And as with those two–both of whose blogs I’ve followed for years–I was pleasantly surprised when ScienceBlogs contacted me, in the person of Erin Johnson. I was maybe a little more surprised, since I’m neither a science librarian nor, technically, a librarian at all. (I don’t have an ML[I]S and am exceedingly unlikely to get one at this point, barring an honorary degree.) I’ve been hanging around library and information science types all my adult life, to be sure, and a couple of my books have been used in library school courses–but the only MLS in our household belongs to my wife. After looking at a broader range of ScienceBlogs than the half dozen or so I was already following, I agreed.
Despite the promising title, this blog will rarely deal with probability–and then only from a non-expert perspective. I arrived at the title just over four years ago, when I started yet another library-person blog. The title has a following, so I couldn’t see changing it for ScienceBlogs (and the invitation didn’t suggest such a change). The title related to the place of the blog among a variety of other publishing activities, including:
- Cites & Insights, a monthly ejournal (or zine, if you reserve “journal” for scholarly publications) dealing with the intersections of libraries, media, technology and policy, which I’ve been publishing and writing since December 2000.
- The “disContent” column in EContent Magazine, reflecting an outsider’s view of the econtent industry, which I’ve been writing since 2001 (it was preceded by “CD-ROM Corner,” a series of title CD-ROM reviews beginning in 1997 in EContent‘s predecessor).
- “PC Monitor” in ONLINE Magazine (1999-2006), replaced by “Crawford at Large” beginning in 2008.
The blog was and is a home for stuff that didn’t belong elsewhere or wasn’t yet ready for another venue or a book.
All that writing (500+ articles and columns over the years, including perhaps half a dozen peer-reviewed articles; 14 traditionally-published books and a handful of Lulu self-published experiments) has been on my own time. For five decades (from 1968 to September 2007), my day job was as a systems analyst, designer and programmer in library automation, initially at the Doe Library of the University of California, Berkeley, and later at RLG, the Research Libraries Group. I’m now supposedly in semi-retirement, with a part-time contract as editorial director for the Library Leadership Network, a growing resource for library (and other) leaders of all sorts.
What can you expect to read here? Essays on a variety of topics loosely related to libraries, media, technology, policy and how they all work together. I do write about open access, sometimes about aspects of copyright, and to my considerable surprise I’ve become something of an expert on liblogs (blogs by library people) and library blogs (blogs from libraries). If and when I do a selective import of archives from the old blog (soon to be retitled “Walt, Even Randomer”), you’ll be able to see for yourself.
If you want to know way too much about me, I have a web site (prepared before I had a blog and there mostly to save trouble back when I was speaking a few times a year). I’m also on FriendFeed now and then as waltcrawford, following a few dozen library people and scientists.