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If Rumors Were Horses: April 15, 2022

by | Apr 18, 2022 | 0 comments


Tom Gilson

Carol and Tom Gilson are moving away from Charleston after many years. Carol has lived in Charleston since she was a child and Tom came here in the early 1980s. They have lived here since they were married more than 25  years ago. A lot of people are moving out  of Charleston these days because of traffic and expenses, not to mention increased flooding and the threat of hurricanes. Not me! I love Charleston. Carol and Tom have just moved to Newberry, SC, which is known for its  small town history and charm. It is much smaller than Charleston (10,245 in 2019) and has a college and an opera house. Just outside downtown on a lonely stretch of road is one of the premier  producers of orchids. By any chance, do you know the Nero Wolfe mysteries?  Written in the thirties and set in a New York Brownstone, these are some of my favorite mysteries. Rex Stout, the author, was a librarian. He raised orchids in his spare time. Stout was also a gourmand and produced a few recipe books. But back to Tom and Carol! Tom is not leaving ATG or the Charleston Conference, thank goodness! Whew! Watch for his daily News & Announcements and interviews!

Mark Cummings

The versatile Mark Cummings, editor and publisher of Choice, since 2013, has announced that he will retire effective April 2, 2022. Mark came to ACRL after a long and distinguished career in academic and educational publishing. He began his professional life in the reference and professional books division at Macmillan, with stints at Scribner’s and Oxford University Press. In the early 1990s, he joined Grolier Publishing Company as editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia Americana and went on to become vice president and publisher of Grolier’s reference division. He later concentrated on educational technology, first at Scholastic and then at Weekly Reader. Cummings holds a B.A. from Michigan State University along with M.A. and M.Phil. degrees from Yale University in East Asia-related fields.

During his time at Choice, Cummings introduced new and innovative ways of working to the unit, expanding from the traditional magazine and digital reviews into new products including sponsored webinars, podcasts, bibliographic essays, newsletters, and white papers. Cummings boldly led a reexamination of long-held editorial goals, moving the flagship product Choice Reviews away from a singular focus on collection development for undergraduate instruction toward a broader critical assessment of important writing in all fields designed for a broader university audience. He was instrumental in the building of Choice Reviews.org, a database of more than 200,000 reviews, representing more than a quarter-century of scholarship, and Choice360.org a showcase for all the new digital products developed under his leadership. He worked with the Charleston Company to create ccAdvisor, the only peer-reviewed, continuously updated, fully searchable database dedicated to providing in-depth, critical reviews of digital resources for the academic and library markets. In 2021, Cummings launched the content vertical “Toward Inclusive Excellence,” led by editor Alexia Hudson-Ward, which incorporates a weekly blog.  With great ingenuity and drive, Cummings approached the challenge of reviving and extending the Choice brand in the face of a changing market. By building these new products, the Choice media portfolio now attracts upwards of 65,000 viewers annually. Rachel Hendrick, Choice’s Director of Operations, will serve as interim editor and publisher. Rachel joined ALA in 2014 as the operations manager at Choice and in 2016 became the director of operations. Rachel was initially attracted to Choice because of its mission to provide reviews to academic libraries, but she has found there a community of innovative content creators. As for Mark, I expect to hear of him attending many Metropolitan Operas!

I missed the opportunity to play an April Fool’s joke on y’all. Here’s an alternative story! In 1996, Taco Bell duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. This story is especially relevant when I tell y’all that Leah Hinds and her two children Maddie and Jacob  traveled to Philly to get a replacement for Leah’s lost passport! The kids had the opportunity to visit the Liberty Bell and many  other famous Philly attractions! And Leah was able to attend the Fiesole Retreat in Athens with a new passport! Read all about it here: https://www.charleston-hub.com/2022/04/fiesole-retreat-2022-tradition-meets-innovation/

Oh! I am sure that you all will be interested in a new hotel in Charleston! The Pinch Hotel is located where the old Bob Ellis shoe store was at King and George. And, for sure, plan on coming to Charleston in November 2022 for the Charleston Conference we will learn a lot, meet up with colleagues, plus have a lot of fun! 

Come on down!!

Save the Date: Charleston in Between

Mark your calendars for Charleston In Between May 11-12. The Charleston Conference is planning a very special “In Between” virtual conference event to explore important late-breaking developments that can’t wait until November for discussion. 

Topics to be covered include:

·   An update on the Clarivate/ProQuest acquisition from last year’s Charleston In Between,

·   Exploration of consolidation and competition within the industry at large, and 

·   Efforts by ResearchGate and Elsevier to host the content of other publishers.

We have a stellar line-up of panelists in the works, with Roger Schonfeld (Director, Libraries & Scholarly Communication & Museums, Ithaka S+R) and Ann Okerson (Senior Advisor, CRL) as panel moderators.

Registration will be opening soon so be sure to save the date! Sign up to receive announcements by email or follow us on your favorite social media platform. 


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