Hello there, I'm the new editor of Tennessee Libraries. I didn't want to write this letter but my assistant editor, Kristen West, said I have to do it, at least for this first issue. It's funny, but I often found myself coaxing the previous editor to write a note for special issues (sorry, Leslie!), and now here I am, trying to dodge it myself. I hate to stereotype, but isn't that just like a librarian? There are certainly notable exceptions, but as a group, I think we're uncomfortable drawing attention to ourselves. We're far more comfortable introducing a new author to a world of readers, or a new service to a user base, and we'll even march for a cause when it's really important...but just sit around and talk about ourselves? Nah, not likely. But I guess maybe you want to know what qualifies me to lead this journal? Hmm, is that it? Are you questioning my credentials? Well, ok, fair enough. I served behind the scenes as assistant editor of Tennessee Libraries for 6 years, working under the previous two editors. In my day job I am the Web Services Librarian at Middle Tennessee State University. Prior to serving in that role, I was the Distance Learning Librarian at MTSU, and prior to pursuing my library degree, I was a public school English teacher. I edited my college literary magazine, and I guess I'm pretty good with commas and spelling. So there, are you happy? Kristen?!
Okay, now that that's out of the way, let me tell you about what what we have going on in this issue. John and Eloise Hitchcock have once again completed the arduous task of compiling the Tennessee Bibliography: a list of the books published in one year (2010) by Tennesseans or about Tennessee. December's issue will feature the 2011 Tennessee bibliography compiled by two different librarians, so I want to take this opportunity to thank John and Eloise for serving this role for the past few years. It is a yearlong process, and I'm grateful that there are dedicated folks who are willing to take it on each year so that we can keep up-to-date with the scholarship and fun reads that concern our state.
"Transforming the Library Website," which was presented at the 2012 TLA conference, coincides nicely with Scott Cohen's interview with Corinne Hill of Chattanooga Public Library, who is setting up a "tech incubator" on the top floor of her library. Speaking of technology, David Ratledge explores the world of library chatbots, while Christy Groves and Karyn Storts-Brinks bring us back to our core values of customer service and intellectual freedom. For the first time, you can comment on many of these articles through a Facebook comments app. Don't worry, your comment won't be posted on Facebook unless you want it to. Finally, a new crop of book reviews keeps us current.
I'm excited to present my inaugural issue as editor. Happy reading!