Posted by: Steven Harris | October 24, 2010

Scattered Clouds

The Green DragonThis story starts when someone tried to steal my truck a couple of weeks back. No, this story really starts when I followed someone’s link on Twitter to get free extra storage space if I signed up for Dropbox, a cloud storage service. I signed up for Dropbox almost a year ago and got my extra space. I’m still just using the free service, but Dropbox does offer paid accounts with 50GB and 100GB of storage.

So, what about the truck? Well, this summer I bought a beautiful, used Ford Ranger. I call him The Green Dragon. I’ve been driving it to work for 4 months. A couple weeks ago some idiot tried to steal my truck. This genius used some kind of tool to make a mash of the passenger door lock and the ignition. I couldn’t even get a key into the ignition to start it. This was especially distressing because I had planned to drive to give a presentation at the New Mexico Library Association Mini-conference in Gallup a couple of hours west of Albuquerque.

I did manage to find someone who would work on the locks the day before the conference. Trouble was, I was in meetings all day. I finally got through with meetings at 4:20 and had to rush off to get the truck before the mechanic closed at 5:00 p.m. (This is becoming a long story.) I didn’t even go back to my office to gather my things. Turns out, however, UNM was on Fall break. The library closed at 6:00 p.m. I didn’t make it back before closing. (I should note here that no one but a select few even have a key to the building.)

Road to GallupThe problem was that I didn’t have my PowerPoint presentation that I planned to use at the conference. Luckily, I thought, I have the file stored in Dropbox. Right? I had been told that Internet connectivity might be out during the conference. So, I went home, connected to Dropbox and saved the file on a Flash drive (in addition to the laptop itself). The only Flash drive I could find around the house was actually an SD memory card drive with a USB connector. It’s a little wider than a typical Flash drive.

When I got to the conference, I discovered that the computer in the presentation room had a case where the USB ports were in a narrow space. My drive wouldn’t fit! No worries. Once again, Dropbox to the rescue. The Internet networking was working. I logged into Dropbox and downloaded the file again. After all that I also had issues with getting the projector to work! Turns out one of the connections was loose. Check those connections.

The moral of this story  is that the cloud is a great way to get at your digital material when you don’t want to be tied to a particular piece of hardware. Cloud storage like Dropbox can give you access no matter where you are and whether or not you have access to you own computers. I’m thinking about upgrading to a paid account. In truth, I’d like more storage space than 100GB. I already have more than 100GB of material on my various PCs. A terabyte or more would be better. Imagine storing all your music and video and text files in the cloud. That’s my new fantasy.

Posted by: Steven Harris | October 21, 2010

I got your ebook manifesto right here!

It is clear that 2010 is being widely recognized as that singular moment when the ebook broke loose, when mention of ebooks in the reading community stimulated thoughts of “sooner than you think” rather then “not quite yet,” when Kindle downloads outstripped hardback sales at Amazon, when the tipping point had finally been reached. The platforms, formats, and marketplace all seem poised to make the ebook the standard of how books are published and distributed. Libraries, too, are poised to take advantage of this and offer the ebook form to their users. But, it seems, it is still a time when publishers are very concerned about the shareable nature of digital files. Where the right of first sale had always been the library’s greatest tool in the sharing of tangible materials, publishers now see the opportunity with digital materials to require more stringent restrictions on lending. Some would have license agreements prohibit uses that prevail with physical books. But just as bad, some would have the use of ebooks mirror exactly the use of physical books. Thus, we have news today of the Publishers Association in the United Kingdom announcing an agreement to allow libraries to loan ebooks, to allow library patrons to download ebook files, but ONLY IF THEY ARE ON THE PREMISES OF THE LIBRARY!

It’s hard to imagine a move that is more sinister and threatening to libraries. Certainly, it has a smiling, beneficent side: “Sure, you can loan our ebooks in your library.” But then the evil smirk comes to the corner of the mouth: “But only if they come into the library and plug their device into your computer. BWA HA HA!” If ebook publishing really does become the standard within a few years, this kind of policy will be the death knell for libraries. Print books have always had great benefits; that is why it has been an effective technology for over 500 years. The only reason to move forward with ebooks is to capture those benefits that print books can’t provide: freedom from a particular physical manifestation–rapid and wide distribution–multiple users of the content (I was going to say “a single file,” but in the digital world that DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE.) Eli Neiburger had it right in a recent presentation at the LJ ebook summit. Library users want to reap the benefits of digital technology. The notion of waiting in line for a digital loan is ridiculous. There is no physical reason why ebook use should be limited that way. The same holds for requiring geographic proximity to a physical location. (The PA agreement makes not only the requirement of visiting the library, but also that the library must maintain secure “geographic membership” requirements.) Of course, the reasons for limitation are purely economic.

