Archive for the 'Libraries' Category

Indescribable

Posted in Libraries on June 28th, 2013

As I continue a scan of public library websites, normally using Bing to find them, I sometimes run into this “description” under the sitename and URL:

We would like to show you a description here, but the site you’re looking at won’t allow us.

A nicely nontechnical way of putting it.

Here’s how Google deals with the same site:

A description for this result is not available because of this site’s robots.txtlearn more.

DuckDuckGo? Well…it doesn’t show the obvious first result for the search (first in both Bing and Google)–at least not within the first 50 results. (Is it possible that DDG doesn’t index sites with that robots.txt setting?)

Blekko, which does show the library’s homepage as the first result, has precisely the same text as Bing.

So does Yahoo! (same first result, same text), but since Yahoo! uses Bing as a search engine, that’s not surprising.

All of this is just curious–and I find myself curious about two things:

  1. Why doesn’t DuckDuckGo return the library’s homepage anywhere within the first (very long) results page?
  2. Why do (a few) public library homepages set robots.txt so as to prevent descriptions?

Update July 6, 2013: I believe I know what’s going on with most of these, and it’s reminiscent of The Price is Right. See followup post.

IndieGoGo, Timing and Reality

Posted in Cites & Insights, Libraries on June 27th, 2013

Consider this a rapid update to Timing, which appeared yesterday (but was written a couple of days before that).

Here’s what’s happened since that post that’s at least moderately relevant:

  • I signed up for an IndieGoGo account–but I screwed up an attempt at a more secure password. (It has to do with The Great & Powerful Facebook…) So I deleted the account.
  • A couple of days later (today), attempting a clean start, I find that IGG won’t let me start an account. I’ve sent email to IndieGoGo (after deleting a bunch of cookies: otherwise, IGG–IndieGoGo is a long string to type–wouldn’t even let me create a support request, always taking me to a special 404 page).
  • So: As of now, until I hear from them, I don’t know whether I can create an IGG campaign. I certainly won’t be ready to do one by this weekend.
  • Meanwhile, IMLS released the 2011 public library datasets–and, along the way, reformatted years’ worth of old datasets. Instead of offering .txt and .mdb (Access databases), they’re now offering .txt (useless for me), .xls (Excel) and .csv (Comma-separated values, directly readable in Excel and other spreadsheets). That changes what I’d say in the key chapters of Mostly Numbers–if I do that book. It’s also resulted in a curious situation; you’ll read about that in a couple of days. (Briefly: Why is an .xls file three times as large as the .xls version of a .csv file that appears to contain precisely the same data? Call that the “14 megabyte question.”)
  • That release means that I could start working on the new Give Us a Dollar… project any old time, in addition to the ongoing harvest of public library mottoes & slogans (around 3,500 libraries checked so far–5,698 to go; 713 mottoes/slogans saved; still surprisingly little duplication).[See note below]
  • Meanwhile, I’ve reviewed a printed version of the August Cites & Insights (NOT including an essay on the crowdfunding campaign), so it’s ready for final steps–revision, copyfitting–leading up to a July 1 or 2 publication. And it’s already as long as I’d like a “summer issue” to be.

So…

Here’s the plan.

  • The crowdfunding campaign–a long shot at best–is on hold until IGG gets back to me.
  • Responses to my little survey still welcome; there are only five so far.
  • Comments on the possible crowdfunding and the $4 project also welcome.
  • I’ll plan to publish the August C&I on Monday or Tuesday, August 1 or 2
  • If and when I do a crowdfunding campaign, I’ll publish a special issue of C&I devoted entirely to that topic–probably a very short issue.

Note added 1:30 p.m. PDT 6/27:

Those numbers are probably misleading in terms of the eventual number of mottoes/slogans. You could run a quick calculation and say “1,800+ mottoes: That’s a LOT.”

But, after checking the couple of thousand libraries with URLs in the 2010 IMLS database, which yielded around 500, I’ve been checking libraries by LSA (legal service area population), largest to smallest. I’m down to around 29,000…

It seems quite likely that smaller libraries will have fewer mottoes/slogans–and based on past experience, I’d guess that hundreds of small libraries won’t even have websites.

I wouldn’t venture a guess as to what the final total will be. I do know that some of the mottoes are inspiring, some are very local, and at least a few are somewhat humorous in a refreshing way.

Does your library website really need Java? Three times over?

