May 9, 2013
The 2013 Green Book Festival awarded its top honor in the category of Best Business Book to Greening Libraries, edited by Monika Antonelli and Mark McCullough and published by Library Juice Press.
Greening Libraries provides library professionals with a collection of articles and papers that serve as a portal to understanding a wide range of green and sustainable practices within libraries and the library profession. The book’s articles come from a variety of perspectives on a range of topics related to green practices, sustainability and the library profession. Aspects of the growing “green library movement” covered include green buildings, alternative energy resources, conservation, green library services and practices, operations, programming, and outreach.
The Green Book Festival gives awards in a number of categories, as well as overall best and honorable mention awards, which makes it a useful collection development tool for librarians.
May 3, 2013
Emily Drabinski is the editor of a book series with Litwin Books and Library Juice Press, titled, “Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies.” Originally it was “Gender and Sexuality in Librarianship,” but pretty quickly it was clear from the titles that she was lining up that the emphasis was going to be on theoretical topics that would be of interest to scholars outside the library profession, so we updated the title. It occurred to me that this would be a good time to do an interview with Emily about the series and the books that are coming up in it, and Emily agrees. So, Emily, thanks for doing this interview.
I think the way I’d like to do this is really just to get you to talk about the series and describe the upcoming books. I don’t think I have an accurate memory of how it got started, so do you want to start by telling that story? Did it derive from a particular book project?
I’m also not sure how this book series got started! It’s funny how short my memory has gotten. Thank god for google–searching back through my gmail I see that we started talking about the series in 2009, just as I was finishing up the editing work on Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods (with Maria Accardi and Alana Kumbier). At the time I was also circling around questions of intersections of critical work on gender and sexuality and library organization systems in my own work. We first met at the UW-Milwaukee Thinking Critically conference in 2008, where I presented a paper about queer geography and library shelf space, and I’m guessing that’s what put me in your head as someone with some content interest.
I also had editorial and clerical interest in the series. It turns out that I like working with other people on their work more than I like working on my own work, at least some of the time. I love talking to people about their ideas, shaping editorial calls, looking through raw copy for the heart of the story. It’s like an intimate friendship with ideas, and I love it. It also turns out that I’m pretty good at the clerical parts of the job, managing timelines and deadlines, versioning manuscripts, keeping track of contracts, the nuts and bolts of producing books. This is a part of the job I am getting better at. When I was working with Lyz Bly and Kelly Wooten on Make Your Own History, I was new to Dropbox and downloaded all the chapters without realizing that I’d disappeared them from the shared folder. Kelly freaked out a little, and I learned a solid lesson. Now I don’t know what I’d do without that particular cloud.
The first book was Tracy Nectoux’s Out Behind the Desk, a collection of personal stories and critical reflections on being and coming out in libraries. She pitched me the book based on the call for the series, and it felt like a great fit. While other library presses publish work on gender and sexuality studies, I felt like her book would benefit from the context of the series, being part of a set of titles addressing similar questions in a variety of ways.
I think that was a good way to start the series, although the ones you have been working on since are quite different. We published Make Your Own History last year. Do you want to describe that project and how it came about?
Kelly Wooten and Lyz Bly edited the second book in the series. It’s a collection of chapters about the the theory and practice–my favorite mix, and what makes our field so interesting to think and work in–of feminist and queer archives. Their authors are really from all over the place–the academy and activist circles, feminist presses and queer zine collections. It’s a rich set of texts that I think is the first of its kind, and belongs in the hands of theorists, practitioners, and activists. It was also a book that taught me about the importance of contracts and copyright. All of the authors were really aware of copyright issues and made their concerns very known to me–that was helpful! After working together for more than a year on this project, Kelly and I finally got to meet at a reading in Brooklyn at the Feminist Zine Fest, organized by Kate Angell and Elvis Bakaitis. The book gave us a reason to have a public conversation about feminist and queer history. That’s the real power of this series, I think. The titles enable conversations that I think we’re already having, but in a less organized way.
That book has definitely attracted interest and has been a part of conversations, which is very gratifying. That is what I hope to achieve. So we have a number of titles coming up in your series. Would you describe what’s coming up?
