Walt's blog

Cites & Insights 12:8 (September 2012) available

The September 2012 Cites & Insights (12:8) is now available for downloading at http://citesnadinsights.info/civ12i8.pdf

The issue is 36 pages long. The single-column 6x9 version, designed for online reading, is 67 pages long.

The issue includes these articles (available as HTML separates from http://citesandinsights.info or via the article name links):
Libraries
Public Library Closures: 2010 Update (pp. 1-2)

A brief look at reported library closures in the FY2010 IMLS tables, updating previous Public Library Closure articles.

Words
Thinking About Blogging, Part 1 (pp. 2-34)

Catching up on a few interesting blogging-related items. (Part 2, next issue, focuses on libraries, liblogs and starting, stopping and pausing. Part 1 focuses on issues such as names, comments, science blogging, Brilliant Statements--or, if you prefer, Bewildering Stuff, gengen, technology and the philosophy of blogging, and the power of blogging. Note that this essay prints out as roughly 57 pages in HTML form; if you want it printed, save paper and download the whole issue. -- Read More

Cites & Insights August 2012 (12:7) available

Cites & Insights 12:7 (August 2012) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i7.pdf.

The 58-page issue is also available as a single-column 6x9 PDF designed for e-reading (at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i7on.pdf)-but please don't use that version for printing, as it's 119 pages long.

The issue consists of one essay:
Intersections:
It Was Never a Universal Library:
Three Years of the Google Book Settlement (pp. 1-58)

Recounting events in the 8-year-old Google Book lawsuits since March 2009, when most of us assumed that the proposed settlement would be approved, and we were primarily discussing whether it was on balance good or bad. It's quite a story, and it's not over yet...

Please don't use the HTML version for printing either, as it's likely to run at least 91 single-spaced pages.
Reminder: Still looking for feedback...
I'd still like to get feedback on Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four. See here.

 

Cites & Insights July 2012 (12:6) available

The July 2012 issue of Cites & Insights (12:6) is now available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i6.pdf.

The issue is 32 pages long. A single-column 6x9 version, designed for use on ereaders, is also available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i6on.pdf. The single-column version is 62 pages long and intended only for ereading, not for printing.

The issue includes:
Libraries: Give Us a Dollar: A Case Study pp. 1-6

Would a refined version of Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four be directly useful to a few hundred (or a few thousand) public libraries? This two-part example shows how a mythical New York library (directly based on two real libraries) might use a heavily revised version--and how it might use the current version. I'm still looking for reviewers and feedback before deciding how to proceed; these case studies might help.

Policy: Copyright: Fair Use, Part 2 pp. 6-29 -- Read More

Cites & Insights 12:5 (June 2012) available

Cites & Insights 12:5 (June 2012) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i5.pdf

A single-column 6x9 version, suitable for ereaders, is available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i5on.pdf

The 24-page issue (43 pages in the single-column version) is PDF as usual. The individual essays are also available in HTML form at http://citesandinsights.info or use the essay name links below.

This issue includes:
The Front (pp. 1-4)

Announcing Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four, a study of public library benefits and funding designed to help libraries see where they stand and work to improve funding.

Also noting "the books your library needs"--two recent books published by professional library-oriented publishers that I believe are essential for, respectively, every academic and most special (and some public) library and every public and some academic and special libraries.

The Middle: Forecasts (pp. 4-12)

Following up the May essay on futurism with a whole bunch of specific forecasts--the one-year kind that can be tested and usually found wanting.

Policy: Copyright: Fair Use, Part 1 (pp. 12-24) -- Read More

Cites & Insights 12:4 (May 2012) available

Cites & Insights 12:4 (May 2012) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i4.pdf
The issue is 44 pages long. It is also available in a 6x9" single-column version, optimized for viewing on edevices (and idevices bigger than phones) and available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i4on.pdf. That version (exactly the same text, but somewhat cruder appearance) is 82 pages long; if you plan to print, please download the regular version!

The issue includes the following (each essay also available as an HTML separate, noting that the single graph in the second section may not appear properly):
The Front (pp. 1-2)

Breaking down The Middle: why there won' be a long series of wholly miscellaneous sections with that heading. Also some notes on the reality since I took action based on reader polls (including the truth about people's willingness, so far, to pay the lower suggested donations).

