contacts to build a set of “your friends recommends” items to me. I guess I needed to read it more carefully: It was actually sending out canned email to all of them. Which I would have never done if I realized what was happening.

Again, sorry.

Cites & Insights October 2013 (13:10) available

Posted in C&I Books, Cites & Insights on September 3rd, 2013

Cites & Insights 13:10 (October 2013) is now available at http://citesandinsights.info

The issue is 48 pages long. The single-column 6×9 “online reading version” is 65 pages long.

In fact, most of the regular version also fits into a 6″ width; it’s made up of book samples that didn’t reduce neatly to the narrow column of the two-column version.

The issue consists of one big essay in six smaller portions plus an introduction:

The Front: Books, Books and (Books?)   pp. 1-48

It’s all about books–specifically, Cites & Insights Books for libraries and librarians: What may be happening with older books, two important new books, one potential new book and two new combinations of old material.

   Weeding the Virtual Bookstore   pp. 2-3

Some of the existing Cites & Insights Books may go out of print (that is, be removed from potential production) shortly. This section explains why, which books are involved and why–if you actually want one of them–you need to act soon.

  Your Library Is…: A Collection of Public Library Sayings   pp. 3-10

An inspiring and interesting tour through what America’s public libraries choose as their mottoes and slogans on their websites, based on a complete scan of all 9,000+ libraries (or at least those for which I could find websites). 1,137 unique mottoes and slogans, plus 88 mottoes and slogans shared by 205 libraries. General comments, price and availability (this one’s available as an $8.99 PDF!) are followed by the Cs: Sayings from libraries in California, Colorado and Connecticut, roughly 9.5 of the 157 text pages in the book.

  $4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets, Vol. 1, Libraries by Size   pp. 10-24

Designed as a tool to help librarians and Friends tell their library’s story to retain and improve funding, this book also provides a detailed picture of public libraries in FY2011 and how usage changed from FY2009. The section includes notes on how this study differs from Give Us a Dollar…, followed by portions of Chapter 1 and all of Chapter 4.

  $4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets, Vol. 2, Libraries by State   pp. 24-38

This book does not yet exist. The section includes notes on what it would include and the circumstances under which it will be completed (basically, sales of the two books just mentioned), followed by the draft version of what would be the first two of 49 state profiles (DC and Hawaii, with single public libraries, get much shorter profiles), those for Alabama and Alaska.

  The Compleat Give Us a Dollar… Vol. 1   pp. 38-44

This book provides the most in-depth discussion of public library benefits and budgets you’re likely to find, combining all but Chapter 20 of Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four with graphs and commentary to flesh out the discussion. After a brief introduction, there’s an excerpt consisting of roughly the first half of Chapter 4.

  The inCompleat Give Us a Dollar…  pp. 44-48

This massive book (433 8.5″ x 11″ pages) combines all of the text from Give Us a Dollar… with all of the graphs and commentary–except for multicolor line graphs that won’t reproduce well in a black-and-white book. (There are no such graphs in Volume 2 of The Compleat…, so this volume is a complete print replacement for that volume, but an incomplete replacement for volume 1.) In addition to commentary and pricing, there’s an excerpt consisting of the section for Alabama.

Do note that there are two ways to acquire Your Library Is…: You can buy the $8.99 PDF ebook (6×9, no DRM) or $16.99 paperback–or you can get a special deluxe PDF version by contributing at least $50 to Cites & Insights. (What makes the special deluxe version special? It adds the front and back mosaic covers from the paperback edition as first and last pages.)

Library Publishing Toolkit (and more)

Posted in Books and publishing, Writing and blogging on September 2nd, 2013

In case you haven’t already heard about it, you should be aware of the Library Publishing Toolkit, edited by Allison P. Brown and published by IDS Project Press.

Here’s the brief description from the project website:

The Library Publishing Toolkit looks at the broad and varied landscape of library publishing through discussions, case studies, and shared resources. From supporting writers and authors in the public library setting to hosting open access journals and books, this collection examines opportunities for libraries to leverage their position and resources to create and provide access to content.

The Library Publishing Toolkit is a project funded partially by Regional Bibliographic Databases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Program funds which are administered and supported by the Rochester Regional Library Council. The toolkit is a united effort between Milne Library at SUNY Geneseo and the Monroe County Library System to identify trends in library publishing, seek out best practices to implement and support such programs, and share the best tools and resources.

You might also want to visit the publication’s page at opensuny.org, since it’s part of the IDS Project.

I would be lying if I said I’d read the entire book (402 pp. 8.5″ x 11″). I haven’t. I will…but I haven’t yet.

It’s pretty clearly a worthwhile project, a collection of essays on real-world aspects of library publishing.

You can get the Toolkit in two forms:

  • PDF ebook, free for the taking, no DRM–and it’s published with a Creative Commons BY-SA license, so you’re also free to pass it along. There appear to be two PDF downloads, one slightly smaller than the other; I’m not sure what the difference is.
  • Paperback (PoD using CreateSpace), list $9.19, currently $8.18; I’m guessing $9.19 is the CreateSpace production cost, and of course Amazon (owner of CreateSpace) can discount that cost. Either price is very low for a handsome 402-page 8.5 x 11 paperback.

It is indexed, to be sure.

How do I know about it? I contributed the Foreword, “Makerspaces for the Mind.” It was a pleasure to do so. I’m pleased with the resulting publication.

(and more)

It’s odd. I rarely contribute to collections–after all, tenure’s never been a possibility (even pay seems unlikely these days) and I’ve always had mixed feelings about most (but not all) edited collections.

“Rarely” isn’t never, to be sure, and as it happens I’ve contributed to two other collected works in recent days. In one case, it was for a modest sum of money; in the other, it was because a long-time friend and colleague asked.

The June 2013 issue of Against the Grain features a set of nine articles on self-publishing, edited by Bob Holley. I contributed “Self-Publish or Traditional? My Experience with Books for Librarians.” (As a sidenote, the sixth essay in the collection is by Rory Litwin, who refers to me twice–by last name alone, that is, “Crawford”–and who might be surprised to know that I agree with most of what he says.)

Using Social Media in Libraries: Best Practices is from Scarecrow Press, edited by Charles Harmon and Michael Messina. I wrote the Introduction. I have no comments on the collection as a whole–except to note that the contrast between my views in the Introduction and Laura Solomon’s views in the Foreword is, shall we say, substantial.


This blog is protected by dr Dave\\\\\\\'s Spam Karma 2: 104293 Spams eaten and counting...