I probably won’t be blogging much this summer, but wanted to check in so people woudn’t think I’d died or something.
The main reason I won’t be writing much here is that I’m planning to spend most of my writing time on a book instead, or at least part of a book. I’ll be researching and writing a book entitled Libraries and the Enlightenment for the Library Juice Press. The announcement is here. I’ve been toying with this topic since last summer, and it took a good discussion with Rory Litwin and a contract to spur me to action. I’m hoping to capture a lot of my thoughts on politics and the importance of academic and public libraries. The book will be part history, part philosophy, and all wholesome goodness, so if I do manage to finish I hope you will all buy multiple copies. It’s a pity Oprah’s television show will be over by the time it comes out, because I think this would right up her alley.
I’ll still be somewhat busy with conferences, including a few days in DC for ALA Annual. Though I always seem to be busy at ALA, this will probably be my least busy ALA for the next three years, since I somehow managed to win two different elections this spring. I’m going to be a Director-at-Large for RUSA and the Vice-Chair/ Chair Elect for RUSA CODES.
I will also be attending the Reference Renaissance conference in Denver in August. I attended the first one of these two years ago and enjoyed it. If you’re going, you’ll have the rare opportunity to see me speak at a conference, and the unprecedented opportunity to see me speak twice. I’m participating in a debate/discussion with Joe Janes over the ethics and efficacy of what I call "fake reference," the secret shopper type assignments where library school students go out to chat reference services and ask questions that may or not be genuine. Our hope is for a bit of us and a lot of audience participation.
I was also invited to be one of the four plenary speakers at Ref Ren. For some reason, I thought of the great Lady Bracknell line from The Importance of Being Earnest: To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness. Steven Bell and I and a couple of others will be speaking about the "user experience." I haven’t decided what I’m going to say yet, but I’m going back and forth between satire and seriousness. Maybe I’ll try both.
Busy times ahead, but the CV is sure looking good. So if you don’t see much of me here, you’ll know why. Have a good summer.