Several of us raised our eyebrows with last year's merger of OCLC/RLG. Mergers are certainly beneficial in many circumstances, for many reasons. But, they are also about bottom lines, consolidation, streamlining, winnowing--and not always the best thing when you look at it from the people side of things. Unfortunately our wariness was warranted, as evidenced by Walt Crawford's announcement that he has received a termination notice from OCLC, effective September 30, 2007.
I've known of Walt since early on in my library career--hard to miss, given that he is one of the most influential and prolific people in librarianship. Aside from his general laudableness (honest, that's a word), Walt has distinguished himself to many of us through his collegiality and generosity. Distinguished and influential don't always translate into accessible, but Walt has been a good friend and sparring partner to many of us not-so-luminous front-liners. In addition to his public contributions, he has also been privately supportive to several of us as we have struggled with professional challenges and made transitions. We owe him no less and wish him the best. I'm looking forward to a Michael Stephens "Reinvention: Walt Crawford/That's Hot!" post by year's end. Here's a Walt Primer for you:
Walt Crawford is an internationally recognized writer and speaker on libraries, technology, policy and media.Crawford was for many years Senior Analyst at RLG, focusing on user interface design and actual usage patterns for end-user bibliographic search systems. Through September 30, 2007, he works on RLG-OCLC transition and integration issues.
Crawford is the creator, writer and publisher of Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, an ejournal on the intersections of libraries, policy, technology and media published monthly since 2001. He also maintains a blog on these and other issues, Walt at Random.
Crawford’s books include Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change (2007), First Have Something to Say: Writing for the Library Profession (2003), Being Analog: Creating Tomorrow’s Libraries (1999), Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness & Reality (with Michael Gorman, 1995), and eleven others going back to MARC for Library Use: Understanding the USMARC Formats(1984).
Crawford writes the “disContent” column in EContent Magazine and has written columns for American Libraries, Online and Library Hi Tech. In all, he has written more than 400 library-related articles and columns appearing in a range of library publications.
Crawford was recently cited as one of the 31 most frequently cited authors in library literature 1994-2004 (the only American writer on that list outside academic libraries). In 1995, he received the American Library Association’s LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Excellence in Communication for Continuing Education, followed by the ALCTS/Blackwell Scholarship Award in 1997. He was president of the Library and Information Technology Association in 1992/93.
More information is available at Crawford’s home page.