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Newly Published: The Faithful Librarian

New on our bookshelf:

The Faithful Librarian: Essays on Christianity in the Profession
Edited by Garrett B. Trott

What do Christianity and librarianship have in common? Netherlands Prime Minister and theologian Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) was among the first in the modern era to attempt to rejoin the dichotomy of sacred vs. secular study when he said, “no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest.” Over the years a number of publications have followed Kuyper’s lead yet little has been written on the subject since Greg A. Smith’s notable Christian Librarianship (2002). Building on Smith’s work, this volume seeks to bridge the sacred/secular divide with an exploration of how Christianity and the gospel are manifested through the profession of librarianship.

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CONFERENCES: Upcoming MLA and PCA events

McFarland is exhibiting at a number of regional and national conferences in the coming months, and conferees are encouraged to take the opportunity to peruse our books and meet an editor.  Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance (Layla Milholen, Gary Mitchem, or Dré Person), or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with an editor.

Popular Culture Association in the South Sept 26-28, Wilmington, NC, Layla Milholen
Association for the Study of African American Life and History Oct 3-5, Charleston, SC, Dré Person
Midwest Popular Culture Association Oct 10-13 Cincinnati, OH, Layla Milholen
American Folklore Society Oct 16-19, Baltimore, MD, Gary Mitchem
South Central Modern Language Association Oct 24-26, Little Rock, AR, Gary Mitchem
Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture Association Nov 7-9, 2019, Pittsburgh, PA, Gary Mitchem
Film and History Nov 13-17, Madison, WI, Dré Person
National Women’s Studies Association Nov 14-17, San Francisco, CA, Layla Milholen
South Atlantic Modern Language Association Nov 15–17, Atlanta, GA, Gary Mitchem
American Philosophical Association Jan 8-11, Philadelphia, PA, Dré Person
Modern Language Association Jan 9-12, Seattle, WA, Gary Mitchem


Cinema & Media Studies


Comics & Graphic Narratives

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Newly Published: Creativity for Library Career Advancement

New on our bookshelf:

Creativity for Library Career Advancement: Perspectives, Techniques and Eureka Moments
Edited by Vera Gubnitskaia and Carol Smallwood

“Creativity is just connecting things,” observed Steve Jobs. In today’s diverse, ever-changing job market, creativity is more necessary than ever. In a profession offering a broad range of job opportunities, librarians are surrounded by myriad connections to be made. They are trained to recognize them.

This insightful collection of new essays covers a wide spectrum of methods for cultivating creativity as a skill for career fulfillment and success. Topics include learning through role-playing games, libraries as publishers, setting up and using makerspaces, developing in-house support for early-career staff, creating travelling exhibits, creative problem solving, and organizing no-cost conferences.

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McFarland 40th Anniversary Sale

We’re turning 40, and we’re celebrating with a special fortieth anniversary sale! Through June 30, get a 25% discount on ALL books when you use the code ANN2019. And if you’ll be in our area (Ashe County, North Carolina, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains), we’d love to see you at our open house event on Friday, June 14. Thank you for supporting our first 40 years—we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you.

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McFarland Turns 40

On June 14, 2019, McFarland will celebrate its fortieth anniversary with an open house party. From noon to five, our campus at 960 Hwy 88 W, Jefferson, NC will be open to the public with finger food, conversation and tours available, and many of our authors will be in attendance. To stay up-t0-date with event information, follow our event page. Below is a brief company history, with personal thoughts, by founder and editor-in-chief Robert Franklin.

