Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lunch with who? Not Cindy Lou

Earlier this month I received another Who's Who email notification; this time from Marquis Who's Who (not Cambridge). Since it arrived over the holiday break and was part of the huge message list marked "to be read," I glanced and ignored it. Still not sure how it survived the mass email deletion, I took another look at it today and did a bit of "research" on the product. Here is the email notice:

It is my pleasure to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion in the upcoming 2008-2009 Edition of Who's Who of American Women®. This special edition, scheduled for publication in September 2008, marks our 50th year of publishing this historic reference volume.

Since the publication of the first edition in 1958, Who's Who of American Women has remained the premier biographical publication chronicling the lives of the country's most innovative and accomplished women. Who's Who of American Women is found in the collections of many of the country's leading public, academic and corporate libraries, where it is a universal reference tool for business people, historians, educators, students and researchers of all kinds.

To be considered for inclusion in this prestigious publication, you need only provide the requested information by completing our secure and easy-to-use online Biographical Data Form by January 31, 2008. Through this link you will also find more information about the edition of Who's Who of American Women currently in print.

The information you provide will be evaluated according to the selection standards Marquis Who's Who has developed over 110 years as the world's premier biographical publisher. If you are selected for inclusion in the new, commemorative edition, we will contact you prior to the book's publication in September.

I congratulate you on the achievements that have brought your name to the attention of our editorial committee. We look forward to hearing from you.

An interesting post script revealed:

P.S. Inclusion of your biography in Who's Who of American Women, of course, carries neither cost nor obligation to you of any kind. Our goal with each new edition is to have full representation of noteworthy and accomplished women across all fields and industries including business, education, medicine and healthcare, science and engineering, and more.

And, there was a link in this email regarding their privacy policy.

I started with my library catalog and found we have various dated editions covering two topics related to this particular Who's Who (again, Marquis) in the reference collection; sixteen volumes, dated from 1958 to 1990, Who's who of American women; a biographical dictionary of notable living American women; and two volumes, first and third, of Who's Who in Government. Moving on to the state-wide academic library consortium catalog there are twenty-four libraries with copies of Who's Who of American Women, but none of them offer editions newer than 2000. I took a cursory look at WorldCat, but lack the patience to search deeper.

The jury seems to be out regarding any "scam" potential. I found a bit more after venturing out of the stacks:

And, on the plus side:

One article, I do not recall where, surmized that Marquis Who's Who sent a lot of invitations out to librarians to entice them to buy the volume for their collections; interesting marketing tactic. Be that as it may, I now have one week remaining on my invitation.

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