Where’s Walt?

Walt Crawford, that is. Come 1 October he’ll no longer be at OCLC. Therefore, you can have a hand in the answer to that question.

I’ve seen several posts already today about this but Rochelle Hartman’s at Tinfoil + Raccoon is the best, imho.

I’ve known of Walt since early on in my library career–hard to miss, given that he is one of the most influential and prolific people in librarianship. Aside from his general laudableness (honest, that’s a word), Walt has distinguished himself to many of us through his collegiality and generosity. Distinguished and influential don’t always translate into accessible, but Walt has been a good friend and sparring partner to many of us not-so-luminous front-liners. In addition to his public contributions, he has also been privately supportive to several of us as we have struggled with professional challenges and made transitions. We owe him no less and wish him the best.

Amen to every one of those heartfelt words!

Please see Walt’s post for the kinds of things he might be interested in and places he’d be willing to go.

I do know that it has been suggested that Walt become a LEEP instructor. I wish I could claim credit for the idea, but the best I can do is say I was the one to second it. I doubt that is enough to support Walt, but perhaps depending on what opportunities arise for him he could find some time to enlighten some of the next generation of library workers—no matter what generation we are from.

So GSLIS students, especially LEEP students, if you are at all interested in taking a class from Walt Crawford (and you darn well ought to be, imnsho!) in the future (or are concerned with the education of future students and you should be) then drop Linda Smith a line and maybe one to Walt, too. Let them know they should be pursing this opportunity for our program if it is doable for Walt.

And if any of my administration is reading this, well, I guess you’ve already seen my vote.

I have learned as much about professionalism from Walt as I have from any individual librarian or group of librarians. I have tried to learn many other things from him via his writings and personal correspondence. I have no doubt that I could learn so much more. And I, for one, would be happy to pay for that opportunity!

Fellow students, if you are asking yourselves “Who is Walt Crawford?” Then you need to get busy. Those links go to (small) discussions of the K. Blessinger and M. Frasier article in the March 2007 (v. 68. no. 2) College & Research Libraries that shows Walt to be one of the 31 top most cited personal authors in LIS literature from 1994-2004. See his blog post linked above for a list and links to a few of his many publications and quit whining about their being nothing good to read in our field.

6 thoughts on “Where’s Walt?

  1. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? And I should hope other distance ed programs might bid for his services, but I’ll work on my own 1st. 😉

  2. Mark:

    I want to express a (belated) thanks for your ASIS&T presentation on blogs. Your talk was like a gateway drug, and now I’m hooked on Walt Crawford’s blog (and C & I).



  3. Gary, you are quite welcome. Your comment is hilarious, but since Walt’s on the job market perhaps we should leave the drug references alone. 🙂

  4. Heck, depending on the topic, I’d sign up for a course from Walt. Demands of work being what they are, it has to be an appealing class and I think that Walt would offer something sufficiently interesting.

    Although taking a class with Boyd Rayward has been on my list for year and I’ve not yet worked into into my schedule. Probably too late now, alas. Maybe I can avoid missing out on the next great opportunity.

    MSLIS + 8 years and counting.

    GSLIS ’99

  5. Welcome, Kathleen. Ah, yes. Boyd. Boyd was my TA for 501 (probably 380 in your day) and I fell in love. I did have the opportunity to take a history of the public library in America seminar with him. It was Boyd, 4 PhD students and me (when I was a Masters student). It was simply unbelievable!

    Boyd Rayward is a *true* gentleman and scholar!

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