Just as libraries are set to move beyond the limitations of geography, the publishers are prepared to thwart that progress. Many academic libraries serve users that are widely scattered. A little thing we call distance education. Digital information is a great boon to that kind of educational offering. But even public libraries have the potential to serve widely dispersed users. But the Publishers Association has other ideas. “Hello, good citizens in Barrow, Alaska. We have a wonderful ebook collection available for your use. Please come to the State Library in Juneau to download these materials at your convenience.”

Thus, I find that I must present this as my EBOOKS IN LIBRARIES MANIFESTO:

  1. The digital nature of ebooks offers great benefits that publishers and libraries should learn to exploit together.
  2. Clinging to practices that held sway in the physical book environment will be counterproductive to ebook uptake.
  3. Libraries will be as important to the uptake of ebook technology as marketing campaigns by publishers.
  4. Libraries must be allowed to distribute ebooks electronically to widely dispersed users.
  5. Libraries must be allowed to circulate an ebook to multiple users at a time.
  6. Authorized library users must be allowed to download an ebook to the device of their choosing, without being required to visit a physical library.
  7. Libraries are willing to implement some limit on the length of use of the downloaded ebook (DRM if you will). The library would not be giving away ownership of ebook files. Let the library select a limit that is best for its user population.
  8. Libraries are willing to adopt different pricing models for innovative digital services. Certainly, a multi-user ebook will be priced differently than a single print book. But the cost cannot be a factor of the total user population. Total actual use is a more realistic gauge of price. Libraries are willing pay more for heavily used materials. In turn, we would like to pay nothing for unused materials. Let us abandon “just in case” costs and focus on actual use. Digital makes that possible.
  9. Certainly, the copy-ability of ebooks could be a threat to publisher profits, but it is unlikely that such copying will be from library collections.
  10. Librarians are not pirates.

I’m hoping we can sustain enough librarian outrage to keep North American publishers from adopting agreements like that of the Publishers Association. Don’t bring that crap here! I jokingly tweeted, Let it be known as the Great Ebook Blog Storm of October 21, 2010Jason Griffey and Andy Woodworth have come through with thoughtful posts, along with Ian Clark and CILIP in the UK. Librarians: talk to vendors and publishers about this topic every opportunity you get. They need to realize we are a benefit to their ebook futures. If they want us to buy their offerings, we need to be able to make full use of the strengths of ebooks. Don’t hold us back through some misguided sense of protecting yourselves.

Another response from the public library sector in the UK from “Voices in the Library.”

Posted by: Steven Harris | July 13, 2010

Who Needs Libraries?

Computer users, some listening to music

Courtesy of the New Jersey Library Association:

Public libraries are in financial dire straits all over the U.S. The dismal economy means public funds on the national, state, and local level are tight. A lot of library services and even libraries themselves are on the chopping block. The same is true around the world, really. There is an article in The  Guardian this morning entitled “We still need libraries in the digital age” by Ian Clark from Canterbury Christ Church University library in Kent, England. Public libraries in the UK are funded largely through national funds granted by Parliament. That funding is widely under attack by those who say libraries are an unnecessary luxury in the age of Google.

Clark makes some good points about providing information access to the under-served and disadvantaged. He also points out the role of libraries in improving the information literacy of a community. Finally, he notes that while physical library visits have declined, visits to online resources are up over 49%.

The notion of library use is interesting to me. We have not had very good metrics to describe how much libraries get used. Even with the development of initiatives like Project Counter, the situation is even worse for use of electronic library collections. It’s hard to say what gets used and how much it gets used. Nonetheless, I find the idea that libraries are no longer important to be unsupported by the data. Yes, there is a decline in some kinds of use (physically walking in the door), but there is still a lot of it.

My library, for example, has had about a 20% decline in checking out physical books over the past 5 years, but still, there were over 218,000 circulations during the 2008-9 academic year. 218,000 physical things that people in our user community wanted. Even with a decline, I don’t think those numbers are insignificant. We don’t have good longitudinal data about electronic use, and the way things are counted (even with Project Counter standards) changes over time. Yet, we had over 1.5 million user logins to our online resources in 2008-9. Those users accessed over 8 million unique digital items. They made around 280,000 queries of our databases. The idea that libraries are unimportant is ridiculous. The digital age only means that the library is now largely online, but its importance is, if anything, greater.

