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American Libraries Opens its Doors

I have written off and on for American Libraries since 1996. Of the two major magazines for LibraryLand, they were the first to run a regular technology column (for actual modern technology, not “here’s how to use a Dialog blue sheet”). AL has now just implemented some very interesting changes.

1. The weekly e-newsletter, American Libraries Direct, is now available to anyone who wants to sign up for it, not just ALA members. Sign up here. Smart move, AL!

2. Want to see inside the behemoth? American Libraries has launched its own blog, AL Inside Scoop, where Editor-in-chief Leonard Kniffel is blogging from inside 50 East Huron. Go Leonard!

3. The current version of AL is now freely online! As I understand it, this still requires that funky ebrary thingy that makes me cry, but it’s forward motion.

Meanwhile, I have heard through various social networks that Library Journal is ascribing its move to hire an anonymous blogger to their noble allegiance to free speech. I haven’t read the piece, but I’m sure it’s all scoldy and condescending, with hifalutin references to LJ’s commitment to the yada-yada for over one hundred years, with the appropriate tearjerking example trotted out to distract you from what they’ve actually done.

Dudes, with great power comes great responsibility. As journos, you should be setting the example in LibraryLand for sunshine and accountability, not mimicking those who would hide from the press. The only possible reason you hired an anonymous blogger is to boost your ratings — at the expense of your dignity.

Life after LJ turns out to be just fine.

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