It is a busy, busy time for the series, with three books just about to be hot off the presses. First up is the Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader, a collection edited by Patrick Keilty and Becca Dean. I’m thrilled about this project–it does the kind of work that I always wanted to see in the field. They’ve pulled together critical essays from feminist and queer studies and put them against similar work in information studies. So, you’ll have a chapter about the invention of transgender as a legal category next to a chapter about library classifications of identity. The book puts LIS into critical conversation with fields that work as much on classification theory as we do. It’s just fantastic. Then come two monographs. Alana Kumbier is finishing a book about queer archives theory and practice that draws on theoretical work about “the archive” to describe a number of material archives projects as well as their representations. It’s cross-disciplinary in the best way, and will find readers in fields outside of the library. Maria Accardi is completing a primer on feminist pedagogy for teaching librarians. I’m a little in love with this little book. What started as a relatively dry, academic text about feminist theory has morphed into a hybrid memoir/feminist teaching manual. I think it will be the kind of book librarians will turn to again and again–I anticipate many a coffee-stained, dog-eared copy, ripped out lesson plans, . And Rachel Wexelbaum is editing a collection about LGBTQ libraries and archives in the digital world. It’s an exciting and busy time to be involved with this series.
And while all that is going on, you are accepting book proposals and submissions for future projects in the series. How would you define the scope of the series for people who may want to submit something to it? What issues do you hope to address with future titles?
Yes, I am absolutely seeking new projects. The series has both practical and theoretical scopes, and proposals are welcome for either. In terms of practical projects, I’m particularly interested in books that provide a how-to for people in our field, like handbooks to feminist or queer cataloging, or a manual for setting up print or digital community archives for feminist collections. I also think we have room in our field for more abstract explorations of feminist and queer perspectives on knowledge production, organization, and access, as well as the politics of all three of those. I’d like the series to address a broad group of readers, those who want to open a book at 9am and then make something happen by noon, and those interested in reading and thinking through more complex arguments about the foundations and futures of our field. I am also really open to just talking with people who have only the germ of an idea. Dialogue has a way of turning a glimmer into a book for sale, so I hope people will get in touch.
That is wonderful. Readers, you can contact Emily at emily.drabinski at gmail dot com. Regarding communications with readers, I wonder if you could share some of the things that have come about as a result of these books – discussions, projects, etc. What have these books generated? I mean books in this series specifically, not your book on critical library instruction, which has had its own life post-publication.
Well, there are the concrete outcomes that are public and that I can articulate: Maria Accardi’s session about feminist pedagogy at ACRL was a direct outgrowth of her book project, and was quite well received this spring. She also just got tenure at the University of Illinois Southeast, an accomplishment I like to think this book played a hand in. Alana Kumbier presented on a chapter of her upcoming book at Barnard College’s Activism and the Academy conference in 2011 along with Jenna Freedman, who wrote an essay for Kelly Wooten and Lyz Bly’s collection. Out Behind the Desk was nominated for a 2011 Over the Rainbow award, and has been well reviewed in print and online. Kelly Wooten and Jenna Freedman spoke with me at the Feminist Zine Fest in Brooklyn. And then there are the outcomes that we’ll only see later, both in traditional ways (I’m following citations like a hawk!) and in ways less amenable to measurement. One of the reviewers of Tracy Nectoux’s book notes that the collection was “comforting.” I think he meant that he could see from reading the stories of these LGBT librarians that he wasn’t alone. I hope the series can be comforting to many readers in many ways, letting us know that we are not alone in our professional and theoretical conversations, and that they have a home on this series and on this press.
That’s right. Thanks for those links, too. I’m very pleased at the way these books have sent out waves. I hope that with future projects we can expand the range of people who will be comforted and feel included. I think that the way a book can help someone at a personal level is an extremely important aspect of publishing that we don’t normally think about when we think about scholarly communication. Which is not to diminish what could be said about your series from other perspectives.
I am wondering about your own intellectual interests, and when there might be a book in this series written by you. Any thoughts on that?
