April 28, 2013
I’m working on a “Publisher’s Pledge to the Library Community” that we will release soon. I’ve put out some feelers regarding what people want to see in this pledge, and one concern came up that I feel is too complex in its implications to respond to in a bullet point on the pledge, and that is “timeliness of publication.” It turned out that this question was coming from an author’s perspective, which is fairly valid for the purposes of a pledge to the library community, since most book authors in the professional literature are librarians and many librarians have publishing expectations as a part of their job responsibilities. The question of timeliness is also relevant to collection development and acquisitions librarians, both in terms of the timeliness of the content of a book in the context of its use and in terms of organizing the process of buying books based on publishers’ advertised publication dates. In terms of advertised publication dates, I will readily admit that Litwin Books and Library Juice Press have not always published our books by the advertised publication dates, and can say in our defense only that it is difficult to work on that kind of a schedule when much of the work is subject to factors we can’t control. Among these factors may be other responsibilities of contractors to whom we send production work, permissions issues, and the ability of editors of collections to submit their manuscripts on time (given that they too have issues beyond their control that can affect their schedules, especially for work that is not their primary responsibility in life). So there are factors that are difficult or impossible to control that can affect how long it takes to bring a work to publication once we have announced it and set an expected publication date. As a result I have begun to build in a longer period of time for the expected publication date, for the sake of truth in advertising.
There is always the possibility of cutting corners to make the work go faster, and we avoid doing this, because quality has a different balance point with timeliness in book publishing than it does with faster forms of publishing in the information ecology. Often, I feel that an expectation of “timeliness” of topics is a little misplaced with regard to books. The long form and permanent nature of the book format gives room for the long view as an intellectual approach. I think the perspective of time is one of the contributions that book publishing has made culturally, and not only because we have a lot of old books around. The format encourages work that takes a long time to write, work that is the product of reflection over greater spans of time. Not all forms of book publishing are like this or should be like this. Software manuals, for example, become useless quickly. In academic subjects, the intellectual duration of long-form works can vary by discipline and sub-discipline. My feeling as a book publisher, though, is that if people are less interested in books than they used to be and read fewer of them (which may or may not be true, if you want to be inclusive of e-books, and we are), then the importance of long-form publishing for creating a space for intellectual culture has only increased. Compromises with faster forms of publishing represent compromises with the long view. Timeleness isn’t exactly irrelevant, but I want it to be in balance with quality, and with something that with some exaggeration I will call “timelessness,” by which I mean that I want to publish books that will be of interest to people in ten or twenty years and not just next year, and a few books that will be of interest for much longer than that.
So that is what I bring with me to conversations with impatient authors or contributors to edited volumes. Often, their impatience is based in part on a lack of understanding of all that is involved in the publication process. We had a problem with a book recently that was held up for a long period because the editors had personal issues to deal with, but because they didn’t communicate about this with contributors, we as a publishing house took the heat (and it had to do with people’s tenure portfolios, among other things). So I have experience with authors who have had serious issues regarding timeliness of publication. But because it is not always possible to make people happy regarding their expectations of timeliness, I don’t feel it’s possible to make “timeliness of publication” a promise in our pledge to the library community.
What about the option of saying that we will “make every effort to ensure timeliness of publication,” as was suggested to me by the person who brought this up? That would allow us to avoid promising what ends up being impossible. The problem I have with that option, though, is that it places too much stress on the value of timeliness in a form of publishing that is less about timeliness than other forms. So I have arrived at this:
“We pledge to balance timeliness, quality, and ‘timelessness’ in our choice of book projects and our processes for bringing them to publication.”
I’m interested in readers’ feedback on this.
April 24, 2013
Letter from the CILIP International Library and Information Group:
In the interest of international cooperation and experience-sharing, I would like to invite you to join the Hosts Directory and help make it a global resource.
So what is it?
The Hosts Directory is exactly that – a list of international librarians who are willing to host, for a day or two, a fellow library and information worker who is visiting their city or region. Hosts are located across the world – please see the Map of hosts at www.tinyurl.com/CILIPHostsMaps . All information is anonymous and you will not be put in contact with a guest without agreeing beforehand – the idea is that you will be able to stay with a professional colleague when attending a conference, event or just travelling abroad rather than in a hotel.
All you need is a spare bed or room and the desire to meet colleagues from other countries, to share experiences and to contribute, in a small way, to building bridges to international understanding and co-operation within the library and information profession. Guidance for potential Hosts is also available online at www.tinyurl.com/CILIPHostsGuide.