McFarland Publishers Now Forty Years Old
by Robert Franklin

McFarland’s history (founder, Robbie Franklin, me): My close friends Biff and Alicia Stickel were burned out special ed teachers in Connecticut, early 70’s.  What to do?  Back to the land!  They (and their little daughter Maranatha Shone Stickel) drove south till they loved the vibe and the scenery and wound up living on Peak Road from 1972 through part of 1978 (and birthing Micah Stickel).  Alicia played piano at the local Baptist church and they were cofounders of the Creston Co-op.  I visited them in ’72 (instantly fell for the land and people, the forefinger car salute, the almost drinkable river) and again every year after, and when wife Cheryl Roberts came into my life in 1975, we visited.  Soon I was bragging about Ashe County to everybody – “If your car breaks down, the very next person to come along will stop and ask if you need help.”  I hope a few readers can recognize the Stickels’ name (he goes by Richard now; they live in Toronto).  They are the reason McFarland was begun in Ashe County.  We present band of publishers, about fifty in number, owe them great honor.

I did not learn till after we moved here in 1979 that my Revolutionary War ancestor Lieutenant Robert McFarland, after whupping the king at Kings Mountain, lived up here in the 1790s.  He then went overmountain to become the first ever sheriff of Greene/Washington County, Tennessee.  (I was born in Memphis.)

McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers is our official name.  Founded in April 1979 right here.  I had been the executive editor of a smallish scholarly publisher in New Jersey; my mentor/boss/friend Eric Moon (a charismatic Brit) knew before I did it was time for me to go off on “my own” (very misleading words!).  The local Ashe County newspaper was failing by 1978 and at first I thought, o.k., I’m an editor type, maybe I can start up a new one.  Between summer and Christmas the local fellow David Desautels decided the same thing and very successfully started The Jefferson Times.  We became friends and McFarland’s earliest two or three books (including a biography of Soviet leader Brezhnev) were typeset using off-hours time on that new newspaper’s equipment.  Katy Zell Taylor was our first fulltime employee (Ashe Central H.S. yearbook editor!) and did a lot of typesetting and correcting.  Dental Care in Society was our first published book, in 1980 (ask me some day).

After deciding up in New Jersey to stay with book (versus newspaper) publishing, I phoned the Jefferson Post Office in February 1979 to set up a box number mailing address – they said people had to apply in person.  Whew!  So I flew from Newark to Tri-Cities, Tennessee (what did I know?), rented a car, drove to Jefferson (hours!), filled out a form, got back in the car, drove back to Tri-Cities, and got back home not long before day was done.

A couple of months later, on April 1, 1979, Cheryl and I packed our former life stuff (including hundreds of books—heavy!) in a small U-Haul, attached it to our VW bug, and  began to drive south, the Stickels’ Ashe County on our minds.

My ninth-grade homeroom friend (Toledo, Ohio), Mike Strand, had helped with some financial and emotional support and we stopped at his place in Maryland overnight.  Armed with an Ashe return address, I had written several hundred letters (yes!) on a yellow pad on my knees in the front seat while Cheryl drove, and Mike arranged for a nearby university used-to-weird-hours thesis typist to type them all overnight; we mailed them April 2 and drove on.  We were headed to my parents’ (retired librarians) house in Charlottesville, with me again writing several hundred short letters on my lap. We had arranged for a similar heroic overnight typing fest (the two days: 905 letters to all the authors I had addresses for, saying my former employer will take good care of you, they’re wonderful publishers—But if by any chance they turn you down for something, give us a shot!).

The U-Haul was too much for the Bug and our left rear wheel came OFF 20 miles north of Charlottesville—but stayed in the wheel well (having nowhere else to go), behaving violently.  Definitely exciting (it was my stint at the wheel).  We lost two or three days; I split logs for my parents’ fireplace.

In Ashe County finally, we scooped up some reply mail from authors.  Already!  And we soon secured a sweet farmhouse in Dillard Holler (landlord Jesse Dillard; Mom-figure Clyde Dillard; horse-plus-himself quarter-acre-garden plower Jones Dillard).  The Dillard families taught us a great deal about what being “conservative” actually means.  (One day Jesse turned up with several hundred fence rails he stored near “our” (his) house; no immediate need, but “I got ’em for 25¢ each.”  They stayed stacked for years…)  The birth of our sons Charles (in ’81), Nicholas (’85) and William (’89) certainly emphasized the Dillards’ lessons.  (Jesse routinely tossed hay bales up into pickup trucks in his 80’s.  Lemme be him!)

