Balanced Libraries: Links to reviews and comments

I’m delighted to see the first comment (that I’ve encountered) from someone who’s actually received Balanced Libraries: Thoughts and on Continuity and Change: Jennifer Macaulay at Life as I Know It.

Here’s what she has to say.

Before encountering this, I was just about to state my policy on comments and reviews of this book that I encounter. It’s simple:

  1. I’ll link to them, by editing this post or creating another one. That’s true whether they’re positive, negative or mixed
  2. I will not comment on the comments and negative reviews unless there’s a factual error, and probably not even then. I learned a long time ago that it’s bad practice for an author to respond to book reviews (of whatever nature) except to say “Thanks for reading and commenting.” Update: I will feel free to thank people for positive reviews! What I learned was not to quarrel with negative and mixed reviews. Which I won’t.

So…Jennifer, thanks for reading and commenting!

First full review, 4/20/07: This one from Pete Smith at library too. Thanks for reading and commenting. (Pete also posted the review on the Balanced Libraries book page at Thanks!) Added note: Smith’s review is thoughtful–and also positive, for which I’m grateful.

Another review, 4/26/07: Jennifer Macaulay at Life as I know it writes a thoughtful and positive review. Again, I’m grateful.

The first non-English review, 5/29/07: Wow! Wouter over het Web has a lengthy review in Dutch. Wouter assures me it’s a positive review, and from Babelfish’s output, it does appear that way–although the translation leaves something to be desired. Thanks!

And a long, thoughtful review from Mark Lindner, 5/31/07: right here. I can only say Thanks and Wow!

6/7/07: Another long, thoughtful review, this time from John Dupuis. Once again, I can only say Thanks and Wow!

9/18/07: Another long, thoughtful review, this one from John Miedema. I’m posting a belated separate item on this one–and again, “Thanks and Wow!”
4/4/07: Not a review, but Sarah Houghton-Jan offers a nice writeup.

4/5/07: You’d think the author would know the subtitle of the book… Thanks, Alane! And now this:’s record. I’ve made the big time!

4/9/07: Also not a review, but Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran has a nice early comment at Impromptu Librarian

6/13/08: I only spotted this mini-review by doing a little egoogling (ego-Googling). It’s on Goodreads and from “Jack”, and appears here in its entirety and without added comment:

Generally just classic Crawford: long-winded, rambling, reactionary rhetoric.

18 Responses to “Balanced Libraries: Links to reviews and comments”

  1. I finished the book earlier this evening. I plan to encourage my coworkers to take the time to read it also (I used the “I-got-quoted-in-this-book” stance). It will make a great starting point for important discussions. I definitely enjoyed it.

  2. walt says:

    Wonderful. Glad to hear it.

  3. Alane says:

    Walt, may I just note a typo in your own title above? It’s Thoughts on Continuity and Change isn’t it? I haven’t read it yet (does the OCLC Library have it? I should hope so!) but I like the cover 🙂

  4. walt says:

    You think? Thanks! That’s one of those that you can stare at for a long time and never see…or spot the error immediately.

    If you think the front cover’s great, you need to see the back cover. I’ve suggested telling people that if they don’t like the book, they can just recycle the contents and frame the cover. My wife takes great pictures.

    Hmm. As for the OCLC Library, maybe it’s in processing? I’m delighted to discover that it’s in Worldcat, albeit with no library holdings yet…I wasn’t going to check for another week or two, given normal delays.

  5. You should see some library holdings (or at least one more). We had already added the book to our catalog earlier in the week (but were waiting for someone else to do the original cataloging). I see that our cataloger added it to our holdings.

  6. walt says:

    Great to hear. I’ll check again in a few days…

  7. walt says:

    Yeah Stonehill College!

    Six subject headings (I’ve noticed from previous books that books in librarianship usually get a lot more than the 2.4 subject headings purported to be average–I wonder why that is, sez he, still not using emoticons), and an appropriate local entry for Jennifer M.

  8. We love subject headings at Stonehill!!!! And now I’m famous – locally at least!!

    I had to break down and start using emoticons in online class discussions (felt it necessary to be perfectly clear when joking). Once you get over the initial hurdle, they just start to flow.

  9. les says:

    Walt, thought i’d point out that library too ( gave it a nice review to. I’ve not got around to getting it yet, but will do soon.

  10. les, thanks! I’ll link to that once I’m back home (I’m in Kennewick, WA, at the Washington Lib. Assoc. annual conference, and using a public PC, which makes things cumbersome).

    And what a nice review!

  11. Pete Smith says:

    Nice, if by nice you mean discerning and accurate ;D

  12. walt says:

    Whoops. My three-meter pole’s gone missing again. No disagreement here, though.

  13. Pete Smith says:

    I’m sorry Walt, I’m not sure what the three-meter pole reference means 🙂 I just meant that it’s not a blandly ‘nice’ review 🙂

  14. Pete Smith says:

    Oh, I see, it’s like our ‘wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole’ if the web leads me aright 😉

  15. walt says:


    Weak joke: “I wouldn’t touch that line with a 10-foot pole.” In this case, because I’d already promised that I wouldn’t comment on reviews of the book, whether positive or negative. Your review is, in fact, both positive, thoughtful, and gracious, but as the (grateful) author I really shouldn’t be saying that. Although I suppose it’s OK to say “I won’t grump about bad reviews, but I can be delighted by good reviews”–as I was by yours.

    The proper American idiom is, in fact, a 10-foot pole; I was being cute. “bargepole” is presumably the English equivalent.

  16. Pete Smith says:

    Yeah I’d figured that. I don’t think it’s bad form to thank someone for a good review tbh- then I’m not an author, so I have no experience in this. I would agree that it’s best not to go after a negative review.
    A ten foot bargepole is indeed the English equivalent phrase. Curse the metric system ;D

  17. walt says:

    And I’ve concluded that you’re right: It’s not bad form to thank someone for a good review. Thanks for the good review.

  18. Pete Smith says:

    Think nothing of it. Now let us never speak of it again 😀