Please help us expand the directory by registering online at www.tinyurl.com/CILIPHostsRegistration.
For the visitor – the guest – it is a chance to get to know, at first hand, something of the life of a fellow professional in a foreign country as well as the opportunity to stay with a colleague for free or at limited cost.
If you would like to use the Hosts Directory as a guest, please first check the Map of hosts at www.tinyurl.com/CILIPHostsMaps to see there are Hosts in the area you are visiting and email the Hosts Directory Administrator at email@example.com with details of who you are, where you want to and how long they want to stay.
Please feel free to pass this information onto colleagues who may also be interested.
Facebook: International Library and Information Group
ILIG YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/CILIPILIG
April 13, 2013
LISdocstudents is an unmoderated email discussion list for doctoral students in Library and Information Studies, working at any institution. The purpose is to communicate with other doctoral students about shared issues, be they intellectual questions in the field, problems facing emerging academics on the path through graduate school and into academic careers, issues having to do with trends in higher ed and LIS as a discipline, or other topics that seem appropriate. Announcements are good too. Doctoral students in LIS are the main constituency of the list, but masters students, graduate students in other fields, and professors are invited to participate.
April 11, 2013
In this 6-course certificate program, you will gain competency as a coder in XML and RDF-based systems that create, transform, manage, and disseminate content and metadata. Typically, these are the structures at the heart of content management systems, repositories, and digital libraries. Topics covered include XML fundamentals, XPath, DTDs and Schemas, standard markup languages, XSLT and Xquery, the semantic web, RDFa and RDFa Lite, RSS, ontologies and linked data, and the SPARQL semantic query language and protocol.
Courses in the series:
1. Introduction to XML
2. Transforming and Querying XML: An introduction to the XSLT and Xquery
3. Introduction to the Semantic Web
4. RDFa1.1 (RDFa and RDFa Lite) and RSS
5. Ontologies and Linked Data
6. The SPARQL semantic query language and protocol – the Semantic Web in action
These courses are four-weeks in duration and taught asynchronously.
These courses work best if taken in sequence, as the sequence builds on knowledge gained, but we have no formal prerequisites in place. If you need to take them out of sequence, feel free to contact us about your situation.
The cost for each course is $175, but you can register for all six courses in the program at once and receive a 10% discount.
March 27, 2013
In this 6-course certificate program, you will learn the fundamentals of user experience (UX) and how to apply user-centered strategies to library websites and beyond. The program begins by teaching you the key concepts of UX design and how to employ them in your website projects. Next, you will learn the ins and outs of information architecture: how to structure and organize your content so that it is both discoverable and navigable in the easiest way possible. The next two courses will give you the tools to continually get feedback on your website through usability testing and other research methods. You will then learn how to better write for the web so that once your users discover your content, they can both understand it and act on it. Finally, you will learn how you can create a website content strategy, so that from that point forward all your content will be useful, usable, and findable. All together, these courses cover a breadth of topics that will equip you with the skills necessary to create, manage, and sustain library websites that provide an excellent user experience.
Courses in the series:
Designing a Usable Website (Concepts of User-Centered Design)
Instructor: Carolyn Ellis
Information Architecture: Designing Navigation for Library Websites
Instructor: Susan Teague-Rector
Do-It-Yourself Usability Testing
Instructor: Rebecca Blakiston
Beyond Usability Testing: Other Research Methods
Instructor: Sonali Mishra
Writing for the Web
Instructor: Nicole Capdarest and Rebecca Blakiston
Developing a Website Content Strategy
Instructor: Rebecca Blakiston
These courses need not be taken in sequence for the purposes of earning the Certificate in User Experience, and none have prerequisites. Contact us for more information.
March 12, 2013
Library Juice Academy is starting a webinar series on “Creative Solutions in Academic Libraries,” and this is a call for presenters.
There is no shortage of discussion about “problems faced by academic libraries” at the big scale, regarding trends in higher education and technology, where the approach to these problems is mainly a question of strategic planning. There is less attention to the small scale problems that academic librarians solve in the process of adapting services and processes to a changing environment or to new plans. These solutions to small scale problems can be in the realm of technological kludges or hacks, organizational adjustments, creative ideas in outreach, procedural changes, questioning and revision of “the way we do things” in a specific sense, recognition of areas where “what didn’t work before” can work now, time management strategies, and others.