The comments on Clark’s article are rather amusing: folks who say (paraphrase), “we don’t need libraries when we have stuff like JSTOR,” not realizing that it is only through a library subscription that they have access to that kind of licensed material. Information may want to be free, but it isn’t yet. Somebody has to pay for it and, thus, somebody has to decide what gets paid for. Libraries, whether we are talking about physical or online, are mechanisms for collectively sharing the cost of information. In the public library environmental especially, libraries are a way of ensuring that those without the financial means can still have access to useful information. If we become a society where access to information is based solely on the ability to pay, we will have become greatly diminished as a culture.

Posted by: Steven Harris | July 12, 2010

The 50-year Old Librarian and the Temple of Doom

MirrorsIt’s been 3 months since I last blogged. There are probably a few reasons for that. I have not really become a habitual blogger. I tend to ponder quite a bit about possible blog topics before getting anything down in bits and bytes. Sometimes I ponder the topic right out of my mind and forget to blog it at all. Sometimes they just become moldy and stale to me. Another reason I haven’t blogged much this Spring is that Spring is the cruelest season for collections and acquisitions librarians. We are scrambling like mad to figure out what we need to do before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. We have to make sure all our collections funds are spent and do a lot of year-end close-out juggling. Shift these funds there. Figure out what is outstanding. Hound vendors to hurry and send invoices. Pay some invoices early if you can. It’s a fairly hellish time of year.

Another reason I think I haven’t been blogging much in recent months is that I just turned 50. Typically, I don’t give much credence to the notion of “important” birthdays. 21…whatevah. 30? Meh! But 50 has me thinking about all kinds of doomsday scenarios. It kind of puts one in a mood of really examining your career and your accomplishments. Honestly, there are a lot of things I would have liked to have accomplish by now that I haven’t, both professionally and personally. Where is that 500 page post-modern novel? When will I ever visit the Outer Hebrides? And why am I not the LeBron James of academic library collection development? More so though, I begin to think about what else I want to do in my career and how much time I have to do it. Realistically, I have to think that I have about 15 years to do significant things in librarianship. I will probably work beyond 65, but I’ll likely be the guy they stick off in a corner to putter around on his odd little esoteric projects. I won’t be leading the charge.

So, I think I need to come up with a personal strategic plan. What do I want to do? Where do I want to do it? What are the steps along the way? All of that is still fairly nebulous for me. I want to continue investigating how we can make academic libraries transition from an archival kind of philosophy to a service philosophy. How to make library collections more responsive to immediate user needs, rather than simply accumulating a huge pile of stuff and hope that it serves the local population adequately? How can we get both library organizations and campus communities to buy into an on-demand or patron-driven collecting model? (Because, honestly, even the user community doesn’t quite accept the model. Every faculty member wants their library to be Harvard or Yale.) All of that requires that I think honestly about myself and about the leadership qualities I need to bring to this plan. I need to think about whether I have the skills I need to make a significant impact in this area, how I go about getting the skills I might be lacking, and whether I have enough career left in me to pull it off.

There. That all sounds a bit like a downer, but I don’t really feel that way. It is something of a crossroads for me. I need to make some serious decisions, but it’s all what makes this career interesting. But I guess I’ll put off working on that post-modern novel until next year.

Posted by: Steven Harris | April 11, 2010

iPad v Tablet PC

I’ve been thinking about why the iPad seems to be such a technology sensation. People have been bandying around phrases like “changes everything” and “Kindle killer” with reckless abandon. I especially have wondered about why the iPad is expected to succeed where the Tablet PC failed. I asked that question on Twitter. Some of the answers:

On the minus for the Tablet PC: crappy battery life, bad display, poor aesthetics, ineffective stylus input. To which I would add that they are too heavy for their own form-factor.

On the plus side for iPad: Apple aesthetics, better battery life, multi-touch screen, better display, social media integration, and the whole apps and developer relationship. That, it seems, is the winning combo. Apple has made development for the iPhone and iPad an important part of their success, but they’ve also made the user experience of acquiring apps an easy and pleasant thing through the iTunes store. (Mind you, it could be a lot better.)

