Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Library Rockstars" and the "Great/Radical Middle"

Walt Crawford does the wonderful Cites and Insights on a regular basis (monthly with occasional special additional issues).

Among the things I appreciate about Cites and Insights is that Walt actually cares about how it looks on the page. This past year he changed typefaces, and in various places there were discussions about that. I found when I started a job which including newsletter production, that I care about how things look on a page. The Adobe PDF format is great for that, because the creator gets to really determine how it will look, and the user can't change it.

Before ALA Midwinter 2010, Walt produced a special issue ("Cites ON a Plane 2010"). I am sad that he will be taking it down, now that Midwinter is over, but do understand why. After all, it is a collection of items which have previously appeared in Cites and Insights. However, either I missed some of the issues (and I generally print out each issue and share it with colleagues), or I am now reading and reacting to them through a different lens. One of my insights in this compilation is how true Walt is to his word when he calls himself (in Walt at Random) "The library voice of the radical middle."

The "rockstar" article is from the June 2008 issue (pp. 13 - 20) [it is in html here].

Indeed, I started composing this before getting to the end of the Cites on a Plane issue, and find that the "On the Middle" article is equally engaging. Appropriately enough, this article is from the December 2007 issue (pp. 16-22) [it is in html here]. (Isn't December usually a time for reflecting back on the year? This article certainly has some cogent reflections which are still true two years later.)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words. The two COAP "non-issues" were deliberately only available for two weeks each, since both were entirely reprints (and the originals continue to be available). The first one had an absurdly large number of downloads; this one, only 100 or so. (At some point, I might do occasional posts highlighting old essays that continue to have worth--but my HTML versions are, sigh, not terribly attractive.)