Ex Libris: an E-Zine for Librarians sponsored by
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#240, February 18, 2005

SUBJECT INDEX to Past Issues

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Neat New Stuff I Found This Week

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My resume
Or why you might want to hire me for speaking engagements or workshops. To see outlines for previous presentations I've done, click on Handouts

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My Writings
A bibliography of my published articles and columns, with links to those available online.

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Order My Books

Net Effects: How Librarians Can Manage the Unintended Consequences of the Internet, and The Quintessential Searcher: the Wit and Wisdom of Barbara Quint.

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What IS Ex Libris?

The purpose and intended scope of this e-zine

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E-Mail Subscription?

For a combined subscription to Neat New Stuff and ExLibris, please click HERE, complete the form, and click on "subscribe." To unsubscribe, use the same form but click on "unsubscribe." To change addresses for an existing subscription, unsubscribe from that form and return to the page to enter the new address.

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Highlights from Previous Issues:

My Rules of Information

  1. Go where it is
  2. Corollary: Who Cares?
  3. The answer depends on the question
  4. Research is a multi-stage process
  5. Ask a Librarian
  6. Information is meaningless until queried by human intelligence
  7. Information can be true and still wrong
  8. Pay attention to the jokes

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Guru Interviews

  1. Tara Calishain
  2. Jenny Levine, part I
  3. Jenny Levine, Part II
  4. Reva Basch
  5. Sue Feldman
  6. Jessamyn West
  7. Debbie Abilock
  8. Kathy Schrock
  9. Greg Notess
  10. William Hann
  11. Chris Sherman
  12. Gary Price
  13. Barbara Quint
  14. Rory Litwin
  15. John Guscott
  16. Brian Smith
  17. Darlene Fichter
  18. Brenda Bailey-Hainer
  19. Walt Crawford
  20. Molly Williams
  21. Genie Tyburski
  22. Patrice McDermott
  23. Carrie Bickner
  24. Karen G. Schneider
  25. Roddy MacLeod, Part I
  26. Roddy MacLeod, Part II
  27. John Hubbard
  28. Micki McIntyre
  29. Péter Jacsó

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Cool Quotes

The collected quotes from all previous issues are at

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When and How To Search the Net

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Wanna See Your Name in Lights?

Or at least on this page, anyway? I'd like to print here your contributions as well as mine. As you've noticed, articles are brief, somewhere between 750 and 1000 words -- something to jog people's minds and get their own good ideas flowing. I'd also be happy to run other people's contributions to the regular features like Favorite Sites on _____. I'll pay you the same rate I pay me: nothing.

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Drop me a Line

Want to comment, ask questions, submit articles, or invite me to speak or do some training? Write me at: marylaine at

Visit My Other Sites

My page on all things book-related.

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How To Find Out of Print Books
Suggested strategies, resources, and finding tools.

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Best Information on the Net
bestinfo/default.htmThe directory I built for O'Keefe Library, St. Ambrose University, still my favorite pit stop on the information highway.

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My Word's Worth
an occasional column on books, words, libraries, American culture, and whatever happens to interest me.

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Book Proposal

Land of Why Not: an Appreciation of America. Proposal for an anthology of some of my best writing. An outline and sample columns are available here.

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My personal page


Rachel Singer Gordon. The Accidental Library Manager. Information Today, 2005. $29.50. 1-57387-210-5. Reviewed by Marylaine Block

Some are born for library management, but an awful lot of us have library management thrust upon us unexpectedly. Should that happen to you, take a couple of days off and read this book. Will it tell you everything you need to know? Hardly. But you can consider it a course outline for the practical class in management that library schools don't seem to offer, complete with case studies, interviews, and recommended reading and web resource lists. [See the web site for the book at <>.]

Gordon speaks to the specialized concerns of all library managers, not just directors: assistant directors, project managers, department heads, managers of one-person-libraries, even non-librarians, paraprofessionals, and volunteers. She draws on comments offered by 244 library managers in a survey she conducted in 2003.

As in her previous books, Gordon points out that the skills we've acquired as librarians will stand us in good stead as we prepare for the job of management: the ability to collect and analyze information, organize it, and share it, the tendency to build networks, and our belief in equity of access and treatment ("as useful when it comes to staff as when dealing with library customers").

The first chapter lets you know what challenges you're in for during the transition period as you first become a manager, and recommends resources and strategies for dealing with those challenges, as well as which habits we need to curtail and which to cultivate. Succeeding chapters deal with managing people, facilities, technology, and (perhaps thorniest of all) change. Other chapters deal with managing external relations (with the board, the press, government), and with legal and ethical issues. The final chapter deals with career development planning for managers, whether or not they wish to continue in management.

Perhaps unique in management books, the chapter on What Library Staff Want gives us a useful view of management through the eyes of the managed. Quoting extensively from the words of survey respondents about their best and worst bosses, she draws lessons about the most desired qualities in managers.

This is an extremely practical book for the first-time manager. It says, in effect, "These are the issues you will have to deal with, and here are some tips on how to handle them. Here are interviews with people who've been in the same situation as you, who explain how they handled it. And since this book can't possibly tell you everything, here's where you should go for more detailed, specific help."

It's yet another fine offering from one of the brightest young lights in our profession.

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Before we leave the library world, we recollect our long-held belief that a library, and the library profession, find their analogy in our cat. The brain of the cat directs him to go out and find a mouse; this is Administration. He perceives, by sight, sound, and smell, the mouse: this is Collection Development. He catches the mouse: this is Acquisitions. He digests the mouse: this is Cataloging and Serials. He comes in and tells us about the mouse: this is Reference. He curls up in a ball and enjoys the mouse: this is Circulation. Finally, later on, he produces, for the out-of-doors, an Annual Report, which no one wants to see. So he buries it. However, he loves, and expects, regular supplies of goodies, and adores being brushed and cuddled and told how beautiful he is.

Noel Peattie, Sipapu_ V.23, N.2, 1993, p.12.

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You are welcome to copy and forward any of my own articles (but not those by my guest writers) for noncommercial purposes as long as you credit ExLibris and cite the permanent URL for the article. Please do NOT copy and post my articles to your own web sites, however. Instead, please copy a brief excerpt and link to the URL for the remainder of the article.

Ex Libris: an E-Zine for Librarians and Other Information Junkies.
Copyright, Marylaine Block, 1999-2005.

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