Archive for February, 2011

disContent: Even more exclusive

Monday, February 14th, 2011

The limited-edition hardcover collection, disContent: The Complete Collection is now even more exclusive: It will go out of print the day after it’s reached a total of 50 sales (or April 1, 2011, whichever comes first).

And I’m rethinking plans to reprint the best of the columns in Cites & Insights. At most, I’ll use no more than one-quarter of the columns (17, including the handful already republished) and probably no more than a dozen total.

There will not be a selected edition. If you want this collection of my best short-form writing, and want to support the ongoing availability of Cites & Insights, this is your best chance.

In a pleasant surprise, somebody purchased a copy of The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010 yesterday (in the download PDF version). Thanks.

You’ll see four more liblog profiles later today or tomorrow…

Cites & Insights 11:3 (March 2011) available

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Cites & Insights 11:3 (March 2011) is now available at

The 32-page issue (PDF, but with HTML separates in the links below) includes:

Bibs & Blather (p. 1)

Announcing preorder availability of Open Access: What You Need to Know Now, from ALA Editions.

Making it Work Perspective: Five Years Later: Library 2.0 and Balance (cont.) (p. 1-22)

The rest of the story, focusing on looking back, looking forward; balance in libraries; balance in librarians and service; and “the next Library 2.0?”–which I do not plan to cover.

Trends & Quick Takes Perspective: Forecasts and Futurism (p. 23-32)

Seven commentaries on how 2010 forecasts worked out, ten forecasts for 2011, two pieces on the perils of futurism and a few library futures.

Should I or Shouldn’t I…

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

[Reassurance: book purchases or lack thereof will not be discussed in this post.]

I’m wrapping up the March 2011 issue of Cites & Insights, which will probably appear this weekend (that is, February 13, give or take a day or three).

And thinking about the first essay for the April issue…

I could do a Deathwatch/Death of books/Death of print piece, since I left deathwatches out of the “Predictions” essay that appears in the March issue. Gaia knows, I have enough items for one–19 deathwatch, 43 deathbooks, 38 deathprint (although those last two include loads of overlap).

Hmm. Only moved to Diigo recently, but this seems new: When I click on “view all tags,” instead of a neat columnar alphabetic list, I’m getting a comma-separated list that’s MUCH harder to read, but does nicely set the five most-used tags in larger type. I’d like the old columnar list, plz…

It’s been a while since I’ve done a copyright-related essay, so that’s a possibility.

Lots of items tagged “blogging” (more than 100), with 14 tagged “miw-blogging” (that is, items specific to libraries & librarians)…

It’s been a very long time since I’ve done a piece on ebooks, ereaders or both, and I seem to have–good grief, 192–items tagged “ebooks.” Way too much for one essay; time to subdivide…

And then there’s…

The tag with the most items attached to it: “gbs,” with 194 items.

Not George Bernard Shaw, to be sure.

So, the question is, should I try to put together an update on views & notes regarding the Google Book Settlement–which I haven’t touched in 1.5 years?

I guess I was waiting until the judge actually did something. Freedom to Tinker has predicted that that won’t happen in 2011, and I have no reason to doubt that pessimistic (or is it?) prediction.

I see three possible courses, and would be delighted to get opinions on which to follow:

  1. Scrap the whole tag and leave it to better-informed and even more opinionated sources to deal with this. (Those are two possibly overlapping circles.)
  2. Go through the items, subdivide them and/or print off lead sheets, and try to put together a coherent discussion. Which would likely be issue-length, or might even be a split essay like the one in the February and March issues…
  3. Just keep tagging, selectively, and wait until the judge finally either acts or says he’s not going to.

Opinions? Comments? Open here and on FF. I don’t promise I’ll be bound by what folks say. I do promise I’ll read the comments.

Coming in March: Open Access: What You Need to Know Now

Friday, February 4th, 2011

I am delighted to announce that my new book (and first book from a “real publisher” in eight years) will be out in March–and is available for preorder now.

Open Access: What You Need to Know Now offers a concise overview of OA in a 80-page, 8.5×11″ ALA Editions Special Report. Here’s what the order page says:

Academic libraries routinely struggle to afford access to expensive journals, and patrons may not be able to obtain every scholarly paper they need. Is Open Access (OA) the answer? In this ALA Editions Special Report, Crawford helps readers understand what OA is (and isn’t), as he concisely

  • Analyzes the factors that have brought us to the current state of breakdown, including the skyrocketing costs of science, technology, engineering, and medicine (STEM) journals; consolidation of publishers and diminishing price competition; and shrinking library budgets
  • Summarizes the benefits and drawbacks of different OA models, such as “Green,” “Gold,” Gratis,” “Libre,” and various hybrid forms
  • Discusses ways to retain peer-review, and methods for managing OA in the library, including making OA scholarly publishing available to the general public

Addressing the subject from the library perspective while taking a realistic view of corporate interests, Crawford presents a coherent review of what Open Access is today and what it may become.

I believe this book fills a need–not only in the library community but beyond. It’s a reasonably fast read but also a set of resources for further use.

Dorothea Salo, Peter Suber and Charles W. Bailey, Jr., all deserve credit for reading the draft version, offering honest suggestions and criticism and leading to a much better final version. Dorothea in particular was usefully frank, as I’d expect.

The book is available now for preorder. It costs $45.