My own intellectual interests are a little bit all over the map right now–my hands are in a lot of pots as I come to the end of my tenure clock. I’ve been working with the journal Radical Teacher to go open access, and that is taking up a lot of my time. I think we’re just a week or so out from going live at http://radicalteacher.library.pitt.edu. I’m hoping to find venues to share what I learned, particularly about the kinds of worries that people who aren’t librarians have about the open access decision. I recently published the culmination of several years of puzzling through my thinking on what to do about the paradox of queer subject headings: how do we fix in place ideas and identities that change so rapidly and depend so entirely on context? That’s out in the April issue of Library Quarterly. You probably can’t tell by reading it, but it took me a very very long time to figure out how to say the pretty small something I said in that piece. We’ll see what I end up focusing on this summer: ideas of time in information literacy instruction, a curriculum analysis project I’m working on with a colleague, queer theory and retrieval systems, I’m in a bit of a reboot moment. I can’t imagine writing a book at all, let alone a book in this series. I have come to appreciate–and hope some of the authors I’ve worked with appreciate–the real pleasures of the author-editor relationship, especially at the small press scale. If I ever write a book, I think I’ll want to do it with an editor who isn’t me.
Congratulations on your article in Library Quarterly. Sounds like an exciting period, wherever things go from here in your own intellectual work. I think you are a very good editor, but I also hope that it doesn’t pull you away from your own writing too much.
To finish up the interview, I would like to ask if you have advice for writers and thinkers in our field who may have an ambition of publishing in your series or elsewhere. What do you think people should understand at various stages of working toward completion of book projects like the ones you have been editing?
Write every day. That is just the only way to write a book. Nobody sits down and writes a book; lots of people spend a little bit of time writing every day and end up with a book at the end. They aren’t exceptional people; they’re just people who decided to write more often than they didn’t. Make deadlines and meet them. When you feel like you want to stop, call your editor on the phone and let her talk you away from the shredder. And every single part of this process will take more time than you think it will, and it will be worth it. We all want to hear what you have to say.
Thanks very much for this interview, Emily. If I may say so, I think it’s a little bit inspiring!
Thanks, Rory. My work on this series feels like pretty invisible labor most of the time, so I’m glad to get a chance to talk about the project.
May 2, 2013
I want to make people aware of an important new book:
The Stories I Read to the Children: The Life and Writing of Pura Belpré, the Legendary Storyteller, Children’s Author, and New York Public Librarian. Selected, Edited, and Biographical Introduction by Lisa Sánchez González.
This is not a Library Juice Press or Litwin Books publication, but I wish that it were. It’s a landmark book that is too long in coming. Please share this info with anyone interested in Pura Belpré.
March 14, 2013
I have just interviewed Ray Schwartz. Ray is a systems librarian at the William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. He frequently presents on topics relating to the use of many forms of electronic transactional data and datamining. He is teaching a course for Library Juice Academy next month called, “Collecting and Evaluating Electronic Transactions from Library Services.” He agreed to do an interview here to give people a better idea about what will be covered in the class and where he is coming from.
March 13, 2013
I have just interviewed Beth Knazook, an image archivist who has worked for the Ryerson University Archives & Special Collections and as the Photo Archivist for the Stratford Festival of Canada. Her expertise is in photographic preservation and photographic collection management, and that is the subject of her introductory course for Library Juice Academy next month, “What Do I Do With All These Pictures? Getting Started With Digital Image Collections.” Beth agreed to be interviewed to give people a better sense of what they will learn from the class and about her background as an instructor.
March 7, 2013
I have just interviewed Marcus Banks, who is the Director of Library/Academic & Instructional Innovation at Samuel Merritt University. He has a strong interest in new and alternative methods of quantitatively assessing scholarly work, and that is roughly the subject area of the class he is teaching for Library Juice Academy next month: Digital Scholarship: New Metrics, New Modes. Marcus agreed to be interviewed here, to give people a better sense of what his class is about and what they will learn from it.
February 28, 2013
John Chrastka is the former membership director at the American Library Association, and has left that position recently to start a political action committee for library advocacy purposes, called Every Library. This organization is about three months old at this point. I had heard of it and realized that I didn’t know anything about it, so I contacted John and asked him some questions. He agreed to be interviewed for this blog. I think our interview goes into a good degree of depth at explaining what Every Library is doing and how you can be involved.
John, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. I want to start simply by asking you to explain what Every Library is and how it got started.