Posted in Libraries, Technology and software on June 27th, 2013

Dear public libraries,

About your website…

There’s one old issue (with some of you), which is that the library picture or banner is so high-resolution that it’s the last thing on the page to load, and takes quite a while. (It’s remarkably easy to resize images so they’re more suitable for web pages…)

Let’s not even talk about your use of Comic Sans. Yes, I know, it’s friendly and all…

But this is about Java.

Some of us–millions of us, I’d guess–don’t allow Java in our browsers, for reasonably good security reasons.

When we hit a library website with a Java item (or, as I just saw, three of ‘em in a row), the browser hangs, we get an error message, and if the site’s persistent, we keep getting the error message.

Oh, eventually we just get an error message on screen and can go on about our way.

But really…do you really need Java? Is it that crucial for your home page to be so dynamic–crucial enough that you’re willing to annoy security-conscious patrons?

Your call, of course.

Timing

Posted in Books and publishing, Libraries on June 26th, 2013

I had it all planned out.

I was going to put together an IndieGoGo campaign for the $4 Project (Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four [2013-14]: Libraries by Size; Give Us a Dollar: State by State; A Library Is…), with a reasonably modest goal ($2,500 as a baseline–below that, nobody pays) and several stretch goals. I figured to put it together today and tomorrow, make it live on Friday, and add the writeup as The Front in the August Cites & Insights, and publish that on Monday. (The other essays are edited already.)

Until…

I realized that this weekend is ALA Annual. Which means that, from tomorrow through next Monday, anything I do in the library area will receive even less attention than usual.

Or maybe….that’s the perfect time to start the campaign?

So…

Still trying to decide whether it’s a complete waste of time to attempt crowdfunding. Still trying to see whether the Mostly Numbers: Coping with Statistics for Librarians project makes sense.

The August issue of C&I won’t show up before July 1: That’s a given. It may be later than that. Will it begin with a summary of the book project campaign and why you should care? Wait and see…

Give Us a Dollar: The revised plan

Posted in Books and publishing, Libraries on June 18th, 2013

If I do a new version of Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four, it will be quite a big different from the current one (here are links to the PDF and the hardbound versions)…and the current one will probably remain available for a while. I’d take advantage of some of the work in Graphing Public Library Benefits.

The changes can be summarized as Simplify, Amplify, Clarify and Compare.

Simplify

I now believe that I included too many different metrics and too many divisions for key metrics in the current version–”too many” in that they may obscure the overall picture of America’s public libraries, but also in that the sheer number of tables and length of the book may intimidate some potential readers/users. I also believe that, while theoretically desirable, basing divisions purely on reality may not work out as well as I’d like.

Here’s what I have in mind for a new version, subject to revision:

  • Spending brackets: Reduce from the current 10 to, probably, five–in part because it’s possible to make charts with five lines that can be read in black-and-white (using different line dot-and-dash combinations), while I don’t think that’s true for 10. The brackets would probably be based on the median per capita spending and would be something like this: A. <1/3 of median. B. 1/3 to 2/3 of median. C. 2/3 to 1 1/3 of median. D. 1 1/3 to twice median. E. More than twice median.
  • Size (LSA) brackets: Reduce from the current 18 to, probably, nine, with one bracket each for libraries serving fewer than 1,000 people and those serving at least 100,000, and seven others based on actual distribution (looking at roughly 1,000 libraries per section).
  • Other metrics: Include circulation per capita (reducing current nine brackets to maybe six), reference per capita (reducing from ten brackets to maybe six), patron visits per capita (reducing from nine to maybe six), program attendance per capita (reducing from eight to maybe six), PC use per capita (reducing from eight to maybe six) and visitors per hour (reducing from nine to maybe six). Omitted from detailed metrics: hours open (but see below), total PCs, PCs per thousand patrons and circulation per hour.
  • I’d still have the benefit ratio, probably calculated very similarly, used as appropriate.

The overall net effect is that a given library would be comparable to around 200 other libraries for spending. or around 166 for other metrics. And that most graphs would involve around 1,000 libraries (but I’d probably remove the top 10% from some graphs.)

Amplify

The new version would be amplified from the current in several ways:

  • I would not exclude libraries with very low funding, those with very high funding, and those with less than 0.25 FTE librarian. I would still exclude territorial libraries, closed libraries and libraries with no reported operating expenditures.
  • The new version would include graphs as well as tables, as appropriate.
  • Rather than peculiar “combined tables” showing quartiles for given metrics at different expenditure levels, there would be single tables, one for each metric–and I’d use the extra space to add 10%ile and 90%ile to the current Q1 (25%ile), median (50%ile) and Q3 (75%ile) figures. That would offer a much better picture of what’s out there, while still ignoring extreme cases.
  • I would include correlations as appropriate (as I do in GPLB).

