Thursday, September 22, 2005

Another One Bites the Dust

A few weeks ago Lyonette Louis-Jacques announced that she was ceasing the maintenance and distribution of Law Lists, her once-essential compilation of law-related email discussion lists. Now Rory Litwin says farewell to his long-running email publication, Library Juice:

After 330 issues of Library Juice over close to eight years, I find that it is time to close the covers.

There has been a lot of change over the years that Library Juice has been in publication. The environment in which it exists has changed,
and I have changed, too.

Originally, Library Juice was primarily a digest of material that circulated via email and didn't otherwise have an existence on the net,
and couldn't be accessed except by email connections. Most of the things that at that time would be circulated only by email are now also
accessible on the web, in part because of web-accessible email archives, but moreso because web publishing has expanded and become
easier, in part through blogging technology. So, over time, more and more of what would have been part of a typical issue of Library Juice
in the first years became just something to link to, perhaps with a comment (along with two dozen bloggers). As this change took place I
began publishing more original content and longer pieces, and Library Juice became less of an email digest and more of a magazine or journal. My decision in 2002 to go from a one-week to a two-week publication cycle was a part of this trend....

I have changed in this time as well. In terms of Library Juice, the nature of my inspiration has changed. When I started Library Juice I
was still in Library School, and filled with enthusiasm and excitement for a lot of things that, though they still deserve enthusiasm and
excitement, are now simply features of the landscape for me and often objects of my skepticism. Skepticism is now also a major aspect of the way I regard initiatives undertaken by young librarians on the web, where eight years ago I simply would have found them cool. This change in my outlook has changed the tone of Library Juice and made it something different from it was originally. I'm less interested in reporting enthusiastically on the cool things that are going on in the library world (and there are a lot of them) and more interested in
publishing more extended, and I hope somewhat deep, reflections on questions of progressive librarianship. Library Juice can sometimes be a good format for doing that, but it is very difficult to do it according to a regular publication schedule. I would be more content
to be able work on these reflections over longer periods of time and publish them in other venues....

I am not exactly retiring from the scene, however. Out of Library Juice you will soon see the emergence of a couple of new things. One is a blog, to add to all the other blogs, which will also be called Library Juice, and will be updated irregularly with some of the same kinds of
things that you're accustomed to reading here. With the blog I will have the freedom not to update it during times like this when I don't
feel like saying much, and to publish things on it heavily at other times. A year ago I would have been opposed to starting a blog, but at
this point I feel that blogs are here to stay and are the beginning of something important and ineluctable. When the blog is online you will
be able to find it at the Library Juice website, and I will send out an email announcement of it to Library Juice subscribers. I plan on
keeping back issues of Library Juice online, at least in the near term.

The second new thing that's coming up, which will take slightly longer to realize, will be a book publishing company called Library Juice
Press. I have this venture fairly well planned out, and have five titles in the editing stages for publication in 2006 and 2007.

Read Rory's full message. "It's been a wonderful 7 years, 9 months doing Library Juice. I really appreciate my readers and I hope we stay in touch through our future ventures."

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