Author Archive: Joseph Janes

Joseph Janes

Safe and Sound

March 1, 2016

I had the opportunity to indulge a while ago. My former doctoral student Elisabeth Jones invited me to come and be part of a session she was doing with her first-quarter graduate students on the future of libraries. They had done some initial readings, and naturally had their own ideas, many of which brought them … Continue reading Safe and Sound

Joseph Janes

The Last Card

January 4, 2016

Ah, the memories that flooded back when we all heard the recent news that OCLC had printed the last run of catalog cards. If asked, I would’ve confidently assumed that had finished up long ago. An OCLC press release told us that since 1971, the company had produced 1.9 billion cards. My rough calculations give … Continue reading The Last Card

Joseph Janes

The Fee Library

October 30, 2015

You can imagine my reaction when our local public radio station introduced a story about the plans for a new library, opening January 2016. Not the sort of thing one hears every day, and my interest deepened when the details emerged: This isn’t a new branch of Seattle Public Library (SPL); it’s a new subscription … Continue reading The Fee Library

Joseph Janes

What I Learned

September 11, 2015

Ah yes, running for president. That was, to say the least, quite the ride. I got to meet and talk with lots of great people and share my vision for the profession with many of you, so I have to say I enjoyed most of it. Right up until the end. Losing … was hard, … Continue reading What I Learned

Joseph Janes


November 13, 2014

And now, word has reached me that the Internet Public Library (IPL), which I wrote about in the last issue, will no longer be supported at the end of this year. The news means that IPL will just miss making its 20th birthday next March 17 (the happy coincidence of my Irish heritage and a … Continue reading RIP, IPL

Joseph Janes

Just Curious

October 20, 2014

We’ve all done that a thousand times. On the surface, “just curious” is one of those phrases that doesn’t really mean anything and gets tossed in just to signal that a question isn’t urgent or immediate or that it doesn’t connect to any larger matter. Which is fine on its face and is, in most … Continue reading Just Curious

Joseph Janes

Rolling the Dice

June 23, 2014

As I write this, I’m preparing for my annual trip with a couple of dear friends to Las Vegas. This is more nice meal/Cirque du Soleil than bottle service/strip show; we’re the dignified types—though one does get to see a great many more aspects of the human condition there than in other places, for sure. … Continue reading Rolling the Dice

Joseph Janes

None of Your Beeswax

May 13, 2014

This winter, I had the chance to explore an entirely new teaching experience, at least new to me. Along with my good friend Mike Eisenberg, I co-taught a large undergraduate course to 160 sophomores and juniors, many of whom are intending to apply to our baccalaureate informatics program. It’s very different from my usual 20–30 … Continue reading None of Your Beeswax

Joseph Janes

Leading from All Sides

April 8, 2014

I’m in a meeting as I write this. (It happens; don’t tell anybody I work with, okay?) Don’t get the wrong idea … all of our meetings are vital and gripping, and everybody looks forward to them. Just like yours, right? In all seriousness, though, as I sit here, I’m struck by the various roles … Continue reading Leading from All Sides

Joseph Janes

A Cautionary Tale

February 3, 2014

In an alternative universe, I’m a film historian. I got hooked in college, where multiple film society screenings were shown almost nightly for a couple of bucks apiece. Heaven. And among all my genres of interest (terrible 1950s science fiction, cult stuff, noir, silents, splashy MGM musicals, and on and on), there’s a much less-recognized … Continue reading A Cautionary Tale


Common Ground

December 9, 2013

There are many benefits to spending one’s life on a college campus: beautiful settings, the rhythm of the academic year, and of course continually being surrounded by bright, energetic students. Each summer they come for orientation, eager, excited, and younger by the year. You too can play the “where were you the year they were … Continue reading Common Ground