Happy New Year! Today is my grandson, George Wilton Jacks’ 2 month birthday! It is bittersweet since my 93-year-old mother, Helen Parthemos, passed away two days ago. Our family is heading up to the funeral in Richmond, Virginia.
Meanwhile, time marches on. Lots of great news to report!
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers’ founder Robert Franklin announced that he has passed the job and title of President to Executive Vice President to the awesomely deserving Rhonda Herman. Franklin will assume the new title of Founder and Editor-in-Chief. Founded in 1979, McFarland is an independent publisher of academic and nonfiction books. Numerous McFarland books have received awards from the library-oriented (Choice Outstanding Academic Titles and ALA Outstanding Reference Work) to the specialized (Hugo, Edgar, Stoker, USCF Chess Book of the Year). Located in the beautiful mountain town of Jefferson, North Carolina, the publisher offers 5,100 books in print, offers nearly 3,000 eBooks through online booksellers, operates its own printing facility, and employs 55 people. Rhonda Herman joined the company in 1982 as Business Manager. She was promoted to Vice President in 1991 and to Executive Vice President in 2004. While she has worked at various times in her McFarland career in every corner of the operations, she spearheaded the initiative to establish an in-house printing facility and has focused on designing information systems in the last decade. She planned and implemented their eBook strategy during the last five years. Most recently, she re-vamped technology relating to cover design and book production (400 a year). Ms. Herman will contribute a chapter to the upcoming Ebooks in Academic Libraries: Stepping Up to the Challenge, edited by Robert S. Freeman, Suzanne M. Ward and Judith M. Nixon, representing the perspective of a commercial publisher. This title is to be published in 2015 by Purdue University Press’ Charleston Insights in Library, Archival, and Information Sciences series, which has a long-time collaboration with the Charleston Conference. Rhonda Herman graduated magna cum laude from Appalachian State University’s College of Business in 1977 and is also active with groups promoting regional economic development. A graduate of Yale University, Robert (“Robbie”) Franklin was raised by two librarians and served on the council of the American Library Association during the years 1986–2000. Hooray, Rhonda! Congratulations!
Speaking of the Charleston Insights in Library, Archival, and Information Sciences series, Bob Holley has assumed editorship of the Academic Self-Publishing: Opportunities and Challenges for Libraries, Robert P. Holley. The book should be published in September 2015. We missed Bob in Charleston in November. Plus, he has just announced his retirement today! The University is offering a handsome buyout that Bob says he couldn’t resist. He also says this doesn’t mean that he’s giving up his professional activities. He will just have more time for them! And he’ll definitely be at the Charleston Conference in 2015.
Guess who dropped by to visit over the holidays? Albert Joy from the University of Vermont! Now retired, Albert was driving all the way down to New Orleans and other environs. He is playing his accordions (he has at least five but he didn’t bring them all) and flutes on the way. Fascinating visit. He will also be in Charleston in 2015 hopefully!
And the amazing John Riley just this minute sent me a video of the Yallfest in Charleston just after the Conference was over in November where there were droves of young people lined up to buy, gasp, print books. Also, some street acrobats which were unbelievably agile on their feet and hands and heads, whatever!
Speaking of books, was interested to see that Waterstones’s is planning to open a dozen or so more bookstores as print sales are going up and eBook sales of Kindles are not increasing.