Rory, I appreciate the chance to connect with your readers about EveryLibrary and our work helping local ballot committees talk to voters about libraries. EveryLibrary grew out of a gap in national library advocacy work. The existing associations and organizations that advocate for and support libraries, like ALA, OCLC, the Gates Foundation, and most state library associations, are all 501c3 organizations. They do great advocacy to the public and decision-makers through projects like Geek the Library, the @yourlibrary campaign, and I Love Libraries. They focus their efforts in bringing advocacy messages about the value, impact, and importance of libraries in our communities and campuses – and in the lives of our users – out to new audiences. Their work in D.C. and state capitals to pass legislation affects issues of access and funding. But none of these advocacy groups or campaigns can say “Vote Yes” to the public, directly, on either ballot measures or candidates. As a 501c3 they are not able to use charitably donated monies to do direct voter outreach to endorse a candidate or ballot measure. EveryLibrary exists to fill in that gap, at least when it comes to local ballots. We are set up as a 501c4 social welfare organization. We are intentionally politically active and are technically the first Super PAC for libraries. And as such, we can do advocacy and talk directly to voters and ask them to Vote Yes for a library ballot measure.
That is really intriguing. So what exactly are Every Library’s activities in terms of talking directly to voters?
EveryLibrary is all about building capacity for library political action at the local level. Somewhere near 97% of all public library funding is appropriated locally. We are set up to help local ballot committees and PACs do voter education, outreach, and get out the vote work. We do that in two ways: providing direct funding to the local committee to do an effective “Vote Yes” campaign, and consulting services to help ensure that the messaging is solid, the voter data is useful, and the volunteers are well trained. You won’t see generic commercials from EveryLibrary. If you live in a district with an EveryLibrary backed ballot measure you will see the local committee’s message about their own library and proposition. We’re transparently behind the scenes.
Where does the funding come from to do this work?
To date, we have received 100% of our funding from individual donors. As a c4, we are not eligible for grants or foundation money. Like other politically active organizations we are looking to both small and large individual donors who believe in our mission. We are reaching out the corporate community both inside and outside the library world. And we are approaching unions and other issue-PACs for resources. We are a lean organization and have very little overhead. Every dollar goes to work helping to win on Election Day.
I think many librarians and other library advocates may not be aware of the importance of donating money for this purpose. What are you doing to raise funds from the public? Are you able to do much with the funding that presently is coming in? What do you feel you need to raise to accomplish your goals in addition to what is coming in now? You’re brand new, so I would imagine some potential donors might want to see a track record that there is no way of showing yet. Is that the case?
I am happy to say that we have our first success already! We backed “Yes for Spokane Libraries” on a Feb 12th, 2013 ballot measure. The Spokane Public Library had a $1.6 million 4-year dedicated levy out to the voters. EveryLibrary provided about 25% of the funding to the “Yes…” committee do voter education and get out the vote. The library ran a great informational campaign but the chance to back an active Vote Yes campaign – with phone banking, yard signs, and a little door-to-door canvassing – was wonderful. They won with 66% of the vote. Having EveryLibrary there in such a substantial way was important for them and for us. All that funding came from individual donors.
We have a funding plan in place that will provide us with the resources we need to support several dozen campaigns in the 2014 election cycle while laying the foundation for to support any campaign we’d want in 2015 and beyond. Our fundraising plan is to continue to ask for donations from librarians and library supporters but to broaden the ask to the general public. Whether it is direct mail or telephone solicitations, both cost money to do. We know that we need to build capacity for campaigns so we’re going to be out there doing that kind of fundraising in the fall. But until that time we’re working on telling our story about supporting libraries at the ballot box to some key larger donors who can support our early work.
You referred to Every Library as a “Super Pack,” and mentioned local PACs working on ballot measures, saying that Every Library assists them. What is a Super Pack, technically speaking? And also, regarding the behind-the-scenes work that Every Library does to help local efforts, can you talk about the expertise that your group offers to the local ballot organizers or PACs, what specifically you are doing for them?
The term Super PAC refers to the way we’re organized. As a 501c4 we are a Social Welfare Organization and our charter makes it clear that we do not work on candidates for office at any level of government. Other “regular” PACs do candidates. Super PACs can raise funds from individuals, corporations, unions, and other PACs to support their particular issues – and expend funds to advocate for their issues. Our issue is libraries and our mode of advocacy as a Super PAC for libraries is to work supporting local ballot measures. For example, when a library puts a Bond Issue on the ballot to build the first new library since Carnegie died there are millions of dollars at stake and the potential to have generational impact on that community. If they win, it is a game changer for services, programs, collections, and librarian jobs. If they lose, it could be a huge setback for the community. We work in support of a local PAC or ballot committee to provide seed money to help them campaign as well as technical assistance to run that campaign well, if needed. We can help by looking at the voter data and doing voter segmentation. It is critical to the success of campaigns to “touch” high-turnout voters with your message. We can help by doing pre-polling about voter attitudes about the library and the ballot measure. Knowing where you are going with messaging in your community is important. We also can help with the messaging, design, and outreach techniques from planning through execution. There are a lot of resources we’re ready to bring besides funding.