Clarify

The current version is, how you say, light on textual commentary. Once you get past page 21, it’s basically nothing but tables.

Which, as a pure tool, may make sense–but is a little overwhelming.

The new version will include some commentary, pointing up noteworthy items in the tables and graphs, providing at least a little textual clarity.

Compare

The current version looks at one year. While I do suggest that it’s likely that more money would yield better and more numbers, I don’t have any hard evidence for that.

The new version would compare 2010 and 2011 figures (and would include only libraries present in both years). It would also attempt to show correlations between changes in spending per capita and various other metrics. I would probably include changes in total open hours here.

Oh, and one other change–if this happens at all and if it makes sense:

I’d split the state-by-state sections out into a separate book, and those sections would include some comparisons to overall figures that aren’t there now. That would make the separate book an interesting overview of differences in metrics across the nation.

Best guess as to length (the current book is 262 pages; Graphing Public Library Benefits is 222 pages): Somewhere around 150-200 pages, ideally closer to the first, for the main book; probably around 200 pages, maybe more, for the “Viewing the States” book.

Price would be $9.99 for PDF, whatever it works out to for paperback (probably around $15.50 if it’s 150 pages, around $16.50 if it’s 200 pages), $40 for site-license or state-license (for the state-by-state) ebook version without usage restrictions.

The Survey

No, I still don’t know whether it makes any sense to try a Kickstarter or IndieGoGo campaign to prefund this book, possibly with a stretch goal of making the PDF version free. I also still don’t know whether I’d do this. Since the new figures should show up in July, I’m coming close to a decision.

If this helps you think about these issues, you can still respond to the survey.

Second call: “Give us a dollar…” and “A library is…”

Posted in Books and publishing, Libraries on June 17th, 2013

I could really use more responses before deciding the future of “Give Us a Dollar…” and whether to proceed with “A Library Is…”

Here’s the survey. Five simple questions, anonymous, shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.

Here’s the background post.

Thanks!

Power patrons?

Posted in Libraries on June 13th, 2013

I’ve had those two words sitting on my “should blog about this” notebook for months–and this is as good a time as any.

What’s a power patron? Somebody who goes to their public library at least once a week. And, if you believe a number of sources (most of which trace back to a single library journal), libraries should pay extra attention to power patrons.

I’m not particularly comfortable with the whole “power patron” concept (although I suppose it’s better than “prime customer”) as it applies to public libraries. I’m even more uncomfortable with the notion that people who are in their public libraries lots and lots and lots deserve special treatment or should be listened to more carefully than the rest of us shlubs.

I’m not a power patron. I typically visit the library once every three weeks, sometimes a little sooner, sometimes a little later. I return my three books, drop off any donations to the Friends’ bookstore, choose three new books, and leave.

I am, in other words, a regular patron–borrowing typically 50 or so books a year, appreciating the library, only too ready to vote for a millage increase and support shifting more of the city’s budget to the library. When I finally give up on trying to make a difference nationally, I’ll get directly involved with the Friends (they’re already recruiting…) and maybe go to library programs.

But I certainly don’t go to the library every week. So I’m just an ordinary patron.

Actually, if patrons who go once a week are power patrons who deserve extra attention, what about the small group (here–larger elsewhere) who go every single day and spend much of the day in the library, sometimes even awake?

Aren’t those superpatrons? Shouldn’t they have even more influence on a library’s operation?

A library is…: Clearly feasible. Worth doing?

Posted in Books and publishing, Libraries on June 11th, 2013

A few days ago, I discussed the possible future of Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13)–and one possible premium for an IndieGoGo or KickStarter campaign to fund the project.

Here’s what I said at the time:

I’ve done about 1/6th of the work toward what could be a great premium for such a campaign, if the campaign makes sense at all–an idea I’d mentioned earlier (in conjunction with a now-abandoned plan for future external measures of library social network activity), to wit:

A Library Is… (working title, subject to change), a collection of the slogans actually used by (some) public libraries. (So far, I’m finding that about 20% of the libraries checked have such slogans, once you exclude “Serving X since [date]” and “Welcome to your library” and the like. That percentage may go down–I’m starting out by checking the easy ones, libraries with web addresses in the IMLS 2010 report. I’ve checked about 1,650 libraries so far, yielding a little over 300 slogans/mottoes. I’ll probably check 3,000 or so before deciding whether to do the book.)

