Tuesday, May 25, 2004


In case anyone is going to this year's BookExpo America (BEA) in Chicago this year, I will be there on Saturday, June 5th. If anyone wants to talk to me, I look like this. Unfortunately, without the cute guy attached.

I'll be roving around trying to hit as many publishers as I can as I have very broad collection development responsibilities and there are a few authors who I love who are doing signings. I will definitely be in the Autographing area between 3-4pm as they're all signing then!

I look forward to seeing anyone who shows up :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Electronic Lifespans

In another forum (essentially an echo chamber at the time), a long, long time ago (8 months) I wondered if there had ever been any research done into the average lifespan of weblogs for those that last beyond a day as a “new toy.” Now, I’m expanding that query to electronic publications.

Within the last week, I’ve seen musings from the owners/publishers of two LIS-related publications about whether or not they’d be able to continue the publications.

You may have noticed the “Save LISNews” button on the side bar. Blake’s expenses for running LISNews.com take a big chunk out of his personal budget. He puts a lot of work into this site and it shows. To me, it’s one of the best sources of current library and information science news available. I would hate to see this wonderful resource die, but if it’s not financially feasible for Blake, I totally understand. Luckily, Blake’s reported that people have been generous and he’s halfway to having his current expenses covered.

In the current issue of Cites & Insights, Walt Crawford muses in his “Perspective” piece about possibly ending the zine’s run come January 2005. A lot of the considerations he talks about deal with finding that tenuous balance in your life between professional endeavors and personal fulfillments. He is quick to point out that he produces C&I currently because it’s fun, but after 4 years, the fun is turning more into work. C&I is a single-person entity, and I can understand the burnout that can accompany such a high-quality publication. Especially, since Walt doesn’t seen any income from it like he does from his other writing projects. I would again hate to see this publication die because I learn something from every issue I read. Whether it’s the definition of OpenURL or a new facet to an issue I’ve already read a number of articles on, Walt always provides an intelligent discussion of issues concerning library and information science. Once again though, I’d understand if Walt felt that other areas of his life needed the focus that he brings to C&I.

Walt did note in his “Perspective” piece that electronic publications that he frequently visits are seeing a decrease in publishing frequency. I can’t say that, mainly because once I started the new job, I didn’t look as frequently at the online publications that I had been visiting as I had prior to the job. I do know that I slowed down with TYL because of the new job. I could easily have disbanded TYL entirely. I chose not to. I chose to cut out other projects that I was working on in order to have more time to dedicate to writing, non-fiction and fiction. Well, not so much cut out as much as work through the current commitments as many of them had an ending in the somewhat near future.

And after all of that rambling, here’s my query: what’s the average lifespan of an LIS-related electronic publication and what are the most common reasons they die off?

Sunday, May 16, 2004

I got this through one of my listservs. It was originally written in 1996, but there are a lot of interesting tidbits to ponder.

Ten Graces for New Librarians by GraceAnne DeCandido

Thursday, May 13, 2004


A few months ago, when I was doing the polls, I asked how many listservs people belong to. The majority of respondents belonged to more than 5 listservs ( See results ). I sit here counting how many library/-ian-centric lists I belong to. The count is currently at 12. There is no way I can physically read all of the messages posted to all of the lists. Why am I a member of so many? Good question.

1. Each listserv does serve a specific purpose. There are a couple of listservs which have considerable overlap in general purpose, but each has it’s own personality, despite sharing many members. I like that I can go to these listservs with the same question and get such a broad variety of responses in content and tone. Also, each list is going to have a quirk to it that is not replicated anywhere else.
2. I am an advocate of using the delete key and changing subject lines to appropriate topics. In just skimming the subject lines, I am kept up-to-date as to what the current topics of discussion for that interest group.
3. I want access to the archives. Some lists are just not all that friendly in tone to members who are just starting out in the profession. This discourages posting by people in my situation. A good archive is usually the best way to get the answers to our questions. I’ve had nothing but wonderful, helpful responses when I’ve posted to the more established lists, but many friends of mine cannot say the same.
4. They are a supplement to the professional literature, both electronic and print that I read. I often see discussions pop up on the lists in response to articles in the professional literature.
5. They are networking opportunities for me. I have made friends that I will tap for more information on areas of opportunity further along in my career.
6. I enjoy receiving e-mail. It makes me think I’m actually loved ;)

I could get information overload just from the listservs I belong to. I choose to manage my listservs rather than let my listservs manage me.

Saturday, May 08, 2004


Well, it's more that I'm in between paydays right now and am experiencing the usual tightening of the belt for the next week. I normally do okay, but some unexpected costs took a big bite out of this pay period's budget. The reason I'm writing about this is because I attended one of those ubiquitous product shows last night where they discussed the "own your own business" aspect of it, and it got me to thinking.

I see a lot of discussion about the equity of pay in this profession. We all know that librarians, like teachers and nurses, are in no way paid enough for everything they have to deal with. What I'm curious about is how many of us feel the need to get a side job, even if we are lucky enough to have a full-time position? I work one weekend a month at another local library for the extra cash. I could definitely use more though to create a cushion for myself if something were to happen.

I'm lucky in that I have family who are willing to help with the housing situation. I'm not forced into the whole robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario for my bills. I'm not that far from it though. I do spend time trying to figure out ways to bring in extra income. Yes, I occassionally play Lotto. Someone has to win that!

What I'd like to see in future salary surveys is a question on if the respondent feels the need to bring in a second, third, or even fourth income to supplement their full-time librarian income.