Volume 28, Number 3, Fall 2006

What We're Reading

By Susanne Bjørner, Bjørner and Associates and ILEX member

A client got me on to Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition, by Jack Trout with Steve Rivkin (Wiley, 2000). While normally I maintain high resistance toward biz-speak (yawn, "How many times have I seen this before?"), I am reading this one with some interest and an eye for how libraries can differentiate their product from the bookstores (both brick and click), Internet services, and myriad electronic edutainment tools that fight for the time and dollars of their publics. Throw in chapter 1 of Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science (1931, digitized May 2006 by dLIST), and there is lots to think about.

Though I am known to stretch Hans Christian Andersen beyond his traditional limits ("Fables for Technologists," Searcher, October 2005), even I was surprised to hear about the volume Copyright and Other Fairy Tales: Hans Christian Andersen and the Commodification of Creativity, edited by Helle Porsdam (Edward Elgar, 2006). So far I've only seen a review; my copy of this collection of papers on copyright in the 21st century is on order.

Finally I can't resist mentioning the English-speaking book group I have just formed in Spain, proving, I guess, that I am not as far lapsed as a librarian as I thought. Our first assignment is to read a John Grisham -- the object being to explain to the one recalcitrant among us who has never read Grisham what makes him so popular. I'm delighting in A Painted House. No lawyers!