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Reference debate in the blogosphere

Boring, humdrum reference books being debated in the blogosphere–surely this is an April Fool’s joke? No, really, and Richard Charkin, CE of Macmillan and one of my favorite people on the planet, “reliably contrarian” according to his blog and in my experience ever ready to light the fire, has started it. While Tim Coates, ((Former managing director of Waterstone’s, the British bookstore chain–this is my first try at our new footnoting widget)) at our own Good Library Blog, has added a little tinder. Tim is a controversial figure in British publishing and library circles, and it amuses me to know that he is such a quiet, gracious person, someone my American friends would consider the epitome of Englishness. But he does get annoyed by poor management and politicians’ excuses. The ministry responsible for libraries in the UK (at least the one that used to be responsible for them–seems like that is now an issue) does not like Tim at all. For a real blogosphere experience, you can read all our interlocking blogs! (Meanwhile, I’ll go back to reporting on the Beijing scene. I’m not sulking because Richard calls this particularly debate “small beer.” I actually think that the media revolution he writes about is relevant to reference publishing. But that’s another story.)

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