Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large
ISSN 1534-0937
Libraries ∑ Policy ∑ Technology ∑ Media

Selection from Cites & Insights 7, Number 12: November 2007

Bibs & Blather


As chronicled (sketchily) at Walt at random (, posts dated September 18, September 24, September 28, September 30 twice, October 3, all 2007, my odd public ďjob searchĒ has ended well. Of the three conversations discussed, one resulted in a new core position Iím quite excited about. A second conversation means that YBP continues to sponsor Cites & Insights at least through 2008. The third conversation continues and may result in another (smaller) commitment. Between the first and the third conversations, itís looking as though Making it Work may yet emerge as a separate epublication, possibly with a different name.

The most important post related to the job search appeared on October 4, 2007 and is worth reproducing here in full:

Walt Crawford Named Director & Managing Editor of PALINET Leadership Network

Philadelphia, PA, October 2, 2007 ó PALINET is pleased to announce the appointment of Walt Crawford as Director and Managing Editor for the PALINET Leadership Network. Crawford is an internationally recognized writer and speaker on libraries, technology, policy, and media, and the creator, writer and publisher of Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, an ejournal on the intersections of libraries, policy, technology, and media published monthly since 2001. He also maintains a blog on these and other issues, Walt at Random. He was recently listed as one of the 31 most frequently-cited authors in library literature 1994-2004 (the only American writer on that list outside academic libraries.) Cathy Wilt, PALINETís Executive Director, comments: ďWe are thrilled to have Walt direct the development of this library leadership community of practice. The PALINET Leadership Network and PALINET members will certainly benefit from his substantial experience, not to mention his editorial wit and wisdom.Ē

About the PALINET Leadership Network

Currently in beta release, the PALINET Leadership Network is an innovative online member service for library leaders designed to create a community of practice by sharing informative articles, forums on current issues, and collaborative discussions on cutting-edge topics. Designed as a wiki platform, the PALINET Leadership Network provides the latest innovations and most current leadership information in the library arena and beyond. It is an ideal vehicle for staying current with literature, blogs, and other leadership conversations, as well as a critical tool for mentoring staff.


PALINET, a member-owned and governed regional library network, was founded in 1936 and is one of the largest U.S. networks, serving 600+ members throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. PALINET provides innovative training opportunities through its classroom and online distance education programs and live events and discounts on hundreds of library services from more than 80 business partners through its group purchasing program. For the latest information on PALINET, visit

Thatís the press release (no, I didnít write it, although I saw it before it went public). Iím writing this during the two-week break between turning in my key card and fob at OCLC RLG Service Center and starting in at PALINET. This issue will appear some time between my start there and my first trip for the jobóto the PALINET Annual Conference in Baltimore at the end of October 2007.

Those of you who read Walt at random know all this already, and have been through six months of general hoohah on the blog as I wondered publicly what Iíd do after 39 years as a library systems designer and programmer. Iíd like to believe my personal unease during that period didnít reduce the quality of Cites & Insights. Looking back at the issues involved (June 2007 through October 2007), Iím entirely satisfied that you readers didnít suffer from my occasional malaise during the period. (Iím especially fond of C&I 7:9, the ďOnĒ issue, but you may prefer other issues such as Cites on a Plane 2: This Time itís for Keeps.)

Those of you who donít read Walt at randomóif youíre interested in the intersections between my personal life and work life, you should. I donít expect to have more to say about my former position, but Iím sure Iíll be blogging somewhere about interesting aspects of the new position.

This blather is another way of saying Thanks (and itís the right month, too!). Thanks to several dozen of you who kept my spirits up during the early months in your email and post comments. Thanks to more than two dozen of you who posted a fascinating variety of blog posts about the situation. Thanks to those who did approach me with offers. A special thanks to Peggy Sullivan, who forwarded the PALINET postingóand, of course, to PALINET for taking a chance on me.

What Ever Happened To This Yearís Liblog Extravaganza?

First there was Perspective: Investigating the Biblioblogosphere (C&I 5:10, September 2005), an eleven-page set of notes and metrics on some 60 liblogs chosen from a group of 238. That essay got a lot of feedbackómost (but not all) of it positive.

Then there was Perspective: Looking at Liblogs: The Great Middle (C&I 6:10, August 2006), a twenty-nine page study of 213 ďmidrangeĒ liblogs, including a few from the previous year. I was and am proud of that oneóand I thought about a plausible followup when I published the essay. I started tracking the liblogs in that issue: Checking once a quarter to see whether they were still around. My intent was to do a ďlateral look at liblogsĒóa comparison of 2006 and 2007.

That didnít happen. Instead, C&I 7:10 included a pre-announcement of a book on library-related blogs, Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples, fully announced in the next issue. (Go buy it: Itís well worth the $29.50, and Iím a little saddened that some blog evangelists havenít even recognized its existence, much less its value as a way to show public libraries what might work for them.) Between job issues and the research, writing and other stuff required to finish Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples, the lateral look wasnít ready. Since Iím in the process of preparing an academic library followup, it wonít be ready for some time.

I also recognized that I wanted to follow up not only the 213 blogs from 2006 but also nonoverlapping blogs from 2005óand a bunch of blogs that had been around but didnít quite make it into either survey. I still want to do that. Itís clear that what I want to do wonít work as a Perspective, not even a whole-issue Perspective. If it happens at all, it will be a book. Currently, the set of blogs Iíd be looking at seems to total 359óbut itís way too early to say what the final number will be.

A bunch of the 2006 blogs have disappeared. Others have changed names and URLs. A few seemed to disappear, then later reappeared. When (if!) I do the lateral look, Iíll probably miss a few that have changed names. If the study happens, it should be interesting and possibly revealing.

First, two errors in the October issue:

ō      Dr. Andrew Burtís first name is Andrew, not David.

ō      Jennifer Macaulayís last name does not have an ďeĒ in it.


Just a quick followup on the PRISM essay from last issue. So far, Cambridge University Press, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Columbia University Press, MIT Press, Nature Publishing Group, Oxford University Press, Pennsylvania State University Press, Rockefeller University Press and the University of Chicago Press have explicitly distanced themselves from PRISM, with Ellen Faran of MIT Press resigning from AAP PSPís executive council over the issue (James D. Jordan of Columbia University Press resigned from the council in August).

How many publishers have openly signed on to this ďpartnershipĒ and how many groups other than AAP PSP are supporting it? None. Not one. Zero.

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, Volume 7, Number 12, Whole Issue 96, ISSN 1534-0937, a journal of libraries, policy, technology and media, is written and produced by Walt Crawford, Director and Managing Editor of the PALINET Learning Network.

Cites & Insights is sponsored by YBP Library Services,

Opinions herein may not represent those of PALINET or YBP Library Services.

Comments should be sent to Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large is copyright © 2007 by Walt Crawford: Some rights reserved.

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