The book would be entirely derivative and serve only for inspiration and perhaps amusement. It would be an exclusive edition (probably PDF and paperback), available only as a premium, and not offered for sale separately. Premium levels could include PDF, paperback, signed paperback, and possibly–if I include library pictures–color paperback, signed color paperback, or even signed hardcover.

A Quarter Through…

I’ve now finished checking libraries with web addresses in the IMLS database (and rechecking about 10%-20% of them, where the web address is obsolete or doesn’t work)–around 2,400 in all, I think.

Going back and deleting closed libraries and libraries in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, I have 6,755 left to do, so I’m a little more than a quarter done, somewhat less than a third.

I’m going to pause for a few days–to write the first chapter of that up-in-the-air book, to finish a C&I essay, to collect some survey responses about this (I’ll post a link to the survey probably tomorrow).

Clearly Feasible

Here’s what I’ve found so far:

  • Omitting signed epigraphs and mottoes/slogans such as “Welcome to the library,” “Serving [location or counties],” “Serving [location] for [years],” “Serving [location] since [date],” “Your library available anytime anywhere” and similar mottoes, with a very few exceptions where the nature of the modified motto makes it unusually interesting (e.g., a claim to be the oldest publicly funded library, a library that serves more than one state, a library with what feels like a clever downplayed claim), I come up with 441 mottoes/slogans (and very brief mission statements highlighted on the website) so far.
  • Are there repetitions? Yes–but probably not as many as you’d think. A casual runthrough finds about 16 libraries using slogans that some other library also uses. That’s about 4%: Not bad!
  • The range is interesting, as are quite a few of the mottoes or slogans.

I wouldn’t project that the rest of the scan would yield 1,240 mottoes or slogans–not even close. For one thing, I’d guess around 10%-15% won’t have websites or Facebook pages.

The total could easily be more than 1,000 slogans and mottoes, including–say–800 unique cases (that is, a LOT more repetition than I’ve found so far).

I’m still not sure how I’d organize the book (which would consist of a very brief introduction and a whole bunch of slogans/mottoes identified by library, city, state and 2010 LSA, set as hopefully-attractive separated paragraphs, not just continuous text).

I think the results would be interesting to some. Or not.

Worth doing?

If I finish the scan (done as an intermittent process when taking breaks from something else, which is how I’ve done it so far: 100 libraries a day is pretty easy, as that’s less than an hour’s total work) and prepare the book–which might or might not include little pictures for included libraries–here’s how it would be used:

  1. It would not be available for sale separately. At least I don’t think so.
  2. It would be a premium, in PDF form and possibly in paperback or hardback (or paperback or hardback with color pictures, a much more expensive proposition to do), for one or more fundraising campaigns.
  3. It could be a thank-you, in PDF form, for those contributing at least $35 to Cites & Insights.

So far, I haven’t thought of other possibilities.

I guess the question is: Is this an amusing and interesting idea–a little book of library mottoes–or is it just plain stupid?

(Little book: I figure 7 mottoes per page in a reasonably attractive well-spaced arrangement.)

As noted, I plan to prepare a little survey on the interest in funding a future Give Us a Dollar… and, slightly separately, the interest in (or dislike for!) this little book. Meanwhile, comments are open.

Fair use

By the way, I do not plan to ask any of the libraries for permission to use their mottoes and slogans (or, if I use them, the pictures from their websites). I regard that as eminently fair use–a nominal portion of a website that’s free in any case, with no negative impact on a library’s ability to raise money from its motto, and somewhat transformative by the context of hundreds of other mottoes.

If some copyright-oriented librarian thinks I’m wrong…well, the comments are open and my email continues to be waltcrawford@gmail.com

 

 

It Didn’t Work for Phil Ochs, It Doesn’t Work for Jeffrey Beall

Posted in C&I Books, Libraries on May 8th, 2013

I had read a few items recently attempting to argue that the serials crisis was over, thanks to the Big Deal and other publisher “discounts” from the early late 20th and early 21st centuries. Indeed, reading those items (or in one case an apparently-accurate comment on an article behind a paywall) was part of what convinced me to do something outrageous:

Look at the facts

Looking at the facts–actual academic library serials expenditures and the apparent effects on library book budgets and everything else academic libraries need to spend money on–was a lot more sobering than I expected.

Thus the book, The Big Deal and the Damage Done. (Read more about that here, download the ebook for a mere $9.99 here, or buy the paperback for a modest $16.50 here.)

