March 23, 2007

Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change by Walt Crawford

Walt Crawford has finally announced the title of his new book: Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change.

A library system that stands still is unbalanced and headed for trouble. A library staff obsessed with Hot New Things and aiming for new users at the expense of familiar services and existing patrons is unbalanced and headed for trouble. Very few libraries fall into either extreme, but sometimes it seems as though we’re urged toward one extreme. This book grew, indirectly, out of discussions surrounding and emanating from “Library 2.0”—the ideas, the set of initiatives and the term itself. I believe those discussions have shifted toward more balanced approaches. This book aims to develop and continue those discussions. It is divided into three sections, not including the first and last two chapters. Three chapters discuss the library and its community. Four chapters discuss barriers to change. The remainder of the book discusses positive aspects of change.

It look very interesting; I've already ordered my copy and I can't wait to read it. It's self-published via POD company; from my experience with the Open Laboratories book (Lulu page) I can say that their books look great -- basically the same as high quality trade paperbacks.

I expect this book to get quite a good buzz in the biblioblogosphere as Walt is one of the most sensible yet no-holds-barred commentators in the library world. And I'm not just saying this because I'm cited three times in the bibliography ;-)

Update 2007.04.11:
The book arrived yesterday, Tuesday, April 10th. I ordered it on March 22nd, so that gives an idea of how long it takes to make it to Canada, give or take a couple of days due to the long Easter weekend with no mail delivery. Shipping was us$7.58, tax us$1.75 for a total of us$30.83. I haven't received my credit card bill yet for the total in cdn$, but I'll update here when it arrives. Physically, the book looks terrific and I can't wait to read it; I might take it along to Computers in Libraries.

1 comment:

waltc said...

John, It took 10 days for my own copy to arrive in California, and the shortest report I have is of a week (in Ohio). So 18 days is awful, but not as awful as it might be (I shudder to think how long it will take known UK orders to arrive).

I look forward to your review, no matter how it comes out. (If you love the cover, thank my wife, who took the photo.)