Libraries are my candy store.
The seventh item on my vaguebooking list was “07. Seven new topics”. These are new “subject areas” that I want to write about on my blog.
Pop culture is likely one of them, although it might be more narrow than that, maybe “pop culture intersecting with the news”. I didn’t comment on Jian Ghomeshi or Bill Cosby’s news items when they hit, but I loved watching people post and take sides, often looking like internet trolls in comment forums except they were posting the same comments on their own social media feeds. My take is a bit different, and is primarily about the law, and the court of public opinion vs. the court of justice or law. I may yet blog about it.
Equally, I love the law. So much so that I couldn’t become a lawyer. I’d like to take a subject area and blog about that, but I haven’t yet found my niche. It may very well harken back to my days at law school when I was working for the Ministry of Education in B.C. and focus on the law, schools, education, and children. Haven’t quite decided yet. But there’s an itch there that I’d like to scratch again.
In the realm of writing, I have three areas that are of interest to me. First and foremost is the changing nature of the business model of publishing. I’m very much in the world where “everyone must choose their own path”, and I may turn my attention again to the world of disrupted publishing. Second, I think there is a lot of general information out there about marketing of books in the modern age, but not a lot that gives a comprehensive list of “here’s everything you COULD do, choose wisely”. I started work on this at one time, and would like to go back to it. Finally, I also think there is a ripe area for a different slant on books and publishing, and that’s measuring the performance of libraries. I did some research and even some preliminary writing about three years ago, but never brought anything to fruition. I think libraries are going to come under increased fire in the digital age, and while they have a strong role to play, I don’t think many of them are telling the right story or using the right yardsticks. When they tell their story initially, they act like a community centre; when their funding is threatened, they claim critics are burning books and destroying literacy if the library goes the way of the dodo. The balance is off, and maybe I can find something I can contribute to the conversation.
In a similar vein, I’m wondering if I have something to say about charities. I feel that much of the rhetoric out there is a bit one-sided, or at times, diametrically-opposed two-sided. I know, for example, that there is not much out there giving people insights into different types of charities. I also have some questions for myself that I want answered on local basic human needs programming, and the most effective means of contributing donor dollars.
Finally, I do reviews for books, movies, TV and music, or at least my website says I do. I’ve been a slacker-doodle for my reviews, and I want to get back into them. I am not yet ready to commit to exactly what the other six categories will look like when I’m done, but I know this one pretty well. So, I commit to:
- 24 book reviews;
- 250 reviews of TV episodes (tweets);
- 24 movie reviews; and,
- 3 new reviews of Billboard year-end results.
That should keep me busy too.
Grant McCracken has an interesting article in today’s Harvard Business Review feed about an innovative library promotion (Innovating the Library Way — note the link may expire). An excerpt from his post appears below, outlining a message his local library sent to the branch’s children:
What do you think your stuffed animal friends would do if they spent the night at the library? Bring them to our Stuffed Animal Sleepover and find out! Will they play on the computers all night? Raid the candy shelves at the cafe? Ride the elevator BY THEMSELVES?
We start with a special Sleepytime storytime for your furry friends, then tuck them in for the night. Overnight, the librarians will keep watch and take photos of everything your stuffed animals do. Come in the next day to pick them up and see what they were up to. Ages 2 and up.
As libraries close due to funding cuts (I have some upcoming posts that will tell library advocates the types of info they should be using to fight a closure), and bookstores go dark, this is a great way to raise awareness of the library amongst future generations whose demands on the library we cannot even yet picture.