Just What Is in a Name?

Posted by Susan M. Brackney

Finding the perfect name can be tough. Parents bestow all sorts of names for their children. Authors struggle to title their books—after all, they want to please their publishers, reach their audiences, and be true to themselves. Movie titles are dissected by scores of stakeholders and focus groups. (And, yet, Snakes on a Plane squeaked by.)

So, when it came time to name our new newsletter, we struggled a little bit. We tried several names on for size, and our internal discussions went something like this:

How about Evanced News?

Seriously? Evanced News is a terrible name. Besides, that makes it sound like the newsletter is all about us. It’s not. It is supposed to be for and about all of the different kinds of librarians we serve.

Well, how about Tech Tips or Tips and Tricks? Something like that?

Tech Tips is too limiting. We will have more than just tech tips. Tips and Tricks? Meh. And what if one issue is all tips and no tricks? Or what if an issue doesn’t have any tips or tricks at all. That probably wouldn’t happen, but that doesn’t leave us much wiggle room, does it?

We would need a newsletter name that was flexible and maybe a little vague. We knew we wanted the name to be fun, evocative, and memorable—maybe even a little silly. Then someone piped up:

How about something like The Cat and Cardigan? It kind of sounds like an old-timey newspaper!

Hmmm. But cats and cardigans? You’re not typecasting librarians, are you?

It’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek!

Librarians are continually redefining themselves based on the needs of their communities. So are many libraries as institutions, for that matter. We want to do everything we can to help you continue to make a difference for your patrons and the communities you serve. That’s why we started our (tongue-in-)cheeky newsletter, which will make its debut tomorrow.

We hope you’ll find its content to be truly valuable—and, if it’s not, we want to hear about it! Let us know what kinds of content you’d like to see more of, what’s working, and, well, what’s not.

We’re always looking to learn best practices from librarians, so that we can help pass those along. To that end, we visited libraries in 20 states over the last few months. We’ll be sharing some of what we’ve learned in future issues of The Cat and Cardigan.

We also invite you to contribute your own best practices, bright ideas, and more. In that way, you can help inspire others—and you will certainly inspire us.

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