We are looking for presenters for a series of monthly webinars where academic librarians will share a creative solution that may be helpful to librarians in other institutions. These hour-long webinars will likely include two 20-minute presentations and a period for discussion, with presentations grouped by theme. Presentations may be by individuals or groups. There will be monetary compensation for presenters based on the number of paying attendees.
If you have an idea for a presentation that would fit this webinar series, contact Rory Litwin at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can discuss it.
Thanks, and I look forward to your ideas.
February 21, 2013
Library Juice Academy Webinar Series:
What’s New with Gary Price
In these fast-paced sessions Gary Price shares a handful of the latest and most useful web resources, tools, and search techniques he’s been posting and sharing on LJ’s infoDOCKET.
Plus, each session focuses on a special topic loaded with resources and discussion.
Topics include online privacy and security, current awareness tools, real time information sources, ethical issues for the 21st Century librarian, personal information archiving, and online productivity tools.
The goal of each webinar is to:
- Teach you about several resources and tools you were unaware of when the program started;
- Give you resources and techniques to share with your colleagues;
- Provide ideas for tools and topics to share your users;
- Make you a more well-rounded info professional.
Of course, Gary will welcome questions and comments as each session progresses.
Webinars are $25 per session for a single seat, or purchase a pack of ten seats for $150 (good for simultaneous viewings by multiple people at an institution or by a single person over multiple future sessions, i.e. a subscription).
Gary Price is a librarian, author, and an online information analyst based in suburban Washington, DC. He is the co-founder and co-editor of infoDOCKET and FullTextReports.com, and a contributing editor at Search Engine Land. Price is a frequent speaker at professional and trade conferences, a contributor to Searcher and Information Today, and co-author (with Chris Sherman) of The Invisible Web, published by CyberAge Books.
February 14, 2013
I have just done an interview with Katie Cunningham, instructor for two upcoming courses with Library Juice Academy: Connecting with Spanish-Speaking Communities, and Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca. Katie is a library consultant and training specialist whose work focuses on improving library services to Latino and Spanish-speaking children and families. I enjoyed interviewing her, and I think it is a good read for anyone interested in these issues in the context of their own workplace.
January 10, 2013
This is just a quick shout-out to Courtney Mlinar and her Library Professional Development blog. She has done a great job with it since taking it over a few months ago. Courtney has been working hard to dig up information about professional development opportunities. If you are in the market for professional development, you should check it out.
January 8, 2013
I have just done an interview with Melissa Adler, instructor for Library Juice Academy’s cataloging courses. Melissa is a recent graduate of the PhD program in LIS at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a cataloger as well. Our interview gives a good sense of the content of her two courses with Library Juice Academy and what she is like as an instructor.
January 7, 2013
Radical Reference has posted its live video recordings of its Critical Librarianship Symposium in Boston, which was held by the local Radical Reference Collective there on November 17th. Participants in the symposium were Susie Husted, Maria Carpenter, Akunna Eneh, Laura Foner, Alana Kumbier, Ryan Livergood, and Bill Mongelli. I hope they organize many more events such as this at their local collectives, and who knows, maybe on a national scale as well, parallel to ALA perhaps.
January 2, 2013
December 20, 2012
I have just done an interview with Julie Edwards, instructor for our upcoming class, “Diversity Plans for Academic Libraries.” Julie is the Ethnic Studies Librarian and the Multicultural Coordinator at the Mansfield Library at the University of Montana. Her interview has insights about the organizational issues involved in promoting diversity in academic libraries. You can get a good sense from this interview of what you would have to gain from taking her class.
December 15, 2012
Library Juice Academy is starting a new thing: the Sponsor a Librarian program. If you are an unemployed librarian, you can set up a profile on the project website, which others can use to donate funds so that you can take classes with Library Juice Academy to keep your skills up to date. Ours is a profession based on mutual support, and we hope this system will facilitate the kind of mutual assistance that keeps our profession bound together. It depends on participation in order to work, so if you’re unemployed, please set up a profile, and if you’re willing to help someone else, check back in a week and there should be some profiles of unemployed librarians needing assistance for their continuing education…
December 14, 2012
You can buy gift certificates from Library Juice Press and Litwin Books (and Auslander & Fox as well). You can pay for a gift certificate in an amount of your choosing with funds in your PayPal account or with a credit card.