Archive for January, 2012

Data and CC licenses: I’m confused

Monday, January 30th, 2012

I’ve been seeing a number of discussions of the most appropriate Creative Commons license to use when putting data online…with CC0 (that is, explicit assignment to the public domain) seeming to be the favorite.

And I’m confused.

At least in the United States, I’ve always been led to believe, data is not copyrightable.

I know that facts are not copyrightable, just as ideas are not copyrightable. Only creative expressions are copyrightable.

Data is facts.

So why would you need to assign a Creative Commons license–the only function of which is to loosen restrictions on copyright you’re presumed to hold–for something that’s not copyrightable?

One could even argue that assigning a CC license to data is copyfraud, as it carries the implicit notice that what it’s assigned to is indeed subject to copyright.

Yes, I know, the laws are different in different countries. But, to the best of my knowledge, CC licenses are country-specific, partly for that reason. Is CC0 universal? Can it be?

What am I missing?

Is CC0 an attempt to waive (conceivable) copyright in the arrangement of data within a database? (Supposedly, if that arrangement is in itself creative, it could be subject to copyright.)

Am I missing something else?

Just a thought…

Local supermarkets

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Reading an article in the local weekly about Wal-Mart’s attempt to open a supermarket in a neighboring city, noted some comments about “local” markets, which Wal-Mart is anything but.

The interesting note in those comments is that, after citing a couple of true locally-owned groceries (the kind with one to ten stores in a small area), the article noted that Safeway is in fact “local” since the headquarters are in Pleasanton–the neighboring city in question.

That got me wondering about the other places we might use as supermarkets or grocery stores.

  • Lucky, the only one in walking distance, I already knew: It’s part of Save Mart, and Save Mart is headquartered in Modesto, CA, my home down, about 75 miles from here.
  • Trader Joe’s is headquartered in Southern California–but it’s owned by a German family.
  • Our only other real option is Nob Hill, which is part of Raley’s…which is headquartered in Placerville, probably 90-120 miles from here.

I suppose there’s Target (their food prices are awfully good), and that’s headquartered in Minneapolis. There’s Whole Foods, headquartered in Austin, TX, but even if there was one around here (there isn’t), we couldn’t afford it.

Interesting. Every place we’re likely to buy most groceries is headquartered in California–and, to be sure, we buy most produce at local farmer’s markets.

No deeper significance. I know supermarkets are typically regional: That’s why Consumer Reports food reports include store brands from stores I’ve never heard of, but never Safeway store brands.

Keeping it going: Another update on library social networking et al

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

A few months back, one of the many Library Society of the World FriendFeedFolk made an idle comment about setting me up as an institution.

I trust the person didn’t actually mean that I need to be institutionalized. Let’s assume that’s the case. I hope I’m still a few decades away from being institutionalized…

While I’d certainly accept an ongoing “consultancy” or, say, Jack-of-some-trades Emeritus position, with adequate funding (let’s call it $15,000/year plus inflation, for at least four years), somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’d still like to hope that there’s a way to make a more project-oriented version of this happen–namely, the future outlined in “Prospectus: An Ongoing Public Library Social Network Scan” [which I’ve updated slightly since it was first posted, and which appears in differently-modified form in Bibs & Blather within the current Cites & Insights] and expanded in “A library is…

Over the last few days, as I’ve reviewed the full second draft of Successful Social Networking in Public Libraries and started determining how to modify it for the third (submission) draft, I’ve realized and found out some additional items that may add meat to all of this.

The IMLS Oops

I knew all along that the best source of key data for libraries in all 50 states (plus DC and some American territories) was IMLS–but last August, when I tried to download and open the latest public library statistics, I found that it wouldn’t work: The Access file wouldn’t open in Excel and the flat file was not something I could handle. (The Access file is actually three linked .mdb databases.)

Either I did something wrong back then (quite possible), something’s changed on my computer (also possible–I do have Windows Update auto-enabled), or something’s changed elsewhere in the universe, because when I tried the same thing today, it worked.

This would have been nice last August–or, better, last June before I started any of the library scans–if only because the IMLS database includes the actual names that public libraries use, which either aren’t always used in the state spreadsheets (available from most but not all states) or aren’t in columns that I found obvious. As a result, some library searches were clumsier than they needed to be, and it’s even possible that I missed a few.