Right now, we’re helping the “Citizens for a New Shorewood-Troy Library” committee with voter segmentation and developing their precinct ‘walk lists’, working with them on messaging, and training their volunteers on how to do door-to-door canvasing. We’re not involved as part of their committee – they run their campaign and make all the decisions on how to expend their funding. But we help build capacity within their committee as consultants.
Well, I would just like to say that I think what you are doing sounds really great. I am wondering what people can do if they want to support Every Library and show their support. Also, I’m wondering what kind of partnerships you have or are planning to start with other organizations.
We built the organization with small donations – $10 or $100 goes a long way when we’re talking about library ballot measures and voter outreach. When something fails at the polls it doesn’t usually fail by huge numbers. In a district with a service population of 10,000 people, perhaps 6,000 are registered voters and maybe 1,800 will come out for a library election. If they lose by 3% or 4% (which is not atypical), that’s 55 or 60 votes. We think that we can do a lot to educate and influence 61 voters with not too much money. If you agree that this idea matters because every one of those ballot measures matter to the future of that library, you can donate at www.rally.org/everylibrary. We’ll put it right to work.
Throughout the spring we’re going to be announcing several partnerships and key funders that will help extend and expand our work. Stay tuned.
That sounds great, John. This was very informative. I want to encourage readers to donate – it seems like a very effective use of funds. Thanks for doing the interview.
Rory, I truly appreciate the chance to talk about EveryLibrary and to be featured on Library Juice press. It was an engaging interview. Thanks so much.
February 22, 2013
I have just interviewed Emily Drabinski, instructor for the upcoming Library Juice Academy course, Working Faster, Working Smarter: Productivity Strategies for Librarians. Emily is also co-editor of Critical Library Instruction: Theories & Methods (Library Juice Press, 2010), and edits a book series from Litwin Books/Library Juice Press. Our interview gives a clear description of what her course is about and gets into some of her other interests. Always good talking to Emily.
February 21, 2013
I have just done an interview with Aliqae Geraci, instructor for the upcoming Library Juice Academy course, Team-Based Work Structures and Productivity. The interview gives the background to the workshop and the instructor, and gets a bit into her other interests.
As a personal note, judging from my previous experience in libraries and what I learned from interviewing Aliqae, I think a lot of library organizations could benefit from sending a librarian or two to this workshop.
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 17, 2013
I have just done an interview with Rebecca Blakiston, instructor for the upcoming Library Juice Academy course, Do-It-Yourself Usability Testing. This will be Rebecca’s second time teaching this course for us. In the interview she tells us about her background and qualifications for teaching the course, the content of the course, and some of her other interests.
February 15, 2013
Dale Askey, a librarian at McMaster University in Canada, is the one who has been sued by Mellen Press for giving them a bad review. Here are two statements supporting him, one from the Association of Research Libraries and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, and the other from the British Columbia Library Association…
ARL-CARL Joint Statement in Support of Dale Askey and McMaster University
View a PDF of the ARL-CARL statement
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) share a commitment to freedom of opinion and expression of ideas and are strongly opposed to any effort to intimidate individuals in order to suppress information or censor ideas. We further share the belief that a librarian must be able to offer his or her assessment of a publisher’s products or practices free from such intimidation.
Consequently, we are highly supportive of Dale Askey and of McMaster University as they confront the lawsuit brought against them by Edwin Mellen Press. We strongly disapprove of the aggressive use of the Canadian court system to threaten Mr. Askey with millions of dollars in liability over the contents of a blog post. We urge Edwin Mellen Press to withdraw this suit and use more constructive means to address its reputation.
