Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet

In Tubes, Andrew Blum, a correspondent at Wired magazine, takes us on an engaging, utterly fascinating tour behind the scenes of our everyday lives and reveals the dark beating heart of the Internet itself. A remarkable journey through the brave new technological world we live in, Tubes is to the early twenty-first century what Soul of a New Machine—Tracy Kidder’s classic story of the creation of a new computer—was to the late twentieth.

On sale on Amazon for $1.99

Cites & Insights 13:9 (September 2013) available

Cites & Insights 13:9 (September 2013) is now available for downloading at the Cites & Insights homepage.

The early, special issue is 10 pages long. If you're reading online or doing anything other than printing it out, you're much better off downloading the single-column online edition, which is 24 pages long, as most of the special issue is a rough draft of a book chapter that includes graphs and tables, which had to be compressed (reducing the type size in the tables quite a bit!) to fit into the narrower columns of the print version.

The issue consists of a single essay (albeit one that includes a draft book chapter as an example):

$4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets--Help Needed pp. 1-10

I've started the followup to Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four (2012-13), and I'm trying to crowdfund inexpensive or free versions of the book (and presell copies) through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

This issue describes the project: Two books (one with libraries by size, one with libraries by state) combining tables, graphs and commentary to offer reasonably detailed pictures of countable public library benefits for FY2011 and how they've changed from 2009 to 2011, and A Library Is..., a collection of public library slogans and mottoes.

Cites & Insights 13:8 available

Cites & Insights 13:8 (August 2013) is now available for downloading at

The regular two-column print-oriented issue is 28 pages long; the online-oriented 6x9 single-column version is 54 pages long.

The issue includes:
Perspective: Differences pp. 1-7

Yes, Perspectives is back--this time with an essay about perception and value.

Social Networks pp. 7-21

The smile of a lonely realist

Sometimes a book is worthwhile for one good line in the book.
This line from the book "Old Glory : A Voyage Down the Mississippi by Jonathan Raban" made the entire book worthwhile to me.


The man smiled with exaggerated patience. It was the smile of a lonely realist stranded in the society of cloud-cuckoos.

Old Glory : A Voyage Down the Mississippi by Jonathan Raban (page 19)

'Pernicious' Effects of Economic Inequality

It's been said that money is the root of all evil. Does money make people more likely to lie, cheat and steal? Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports on new research from the University of California, Berkeley about how wealth and inequality affects us psychologically.

Sidewalk poetry box

Sidewalk poetry box wins more fans for free verse

Poetry boxes at the library?

Cites & Insights 13:7 (July 2013) available

Cites & Insights 13:7 (July 2013) is now available for downloading at

The regular PDF version (two columns, 8.5x11", designed for print) is 26 pages.

The "online version" (also PDF, one column, 6x9", designed and optimized for online reading) is 52 pages.

Note that this is another case where the online version will offer a better display of one article (the first one) because of graphs.

The issue includes:
The Big Deal and the Damage Done pp. 1-6

If you're in an academic library, you need to be aware of this study, now available in three versions: A regular PDF (no DRM) for $9.99, a paperback for $16.50 and, especially suitable for library schools and any library wishing to make it broadly available, a campus license PDF version for $40 that explicitly allows mounting the book on a campus ebook or other server that allows multiple simultaneous access or downloading by authorized students and other users.

This article includes Chapter 1 of the book and a segment of the concluding chapter. It includes eight graphs that will be easier to read in the one-column version, although they're all entirely readable in the two-column version.

Technology pp. 6-10

A dozen little essays about a dozen specific technologies.

The CD-ROM Project pp. 10-16

Moving toward the finish line: Possibly the last installment in this series, mostly a set of disappointments with two bright spots.


To Save Everything, Click Here

Book: To Save Everything, Click Here

In the very near future, “smart” technologies and “big data” will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions in politics, culture, and everyday life. Technology will allow us to solve problems in highly original ways and create new incentives to get more people to do the right thing. But how will such “solutionism” affect our society, once deeply political, moral, and irresolvable dilemmas are recast as uncontroversial and easily manageable matters of technological efficiency?

Marketing Libraries to Men: Beyond Tom Clancy and W.E.B. Griffin

My thoughts began whirring after reading an article entitled On Men, Elevator Speeches and Market Segments on the Marketing for Libraries. by Library People blog. I had already posted a comment on my elevator speech to the article and then began to thinking about men as a market segment.

Cites & Insights 13:6 (June 2013) now available

The June 2013 Cites & Insights (13:6) is now available for downloading from

The issue is available as a 42-page print-oriented two-column PDF or an 81-page single-column 6x9" online-oriented PDF.

You might think of this as a side-effect issue, as both pieces grow out of work done for the Open Access preconference I did at the Washington/Oregon Library Associations joint conference last week:
The Front: The Big Deal and the Damage Done: Available Now (pg.1)

Brought to You by Mountain Dew

A PIONEER in what has become a hot trend on Madison Avenue — going beyond the realm of traditional advertising and into the world of editorial and entertainment known as content marketing or branded content — is hoping to ramp up its efforts by joining forces with a content specialist.

The End of Power

Moises Naim's new book, "The End of Power," aims to track the history of political power and answer why being in charge isn't what it used to be. Ray Suarez talks with Naim, also a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, about why power is both harder to use and to keep today.

If you don't read my dog, I'll shoot this book.

So I haven't been contributing to LISNews for a long time. Hooray for LISNews.

But the bad news is that I wrote a book. And it's free. Or about a buck, depending on your need to make Amazon richer... I almost wrote reicher, which probably isn't wrong.


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