So: If I did have funding to do a complete sweep for 2012 and later years, I could apparently work with the national files even without buying new software. That’s a good thing. And having the actual library names in one neat column does make life easier…

The potential side-effects

If I could get ongoing funding for this project, I could be persuaded quite easily to treat it as a form of personal sponsorship (and yes, $15,000/year plus inflation would be about right), which would mean:

  • PDFs and other electronic output directly from the studies themselves would be freely available and would carry a Creative Commons BY (attribution) license. (If there are spreadsheets, they’d carry a CC0 license, although that’s silly since data is fundamentally not copyrightable anyway.)
  • I would retroactively change the Creative Commons license for Cites & Insights and Walt at Random from CC BY-NC to CC BY–that is, “use it as you will, as long as you give me credit.”
  • I would treat all of my books for which I have full control as carrying a Founder’s License: That is, I’d dedicate them to the public domain after 14 years. That would include all my books before Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness & Reality–which is more than 14 years old, but I’m not in a position to make it public domain. (When Being Analog turns 14, in another year, I’d ask ALA Editions whether it’s out of print and thus has control return to me. If so, I’d make it public domain.)

So there’s an amplification. Any takers?



How many public libraries have closed? Redux

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Last November (November 25, 2011), I asked the musical question “How many US public libraries have actually closed?” I got some comments (including one suggestion that it was 0.4% since 2005) but no actual answers.

I asked the question again recently in a comment grumping about the lead sentence of a LISNews story, a sentence beginning “In an age of library closings”:

Since you lead with that, I’ll repeat the question I’ve asked elsewhere (with no results): Do you–does anyone–have any actual data on actual library system closings? Not branches, not temporary shutdowns, but public libraries that actually disappear–or, let’s say, shut down for at least three years?

Has it been 1% over the last 10 years? 0.5%? 0.1%?

Have there been more public libraries (again, not branches–those are inherently more temporary) closed or opened over the last decade?

Or do we just conveniently talk about lots of library closures, despite lack of any real evidence that this is happening? I’m not trying to minimize the effects of branch “closures” or reduced hours, but I’d sure like to see some facts…

My question became a separate LISNews post.

Administrative entities, not outlets

Note that, in this question and elsewhere, I’m asking about libraries and library agencies–not individual branches. That is, I’m working off the 9,000+ number (closer to 9,200), not the 16,000+ number.

Why? Because branches come and go as part of how cities change. Yes, the temporary or permanent loss of a branch affects those served by it, but it’s of a different nature than the shutdown of an entire public library system. (Library branches also appear more easily than full library systems…)

The latest response to these questions has pointed me to IMLS “spreadsheets” saying that I could parse them and get the answers for myself. (The anonymous commenter Michael Golrick didn’t actually do this, understand–just said I could.) Which would be fine if:

  • What IMLS provided was actually spreadsheets or data that would load into Excel or equivalent. It isn’t. It’s either Access databases or flat files that are neither comma separated nor tab separated and that I could find no easy way to parse. (I tried.) Update: And now, when I try it again (after email from Michael Golrick, I can open the unzipped Access database (or one of the three, at least) in Excel. Why it didn’t work earlier: A mystery. Once I’m done with the manuscript I’m working on–in several weeks–I’ll pore over the documentation and see whether I can, in fact, answer my own question.)
  • The IMLS data provided firm evidence of closures. I have no idea whether or not that’s true.
So far, I still don’t have an answer, and I’m beginning to suspect that one doesn’t exist. But…

The net number appears to be negative

As I was looking at IMLS offerings, I did open the Public Libraries Survey Fiscal Year 2009,

And in the executive summary I found this bullet point:

“The number of public libraries has increased over the past 10 years.”

Later, I saw text that suggested there were 151 more public libraries in 2009 than a decade before.

It’s not clear to me whether IMLS means 151 more outlets (branches) or 151 more entities (libraries and library agencies). In either case, it’s a net increase, which says a lot about the flood of stories about how public libraries are shutting down all over the place. (In one case, it’s about a 1.6% increase; in the other, it’s about 0.9%.)

My question still stands: How many public libraries (not branches) have actually closed for extended periods, let’s say two years or more? How many of these are in towns and cities that have not become ghost towns?

Yes, there are budgetary problems. (When aren’t there?) Yes, public libraries need more funding.

But to me the primary effect of the “public libraries are closing all over the place!” meme is self-fulfilling prophecy and grist for the mill of libertarians and those who dislike public libraries: Oh well, they’re already shutting down like crazy, that’s just the way it is.

