Archive for November 13th, 2013

This one looks better than I expected

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Lulu had a creators-only sale a little while back, letting us order our own publications for a hefty discount (creators only pay production costs anyway, but this was quite a bit lower).

I lucked out in one sense: Cites & Insights 13 (2013) — which is pretty spectacular, and a real bargain — was ready to go just in time to get the discount.

I also used the discount to buy a copy of The inCompleat Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four–which I hadn’t purchased yet. It’s big (425 pages, 8.5″ x 11″), essentially the same size (thickness) as C&I 13.

Both books arrived today.

I’m blown away by how well inCompleat came out. Of course I’d seen all the pages on the screen as I was working on them, albeit never a full-size version of the cover (a wraparound cover with a two mosaics of public library website images), but seeing the real thing is a revelation.

The tables are considerably easier to read than in the original Give Us a Dollar (larger type, considerably wider). The scatterplots and other graphs are much nicer than I expected. And the combination of text, tables and graphs works really well.

I’m trying to avoid flogging this, but I have to admit, if you want the detailed view of public library benefits and budgets provided for 2010, I think this big paperback is the way to go. ($4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets is better in some ways and more up to date, but it’s also a less detailed breakdown–and at this point, it’s beginning to look unlikely that Volume 2, libraries by state, will ever appear. The equivalent is included in inCompleat as pages 225-415.)

Just sayin’: It came out better than I expected, and I think it’s a useful book.

And don’t forget: From now through Friday, November 15, coupon code CORNUCOPIA gets you 20% off.

Making Book 7: Marc for Library Use, Second Edition

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Shortly after G.K. Hall purchased the Professional Librarian Series from Knowledge Industry, the series editor asked me whether the time was ripe for a revised version of MARC for Library Use, which was still selling reasonably well. I responded that the completion of format integration (moving from a group of format-specific MARC formats to one integrated USMARC format) would be a good time to do that.

To some extent, a secondary motivation for the original book was to promote the idea of format integration. RLG staff began preparing proposals for such integration in 1984 and worked with others (at OCLC, LC and elsewhere) to refine those proposals over the years. The proposals were turned into reality during the MARBI sessions at Midwinter and Annual 1988—but, after having worked on the proposals for years, I was not at those two MARBI sessions. Because of changes in my position at RLG and other factors, I declined reappointment to MARBI for 1987-89 and moved from being an active participant to an interested observer.

Thus the subtitle of the second edition: Understanding Integrated USMARC. I refreshed and updated the earlier material—and also added occurrence tables for commonly-used fields in each material type, based on the test runs done for Bibliographic Displays in the Online Catalog and a new test run of over 600,000 records done in August 1988.

In addition to extensive updates and refinement, the second edition also added a chapter on format integration and a chapter on nonroman text (with samples from RLG cataloging, since RLG was a leader in establishing nonroman character sets, eventually working with a number of companies to establish UNICODE).

I’m guessing that most of you (if there are many of you!) who’ve seen or used MARC for Library Use used this edition—a 6″ x 9″ 358-page book (hardcover and paperback). It appeared in 1989. It did very well.

A note on production: While I’m pretty sure I produced camera-ready copy for some of my earlier books, I’m 100% certain of that in this case: there’s a colophon on the last page. It was set in Zapf Calligraphic, an updated version of Palatino designed by Hermann Zapf (who designed Palatino) for Bitstream as one of a series optimized for digital typography. Except for a few figures (added later), I prepared all pages using Ventura Publisher and an HP LaserJet Series II printer. (In some ways, I miss Ventura Publisher—but it didn’t play well with Windows, especially after Corel took it over. I do not miss the brutally expensive HP LaserJet, which ran hot and noisy, but it produced high-quality typography at a time when that was difficult to do on a budget.)

Crawford, Walt. MARC for Library Use, Second Edition: Understanding Integrated USMARC. Professional Librarian Series. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1989. ISBN 0-8161-1887-6. ISBN 0-8161-1889-2 (pbk.)