Author Archives: librarybob1

A Desperate Partnership

Desperate on the side of the publishers anyway …. My library (I’m a public library director) was approached a couple months ago by an “author publicist” eager to set up a few author visits here at the library.  For free. … Continue reading

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The Problem with Questions

We librarian-types who work the reference desk help people who have questions.  These questions coming to us can be put in four somewhat overlapping categories:  those the inquirer understands and those he/she does not and those the librarian understands and … Continue reading

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“Knowledge Management” vs. “Information Management”

The following was originally written for a local Chamber of Commerce newsletter: Everyone knows that a library … be it a books-and-mortar library or a database … holds a great deal of information.  But knowledge, however, is rather different. Knowledge, … Continue reading

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Libraries and Knowledge Management

Many people think of libraries and librarians as being involved in a rather dry and now antique type of “information management.”  That’s not far off the mark regarding much of what librarians are traditionally thought to do. On the other … Continue reading

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Your Local Public Intellectual

One of the odd things about being a librarian is that people expect you to know things.  Not just “library stuff” but things about the world in general.  Politics.  Foreign affairs.  Baseball statistics. It’s a bit much and a role … Continue reading

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Keeping Up with the Jones’s

There’s an old joke about two explorers walking through the dry veldt grasses and coming across a lion.  As they back away, one turns and starts running. The other calls out, “Why are you running so fast?  You can’t outrun … Continue reading

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Folks, It’s Not Really an Emergency Room

It may sound a bit odd to read, but oftentimes the public library is an emergency room.  No one’s been shot, of course, and there’s no one having a heart attack or being treated for a broken arm.  It’s just … Continue reading

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The Wealth of Publishers

It’s no secret that there are people worried about the future of libraries.  I would suggest that this is a passing problem, with libraries realigning to take advantage of new media and modes of distribution. The ones to worry about … Continue reading

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Your Attention, Please

Not-so-long ago, the day began at first light and ended with nightfall.  People – Lincoln, perhaps – might stay up to read by candlelight or the glow of the hearth, but unless one had the money for many candles the … Continue reading

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Forced to be Professionals

One of the odder parts of “public library culture” is, in my view, entirely too much claim for anonymity on the part of professional librarians.   Many do not even have business cards, much less hand them out to library patrons. … Continue reading

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