Rumors from the ATG NewsChannel 6/30/14

by | Jun 30, 2014 | 0 comments

University of Antwerp

University of Antrwerp

Oh Joy! Oh Rapture Unforseen! (with apologies to W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan). Got a lovely email from the even more lovely Colleen Campbell, once at Casalini LIbri now at ITHAKA INTERNATIONAL. Colleen says she misses all her librarian friends in North America but she is loving her new job as Director, Institutional Participation and Strategic Partnerships – Europe for JSTOR and Portico. Colleen says that one of the best parts of her job is travelling all over Europe to meet with participants.

ATG on Display

ATG on Display

Last week Colleen was in Belgium, and as she walked into the library of the University of Antwerp, the first thing she saw was their current journal display prominently featuring a recent issue of – drumroll — Against the Grain!!!! Colleen was just tickled – she had run into an old friend!  What can I say?! I am tickled too and proud of all the great contributors, columnists, advertisers, interviews, reviews, etc., etc. that have made ATG successful!!!!  Thank you, everyone!

Long time ago, I read a book called How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff (1954, W. W. Norton). An economics professor told us to read it when I was in College. It was a classic then and is still a classic now. I thought of that book as I was reading a recent article – “Slowing ebook sales may embolden publishers in Amazon spat,” by Aaron Pressman (June 26, 2014). The article is loaded with statistics showing that Amazon is losing the game, then winning the game, that ebook sales are falling and that they are rising. You take your pick. eBook sales last year and in past years were influenced by Blockbuster eBook titles like The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey, the antitrust lawsuit over price fixing, et al. eBook sales are growing and will continue to grow. The rest is – well – statistics.

I just heard from the ever entrepreneurial Buzzy Basch that the company he started in his living room some 20 years ago is now mature and more than capable of flourishing without Buzzy’s hand on the tiller. It’s great news for Buzzy because it leaves him free to apply his passion to new opportunities, albeit from a new email address and phone number: N. Bernard “Buzzy” Basch 603-225-5109

The innovative Diane Lohr has been running the LIBRIS conference for several years. The 2014 Conference (Boots to the Ground: Making Things Happen) took place in Clemson, Friday, May 16. Many of our staff members attend every year and really enjoy it. Bravo Diane and her team!

Intrepid ATG reporter John Riley covering events in “Sin City” notes that “Las Vegas combined with ALA is a truly surreal event. The hotels have rigged it so you have to walk all the way through their casinos to get to your room!
I saw a wedding party, all in white traipsing through the casino yesterday and a Honey Boo Boo contest in the lobby and a bunch of hunky guys posing with ladies in the bar. The convention is packed. ALA won’t give out attendance numbers until it’s over, but it will be high!”

Saw that John Richardson is now the Vice President of Library & Vendor Partnerships for Zepheira. Mr. Richardson is an executive solutions architect who identifies data needs and applies his experience and communication skills to work with technical, implementation and support teams to execute on innovative solutions. Zepheira has done linked data modeling and conversion for the National Library Board, Singapore.

Hard to believe that Stephen Parker is celebrating his seventh year at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston. The patient and even-tempered Stephen helps us with everything to do with the Francis Marion. Of course the entire staff is fabulous but Stephen is super fabulous. Congratulations, Stephen.

And while we are on fabulous, we can’t leave out the dynamic Polly Ann Elliott the Director of Sales at the downtown historic Courtyard Marriott! Polly Ann does not miss a trick! Just ask Beth Bernhardt who loves to stay at the Courtyard Marriott!

Just saw that Stephen Lustig is Marketing Director at Eurospan in London. I remember him at Continuum and Cassell. Did you know that he led the University of York (UK) orchestra and plays the violin?

Apropos nothing really except it’s  interesting, the all-over-the-place Roger Schonfeld (did you see the latest reports from Ithaka plus Roger is offering a preconference on November 5 entitled “Driving With Data: Evidence-Based Decisions on Collecting and Collections”)  posted a link to a Wall Street Journal survey that found that Americans slept more and worked less than last year reflecting a groggy economy and an older population. Also that TV watching remains the number one hobby at 2 hours and 46 minutes a day. Anyway, I don’t have a TV but my five-months-pregnant daughter sent me a link to another article that says that one can avoid Alzheimer’s if one babysits the grandkids. Hint, hint…. But no word about sleeping … or watch TV.

Speaking of watching TV, hasn’t the World Cup been exciting!?

(Oh! I almost forgot. Roger also announced in an ALA presentation in Las Vegas that Ithaka will be offering the Ithaka S+R Local Survey for Students to libraries for the first time this fall and would love to hear from libraries that are interested in doing this type survey. Contact Roger and his team at for further information.)

We knew it would happen but it’s still a surprise! John Laraway is retiring after 48 years!!! The amazingly ageless John Laraway has worked in this order at — Prentice-Hall,  Richard Abel, Coutts, the Academic Book Center, Blackwell, Baker & Taylor and YBP.  Whew! As Mark Kendall (Sr. VP, YBP) says, “John is one of the most professional, knowledgeable and true gentlemen of our industry.”  What changes John has witnessed! Hugs and kisses and best wishes always, to you, John!

A merciless plug! John wrote a remembrance of his time at Richard Abel Company in Papa Abel Remembers: Tales of a Band of Booksellers (Charleston, SC: ATG press, 2013). You need a copy. It’s on Amazon!


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