Never underestimate the power of good editing and focused writing

Laura Crossett sent me a fine reminder of the worth of good editing and focused writing. She looked at the core paragraph in this post (down below the first two horizontal rules) and offered an alternative version, which is far superior to what I wrote.

Here’s her version:

Your public library is in competition with a lot of other agencies–city, county, district, even state–for money. You want your library to sustain its current services and expand them in the future. You know you get a lot of bang for your buck, but how do you show that to the people who hold the purse strings? One way is to use the data in Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four. Walt Crawford has compiled, analyzed, and organized library funding and service data from all around the United States. Give Us a Dollar will let you compare your services to those of other similar libraries at a glance and will help give you the data you need to show your funders how much you already stretch their dollars–and how much more you could provide with even a few dollars more.

She also asked who I thought the key audiences were, and I came up with some answers–leading to the first part of the now-revised post.

So, if you’re a library consultant, public librarian, state library person or library school person–please go read the original post again (specifically the top part) and let me know: Does this sound interesting?

To clarify: Telling me “this might be interesting” or “this might be worthwhile” is not saying “And I’ll buy a copy.” No obligation or expectation of any sort.

And if enough people do think it’s interesting, I will find a way to thank the six libraries who did buy the preliminary version (so far), if only by providing a substantially discounted version of the much-improved book.

And, well, what I say in the post title: Never underestimate the power of good editing and focused writing.


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