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When I’m Sixty-four

Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in 1967.  I was nineteen years old, a junior in college.  Like many of that time, place and age, I listened to the album hundreds of times, in various states of consciousness, some of them more conscious than others.  If asked to produce the entire album from […]

Finding Books in the 21st Century

I was in Powell’s Books in Portland Oregon today, basking in the warmth of all of those books and all of the people basking in the warmth of all of those books and bookish people. I couldn’t remember the author of the book that I was looking for, but I knew the title. There was […]

Orphan Works Legislation and the Google Settlement

I spent Friday at a fascinating conference at the Columbia University Law School, on the subject of (what else?) the Google settlement. Lead counsel from all three parties, lots of other lawyers, several princpals, publishers, authors and librarians were there. I learned something important that at some level I already knew. The most important single […]

Farewell to Cody’s

It’s all over the library and bookish blogs that Cody’s, Berkeley’s great bookstore, has closed its doors. No doubt I should have some deep policy insight about how this tragedy could have been averted, and about its implications for the future, but I don’t. Rather, I’m taking a little time to remember and to mourn. […]

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

Actually, the title of the song is “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” It was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, and hit number one on the charts, sung by the Shirelles, in 1961. King covered it herself in the album, Tapestry, ten years later. The King version is accompanied by piano, instead of violins, […]

A Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

I’ve always thought of blog posts as basically being open letters to some editor or other. In this case, I attempt to take the New York Times to task for coding Hillary Clinton as the winner of the Democratic primaries in Michigan and Florida. In both states the Democratic National Committee promised NOT to seat […]


Greetings! My name is Paul Courant, and after over 30 years as a college professor and academic administrator, writing and teaching on economics and public policy and serving in a variety of roles including department chair and provost, I recently became University Librarian at the University of Michigan. I find that the pace of change […]