“No academic librarian, research library, or university should face a multi-million dollar lawsuit because of a candid discussion of the publications or practices of an academic publisher,” said Brent Roe, Executive Director of CARL. “The exaggerated action of Edwin Mellen Press could only impose a chill on academic and research librarians’ expression of frank professional judgments.”
“Unfortunately, this is just the latest publisher that has chosen to pursue costly and wasteful litigation against universities and librarians,” said Elliott Shore, Executive Director of ARL. “These hostile tactics highlight the need for people who share the core values of research libraries to embrace models of publishing that foster—rather than hinder—research, teaching, and learning.”
Together, ARL and CARL represent 136 research libraries in the United States and Canada.
Press Release from the British Columbia Library Association
The British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) is extremely concerned about the unwarranted and frivolous lawsuits that Edwin Mellen Press has filed against Associate University Librarian Dale Askey and against McMaster University.
Edwin Mellen Press alleges that that comments made by Mr. Askey on his personal blog regarding the quality of their publications were defamatory, and are seeking a total of $4.5 million dollars in damages to compensate for injury to their reputation.
As a professional librarian engaged in collection development, Mr. Askey is both qualified and obliged to make decisions about published materials. Central to this issue is Mr. Askey’s academic freedom which should ensure that he, as well as fellow academic librarians, has the ability to freely speak, write, review and evaluate as professionals without fear of reprisal, litigation, or control by vendors, employers or other external bodies.
As a citizen in a democratic society Mr. Askey is free to have and share his opinions with his community, society and country. Sharing and debating perspectives without fear of recrimination is the hallmark of a healthy democratic society peopled by engaged citizens.
Librarians and information workers uphold the rights of all community members to express a critical view about the value of a book or other information materials. This includes a librarian’s own right to do the same. Every citizen should be able to express an opinion without fear of litigation should they offend an author or publisher. By filing lawsuits against Mr. Askey and McMaster University Edwin Mellen Press is attempting to create a climate of fear among librarians, information workers, and all libraries that may critique their product.
BCLA condemns the misuse of the court process to intimidate libraries, librarians and information workers from discharging their professional obligations and from demonstrating one of the library’s core responsibilities to uphold the right of freedom of thought and expression.
BCLA urges Edwin Mellen Press to withdraw its lawsuits and instead engage in a debate, a conversation or a discussion with the library community in order to build a healthy society that reflects a myriad of opinions held by diverse community members.
For information contact:
BCLA Executive Director
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 27, 2013
We’ve moved to Sacramento.
If you have an address on file for Library Juice Academy, Library Juice Press, Litwin Books, or Auslander & Fox, please update it to the following:
PO Box 188784
Sacramento, CA 95818
The telephone number remains 218-260-6115, and email addresses are also unchanged.
We can see the Capitol Building from the office, at least during the season when Sacramento’s many trees are not leafy. If you are in the area, please drop us a line – it would be nice to know we are in the same town.
January 10, 2013
I was going to call this post, “Gripes of a Vendor,” but then I checked on the author, Rick Anderson, and found that he is not a member of the publishing community but a member of the library community. His post is in The Scholarly Kitchen, the blog of the Society of Scholarly Publishing, and it is titled, “Six Mistakes the Library Staff Are Making” (in dealing with vendor sales reps). The six mistakes? Rudeness, wasting the rep’s time, knee-jerk adversarialism, failure to prepare for meetings, failure to prepare the ground for product consideration (when you get a free trial), and, lastly, “putting political library concerns above patron needs.”
Just a couple of words about Anderson’s last complaint. He explains that he thinks that focusing on the way the system is structured is a distraction from the library’s mission and from service, that it is about long-term reform rather than short term satisfaction of patron demand. I think that for most librarians who are concerned about economic aspects of the information ecology where it impacts libraries, it is directly about the mission of the library and the ability to serve patrons, in the short term as well as the long term. Anderson’s perspective as a library dean may be a little bit different from that of front line staff, in two important ways. First, he lacks the front line staff members understanding of the nature of patron needs, and second, front line staff lack a full understanding of the relationship between libraries and vendors, and the economic side of the library’s functioning. I think that a lot can be gained from better communication among people who occupy different roles in library organizations, and I would say that scolding library staff for taking an approach that arises directly from their experience serving the public is not a very constructive way to go about it. Anderson says that he plans to write something on his point about “putting politics before patrons” in an upcoming post, which I look forward to seeing.