Magazine article American Libraries

Planning for Spontaneity

Magazine article American Libraries

Planning for Spontaneity

Article excerpt

It takes a lot of planning to be spontaneous. Anyone who's ever produced a successful program, service, or publication knows how much work goes into making a thing appear to arise from no -where, fresh and unplanned, at just the right moment.

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There was a lot of talk at ALA's Midwinter Meeting in Denver (report begins on p. 45) about economizing and about retaining current revenue streams and developing new ones. Those discussions weigh on my mind as we consider the future of publishing in general and American Libraries in particular. Planning and budgeting for FY 2010 is going to be a huge challenge for just about everybody.

One of the suggestions I've received in recent weeks--related to both economizing and greening--is that since the thousands of copies of AL mailed to members every year "just get wasted," as one ALA member put it, people should be able to opt out of paper altogether. But at the same time, other readers have complained that the print issues of AL are getting smaller.

While opting out of print is a choice that's coming to you soon via your communications preferences in your membership record, it is still print that generates therevenue that enables us to produce the weekly e-newsletter AL Direct, regular AL Focus videos, the Inside Scoop blog, and to begin a series of digital supplements, the first of which appeared in January. All of these new ventures may seem to have sprung out of nowhere, but they are part of the struggle to make budgeting and planning responsive to the genuine wants and needs of ALA members. …

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