Which, as I suspected, is simply not true.

Watch this space (and a question)

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

I believe I’ll be a bit more active on this blog in the coming weeks and, especially, months.

As part of that activity, I want to do some cleanup of existing posts and categories, in order to make the categories a little more useful. (I also plan to add a new category or two.)

There are a whole bunch of posts that are outdated, and some of them really don’t have any significance any more. I could do two things with those posts:

  1. Get rid of them.
  2. Eliminate existing categories and categorize them as something like “Archived crap”

Your suggestions or other alternatives are welcome (as long as they’re not spam).


Cites & Insights 12:1 (January-February 2012) available

Friday, January 20th, 2012

I won’t say Cites & Insights is really back from hiatus, but for now let’s say “irregularly published.”

Cites & Insights Volume 12, Issue 1 (January-February 2012) is now available for downloading at

The 20-page issue, PDF as usual, contains three sections, each separately available in HTML form (the subheadings are links):

Bibs & Blather    pp. 1-7

Announcing The Librarian’s Guide to Micropublishing and why (almost) every public library and (many) academic libraries need it–and some notes on the virtues of professional editing. Also announcing the availability of Cites & Insights 11 (2011) in book form and offering some numbers for Cites & Insights readership in 2011, some not-very-meaningful notes about most-read posts in Walt at Random (which increasingly seems to be “read” mostly by spiders and spammers), and repeating my Prospectus: An Ongoing Public Library Social Network Scan.

Making it Work: It’s Academic (or Not)    pp. 7-12

Why I don’t plan to write much about academic libraries in future Cites & Insights issues and some of my beliefs about academic libraries. Also some notes on “Academic Libraries in Facebook: An Analysis of Users’ Comments,” an article I had lots of trouble with, after finding that the only discussion of that article I could find was by a certain pseudonymous blogger (who increasingly appears to be named Spencer, unless that’s the snarky-comment-responder lackey).

Offtopic Perspective: 50 Movie Box Office Gold, Part 1   pp. 13-20

I did pay attention to the handful of people who expressed sadness about the hiatus and possible termination of this ejournal–and the parts they liked. So if you were hoping that Offtopic Perspectives and My Back Pages would go away, well, guess again. Not quite the first half of a 50-pack of all-color, mostly recent, movies, all with fairly big stars: A combination of TV movies, movies with no real US distribution, and other oddities. (Not quite the first half because it’s discs 1-6 of a 13-disc set.)



ITAL goes OA: Hooray

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

I tried to push this when I was LITA Publications Committee chair three years ago, and felt like I was hitting my head against a wall–one of several reasons I only served one year.

But, hey, these things take time.

I’m pleased to note that Information Technology and Libraries, LITA’s peer-reviewed journal, is going gold Open Access (and electronic-only) this year, effective with the March 2012 issue. Here’s the blog post.

I would suggest to LITA that “electronic-only” could and perhaps should have one exception: LITA could make annual print editions available for the few libraries or others who might want them, at no cost to LITA and with almost no trouble (assuming papers will appear in PDF form), using Lulu as a vendor. My new book (The Librarian’s Guide to Micropublishing) includes a chapter that’s mostly on this topic.

In any case:

Congratulations, LITA.

[How many more divisional refereed journals does ALA have to go before it’s a truly shining example of gold OA?]

50 Movie Comedy Kings Disc 7

Monday, January 9th, 2012

The Lady Says No, 1951, b&w. Frank Ross (dir.), Joan Caulfield, David Niven, James Robertson Justice, Lenore Lonergan, Frances Bavier. 1:20 [1:22]

The setup: An unmarried photographer for Life (Niven) is driving to Carmel to photograph a young woman who’s written a bestseller opposing romance—The Lady Says No. He’s towing a trailer containing his photo equipment. He stops for a comely young hitchhiker—who, as it happens, is married and brings along her soldier husband. She insists that they stop a little farther down the road, packing the car with another five or six soldiers and girlfriends. They all want to go to Monterey (where the action is)—but first, he has to make his Carmel stop.

When he does, he assumes the aunt is actually the author, not the beautiful young woman. After various nonsense, he tells her to show up the next day at the beach, and goes off to Monterey. Then, the aunt’s wandering husband shows up and…oh, well, there’s just too much plot to summarize. As you might expect, the photographer convinces the woman that romance isn’t such a terrible thing. It’s all light, including an interesting dream sequence. Not great, but amusing. I found it more than a little sexist, which reduces the overall score to $1.25.

