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FRL’s Story

(Updated 6/04)

That title is misleading, because I am not at liberty to discuss the whole story–why Free Range Librarian, which began as a monthly serial published on a public Web site, suddenly vanished after two well-received issues in the fall of 2002. I will have to save that for another time, another day (another year…). The salient news is that it is back, and that it is now entirely my personal blog, with no relationship to My Place of Work (also known on this site as MPOW).

However, I can tell you why I started Free Range Librarian. After over seven years as the “Internet Librarian” for American Libraries, I needed to try something different. American Libraries was wonderful to me; I truly loved writing for them. But I needed — different.

It couldn’t be that different, however. I do not have the soul of a blogger; I like to gather ideas like fallen or plucked fruit, spread them across the floor of my mind, and contemplate them until they ripen into my written words. And I prefer to share what I write with a trusted source before I put it online, because I don’t like to pass up the chance to improve what I say and how I say it. (That actually doesn’t happen with these postings, but it colors what I write and when I post it.)

Finally, I like the idea of deadlines; they give publications the expectant, celebratory feeling I associate with opening a new issue of Vanity Fair or settling into a seat in a darkened movie theater. I am trying to post daily, even when I’m stretching for a post, and sometimes I withold a post so I know I have one for the morrow.

This is the result. It will continue to evolve. I hope you enjoy FRL. Please use the comment feature to share your thoughts and ideas, or e-mail me at kgs @

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