Our Roller-Coaster Summer

October 8, 2012


If I were to write “What American Libraries Did This Summer,” it would be more roller-coaster ride than mai tais on the beach. Such is the nature of juggling several media streams, especially when tied to news and deadlines.

At the top of the hill were the twin peaks of the ALA Annual Conference and the Virtual Conference. Both offered great blog and story opportunities, interviews, inspiration, and ideas. We also visited the Special Libraries Association conference in Chicago in July.

ALA Editions provided an excerpt from Joint Libraries: Models That Work. We called for photos and case studies from joint libraries around the country to supplement the excerpt. The projects range from the Harmony Library in Ft. Collins, Colorado, which combined a cash-strapped local library with a community college facility, to the new urban high school/public joint library being built in the middle of Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood. Their stories offer viable, cost-saving joint-use options, and we hope it provides good ideas for you, too.

What goes up must come down, and we briefly hit bottom at the end of July. We had planned an interview for this issue with Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine:How Creativity Works, a book about biochemical processes in creativity. A former Rhodes Scholar and neuroscience junkie, Lehrer wrote for The New Yorker and Wired and had authored two other books about the brain. He was scheduled to speak at Midwinter, so the interview was timely. The day the interview transcript arrived, Lehrer resigned from his job at The New Yorker and his publisher pulled Imagine from bookstores because Lehrer had admitted to fabricating quotes from Bob Dylan. Through no fault of ALA, Lehrer was also yanked from the Midwinter speaker roster. We scrambled, regrouped, and rearranged our layouts without a Newsmaker for this issue. (However, you can read the original Q&A, “A Day Before Disgrace,” online.)

While all this was going on, we played catch-up on print issues, sliding up our deadlines to ensure you will now get your copy of AL in the first week of the cover date. Our columnists turned in their work weeks early to adjust to the new schedule, and we edited July/August and IFLA supplement copy simultaneously, barely taking a breath before starting in on this issue.

Well, it’s been fun, and even though summer’s not yet over as I write this, we’re ready to ride on to our next adventure. Thanks for joining us!


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