McFarland itself started out next to the H & R Block office, near the florist, in Jefferson, a small space but enough for our first couple of years.  The Jefferson Post Office turned out, under our loyal friend Charles Caudill, to be one of our greatest early assets.  He was so supportive as McF struggled through ignorance of mass mailings, foreign registered packages (we learned together!), “library rate” book mailings, etc.  McFarland moved in 1981 or ’82 to the Mountain View shopping center between the towns and quickly expanded there.  In 1982 we lucked out by having Rhonda Herman agree to join the tiny staff, doing all the “business” stuff while I coddled authors, edited manuscripts and coached the typesetters.  High school senior Cynthia Campbell became a stalwart and sixteen year old Cherie Scott was a wow of a typesetter, along with Katy Taylor, on our new typesetting equipment.  Within three years we were producing 40 or so new books a year (in 2018 the total was nearly 400).

Meanwhile, the people of Ashe County all around us showed interest, great surprise (“A Publisher in Ashe County?” read one huge Jefferson Times headline), and affection.  Highly significant was Hal Colvard, repeatedly trusting us, at Northwestern bank, another wonderful early friend of McFar.  We warmly greeted each other on Saturday mornings at the post office for many years after he retired.

By 1984 we’d moved to our present location, which became five buildings on both sides of the road.  We’re technically inside Jefferson town limits.  We took Mackey McDonald’s trim brick ranch house, whacked walls left and right, pushed out here, there… Years later we added a second floor – my joke is, the main building now has more roof lines than an Italian hill village.

We are, or were, a library-oriented scholarly and reference book publisher.  (We’ve grown much more into a straight-to-people operation today but libraries are still a critical component of our efforts.)  Two of our earliest works were Library Display Ideas by my sister Linda Franklin and Free Magazines for Libraries, by Adeline Mercer Smith: they were terrific sales successes.  Another 1982 biggie was Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete by William M. Taylor, M.D.  We hit that topic just as it exploded nationwide.  One of the most memorable early works was Keep Watching the Skies! by Bill Warren (1982).  This huge book expertly, humorously covers in amazing depth every American science fiction movie of the 1950s and a lot of Hollywood Big Names spoke highly of it in print.  We were famous!  (Well, the author was…)

McFarland was an early strong supporter of the local arts scene.  (There are hundreds of paintings hanging in four of our buildings.)  Cheryl Roberts and I founded the publication ARTS/DATES for the Arts Council in 1980 or 1981, and for more than a decade paid all its expenses as it grew grander and ever more useful.  Loyal Jane Lonon (Arts Council head) wangled twice for us an N.C. Governor’s Business Award for the Arts and Humanities (go to Raleigh; shake hands; pose for photos; eat dinner).

I joined the strong, active Ashe County Little Theatre and played Dracula for them in 1981, sporting fangs crafted by the late Brett Summey, who became a good friend, now truly missed.  Jane Lonon and I wowed the crowd in The King and I and Tom Fowler and I rolled them in the aisles in Greater Tuna.  When I played Macbeth, the high school English teacher promised extra credit to student attendees.

McFarland’s output grew rapidly—by the 1990s we were producing hundreds of new titles each year and our staff had doubled, then tripled in size.  Margie Turnmire had arrived in the mid–’80s, a beautiful soul and a very smart lady:  director of finance and administration.  In 1995 the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce honored us with a Business of the Year award (I believe we were the third such) and in 1998 The Wall Street Journal ran a feature article on us, showing that we are a bit unusual in our range of offerings.  We have a commanding position in, for example, Vietnam combat memoirs, chess history, baseball (teams, eras, bios), automotive history and popular culture (film, TV, comics, literature…).  We’ve done many reference books (though with Wiki-Google etc. now such works are uneconomical to produce); a Library Journal book of the year was local John Stewart’s African States and Rulers in 1989.  Lots of Civil War, World War II, American/European/World history, literary criticism.  Authors from all over the world.  That part’s fun!  As I write this we have published 7,800 titles.

