John W. Head
When Gerry McCabe and I finished editing The Insider’s Guide to Library Automation, we discussed the possible usefulness of another, different kind of book about library automation. Our earlier book was, as planned, a group of chapters by librarians describing in detail the automation projects they knew best—their own. We asked them to describe those experiences at a level of detail, including troubles, often lacking in published accounts of library automation. We purposely sought to include librarians who were new authors. For our second book together, we decided to follow many of the same approaches, but to shift the focus from detailed accounts of automation projects to the management of library automation. Again we sought to include new authors, and we wanted many of our authors to be able to describe their own administrative experiences.
We were very pleased with the efforts of our Insider’s Guide authors, and we are pleased with the efforts of our new group of authors. Technical details have not vanished. We still have detailed accounts of library automation projects, but the emphasis is less on the technical details, and more on the forecasting, planning, implementing, and monitoring necessary for the successful management of library automation. As a result, this book will be a valuable professional reference for academic librarians.