What’s new indeed! We were delighted and a bit stunned to discover that the Lexicon was chosen by Jo to receive her Fan Site Award. I can’t even tell you what an honor it is to know that Jo actually visits the Lexicon every so often while writing her books, using the site for research. All of us here on staff at the Lexicon were thrilled–okay, we were a little bit past “thrilled.” More like delirious.
However, shortly after the award was announced I was brought solidly back to earth when someone posted a comment saying “Well, with all the errors in the Lexicon, if there are mistakes in book six, we’ll know who to blame.” You know, it really struck me how true that is. Oh, I don’t think we’ll really have to blame the Lexicon if there are any errors in the next book, but I know it is true that people count on the Lexicon to be accurate. It is also true, unfortunately, that we aren’t always as accurate as we’d like to be. There are errors. Sometimes these errors are the result of new information which hasn’t yet been added to the Lexicon, such as the new information about Dean Thomas. Other errors happen because of typing mistakes. Still others are assumptions that creep into what we write, even though we work very hard to keep that from happening. What ever the reason, the fact is that there are errors in the Lexicon. I–along with the anonymous writer of that complaint–certainly do hope that Rowling doesn’t accidentally add one of those errors to Half Blood Prince.
Another person complained that he could only hope that this award might spur us here on staff to be a bit more responsive to emails. Apparently, he had emailed me and I had never answered him. That’s also sadly been a fact of life around here. I just don’t always have time to answer emails. To be perfectly honest with you, I have spent at least as much time answering emails in the last three months as I have working on content for the Lexicon. But I’m still behind, and I feel bad about it. I recently discovered an email from a librarian who wanted permission to use material from the Lexicon for a local library Harry Potter party. That email from from last August. I’d never answered her. You can about imagine how mortified I was to discover that! So the person who complained is absolutely correct. Responses have been hard to come by.
As a result of this, I have started adding a few staff people to help fix some of the problems. First of all, I have added someone to assist me in handling email, ongoing projects, contact information, and so on. Penny Linsenmayer has taken that position and some of you may already have received email from her in response to an email you sent to the Lexicon. She’s going to be our main contact person. If necessary, she’ll forward things to others of the staff to handle. Penny is a remarkable person who will be able to manage things brilliantly for us. We’re thrilled to have her on board.
As for fixing errors, I’m hoping to add an editor soon to handle some of that load, but I’m still in the process of finding the right person for the job. Since Penny will be handling some of the email chores, I hope to have more time available myself to do editing over the next weeks. Hopefully we can get some of those errors fixed soon. Maybe I’ll even get around to changing the references to Dean Thomas being Muggle-born…
There are three more new staff member to mention. The team leaders for the three editing groups now have Lexicon email addresses which will allow some of you to contact them directly. Here they are:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Spanish version)
email@example.com (French version)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Hebrew version)
I am so grateful for all the warm wishes, the emails of encouragement, the folks who contacted us just to celebrate with us. And of course, thanks, Jo, for your support and vote of confidence. Thanks for letting us know that we’ve helped you out. If there was one thing you could have said to make all the effort worthwhile, that was it.