We had busted out of our onsite warehouse and used the old Ashe County Jail on Buffalo Road for several years in the 80s!  Ultimately we had to move our shipping operation into the building next to the Arts Council owned by Jim Reeves.  On its outer wall facing the Arts Center we had Jack Young do the town’s first mural (now painted over):  “Ashe County through the Ages.”  Finally, Mike Herman built us an entirely new warehouse across the road from our main building in about 1990.  Fourteen years later, then-vice-president Rhonda Herman (now president) moved the company onto firmer financial footing by arranging to install state-of-the-art printing equipment in that warehouse (we’d always used out-of-house printing firms).

Cheryl and I love Ashe County.  We love the people.  We love the trees, the river.  (We came in first in the Mixed Expert class canoe race four or five years ago!)  I even like the curves driving 23 miles to and fro our home to work (we live practically on the Tennessee line, up in the Flatwoods).  The finger salute still works and the tire zing helps me think through business challenges.  Our three boys, Charles, Nicky and William, also revere their place of birth.  McFarland has about 50 employees, all of whom are exceptionally talented.  When I got here to start the company, I truly had my pick of some of the best talent available anywhere, and I mean Anywhere.  Our typesetters know every Hungarian or Swedish accent mark there is!

The local merchants have become business partners.  Local artists have paintings hanging in our offices.  The restaurants are great for business lunches.  The weather—sublime (I learned to fell trees and the art of minimizing the lifting and stacking of logs our first year here); I like winter!  Mike Herman built our house and the numerous renovations of our current space—impossible to imagine a better job.  Stan Barker did some fabulous stone walls at our home.  I feel both cozy and exhilarated just getting up in the morning!  Ashe County, we’re for you!

McFarland is having an open house (snacks, drinks, tours) starting at noon on Friday, June 14th.  We want to show our thanks to a community that has nurtured us for 40 years.  Come one, come all!

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Newly Published: Social Justice and Activism in Libraries

New on our bookshelf:

Social Justice and Activism in Libraries: Essays on Diversity and Change
Edited by Su Epstein, Carol Smallwood and Vera Gubnitskaia

In a rapidly changing world with myriad conflicting voices, the library’s role as a place of safety and inclusion and as a repository of knowledge cannot be overstated. Librarians must serve as community leaders with a mission to educate and inform, ready to model the principles they support. The question for many is: how?

Experienced librarians offer ideas and guidance in seeking new creative paths, working to support change in library organizations and reexamining principles that may be taken for granted. Theoretical foundations are discussed, along with practical ideas such as the creation a book groups for the intellectually disabled and partnership with social workers or advocates for employees with disabilities.

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Newly Published: Latin American Collection Concepts

New on our bookshelf:

Latin American Collection Concepts: Essays on Libraries, Collaborations and New Approaches
Edited by Gayle Ann Williams and Jana Lee Krentz

Though still hampered by some challenging obstacles, Latin American collection development is not the static, tradition-bound field many believe it to be. Latin American studies librarians have confronted these difficulties head-on and developed strategies to adapt to the field’s continuous digital advancements.

Presenting perspectives from several independent Latin American libraries, this collection of new essays covers the history of collecting, current strategies in collection development, collaborative collection development, buying trips, and future trends and new technologies.

