Do you keep an eye on the currency markets? If you’re an acquisitions librarian, you should. In particular, pay attention to the dollar against the pound or the euro. I remember a professors in my graduate program emphasizing that point, but it wasn’t until recently that the practical implications sunk in. If you think 5% annual price increases are bad, factor in the current rate of exchange and be prepared for a shock.
Many major journal publishers, if not most, are headquartered in Europe. Pricing is therefore based on the euro or pound, which are both currently much stronger than the dollar. I’m not suggesting that you watch the market daily or scour each issue of The Wall Street Journal, but be aware of economic trends, and when the bill comes for your annual renewals, you’ll be ready with either additional funding already secured, or a list of titles to cancel.
What kind of reader are you?
This came in my email today:
- The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
- The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.
- The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.
- USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.
- The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country — if they weren’t on a freeway, or playing beach ball, or at a Botox appointment or an audition — and if they didn’t have to leave Southern California to do it.
- The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.
- The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country and don’t really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.
- The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who’s running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.
- The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.
- The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure there is a country or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy provided, of course, that they are not Republicans.
- The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.
Last Thursday I had the opportunity to hear Kee Malesky speak at the Kentucky Library Association fall meeting. For many years now I have been envious of her job as one of the three reference librarians for NPR, but after hearing about the stress and intensity that is a part of her daily routine in a deadline oriented institution, I am glad I have my quiet cataloging job.
First it was Bert & Ernie, then it was Tinky Winky, and according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, some folks are claiming that SpongeBob SquarePants is gay. I don’t care one way or the other, but what gets me is that some people are afraid of gay characters in children’s television programming. With the backlash against even the hint of the possibility of a character being gay, should the number of hate crimes against gay people committed by youth really surprise us?
“Whether he’s intended to be a gay character or not, that’s the question people are asking,” responded Mr. Kenny. … “It’s never been addressed by us on the show,” he said, adding with a wink that besides, “all the main characters are hiding horrible secrets of their own.”