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June 12, 2008

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Marcus Banks

A few years ago major publishers (NY Times for example) didn't know what to make of blogs. Now the Times has many very useful, well-branded blogs. Scholarly publishers have been similarly innovative.

So for our faculties, what may occur is this: The formal journal "issue" becomes an artifact, an archive (which is of value in its own right). But the more fluid conversations happen in other forums, often hosted right on the publisher's site.

Librarians have an opportunity to embrace more open and participative processes in our journals if we want to. JMLA has a great brand, but there's no reason a JMLA blog that functioned as a journal couldn't develop a solid brand over time. Yes, not all LIS articles are ready for prime time; everyone wouldn't want the scrutiny of public comments (and we don't know yet how many people would even make comments). But I still think ours is an area ripe for experimentation, likely of greater intensity than anything faculty members would do. We have less on the line in trying out new modes of communication, and--indeed--such an experimental mindset should be part and parcel of being a librarian.

T Scott

You're quite right about ours being an area that is ripe for experimentation. At about the same time you were sending this comment, I was writing a post about Esposito's article, which, I think, provides an excellent framework for discussion about some of those possibilities.

Sara Lloyd

Thanks for this incredibly positive feedback on my manifesto. I think you're right that many of the issues are there for librarians as there are for publishers. So much of what we (both) offer is qualitative as opposed to quantitative but we need to get a lot better at both engaging more actively with digital channels and with communicating more effectively the benefits of what we do offer in the new, flatter, networked environment.

Dave Saunders

There's little doubt there will be an evolution in this field and there will be stiff resistance as well. Many have a great incentive to maintain the status quo while others are willing to subordinate ego enough to allow for growth and great academic exploration. I think Max Planck once said something like "these new ideas will find acceptance as soon as our generation finishes dying off."

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