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Newly Published: The Scope of Information Ethics

New on our bookshelf:

The Scope of Information Ethics: Challenges in Education, Technology, Communications, Medicine and Other Domains
Robert Hauptman

The field of information ethics (IE)—a subdivision of ethics—was developed during the 1980s, originating and maturing in library science and slowly working its way into other disciplines and practical applications. Some years later, a secondary field emerged, emphasizing theoretical and philosophical concepts, with little focus on real-world applicability.

The first of its kind, this comprehensive overview of IE evaluates the production, dissemination, storage, accessing and retrieval of information in an ethical context in areas including the humanities, sciences, medicine and business. A leading figure in the field, the author is concerned with misconduct (falsification, fabrication, plagiary), peer review, the law, privacy, imaging and robotics, among other matters.

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Holiday 2018 Sale—Get 25% Off All Books!

The holidays are a special time at McFarland—in addition to publishing scholarship, many of us also participate in the tree harvest, as Ashe County produces more Christmas trees than any other county in the United States. If you live in the Southeast, you may have a little bit of McFarland in your living room right now! This season, please consider putting some McFarland under the tree for the readers in your life. To make your holiday shopping easier, we’re offering 25% off of ALL books through the end of the year! On our website, use coupon code HOLIDAY18, or call us at 800-253-2187. For inspiration, browse our new catalog of of gift ideas for readers. Happy holidays from your friends at McFarland!

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Newly Published: The Relevant Library

New on our bookshelf today:

The Relevant Library: Essays on Adapting to Changing Needs
Edited by Vera Gubnitskaia and Carol Smallwood

At a time when libraries are no longer the leading proprietors of information, many library professionals find themselves rethinking their purpose. In this collection of new essays, contributors share their experiences and ideas for keeping libraries integral to changing communities.
Innovative approaches and best practices are discussed for strategic planning, packaging, branding and marketing, funding issues, physical spaces, collection needs and trends, partnerships, programming and services, professional education, and staffing.

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Newly Published: Text, Lies and Cataloging

New on our bookshelf today:

Text, Lies and Cataloging: Ethical Treatment of Deceptive Works in the Library
By Jana Brubaker

What do James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, Margaret B. Jones’ Love and Consequence and Wanda Koolmatrie’s My Own Sweet Time have in common? None of these popular books are what they appear to be. Frey’s fraudulent drug addiction “memoir” was really a semi-fictional novel, Jones’ chronicle of her life in a street gang was a complete fabrication, and Koolmatrie was not an Aboriginal woman removed from her family as a child, as in her seemingly autobiographical account, but rather a white taxi driver named Leon Carmen.

Deceptive literary works mislead readers and present librarians with a dilemma. Whether making recommendations to patrons or creating catalog records, objectivity and accuracy are crucial—and can be difficult when a book’s authorship or veracity is in doubt.

This informative (and entertaining!) study addresses ethical considerations for deceptive works and proposes cataloging solutions that are provocative and designed to spark debate. An extensive annotated bibliography describes books that are not what they seem.

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Newly Published: Genealogy and the Librarian

New on our bookshelf today:

Genealogy and the Librarian: Perspectives on Research, Instruction, Outreach and Management
Edited by Carol Smallwood and Vera Gubnitskaia

D. Joshua Taylor, host of Genealogy Roadshow and president of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, notes: “The increasing popularity of the topic requires that any librarian who encounters genealogical customers remain on the forefront of new developments in the field.” Covering trends, issues and case studies, this collection presents 34 new essays by library professionals actively engaged in helping patrons with genealogy research across the United States.

Topics include strategies for finding military and court records, mapping family migration and settlement, creating and accessing local digital services, and developing materials and instruction for patrons.

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Two Books Reviewed in March Issue of Choice

Library World Records, 3d ed.
Godfrey Oswald
“Simply fun to browse…a tremendous resource for researchers and authors wishing to incorporate library facts and statistics into their work…recommended.”—Choice

The Morals of Monster Stories: Essays on Children’s Picture Book Messages
Edited by Leslie Ormandy
“A valuable resource for future analysis…recommended.”—Choice