United We Stand

September 1, 2022

Here are some strategies that helped us along the way: Talk with colleagues. Building worker power begins when workers talk with one another about their experiences on the job. When my colleagues and I started talking more, we realized that many of us shared the same issues and were able to discuss what we believed … Continue reading United We Stand

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

Amazon Calls Baloney

July 10, 2014

Maybe it’s because I’ve been rereading classic Daniel Pinkwater novels (namely, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death and The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror) but Amazon’s latest stunner of a response to stalled negotiations with Hachette reads like a young-adult comedy. Here’s the setup. Amazon was pushing Hachette to cut prices on … Continue reading Amazon Calls Baloney

Smashwords and OverDrive

June 10, 2014

Librarians need to take sharp notice of the sudden and disruptive trebling of intellectual content: mainstream (which we’ve always focused on), small and independent publishing (which has ramped up its annual title count by four or five times over as many years), and self-published (now more new annual titles than the other two combined). Three … Continue reading Smashwords and OverDrive

Digital Preservation

May 30, 2014

Libraries—both public and academic—are in the business of gathering, organizing, and presenting to the public the intellectual content of our culture. To some extent, we’re also responsible for the preservation of that content. Generally speaking, academic libraries take the lead on this longer-term collection management; public libraries focus more on the popular and perhaps ephemeral … Continue reading Digital Preservation


Fired Up for Retirement

April 21, 2014

Above all, every library director with a standard seven-member board of trustees knows one fact of life: the rule of four. It takes only four votes to get you fired. If you’re unlucky, your board has only five members. Things can get very dicey when it takes only three votes to get you fired. So … Continue reading Fired Up for Retirement

Sony to Kobo to …?

April 1, 2014

Back in 2009 I received a Sony ebook reader for Christmas. The PRS-600 (such poetry in the name!) worked, kind of. But it has sat at my bedside untouched for years, replaced by the iPad and a Nexus 7, both of which are considerably easier to use and read. And this may explain why, as … Continue reading Sony to Kobo to …?

Library: The Most Beautiful Word?

March 24, 2014

You might have missed it, but a passage in author Christopher Hitchens’s 2010 memoir, Hitch-22, triggered a happy buzz among library bloggers at the time, and it can still judder the heart of library lovers. These days any good word about libraries is cheering, and Hitchens exalted the word library itself. He wrote, “The lexicographer … Continue reading Library: The Most Beautiful Word?

Emerging Leaders Poised for Action

March 3, 2014

What’s it like to be selected an Emerging Leader? Find out about this year’s class of 56 up-and-coming librarians in our cover story. Once again this year we’re featuring each Emerging Leader on trading cards, which will be available at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas. Not only are these leaders … Continue reading Emerging Leaders Poised for Action