Libraries: Public Library Closures 2 (pp. 2-14) -- Read More

Cites & Insights April 2012 available

Cites & Insights 12:3 (April 2012) is now available.
The 36-page issue is a two-column PDF, as usual; a single-column 6x9 PDF designed for ereading is also available (66 pages: please don't print!). HTML versions of each essay are also available--click on the essay titles.

This issue includes:
Libraries: Public Library Closures: On Not Dropping Like Flies (pp. 1-13)

Original research! The long-winded version of my investigation into actual public library (agency, not branch) closures in 2008 and 2009, as reported by IMLS, where the libraries appear to still be closed. Hint: There aren't many.

The Middle (pp. 13-20)

Another handful of items on a variety of topics that formerly belonged in Trends & Quick Takes

Social Networks: The Social Network Scene, Part 2 (pp. 20-29)

Ten items on social networking topics.

Media: Mystery Collection, Part 5 (pp. 29-36)

Discs 25-30 of the 250-movie Mystery Collection

Cites & Insights 12:2 (March 2012) available

Cites & Insights 12:2 (March 2012) has just been published.
The 30-page two-column PDF (designed for printing) represents the new, refreshed Cites & Insights, following the two reader surveys. Contents, available as HTML separates using the links below, include:
The Front (pp. 1-6)

The reinvention or refreshing of Cites & Insights, including results of the two polls, new section names, tweaks to layout and typography, and a discussion of the online PDF alternative, a single-column version (in this case 53 pages) designed for those who read C&I on various sorts of screens--iPads, netbooks, notebooks, Kindles, Nooks and others.

Social Networks (pp. 6-16)

The Social Network Scene, Part 1: Catching up with social network miscellany

The Middle (pp. 16-26)

A range of items that might formerly have appeared in Trends & Quick Takes: the non-death of desktop software; "smarter, dumber or both"; closing the digital frontier (or not); and lots more.

The Back (pp. 26-30)

Notes from the 1%, stereo prices and other snark. -- Read More

C&I Survey Results

For those of you who participated in the Cites & Insights reader survey, I've posted the results.

Cites & Insights 12:1 (January-February 2012) available

I won't say Cites & Insights is really back from hiatus, but for now let's say "irregularly published."

Cites & Insights Volume 12, Issue 1 (January-February 2012) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i1.pdf

The 20-page issue, PDF as usual, contains three sections, each separately available in HTML form (the subheadings are links):
Bibs & Blather pp. 1-7

Announcing The Librarian's Guide to Micropublishing and why (almost) every public library and (many) academic libraries need it--and some notes on the virtues of professional editing. Also announcing the availability of Cites & Insights 11 (2011) in book form and offering some numbers for Cites & Insights readership in 2011, some not-very-meaningful notes about most-read posts in Walt at Random (which increasingly seems to be "read" mostly by spiders and spammers), and repeating my Prospectus: An Ongoing Public Library Social Network Scan.

Making it Work: It's Academic (or Not) pp. 7-12 -- Read More

Cites & Insights special issue now available

A special issue of Cites & Insights is now available for downloading (or reading in your browser) at http://citesandinsights.info/hiatus.pdf

This two-page unnumbered issue consists of one brief essay:
Not With a Bang ... (pp. 1-2)

Going on hiatus.

There will be no more issues in Volume 11. If and when there is an index, it will only be part of the annual volume available at Lulu, if and when that volume is available.

Cites & Insights October 2011 available

Cites & Insights 11:9 (October 2011) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ11i9.pdf

The 28-page issue (PDF as usual, with HTML versions of each essay available, either from the C&I home page--which will, incidentally, remind you that contributions or sponsorship are both welcome and might help keep this nonsense going--or from the title links below) includes:

Making it Work: Websites and Social Networks pp. 1-17

Some notes on sampling public library websites (2,406 of them in 25 U.S. states) as part of the research for my 2012 book, a few idle thoughts on public library websites, and a Making it Work roundup and commentary on librarians and social networks.

