by Katina Strauch
First we lose Irv and now Fran! Gosh! How times are changing! After over three decades of dedicated service, Francine Graf, Choice’s editorial director is retiring on 15 February. Since beginning her career at Choice in 1983 as the science and technology editor, Fran has shepherded nearly 19,000 reviews to publication. Appointed managing editor in 1994, Fran would be on the front lines over the next two decades of change at Choice: expanding coverage to include reviews of Internet resources in 1997, participating in developing three versions of Choice Reviews Online (in 1999, 2002, and 2013), and assisting in creating Resources for College Libraries, which launched in 2006.
Stepping into the role vacated by Fran, Tom Radko will be promoted to editorial director of Choice, effective 15 February. We had the pleasure of meeting Mark Cummings, the new editor and publisher of Choice at the Charleston Conference.
Opened the mail today and what to my wondering eyes should appear but Are Libraries Obsolete? An Argument for Relevance in the Digital Age by none other than the astute Mark Y. Herring (McFarland, January 2014). I am devouring this book even as we read! I think that librarians have to pay attention to what is happening in the world around us. We are “trashing,” pardon my words, our brand! Libraries have always been contemplative, quiet places where we could explore our existence as humans. Why are we turning them into Starbucks and coffee shops? And throwing away print books just because they are print and we need space! You can find coffee shops and businesses everywhere, but not quiet and places to think! I was interested that Mark says that Robbie Franklin of McFarland asked him to write this book when he read an article that Mark had written in ATG (p.2) and asked Mark to write this book. If ATG can be a small part of preserving what libraries used to be (and hopefully will continue to be), I will feel I have accomplished something! BTW, if anyone wants to review this book for ATG, please let me know!
Another print book arrived to my postbox today as well. It was published by the incomparable Becky Lenzini, Remarkable Women of Taos, A Yearlong Community-wide Celebration Honoring Outstanding Taoseans, completed and edited by Elizabeth Cunningham (Nighthawk Press, 2013). This is a printed version of a Web project. Taos has a long history of attracting and nurturing strong independent women and this book provides profiles of several hundred of them. Becky Lenzini herself is a remarkable woman. She has started her own press, Nighthawk Press, in her spare time! Hoo-Ha!