Life With Father, 1947, color, Michael Curtiz (dir.), William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor, Zasu Pitts. 1:58.

Previously reviewed in Family Classics 50 Movie Pack: See Cites & Insights 5:4. What I said then, with price modified for changing expectations:

Charming period family comedy based on Clarence Day’s own writing about his father, wife, four sons, and complex household. Taylor—two years older than in National Velvet, and already a beauty—has a secondary but important part. Well acted. Good print with occasional flecks and, near the end, a vertical streak. $1.50, reduced for damage.

I haven’t watched this version at all. With less damage, I’d give it a full $2: It’s a fine comedy.

Lonely Wives, 1931, b&w. Russell Mack (dir.), Edward Everett Horton, Esther Ralston, Laura La Plante, Patsy Ruth Miller, Spencer Charters, Maude Eburne. 1:25.

This one’s a knockabout farce with a lawyer prone to “blooming” (infidelity) after 8 p.m., his wife gone to the mountains (but returning by surprise), his mother-in-law trying to keep him from blooming, a new secretary with quite a walk…and a vaudeville impersonator who wants to add the (famous) lawyer to his act. Oh, and a nervous butler and French maid. And the impersonator’s wife…who’s brought into it by her friend, the secretary, on the basis that she can get the lawyer to get her a divorce, cheap, if she plays along on a date.

Put them all together, mix with the lawyer’s bet that if the impersonator can fool the mother-in-law (and give the lawyer an out to spend the night, um, blooming), he can add the lawyer to his act…and it’s supposed to be hilarious (and risqué!), especially the last 20-25 minutes. Maybe it is. Edward Everett Horton certainly gives it his best shot. But, well, I found myself nodding off in early parts and regarding the last part as more action than comedy. Maybe that’s just me. Not just me: The print’s a little soft, and the sound’s pretty bad, with dialog getting softer and louder for no apparent reason. All considered, I can’t possibly give this more than $1.

Peck’s Bad Boy With the Circus, 1938, b&w. Edward F. Cline (dir.), Tommy Kelly, Ann Gillis, Edgar Kennedy, Benita Hume, Billy Gilbert, Grant Mitchell, Nana Bryant, George ‘Spanky’ McFarland, William Demarest. 1:18 [1:06]

I find this movie almost impossible to review entirely out of context—except to note that it’s a good example of how to pad a 20-minute plot out to feature-film (albeit short feature) length, in this case by including whole gobs of circus acts, some of them twice.

The basic plot: our hero, a “bad boy” in the prankster sense of “he’s a caution!” rather than one of the future thugs in a “cute” Boys or Kids series that will go unnamed, is such a caution (finding a frog and putting it in his soup bowl at lunch) that his parents tell him he can’t go to camp as they’re going on their fishing vacation—and he’s planning to win the obstacle race the third year in a row, which would mean he could keep the cup that he shines incessantly.

Just as they’re leaving, the husband and wife, separately, each relents and gives him $5 to cover the train ride to the camp and his expenses. (Hmm. $5 in 1938 would be $76 in 2010. Still a pretty cheap train ride and camp expenses.) But he goes out to hang with his buds and discovers that a circus is coming to town, that day, one night only. In ensuing plot twists, he loses his $10, he winds up in a girl’s dress, he…well, of course there’s a happy ending.

It’s padded all to pieces but it is good fun, probably the more so if you’re a fan of the series (of which this is apparently the third and last). Good cast, including one of Spanky McFarland’s few appearances as somebody other than Spanky. It’s also missing 12 minutes, apparently. I come up with $1.25.

A library is…: A possible offshoot of a social network scan

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

On January 4, 2012, I posted “Prospectus: An Ongoing Public Library Social Network Scan.” I’m still hoping to see some results from this (hey, hope is a good thing). Meanwhile, I recalled something that I’d thought about while finishing the fall 2011 partial scan.

To wit: Lots of public libraries have mottoes or sayings on their websites (and probably elsewhere). Not all, by any means; I’d guesstimate 1/3, but that’s a NSWAG (non-scientific wild-ass guess).

Those mottoes are frequently interesting as tiny indications of what libraries are, or regard themselves as.

It might be fun and, I don’t know, uplifting to have a collection of these mottoes. I’m calling it “A library is…” for the moment, although I suspect only a minority of the sayings could be used to complete that statement.