T&QT Retrospective: Far-Away Services with Strange Sounding Names pp. 17-22

Remember Cuil? Remember Knol? Oddly enough, the latter's still around--but the former may have been a Bigger Deal as a one-week web wonder. Looking back and sideways with a little bemusement.

Offtopic Perspective: 50 Movie Comedy Kings, Part 1 pp. 22-28

Better than the Legends of Horror multipack, with occasional flashes of brilliance (and occasional flashes of stereotyping and schtick). -- Read More

Cites & Insights 11:8 (September 2011) available

Cites & Insights 11: 8 (September 2011) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ11i8.pdf
The 32-page issue (PDF as usual, but each essay is available as an HTML separate) includes:
Bibs & Blather (pp. 1-2)

Requests for help if your public library uses Facebook, Twitter or both, and a quick note about another tweak to C&I.

Writing about Reading: A Future of Books and Publishing (pp. 2-32)

The Diigo tag for the items discussed here was "eb-vs.-pb," but that's not quite right. The bulk of this lengthy Perspective considers items that, to one extent or another, either favor ebooks over print books, vice-versa, or--better yet--compare the two complementary textual forms of book (not that there aren't others, e.g., audiobooks).

As lagniappe, the first 3.3 pages offer a future of books and publishing (not the future, but a future)--one set of possibilities that I might personally find desirable, looking ten years out and "while I'm still alive"--say 35 years out.

Cites & Insights August 2011 available

Cites & Insights 11:7 (August 2011) is now available.
The 18-page issue, PDF as usual, includes three sections, each also available in HTML form (and, for two of them, with live links as appropriate):
Bibs & Blather pp. 1-2

The state of the ejournal, such as it is.

Copyright Comments: Talking About the Public Domain pp. 2-10

A mixed bag of notes on relatively recent items related to the growth (or non-growth) of the public domain.

Offtopic Perspective: Mystery Collection Part 4 pp. 10-18

Notes on movies (and early TV shows) on discs 18-24 of the 60-disc, 250-movie Mystery Collection.

Cites & Insights 11:6 available

Cites & Insights 11:6, June/July 2011, is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ11i6.pdf

Barring a pleasant surprise, this is the final issue before ALA. The first essay in the 28-page issue (PDF as usual, but all essays except the last are also available in HTML form from http://citesandinsights.info/) may help explain why that is.
Contents
Bibs & Blather (pp. 1-2)

Where do we go from here?

Trends & Quick Takes (pp. 2-9)

Eight mini-commentaries and three quick takes.

disContent (pp. 9-12)

A twofer: Two of my favorite "disContent" columns.

Interesting & Peculiar Products (pp. 12-20)

Twentyone product discussions (where "product" is interpreted loosely) and two editor's choice/roundups.

The CD-ROM Project (pp. 20-23)

The subtitle says it (almost) all: Some Work, Many Don't. The two that worked are both excellent--but so were some of the eight that didn't.

My Back Pages (pp. 23-28)

One essay that's way too long for MBP and five other chunks of snark.

 

Cites & Insights 11:5 (May 2011) available

Cites & Insights 11:5 (May 2011) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ11i5.pdf

The 44-page issue is PDF as usual, and consists of 1.5 essays. Each essay (or portion) is also available as an HTML separate; click on the essay titles. If this seems like an all-ebook issue, that's not intentional.

This issue includes:
Perspective: Writing about Reading (continued) pp. 1-16

This essay completes Perspective: Writing about Reading from the April 2011 C&I, with sections on how ebooks will (if you believe the authors) change reading and writing; "all singing! all dancing"--in which the only future for books is as multimedia extravaganzas; and writing about writing. It's snarkier than the first portion, even though it's been heavily desnarked.

The Zeitgeist: 26 is Not the Issue pp. 16-44

This abecedary goes from Absurd licenses to... Well, no, the topic is the only one truly suitable for the Zeitgeist label at the moment--HarperCollins, pay-per-view in some form, deals with the devil and what you lose when ownership turns to licenses.