Posted by: Steven Harris | March 20, 2010

Provocative Statements

So after writing about the Taiga Forum’s Provocative Statements a couple weeks back, I figured it was time I came up with my own. Ergo:

The most important things in libraries are people: those working there and those visiting.

Library users should hardly know that librarians exist, unless they (users) feel a need to invent the friendliest, most knowledgeable people on earth.

The more we give up control, get out of people’s way, let them do what they want, the more important and significant we become.

Books and everything else in the library are for using. (Shout out to Ranganathan.) Having it wear out from overuse is the highest praise. A pristine book on the shelf is a sad thing indeed. A stolen book is a triumph. We should hand a book to everybody walking out the door. Our servers should feel like they are under a denial of service attack.

Libraries collect experiences. Then we lend them out to different people. The result is more experiences created, like a sourdough bread starter. We should figure out how to collect the experiences of the experiences.

Making people feel is the highest aspiration. Making them feel happy is the highest of the highest.

Format isn’t important. It’s always changing. The best one is whatever people will use.

The library environment is more important than ever, whether of bricks or clicks. The experience people have while finding information is part of the information.

Posted by: Steven Harris | March 14, 2010

The History of Right Now

I keep writing again and again about things that concern me. Not “I’d like to do something about this problem” kind of concern. Stuff that makes me nervous. Things I might be able to do something about, but I’m not sure if the approaches I’ve been advocating are the right solution. Like ebooks. Like patron-driven acquisitions. So I keep writing about them, talking to myself. Trying to figure out what I believe.

Like giving up the  preservation impulse in libraries to deliver a more here-and-now kind of service mentality. Me to library user: “What is it you want RIGHT NOW? I’ll get it for you.” That in and of itself doesn’t seem like a bad thing, but given the economic situation most libraries find themselves in (not just now–have for 20 years really) it’s difficult to serve two masters. Are we preserving all that is thought and felt in human society? Saving the culture for future generations? Or are we meeting all the information needs of the people currently sitting in the reading room, the reference department, even the library website? Do we cover the current needs like Gary “the glove” Patton used to cover his NBA opponents, with no thought of the long-term implications?

It occurs to me that for much of library history, we’ve thought of these impulses as one. We collect materials or offer information services AND we preserve forever all those materials and services. In the world of physical information objects and ownership of those, this was not an ambiguous or problematic thing. We had the item in hand. We just had to provide an environment where it could survive. Actually, I now realize that this WAS a complicated situation. If we let the people use the material, if we actually encourage the use, the physical object itself could be degraded or destroyed. There are, of course, many libraries in the world where use of the collection is discouraged, in the hopes of preserving the material forever, or close to it.

In the digital world, access to and preservation of information is, if anything, even more problematic. This is true for a number of reasons. Digital objects are actually quite fragile. Libraries often do not own the digital objects in their collections; they are simply renting them. Copyright of digital objects is complicated and arcane. Librarians are, of course, developing methods, standards, and principles for dealing with these issues. LOCKSS, CLOCKSS, and Portico are a few of several efforts to bring publishers and librarians together to solve some of these digital preservation problems.

I don’t doubt the value of digital preservation projects. Nor do I doubt that the things preserved are worthy of preservation. But I’m beginning to wonder if the marriage between information provision (service)  and information preservation should be dissolved. Maybe we can think about what information we currently provide and what we plan to preserve [forever] as two separate and distinct functions. We will provide any manner of information service like journal articles or ebooks (paid on an article by article or chapter by chapter basis) without concern for whether we have it forever. Someone wants it now. That is my only concern.

The preservation issue would be thought of completely separate from current need. I determine a few (very few) areas where my library decides it will be the historical repository of information. We collection and preserve in those areas without thought for current use.

Or a variant on this idea: what we provide for the here and now IS what we preserve and protect. We never think of any issue that is our bailiwick for cultural preservation other than the here-and-now of my local user population. My library becomes the history of now, the history of what was actually used in my library. Up to now, many libraries have been the preservers of what was never used in that library, collections of books that never got checked out, but they were there just in case. And they were there as the historical record. But couldn’t we just forgo that unused part of the record? Skip over it altogether and just save the stuff that someone actually asked for and used? If other stuff gets used in another library, great, they can preserve it. Spread across enough libraries, this becomes as much a cross section of our culture as my library trying (and failing) to preserve everything.