If there’s interest, and if I get funding, preparing that collection could be an offshoot. It certainly wouldn’t be worth looking at all 9,000+ libraries (or the 8,000+, at a guess, that have websites) to find them, but if I was there anyway, capturing and organizing them would be a minor extra task.

Does this seem intriguing to anybody else? (Does the project in general seem intriguing to anyone else?)

If I try the Kickstarter route, A library is… would almost certainly be one of the thank-you items, especially since it could be offered at four or five different levels (PDF or EPUB or HTML; softcover book; autographed softcover book; hardcover book; autographed hardcover book).

Just another thought…

The Librarian’s Guide to Micropublishing: Get it!

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

I’m delighted to say that The Librarian’s Guide to Micropublishing: Helping Patrons and Communities Use Free and Low-Cost Publishing Tools to Tell Their Stories is now available both in paperback (preorder for a few more days) from the publisher, Information Today, Inc. and in casewrap hardcover from Lulu, at 25% off today and tomorrow.

The paperback (I have my author’s copies, and it looks great!) is $49.50 (usual disclaimer: I have absolutely nothing to do with setting prices) but $37.13 on preorder sale.

The hardcover (it just became available yesterday, so i don’t have my copies yet) is $59.95, but for today and tomorrow you can use Lulu’s coupon code “ONEMORETHING” to save 25%, bringing it down to $45.

About the hardcover

The hardcover version does two things:

  1. It makes a prebound version available for libraries that want a hardcover copy for circulation. I believe this book is going to be widely used by patrons at thousands of libraries. It’s a casewrap hardcover–that is, the cover design is part of the binding itself–so there’s no issue with laminating paper jackets.
  2. It’s a proof of concept. This book is about producing attractive, high-quality books without spending any new money on software (assuming you have Word–or, although it’s more difficult, OpenOffice or LibreOffice). Part of the process of preparing the book was polishing a good general-purpose 6×9 (trade paperback/most hardbound) book template for Word, something that hasn’t been freely available. The book itself uses the template, with no special modification. And, other than the title pages/copyright page and the two ad pages at the back of the book, the body of the book is a PDF generated directly from Word2010, not using Adobe Acrobat. The same PDF is used for both paperback and hardcover–but the hardcover is itself a prime and pure example of what the book’s talking about, producing books in very small numbers without compromising on appearance or quality. The book walks the talk; the hardcover version is proof of that.

Who needs this book?

I’ve been saying that every public library (in the U.S. and in other English-speaking countries where Lulu offers its services or CreateSpace is available) needs this book. That’s probably a little grandiose, although the possibility of adding a new community/creative service to your patrons without any cost (other than a copy of the book), especially a service that speaks to long-form text, strikes me as worthwhile for even the libraries serving fewer than 100 people. (As part of my next book project, I’m now even more acutely aware of the sheer heterogeneity of America’s 9,000-odd public libraries: I’ve attempted to view the web pages of 5,958 of them. So far.)

So I’ll offer some examples of libraries that should specifically find this book more than worth the price. Oh, and it’s potentially useful for a number of academic and special libraries as well: More on that shortly.

  • Libraries serving genealogists and family historians: You say there’s a link or tab on your homepage specifically dealing with genealogy? You need this book. Where there’s an amateur genealogist or a family historian, there’s a micropublished book waiting to appear: A book that will probably only be produced in a few or a few dozen copies but will be important to those families (and the local history group). Now that maybe half the libraries in the country are taken care of…
  • Libraries with teen or adult writing classes or groups: You probably want to produce a collection at the end of a successful class or as part of a group’s cycle. You can do so without requiring capital at all, and it can look great. This book shows you how. Oh, and quite a few of those writers probably want a durable example of what they’ve done, their own book (possibly 24 pages of poems, possibly a 400-page epic) as a showpiece that might or might not morph into a major publication. This book shows them how–and, by the way, we’ve provided a special copyright exception so that, within reason, you can legally copy the chapters of this book they’ll need as they’re preparing their own books, as long as your library’s purchased one copy.
  • Libraries serving local historians and historical societies: While family histories may be the most widespread examples of books that work best through micropublishing, there are also lots of local historians (and historical societies) out there who have manuscripts that deserve very short-run book publication and don’t especially want to spend a few $thousand to make that possible. With this book, all they need is Word (and not necessarily even that). Your library can be the center of this creative process that builds community.
  • Libraries serving writers who aren’t part of a writing group: One great thing about micropublishing is that neither Lulu nor CreateSpace claim any intellectual property rights whatsoever. They’re not publishers; they’re service agencies. (The trivial exception: If you use their free ISBNs–and for Lulu, you don’t need to–then they’re the publisher of record for that edition. But the writer still owns the copyright and all rights in everything except those 13 digits.) With this book, those writers can get started with real books, handsome books–and if there’s enough interest, there’s nothing stopping them from taking it to a traditional publisher. (The library could create a great community service by finding ways for writers to swap editorial services, since the best editing and copyediting really does require other eyes than the writer’s.)
  • I’m sure there are other cases I haven’t thought of here–but the ones listed here cover nearly every community, I suspect, including most of the smallest communities. Is there somebody in Whale Pass, Alaska (not quite the smallest LSA population at 31, but the smallest library that I know of with a Facebook page) who could benefit from this book? I wouldn’t be surprised…

