Restoring the Leadership Collection

When I was terminated as Editorial Director for the Library Leadership Network, I saved off the 104 (of about 180 total) essays that primarily represented my own writing, editing and gathering–about 360,000 words total, or the equivalent of seven contemporary books (I think of it as “roughly four books,” but at least within the library field, most nonfiction books now seem to be down to 50,000 words or less).

All of the material is under Creative Commons BY-NC licenses, so saving copies for later use was entirely legal. I let my former boss know that I might try to reuse some of it elsewhere; that wasn’t a problem. Because I anticipated reusing some of it for my own writing, I didn’t save off the other 70-odd articles, most of them either licensed from the original Library Leadership Network or composed of citations from the management literature.

Since then, Lyrasis has shut down the Library Leadership Network, which makes these articles unavailable. I think that’s unfortunate, since there’s a lot of good and relatively timeless material here, material that could be particularly helpful for new leaders (and, in some cases, new managers).

Finding a Home and Possible Approaches

I’d love to work with some agency–an association, a library school, whatever–to establish a new site that makes these pieces available, encourages discussion around the pieces and, possibly, continues to grow and improve as a library leadership resource.

At a minimum, for a modest one-time fee, I could do the second editing pass (to clean up links and remove additional extraneous material) and turn the pages (all HTML) over, and have done with it. The requirements would be that the new site be freely available, but it could certainly have advertising or sponsorship.

Well, there’s a subminimum: If no arrangement can be made and I continue to regard this material as important, I could always mount it as a set of pages attached to this blog–but I don’t think that’s the most effective way to proceed.

At a second level, with some modest level of ongoing support (at least $4,000/year, I think, and escalating based on level of desired activity), I could do that editing pass, help define the site itself–and then continue as an editor, both moderating discussions/comments (that is, checking for spam–if the site is, say, WordPress-based, advance moderation probably isn’t necessary) and updating pages/generating new pages. I don’t see going back to the “roughly half-time” level of LLN, but could see something that would aim for one significant upgrade or new article per month at a minimum, about one per week as a maximum.

Of course, it’s always possible that users of the new site could start generating most of the content–that was the original hope for PLN, the predecessor for LLN. Hope is a good thing.


Get in touch. waltcrawford at gmail dot com, if you don’t wish to use the link.

I don’t anticipate doing much more to encourage such a site. (There are other things I’m working on. I might revisit this in two or three months.) If there’s simply no interest, that’s OK too–but LLN was nearing 50,000 article pageviews per month (excluding the home page and other overhead), which leads me to believe there is some demand out there.

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