One objection to user-driven acquisitions is that the collection will become skewed to some eccentric and faddish today with no thought for tomorrow. I find it difficult to think that collecting based on a current guess about what the future will want isn’t equally skewed. Let our odd present-day foibles be our history, our gift to future generations.

I exaggerate to some extent. Every collection ought to have enough diversity to serve a diversity of reading and research interests. Collecting everything and saving everything, however, seems like a thing of the past. Serve every current need. Get that information to the user as quickly and efficiently as possible. Save that information if you can. Save those other materials that are part of your mission or purpose. Hang the rest of it!

Posted by: Steven Harris | March 6, 2010

The Gravity of a Library

Seattle Public Library: Photo by Kees de Vos (Flickr)

Seattle Public Library

A library is like a celestial body: it exerts gravitational pull on the objects around it. Sometimes that pull is great because the library is extremely large. Although even small libraries have their attractive features. Some libraries are solid and average like the earth. Some are huge and turbid like Jupiter. Many are as small as the rock called Pluto. Others are as bright and hot as the sun.  Very few have the density and mass of a black hole.

The gravity of a library can be calculated thus:

Formula to calculate library gravitywhere G (gravity) is equal to the sum of C (collections) and S (services) multiplied by P (personnel) divided by F (facilities), which, in this case, is an expression of facilities inadequacy (higher inadequacy results in lower gravity).

Typically, a library organization will seek to balance these factors in order to maximize gravity, but many are willing to sacrifice several factors (facilities, service, and investment in quality personnel, for example) in order to invest in one (collections, let’s say). It is clear that all of the quality accrued through collections, services, and personnel can be undone by shabby furniture, dirty restrooms, antiquated computers, and poorly shelved materials.

DOK Delft Library. Photo from bieblein (Flickr)

DOK Delft Library

What is it that library gravitational pull will attract? Customers, obviously. Users. Patrons. For a public library, this might be residents of the surrounding community or region. A research library like the Huntington or the New York Public might pull from further away. In the case of academic libraries, as noted by Ross Atkinson,* the gravitational pull could attract faculty of high standing to teach and work at that college or university (and thus attract graduate students as well). Students, in general, can’t resist an attractive library with comfortable study space. It is also true that libraries with widely recognized collections or very stunning facilities will attract high-quality personnel.

Money is also drawn to libraries of high gravity. This can come in the form of support from the parent organization. University presidents and city managers will tend to fund libraries with demonstrated standing in the community, attractive facilities, widely recognized collections, or outgoing and engaging staff. Fund-granting organizations will also reward these features, as will private donors. A public library with good “foot traffic” will probably encourage commercial and retail ventures to spring up in the neighborhood around it.

Regarding a specific feature, collections tend to attract collections. A library with large holdings of Americana will get offers of more from collectors and publishers of similar materials. On a smaller scale, all libraries have some gravity for people hoping to dispose of their unwanted books, magazines, and reel-to-reel tapes. The library will exert much greater force than the garbage can in back, causing the donors to drop the material on the library loading dock late at night even after being told that it was not needed by the library.

USU Merrill-Cazier Library

USU Merrill-Cazier Library

Libraries of great gravity tend to attract innovation as well. Although it is known that physically large libraries, like battleships, may take a long time to turn. Projects requiring large technological infrastructure always gravitate towards larger collections. Google Books, for example is not making use of the long tail of smaller libraries; it’s going right for the massive head of the curve. The same is true for the Open Content Alliance. In a previous job, I worked at Utah State University, in an academic library of medium stature (not an ARL). I called and emailed OCA several times to express interest in participating in digitization projects. To no avail. Not enough gravity.

It begins to look like a chicken and egg situation. What comes first, funding, collections, and personnel, or gravity? How can one get gravity with all the world allied against you? It is unlikely, in this day and age, that a library with small collections will be able to invest enough to create a large collection. On the other hand, collecting the kinds of things that the user community is attracted to will increase the gravity. Investing in a strong public service ethic will always raise the pull of  the library. Hiring good people and letting them do good things always pays off. Maybe you can’t build a new building or buy new furniture, but you can keep what you have well-maintained and in good condition. You can keep the stacks in good order. You can weed the worn out and out-of-date material. Step-by-step, slowly you turn from small, insignificant asteroid in the Kuiper belt to a major planet in your region of the universe. A celestial body with real pull.

UNM Zimmerman Library

UNM Zimmerman Library

*Atkinson, Ross. “Six Key Challenges for the Future of Collection Development.” Library Resources & Technical Services 50.4 (2006): 244-251. OA version.