If this one seems long, I'll note two things: -- Read More

Cites & Insights April 2011 available

Cites & Insights 11:4 (April 2011) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ11i4.pdf

The 32-page issue, PDF but with most essays also available as HTML separates, includes:
Perspective: Writing about Reading pp. 1-24

Dipping one toe gingerly into the ebook/ereader waters, here's the first of a two-part megaperspective on the nature of books, reading and writing. (Anticipate the snarkier second part in the May 2011 issue, barring surprises.)

Trends & Quick Takes pp. 24-27

More predictions, the gap between tools and talent, the cost of "free," and seven quicker takes.

The CD-ROM Project pp. 27-30

Six title CD-ROMs about political and cultural leadership--and, unfortunately, the message is right in the title: "Sometimes They Just Don't Work."

My Back Pages pp. 30-32

Only three of nine snarky little essays have anything to do with audiophilia--and in one case, that's stretching things.

 

Cites & Insights March 2011 available

Cites & Insights 11:3 (March 2011) is now available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ11i3.pdf

The 32-page issue (PDF, but with HTML separates in the links below) includes:
Bibs & Blather (p. 1)

Announcing preorder availability of Open Access: What You Need to Know Now, from ALA Editions.

Making it Work Perspective: Five Years Later: Library 2.0 and Balance (cont.) (p. 1-22)

The rest of the story, focusing on looking back, looking forward; balance in libraries; balance in librarians and service; and "the next Library 2.0?"--which I do not plan to cover.

Trends & Quick Takes Perspective: Forecasts and Futurism (p. 23-32)

Seven commentaries on how 2010 forecasts worked out, ten forecasts for 2011, two pieces on the perils of futurism and a few library futures.

Cites & Insights February 2011 available

Cites & Insights 11:2 (February 2011) is now available for downloading--at http://citesandinsights.info/civi11i2.pdf (if you're not seeing the link).

The 28-page issue (in PDF form, but with each section available in crude HTML--noting that the first essay would require considerably more paper to print out than the whole PDF issue) includes:
Making it Work Perspective: Five Years Later: Library 2.0 and Balance (pp. 1-26)

It's been five years since Library 2.0 and "Library 2.0" and this seemed like a good time to revisit some of these themes.

Bibs & Blather: Where's Chapter 4? (pp. 26-28)

Why this issue does not include Chapter 4 of The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010.

Cites & Insights January 2011 now available

Cites & Insights 11:1 (January 2011) is now available for downloading.

The 32-page issue is a PDF download as usual. HTML separates--or, in one case, PDF separate--are available for most essays; follow the links below.

This issue includes:
Bibs & Blather (pp. 1-2)

Announcing The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010 (and a pre-Midwinter early-bird discount) and Cites & Insights 10 in book form (also with a pre-Midwinter discount).

Interesting & Peculiar Products (pp. 2-9)

Sixteen products and eight roundups/Editors' Choices, from USB 3.0 to Windows 7 on an 11-year-old PC.

The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010: Chapter 3: How, Where and When (pp. 9-18)

[Note: This link is to a 6x9" PDF.] Six aspects of most or all of the 1,304 liblogs in this massive study: How they're created (blogging software), where they're written (country of origin), how visible they are (Google Page Rank), when they began, how long they've lasted and currency (a timed snapshot of freshness of posts).

Trends & Quick Takes (pp. 18-24) -- Read More

Cites & Insights January 2011 now available

Cites & Insights 11:1 (January 2011) is now available for downloading.

The 32-page issue is a PDF download as usual. HTML separates--or, in one case, PDF separate--are available for most essays; follow the links below.

This issue includes:
Bibs & Blather (pp. 1-2)

Announcing The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010 (and a pre-Midwinter early-bird discount) and Cites & Insights 10 in book form (also with a pre-Midwinter discount).

Interesting & Peculiar Products (pp. 2-9)

Sixteen products and eight roundups/Editors' Choices, from USB 3.0 to Windows 7 on an 11-year-old PC.

The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010: Chapter 3: How, Where and When (pp. 9-18)

[Note: This link is to a 6x9" PDF.] Six aspects of most or all of the 1,304 liblogs in this massive study: How they're created (blogging software), where they're written (country of origin), how visible they are (Google Page Rank), when they began, how long they've lasted and currency (a timed snapshot of freshness of posts).

Trends & Quick Takes (pp. 18-24) -- Read More

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