December 27, 2013

Find us at ALA Midwinter

We will have a booth in the Exhibits Hall at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia, January 24-27, 2014. At the booth we will have copies of all of our books, as well as catalogs, a brochure about Library Juice Academy, and pens and notepads. Staffing the booth will be Emily Drabinski, editor of the Series on Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies. Emily is making the trip down to the conference from her home in NYC, and looks forward to talking to people about our books, online classes, and other projects.

Our booth number is 1859.

December 23, 2013

Happy New Year – 2013 in review

2013 was a busy and expansive year for Library Juice Academy and Library Juice Press. We thought you’d be interested in some highlights.

This was our first full year of offering online classes for librarians’ professional development, having started the first classes in October of 2012. In 2013, we passed the 1000 mark in the number of people served, and they registered from a total of 20 countries. There are currently over 80 classes on the books. Our instructors are getting a raise in 2014, to show our appreciation for their work. We have a lot of repeat customers, and as our testimonials show, people have been happy with their educational experiences:

2013 saw the first round of two successful certificate programs: the Certificate in User Experience (UX) and the Certificate in XML and RDF-Based Systems. In 2014 they will be running again, and we will also be introducing two new programs: a Certificate in Library Management, with Deborah Schmidle as the course designer and instructor, and a Certificate in Library Cataloging, with Scott Piepenburg at the helm. We are excited about these programs and encourage you to read about them on the website.

As a spin-off of the certificate program in UX, the instructors for those courses had a small unconference at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, where they all gave presentations on the topics that they each cover. Their presentations were recorded and are publicly available. This conference was useful in making adjustments to the certificate program for next year.

In early 2013 we experimented with webinars as an alternative to our usual asynchronous mode of course delivery, and decided not to continue offering webinars. Webinars are inconvenient in their requirement that everybody attend at the same time, and unappealing to many people. It was a useful experiment in that it gave us confidence in continuing to focus on Moodle as our platform for course delivery.

2013 also saw the beginning of successful partnerships with the Metropolitan Library Council of NYC (METRO), the Solo Division of SLA, and the MOBIUS consortium of Missouri.

On the publishing side, with Library Juice Press and Litwin Books, 2013 was also a busy year. We attended ALA in Chicago in the summer, and ASIS&T in Montreal in November, and enjoyed talking to many people about our publications. We will be at ALA in Philadelphia in January and in Las Vegas this summer, and look forward to seeing you there.

2013 saw our first book award victory. Our book Greening Libraries, edited by Monika Antonelli and Mark McCullough, won top honors in the Business category of the Green Book Awards.

Library Juice Press and Litwin Books debuted our own awards in 2013 as well. This past summer saw the first annual Litwin Books Award for Ongoing Doctoral Dissertation Research in the Philosophy of Information, which went to Steve McKinlay, of Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia. In the Fall, we gave the first award in the annual Library Juice Paper Contest, which went to Ryan Shaw, for “Information Organization and the Philosophy of History,” published in JASIST in June 2013.

It was a fairly busy year for book publishing as well, in terms of the number of titles published. Library Juice Press released four new titles, and Litwin Books released three. They are as follows:

From Library Juice Press:

Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis, edited by Shana Higgins and Lua Gregory

Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction, by Maria Accardi

Jesse Shera, Librarianship, and Information Science, by H. Curtis Wright

Lenny and Nina are Buried in Books, by Linda Cooper

From Litwin Books:

Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader, edited by Patrick Keilty and Rebecca Dean

Voltaire’s Fanaticism, or Mahomet the Prophet: A New Translation, translated by Hanna Burton

Import of the Archive: U.S. Colonial Rule of the Philippines and the Making of American Archival History, by Cheryl Beredo

We also tried something unprecedented in 2013, which was to make it possible to “join Library Juice” as a member. Membership in Library Juice comes with benefits such as a discount on online classes, DRM-free downloads of titles in our backlist, and participation in an online community.

Finally I want to mention a pet project that is not technically a Library Juice project, but something that I have been working on on the side with an old friend. It is an experiment in community information that allows people to post messages on an electronic sign inside a local business, using their smart phones or computers. The project is described at Our first digital sign is set up at a local gourmet donut shop called Doughbot, in Sacramento. You can actually access the sign to post your friendly hellos and donut-related messages at We are excited about this experiment and open to ideas about how to develop it for library spaces, among other things. Feel free to contact me if this idea interests you.

Thank you for being with us for 2013, and we look forward to working with you in 2014.

Best regards,

Rory Litwin

UX Unconference

The instructors for the Library Juice Academy Certificate in User Experience organized an Unconference on UX at the University of Arizona recently, as a follow-up to the first round of classes in the certificate program. On December 6th, they each gave presentations on their areas of expertise and participated in a panel discussion. The presentations were recorded, and they’re on Youtube and available for your viewing pleasure and learning. If these presentations are interesting to you, consider taking some of the classes.


December 8, 2013

Interview with Joanne Sprott

Joanne Sprott has been a freelance book indexer, copy editor, and proofreader since 1995, and has taught indexing for the American Society of Indexers. She teaches a course on book indexing for Library Juice Academy, which is running for the second time in January. Joanne agreed to do an interview on the Library Juice Academy blog, to let people know a bit more about her class and about her background.

December 2, 2013

NY Times obituary for André Schiffrin

André Schiffrin, Publishing Force and a Founder of New Press, Is Dead at 78 (New York Times obituary).

I will take this as yet another occasion to recommend his very good book on the publishing industry, which he wrote in the 90s in part as a memoir, The Business of Books. He was an influence on more than just one generation of people in the book world.

I’d like to take a moment to tell you about a very interesting non-library project that I have been working on with my old friend Ian Stoba. A while ago I had the idea of putting digital signs in public places that people could put messages on over the internet. Ian has great coding skills and loves creative projects, so I invited him to work on it with me. We found a location for an initial sign project, bought a digital sign and a Raspberry Pi to control it, and got it working. The sign is on the wall inside a hip gourmet donut shop in Sacramento called Doughbot. You can actually put a message on the sign by going here. We don’t have a webcam pointed at the sign presently, so you have to either trust us or be in the shop to see the actual message. We have a blog to inform people about what we are doing with the project. We also have a Facebook page for it.

Here is the sign on the wall of the donut shop:

The sign on the wall