ASSOCIATES (vol. 7, no. 1, July 2000) -


With this issue we start our 7th year of publishing Associates: The Electronic Library Support Staff Journal. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday. Sometimes it seems like WAAAAAYYY too long, like when it's time to publish, not all the columns are in, people are sending in last minute changes to the calendar is happening library is being joined with another in another building and all the time I could have been spending on getting this issue ready has been spent on packing, moving, packing, moving, packing, moving...and I won't have a permanent location until the 24th at the earliest. Oh well.

We'd like to welcome a new columnist - Carol Borzyskowski and her column "View From the Backroom". Carol is a Library Associate II at Winona Public Library in Winona, Minnesota. Some of you may remember Carol's work from earlier issues. It's been pleasant and encouraging seeing how folks involved with Associates have expanded beyond the academic library world over the years.

I'd also like to thank a regular contributor who I hope would like to consider himself an official member of the Associates crew because I know I do, and that's Michael Brooks who provides a website review for each issue. This issue he reviews the QVC website, which I know will please many of you! So, Michael, if you want the job of "official Associates website reviewer", the job is yours!

And, as always, I want to thank my fellow editors and our columnists for their much appreciated efforts each issue.

Just one more thing and then I'll let you get on to reading this very fine issue. When you read the Letters to the Editors this issue, you'll see a couple of letters from readers who were not pleased with last issue's editorial by Katie Kintner. Indeed, one hadn't ever been pleased by anything as far I can tell. They both dropped their subscriptions. Perhaps others did as well.

Associates is a labor of love. None of us get paid anything but I like to think we're contributing something to the world of library staff everywhere. Some knowledge, some staff development, some humor, whatever. For the most part, the editing we do is grammatical in nature, rather than substantive. We may work with a contributor to make an article read a little more smoothly or what have you, but only incredibly rarely do we do anything approximating "censorship" and then only reword something slightly so as not to change the meaning but perhaps be a little bit less potentially offensive. In the case of an editorial, I - as the person who edits the editorials - would be even less inclined to "censor" because of the very nature of what an editorial is. As a result, some people may be offended by what we publish. Such is life.

What concerned me more was that one of these people thought we had nothing to offer but, when I tried to contact her to find out what she would have liked to see, received no response. I have been pleased over the years by all the people who have taken the time to write for us and all the things they've had to say. We've had humor, how-to's, "this is what we're doing" and some very thought-provoking contributions. We've also had a lot of nice notes from people saying how much they enjoy the journal.

If you don't enjoy a journal, then of course you should cancel your subscription. And even if an editor takes the time to contact you to ask what you were hoping to read, you don't have to respond. But when the rest of you read these letters, think of how constructive their criticisms could have been and how they might have helped our profession...or just our journal. When people don't try to make things better when given the opportunity, I find that offensive.

Kendall Simmons

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