Posted by: Steven Harris | February 28, 2010

Getting Rid of Stuff

Apparently, AULs like to get rid of stuff. I’ve read the Taiga ForumProvocative Statements” (PDF) before but recently read a response from the Music Library Association (PDF). One issue I have with the provocative statements is the negative fashion in which they are formed: “libraries will have abandoned” or “will no longer” or “cease to exist…” I guess that’s what makes them provocative. This kind of “what should we give up” thinking has become a very common part of library strategic planning. I suppose it’s understandable. It’s  hard to envision how you can add new duties and responsibilities without giving up something. I, however, don’t think it’s a very productive way to plan. I think you can plan more effectively by deciding what is important, whether it is currently done or not. The things at the top of the list are where the discussion should happen. Why spend so much time on the bottom of the list?

Two negatively posed statements from Taiga suggest that “collection development as we know it will cease to exist” (#2) and “libraries will have given up on the ‘outreach librarian’ model” (#5). I think these are both pretty far from the truth. Certainly, purchase-on-demand will become more and more important. But it is primarily useful as a means of augmenting the collection by rapid (or immediate) purchasing to meet needs that weren’t already anticipated in other collection activities. I don’t see any of the ARL libraries (especially those in the upper echelon) giving up the selection of materials. And, of course, that selection is going to be done by “outreach librarians” or subject specialists.

Part of why I think Taiga is off the mark on this issue is that the statements fail to recognize all the reasons collection development has been done in the past. One of the best summaries of these reasons is Ross Atkinson’s introduction* to the Janus Conference several years ago (the OA version available on eCommons@Cornell).

Atkinson identifies three main reasons for library collections: political/economic (collections are a cultural capital that attracts scholars, faculty, students, and more capital), preservation (collections are a way of ensuring the survival of information and artifacts), and contextualizing/privileging (of all the vast amounts of information available in the world, this is what is important for our institution or organization).

This last reason is what I think especially survives even in an all-electronic, purchase-on-demand world. And Atkinson gets this exactly right. In a world where all information is discoverable and retrievable, the context of my organization is still more important than everything else in the world. That, I think, is a function that outreach librarians will continue to perform, even in the on-demand, electronic world: Pre-selecting and filtering the world of information into a package that is more manageable and useful to the library’s users. This is always what selection and collection development did, but where that function was especially useful because it once took a long time to acquire and provide access to materials, it is still valuable because having everything a click away doesn’t mean that it will be discovered at the right time.

Certainly, libraries will want to make as much information available to library users on demand and in an unmediated way. They should get whatever they want, but in many circumstances, they won’t know what they want until they see it in a meaningful context. I think this will be especially true for undergraduate students, but it applies none the less to graduate students and faculty as well.

I think the AULs will have to get rid of something else besides collection development and the librarians who do it. There are also a lot of economic reasons why I think the “collection development will cease” statement is off the mark. I’ll get to those in another post, perhaps.

*Atkinson, Ross. “Six Key Challenges for the Future of Collection Development.” Library Resources & Technical Services 50.4 (2006): 244-251.

Posted by: Steven Harris | January 25, 2010

Library Day in the Life

I’m taking part in a Library Day in the Life event. Since I am tweeting and posting Flickr photos as well, I think I’ll make this day in the life a single post on the blog here. Updated throughout the day.

Thus: I am Steven R. Harris, Director of Collections & Acquisitions Services at the University of New Mexico. It’s a hugely busy day!

  • Write performance reviews
  • Catch up on hugely behind email
  • Write a library funding proposal to our VP of Research
  • Settle agenda for the Faculty Senate Library Committee (which I chair) for meeting tomorrow
  • Go to a search committee meeting
  • Meet with selectors to talk about Latin American book approval plans and whether we should make them deposit accounts

The play by play:

6:10 a.m. Got on the bus an hour earlier than normal to catch up on this work

7:00 a.m. Satellite Coffee to catch up on email and read a journal license agreement.

  • One of the reasons I have such a hard time keeping up with email is that so much of it anymore requires that I do something. No breezing through without several minutes of follow up. Takes me a half hour to do 10 emails. Bleh!

10:00 a.m. Still on email. My life is putting out one fire after another sent to me via email. Order books, schedule meetings, review minutes, cancel meetings, compile responses about database renewals, send purchase orders.

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