The Big Deal and the Damage Done

The Big Deal and the Damage Done

I wasn’t planning a sales pitch, and this really isn’t one, but very recent events encouraged this brief post.

To wit:

  • Jeffrey Beall’s absurd pronouncement that “The Serials Crisis is Over” and his even more absurd suggestion that the only reason for OA is the serials crisis, and thus that OA should go away. (At this point, naming Beall’s blog “Scholarly Open Access” is, I guess, a kind of joke. Not a very good joke, to be sure.)
  • His absurd and offensive response to Karen Coyle’s note on my book (thanks, Karen!), where he said “He should have read the sources I cite first.” As I noted, I had read most of the sources–but I didn’t take their publisher-oriented claims as The Word, when I also had facts available.
  • Mike Taylor’s post at SV-POW (I’ve typed out the full name WAY too often already), “Of course the serials crisis is not over, what the heck are you talking about?”
  • And, perhaps tangential but not entirely unrelated, some suggestions at LSW-FF that I might consider trying to unglue.it the ebook version of this book, so that library school students and every academic librarian might have ready access to it. (It’s off to a plausible start, but that start still doesn’t represent much more than 0.5% of American academic libraries, especially since several of the sales have been to Canada and the UK.)

Phil Ochs?

The first line of the chorus of his song “The War is Over”–”I declare the war is over.” It wasn’t; he knew that; but it was a valiant attempt at showing the power of song.

Beall’s post, on the other hand, appears to be a valiant attempt at showing the power of nonsense.

I declare that the serials crisis, the event that gave birth to the open-access movement, is over.

That’s the first sentence of the post, and the only portion of it that squares with the facts is that Beall is making a declaration.

Fact: The serials crisis did not give birth to the OA movement, or at least it certainly wasn’t the only causative factor. There are several important reasons to support OA, only one of which is the serials crisis. (Solving the affordability crises for academic libraries–if that had happened, which it clearly has not–does NOTHING to provide access to all of us unaffiliated types: independent scholars, patients, everybody else, just to name one issue.)

Fact: The serials crisis is not over in any real-world sense. Even Harvard can’t afford the serials it wants–and other academic libraries can’t afford to keep being libraries and keep up with serials prices.

Of course, my book isn’t part of the “scholarly literature.” It’s entirely fact-based, the facts are entirely reproducible, I was entirely transparent about my methodology, and I believe it’s in the best traditions of scholarship (except that there’s no literature review and I didn’t actually begin with a hypothesis)…but I’m not a scholar and didn’t submit it to a refereed journal.

Crowdsourcing?

Now comes the tough part (for me, at least): It’s been suggested that it would be nice if everybody could have access to my study–which is book-length, although it’s a relatively short book–at no charge.

Those who have suggested it do recognize that I put a fair amount of work into it, and that nobody is sponsoring my work (nor is it something I do in my “spare” time after an actual paid job). What they’re suggesting is crowdsourcing a reasonable payment to make the ebook version free (and maybe get it into EPUB rather than only the current non-DRM PDF form). That means unglue.it (or some other crowdsourcing system, but unglue.it seems most appropriate here).

I’m thinking about it. I’m not much of a promoter, and I shudder at the thought of creating a little video on the book, but…well…

Here’s how you can help (other than buying the book, which encourages me to keep going):

  • What sorts of premiums–preferably ones that don’t involve actual cash, since that sort of undoes the purpose of the crowdsourcing–would you find worthwhile?
  • Do you think this is a good idea?

I can think of some possibilities (e.g., custom analyses for single campuses or groups of campuses) but would be interested in your ideas.

One note about this: If I do it, there will be three goals–

  1. A minimal level at which I’d agree to make the ebook freely available (and maybe provide an epub version)
  2. A higher level at which I’d guarantee to do a new edition when the 2012 NCES data is available
  3. An even higher level at which I’d guarantee to do the 2012 edition–and would make the ebook version of that open access and available for free.

Comments? Suggestions? Either as comments or to waltcrawford@gmail.com

(Of course, if somebody wanted to underwrite the whole project, get in touch, but I won’t hold my breath. I can tell you the price in that case would be in the medium four digits.)


