Mission Statement: Impossible

Yesterday I had a lot of fun writing a fake mission statement, but today it’s time to get serious and write a real one. Before putting it in prose, I’ll just make a list. In “Likely Stories,” I plan to:

1. Write about the job of book reviewing with honesty and candor, providing a glimpse into how things work at Booklist and in the mind of at least one reviewer.
2. Discuss books and reading in general, looking often for interesting connections between books and authors.
3. Opine, occasionally, about literary news. And gossip, if the gossip is newsworthy.
4. Digress occasionally into whatever I feel like writing about.
5. Help the Chicago Cubs win the World Series.
6. Broker world peace by the year 2007.

All right, all right, I’m just kidding about #5. Like that would ever happen.

One reader asked yesterday whether this is a personal blog or whether she would see other Booklist reviewers blogging, too. The answer is yes. “Likely Stories” is my personal blog (note the “By Keir Graff” at the top of the page) in that I am the only author. It’s also personal in that, while I am writing about my experience as a reviewer and editor, anything I say here is my opinion only, and not that of Booklist, Booklist Online, or the American Library Association.

(No, there’s not a lawyer standing behind me. Why do you ask?)

But we do plan to add more blogs in the future, hopefully one for each section: Adult Books, Books for Youth, Media, and Reference. Whether those are single-author or group blogs depends on several factors – the most important of which is finding staffers who have the time and energy to write them. Bear in mind that I am the sole dedicated employee of Booklist Online at the moment. BOL draws its content from the magazine Booklist, which publishes 22 issues each year. Booklist editors worked very, very hard before the introduction of BOL and now, if possible, they work even harder. I have time budgeted in my schedule to write a blog but they do not.

So while we really want them to contribute even more to Booklist Online, we don’t want to work them into an early grave, because we like them. We really, really like them. Without them there would be no BOL. No Booklist reviews, no BOL.

But we’ll get it sorted out. Just give us a little time. There will be other exciting new stuff coming first, like the long-awaited Booklist Book Club.

Okay, I’m going to mull over my list for a while and then finalize my mission statement tomorrow. But first I have to put in a call to Condoleeza Rice.



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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