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I used to work as a "regular" librarian; now I'm a librarian of fortune.
Recent Activity
Good article on SiloBreaker; I appreciate being reminded of it, as I think of it as an “old” resource. Interesting that I am using longevity as a negative factor! Just read great article in the April issue of The Information... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2019 at Librarian of Fortune
I've moved this blog over to a shiny new WordPress page. Check it out at See you over there! Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2014 at The Reluctant Entrepreneur
I recently gave a webinar for AIIP on The Radically Nimble Info-Entrepreneur: remaining relevant and maintaining value. (If you’re an AIIP member, you can watch the webinar recording in the members-only area of the web site. If you’re not, you can download the slide deck at We had more... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2014 at The Reluctant Entrepreneur
Do you think of yourself as a freelancer? self-employed? a consultant? Freelancers see themselves as a set of hired hands, handling the overflow work or filling in for someone else. Their value is in being a substitute for a full-time employee. Self-employed people see themselves as a one-person business, looking... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2014 at The Reluctant Entrepreneur
Having the mind of an entrepreneur means always looking at yourself from your client’s perspective. How easy is it to find your contact information (not just a form to fill out)? How easy is it to get you on the phone? Are you nice to work with or do you... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at The Reluctant Entrepreneur
I've gotten a number of re-tweets about this post, which is really gratifying. As I noted in the Wee Tree Genealogy blog ( There is tremendous value in the face to face interactions and the opportunity to meet with vendors and industry partners that come with professional conferences. I would never want to lose that. And I agree that the kinds of changes I'm talking about entail risk, and that's a hard sell to conference planners, who operate on sometimes-thin margins, particularly in the information industry. As with any systematic change, the ones who succeed are the ones willing to do some trial and error. They will find creative ways to bring in a virtual presence with meatspace, providing opportunities for meaningful conversations with speakers and vendors, and who bring in really good speakers (and dropping the speakers who don't engage their audience). I encourage all of you to engage your organizations' event planners to read through this discussion to see what their (potential) attendees value.
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2014 on A Conference Manifesto at Librarian of Fortune
I have been reading Scott ("Dilbert") Adams' latest book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life (or at your local library). I found some chapters more useful than others, and I'm not inclined to rely on the advice of a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2014 at The Reluctant Entrepreneur
W hen someone asks you what you do, do you freeze up or start stammering? You need a concise, memorable response prepared for all the times when you’re asked about your work. This is sometimes called your “elevator speech.” Why? Imagine stepping into an elevator with your biggest prospect. She... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2014 at The Reluctant Entrepreneur
Many entrepreneurs occasionally yearn for the (perceived) stability of a regular job, where they just show up five days a week and get paid every two weeks. Maybe it’s during a time when you are experiencing a client drought, or perhaps when you are working far too many hours for... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2014 at The Reluctant Entrepreneur
The demise of the Online Information Show, while not unexpected, is a reminder that the world of professional conferences has shifted dramatically. Attendance at many information industry conferences is down, and indications are that this trend will continue. The traditional... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2014 at Librarian of Fortune
My latest book is The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Making a Living Doing What You Love. It's for people who want to be their boss and do what they love, but who don't see themselves as entrepreneurs. The book will be out by June 2014, published by Niwot Press. Watch this space... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2013 at The Reluctant Entrepreneur
In the last few years, I have been working on a shift to replace the word “but” with the word “and.” It sounds like such a small change, but and it can make a huge difference in how you approach... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2013 at Librarian of Fortune
At the Springer Lunch & Learns at the SLA Annual Conference that I led, I learned a new use for Wikipedia -- more specifically, for using non-English versions. One thing I often forget is that Wikipedia isn't a single collection... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2013 at Librarian of Fortune
I recently returned from the latest Computers in Libraries conference. (See slide decks of my presentations at One of the keynote speakers was Brent Leary of CRM Essentials, who spoke about “Evolving Community Engagement: What Would Amazon & Google... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2013 at Librarian of Fortune
Erin Callan, the former CFO of Lehman Brothers, writes in the New York Times of March 10 about her choices to devote all her energy to her job. I didn't start out with the goal of devoting all mof myself... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2013 at Librarian of Fortune
Some additional thoughts on the death of handwriting, triggered by Ellen Naylor's comment in my earlier post. I was mapping out a book chapter yesterday (The Reluctant Entrepreneur - watch for it later this year!), and found that the only... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2013 at Librarian of Fortune
I just uploaded another 20-minute MEB's 123s podcast, at This one offers tips for us "amateur" survey designers -- it's not part of our job description but we need to gather information that can only be gleaned by going... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2013 at Librarian of Fortune
According to the Jan. 30th Wall Street Journal, children are not longer being required to learn cursive script in school; instead, they are now expected to be proficient typists. (One wonders if, once tablets become ubiquitous, typing will give way... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2013 at Librarian of Fortune
I have been reading a number of articles lately on the decision by Bexar County (Texas) to open a public library with only digital editions of their content. They will have lots of e-readers that patrons can borrow, along with... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2013 at Librarian of Fortune
The New York Times had an article on Feb 3 about Tibetans who have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule in Tibet. The tragedy (actually, one among many) is that self-immolations, a central part of the Tibetan protest... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2013 at Librarian of Fortune
In preparation for my Internet Librarian talks, I was playing around with Google, looking for how much my search results varied based on how I constructed my search. I was surprised to see how much they differed. First, I tried... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2012 at Librarian of Fortune
I have a standard poodle. (OK, actually a very non-standard poodle, but that's for another post) So I take Meatballinto a local groomer, who did a great job and didn't yell at me, so I was going to use her... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2012 at Librarian of Fortune
The SLA blog has a summary of the article in the Sept/Oct issue of Information Outlook, titled Value: The Proof is in the Metrics. If you are an SLA member, read the full article here. Interestingly, the article references a post I wrote back in 2008 in Librarian of Fortune... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2012 at MEB Adds Value
There was a great article in Sunday's New York Times, to the effect that the basic architecture of the brain makes us feel first and think second and explains our notorious risk-perception gap. Long live the amygdla! My highlights from... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2012 at Librarian of Fortune