The eagle-eyed may note a slight change in the text. As of 7 p.m. PDT, sales hit 20 copies, which is–technically-just over 0.5% (that is, one-half of one percent) of U.S. academic libraries. On the other hand, the 20th sale, along with several others, is Canadian…

The Big Deal and the Damage Done

Posted in C&I Books, Libraries on May 2nd, 2013
The Big Deal and the Damage Done

The Big Deal and the Damage Done

I’d normally say something like this about my new study of the apparent effects of serials prices over the first decade of the millennium on academic library book budgets and “remainder” budgets (what’s left after paying for current serials and other acquisitions):

I’m delighted to announce that The Big Deal and the Damage Done is now available as a $9.99 PDF ebook or a $16.50 paperback, both at Lulu.com (follow the links, go to the bottom of this page or just go to lulu.com and search for big deal damage).

But I’m not entirely delighted–because the results are much worse than I’d hoped or expected.

On one hand, I’m delighted that what started out as a whim (“just how badly have book budgets been hurt by continued expansion of serials prices?”) that I thought would take 5-10 hours to research and result in a nice little Cites & Insights article, and turned into a much bigger project (I’m not going to guess the total time involved, but let’s say that at $50/hour consulting rates, it would be a multi-thousand-dollar project)…is finally done. For now.

On that hand, I’m also delighted with the results–a 132-page (6×9″) non-DRM PDF ebook or trade paperback with 58 tables and 94 figures (all Excel graphs) that shows, in detail and adjusted for inflation, how academic library spending has changed between 2000 and 2010 for current serials (big deals and otherwise), “books” (which includes all acquisitions except current serials, including ebooks, av and back runs of serials), and “remainder budgets,” everything it takes to run a library except for acquisitions. The book looks at academic libraries in the U.S. overall, but mostly views them in three different breakdowns: By overall budget size, by sector (e.g., public, private, for-profit, non-profit, four-year, two-year), and by Carnegie classification.

The PDF uses three colors for many graphs. The paperback is black and white except for the cover, but the three colors are used with line segments (dots or dashes) so that the graphs are fully readable without color.

On the other hand…I was hoping I’d find modest damage, especially since the most recent NCES survey is for 2010 and I’ve heard more comments about disastrous cuts in book budgets since 2010.

The Process

There’s nothing in the book that you can’t find out for yourself, frankly, although I do add some commentary. But “find out for yourself” would take quite a while–downloading NCES data, creating derivative figures, deciding which subsets to work with, graphing the results.

I began with no real conception of what I’d find–this is honest, transparent analysis. I certainly didn’t come up with that title until I was well into the process and seeing some of the results. The first results didn’t seem too bad, because roughly two dozen very large academic libraries have done a pretty good job of maintaining acquisitions budgets for things other than current serials, a good enough job that it tends to mask what’s happening elsewhere. The deeper I dug, the worse it got…

The Product and Publicity

This isn’t a terribly wordy study–Word says it’s just under 20,000 words, or about two-thirds the length of the current Cites & Insights. The figures and tables take up much of the space, but also tell much of the story.

The analysis project was inspired in part by Wayne Bivens-Tatum’s January 18, 2013 post, “Politics, Economics, and Screwing the Humanities” and in part by the work I was doing to prepare a three-hour Open Access preconference for the joint 2013 conference of the Oregon and Washington Library Associations. I see true OA as one possible medium-term way of ameliorating the damage done–with a whole bunch of caveats.

If you’re an academic librarian or concerned about the future of academic libraries, I believe you’ll find this worthwhile, but that’s your call. If it’s well-received, I’ll probably do a second edition when the 2012 NCES survey results become available.

Here’s the thing: I don’t have good ways to publicize this book, other than on this blog, in Cites & Insights, and via a tweet or two and maybe updates at Facebook and Google+. There may be academic library lists that should know about it, but it’s generally considered bad practice for an author or publisher to join lists and tout their own new books.

On the other hand, it’s entirely appropriate for other people to mention the book if they think it’s worthwhile.

I’m going to point you to another Wayne Bivens-Tatum post at Academic Librarian, this one posted May 1, 2013: “Walt Crawford’s Big Deal and the Damage Done.” I thank him for the mention. I encourage you to take a look at the book (the first few pages are available as a preview and, you know, the ebook‘s less than $10–if you buy it today, May 2, and use the coupon code SILEO, either version is 20% off). If you think it’s worthwhile, you’ll do me–and the chances of a followup 2012 study–a big favor by passing the word along.

If you think it’s terrible, you should say that, to be sure. And if you have suggestions for improvement next time around–if there is a next time around–I’d be happy to hear them.


Modified May 9, 2013: I’d forgotten to include the cover! And since it’s long past May 2, 2012, I’ve struck out the sale comment. Your best bet may always be to go to Lulu.com, look for a current sale (you never know…), then search for Walt Crawford or big deal damage


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