Nag, Nag, Nag
ightmares of a threatening our profession to the world. Trite but true, right?
N future loom over all our heads.
Reductions in staff and funding
We all want to avoid any of those minor mistakes
that garner certain unhappy responses from patrons/
affect extant operations, making it clients/customers or whatever other title we may
necessary to do more just to do less. give the users of our services. The responses to
Long-standing institutions, which have always which I refer would include — “Sheesh!!” “Oh,
seemed eternal and now seem needed more than brother!” “Where the @#$@$#@ did this
ever, stagger under threats to their very survival. @#$@# nitwit put…?!” etc. And then there’s
Heck, the U.S. Postal Service has gone to Congress the inarticulate but clearly understandable groan
for aid. It’s cutting delivery service from 6 to 5 days of disgust.
and wrestling with issues of health insurance What kind of nits have I picked out for this
coverage for its retired employees, while at the discussion? Actually, ones I’ve experienced
same time offering early retirement to 150,000 myself in the course of working websites for my
workers. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor journalistic and editorial endeavors. As you may
gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift recall, I write NewsBreaks — a couple dozen
completion of their appointed rounds” may stand each year, usually — for the ITI website [www.
infotoday.com]. When a news assignment arrives
on my desk, my first step is to gather all the
The U.S. Postal Service has gone information I can find from websites. My second
step is to set up interviews with interested parties
to Congress for aid. It’s cutting and external experts. The process can be quite
educational, but sometimes it involves learning
delivery service from 6 to 5 days ... the hard way.
First and foremost, maintain the completeness
and visibility of your Contact Us section, and, by
chiseled in stone at the New York City post office the way, that is exactly what it should be called.
on 8th Avenue, but a lousy economy may sure Let’s not get cute here. A link to the Contact Us
slow those couriers down as more than nighttime page should appear at the top or the bottom of
spreads the gloom. every page on a company website. You can also
And yet, in the midst of all this turmoil, I have add it to any generic section providing information
the unholy gall to start nitpicking, to nag my on your organization, but it should always be just
beleaguered readers over teensy mistakes, minor one click away. And contact information should
inconveniences, minuscule errata. How callous! always be complete. I don’t know how many times
How inconsiderate! How holier-than-thou! You’re I’ve been stuck with a contact presentation that
so right! I hang my head in shame. And then I lift only activated an email message form. People need
it again and start nagging. to know where you are, full snail mail address,
Whether my beloved readers work in multiple addresses for multiple operations. They
traditional libraries, as independent researchers, also need to know your phone numbers — main
or as information industry vendor employees, we numbers (including area code, please), fax
are all information professionals and represent our numbers, extensions, or direct dial numbers.
profession. Our work can affect the reputation of continued on page 6
4 SEARCHER ■ The Magazine for Database Professionals
The Magazine for Database Professionals
Vice President, Content
text continued from page 4
entire org chart or describing in detail how our