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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

RA for Shorter Works

Every week the ALA sends out a very useful newsletter to its membership. Called ALA Direct, it is a compilation of library news, ALA news, and links that may be of interest to librarians.

This week, there was a link to this column by Jeffrey Beall suggesting that RA expand into journal articles and shorter works. His argument is that the review journals need to review shorter works so that RAs can use the reviews to help steer potential readers to works that may interest them. \

Interestingly, earlier today I posted about an article in The New Yorker that would be of interest to readers of this blog. In fact, quite often publications like The New Yorker, Esquire, and The Atlantic have articles that I would enjoy, but unless I subscribe to them, or read them regularly, I miss these treasures.

I do subscribe to The New Yorker because there is just too much good stuff to miss. Between the short stories (sometimes just new novel excerpts) by the biggest names in literary fiction and the articles about authors and/or book related issues, not to mention the nonfiction writers whose best sellers start as New Yorker articles (see David Grann, Malcolm Gladwell, and Susan Orlean), I cannot miss an issue.

However, Beall's article makes me question what else I am missing. I haven't decided if what Beall is suggesting is feasible yet, but it is an interesting question/challenge.  Read his article and tell me what you think.

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