Academic and special libraries

This book is primarily written for public libraries, but one chapter focuses on academic libraries and micropublishing, primarily discussing ejournals. To wit: If your academic library is getting into the open access ejournal business, aren’t there a few authors and libraries who would happily pay to see their work in book form? You can add an annual print edition (assuming the journal publishes less than 750 pages per year) with zero financial outlay or risk, although in this case you do need a copy of Acrobat. The book shows you how. Oh, by the way, at least one academic library is already using Lulu to build a virtual university press…and there will be more.

I know, I know, the patrons of special libraries and the libraries themselves have unlimited funds, so this money-saving technique isn’t relevant. (OK, you can stop laughing; I hope you didn’t choke in the process.) But maybe there are patrons of special libraries and even library projects where a book would be a great outcome–but you know there’s only need for one, five, or fifty copies, and you’re just about ready to go the ugly FedexKinko’s route. This book can show you how to do it better and, quite probably, a little cheaper as well.

That’s the story: The book’s out. I believe it’s the most universally applicable book I’ve ever written, the one that details a new service almost every library can usefully provide and the tools to make that service work. Without any cost to the library–other than the price of the book. What a deal!

A word or two about professional editing

I think I’m a pretty good nonfiction writer: a hack in the best sense of the term. For that matter, I think I’m a better than average self-editor, although that may be delusional.

Cites & Insights is self-edited. My self-published books have been self-edited.

But I’ll suggest that all of my editors–and over the past decades, I’ve dealt with quite a few–will tell you that I’m an easy writer to deal with because I know my writing can always stand improvement. (In practice, I don’t even go back to my original ms. when looking at a galley unless I spot a special problem: I read the galley on its own merits, assuming it represents an improvement over the original.)

This book was unusual because I was literally making all of the changes in the three full cycles and two or three minicycles of editing (line editing, copyediting, “proofreading”). I was sending ITI a PDF; they were returning the PDF with “stickies” (comments, which really do work a little like Post-Its) for editorial and proofreading suggestions. There were literally hundreds of such proposed changes (many of them as small as correcting my bad habit of overusing em dashes, one of them proposing a complete rewrite of a chapter). I had to evaluate each change, since I was the only one who could actually make the changes.

I believe I made 99% of the proposed changes, maybe more. I know the book is the better for the cycles of professional editing it received from John B. Bryans, Amy Reeve and Brandi Scardilli (and possibly others whose names I’ve forgotten). I know the book is better for M. Heide Dengler’s advice and cooperation in refining the book template–professional advice that’s reflected in the free .dotx, .dot and .odt templates available for book buyers to use and modify. And, to be sure, the book benefits from professional indexing; in that case, I’m not a hack so much as a talentless hack, so I really appreciate the quality of the index. (They sent the index to me as a Word document, so I just imported it into the manuscript before using the “Save and Send button to prepare the final PDF.) And, of course, I anticipate considerable benefit from the professional marketing skills of Rob Colding.

(I should also thank Robin Hastings, James LaRue and Maurice Coleman for the excellent blurbs they provided after seeing the unedited version of the book. As soon as I receive my hardcover copies, their autographed copies will be on their way…)

So there it is. It’s a book I’m proud of, a book I believe thousands of libraries can benefit from, to the benefit of their patrons and communities. Go buy it. Oh, and I’m available to talk about micropublishing or hold workshops…for a fee.