100 Reasons for Doing Cites & Insights
G G F# E D G A B, B B B A G C B A, G A B A G E F# G, D B G A C B A G. Half, four quarters, four halves, four quarters, four halves, four quarters, four halves, four quarters, two halves, whole.
Some of you must have hummed this by now, and it’s distinctly appropriate to the occasion: Old 100th, from the 1551 Geneva Psalter, attributed to Louis Bourgeois (c. 1510-c. 1561). One of the great old hymn tunes, given that name because the oldest hymn using the tune (at least in the 1966 Methodist Hymnal), from 1593, is (very) loosely based on Psalm 100: “All People That on Earth Do Dwell.” You might know it better as the doxology, “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow”—or, in a tougher mood, even “Before Jehovah’s Awful Throne.” It came to mind when I realized this was the 100th issue of Cites & Insights. No religious overtones here, but I do love a good tune with even better four-part harmony.
Back in 2000, if you’d said I’d do 100 of these, I’d probably have laughed. My original aim was 41—which made a total of a hundred of “these,” including the 59 issues of “Trailing Edge Notes” and “Crawford’s Corner” that preceded Cites & Insights. By the time I reached issue 25, I thought I might make it to a 50th issue, but I made no promises. In the 50th issue, I didn’t say anything about anticipated lifespan—but, if pressed, I still would have said there was a less than even chance I’d make it to 100.
Then came Issue 75—or, rather, then came Issue 72. Remember issue 72? Does volume 6, issue 2 ring a bell? Or perhaps Midwinter 2006? There’s another, more popular name, the one that heads the single 32-page essay—and I’d guess issue 72 will always be the most widely-read issue of Cites & Insights. (For the first five weeks of 2007, issue 72 was still the third-most-downloaded issue, nearly two years later.) If you’d asked at issue 75, I’d have said I couldn’t imagine not getting to this point—unless major events interfered like, say, losing my job and having to reevaluate my life.
Turns out even that didn’t do it.
Quite a milestone. A nice round number. You may be expecting a nostalgiafest. Not this time around. Nor will I give you a list of 100 items or even ten lists of ten items each.
This issue is composed of traditional Cites & Insights sections—with each subsection numbered at the end of the paragraph that closes a subsection. Thus, 100 reasons for Cites & Insights—making it (libraries) work, trends, quick takes, interesting products and the state of high-density optical discs, closing with purely fun essays in My Back Pages. Enjoy. This chunk of blather is the first: .
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