ARLIS NA Update Editor
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: (508) 999-8526; fax: (508)999-9240
Concerns and controversy over
the format of Update were resolved—at least for the immediate
future—at the 2001 meeting of the Publications Committee, which supported the
editor’s plan to move from the previously agreed upon interim format
(professionally laid-out for printing and mailing, and mounted as PDF files on
the Society’s Web page) to a simpler and cheaper one: plain text in HTML and a
simple two-column paper version to be mailed to those members who still felt
they needed one. This plan followed comments in response to a survey printed in
Update and posted on ARLIS-L in winter 2000-2001, which is appended to this
report. The February 2002 issue is
the first in the simplified format. I hope that this format will encourage the
large number of members who requested mailed issues out of frustration with the
PDF version to choose the new Web version.
It was also decided to
eliminate JobNet postings from Update both because the income that the
detailed position announcements generated did not justify the costs of printing
additional pages and because the newsletter’s bimonthly publication and early
deadline meant that many application deadlines had passed by the time the
notices appeared in Update. This year, too, the board decided to dispense
with the services of its advertising agent and have headquarters handle
publishers’ advertisements in Update and ArtDoc.
Except for the elimination of the JobNet postings, the content of the newsletter changed little. Publication was on time, although there seem to have been some problems in mailing paper issues to some institutional members. (I had a few “claims,” which I filled by printing off the Web site.) There was a delay in posting the October issue on the Web site, which was mounted at the same time as the December issue. The availability of Update on the AWS was announced on ARLIS-L. All 2001 issues (as well as the first issue of 2002) are now available there.
The usual difficulty in keeping track of new column editors was greatly exacerbated this year by the embarrassing loss of the columnist database during a computer “upgrade” and its laborious and imperfect reconstruction.
This year as Update editor was much less difficult than the previous year, despite all the changes and plans for further changes. I am grateful for the support and assistance I received from headquarters, the Publications Committee, and Michael Birklein, the graphic designer who transformed edited copy swiftly and accurately into an elegant publication. I hope that the recently implemented changes in format will make Update more used and useful.
Update’s Format: What’s Your Opinion
When Update changed its format from paper to PDF last year, the readership was not consulted. Here’s your chance to express your opinion on the current format and possible alternatives. Please send your comments to me: email@example.com by 15 March 2001; I’ll share them with the Publications Committee and the Executive Board.
What do you think of the current format, essentially the newsletter laid out for paper publication and made available as a PDF file?
Do you find the format easy to read and print?
Would you prefer a simpler text format, perhaps sent out as a message on ARLIS-L? Or set up as a basic HTML file?
Would you like the e-mail addresses and URLs to be clickable links?
Are there other Web technologies or features that would improve Update?
Do you have any other comments or suggestions?