Thursday, July 12, 2018

Webinar on Writing for Academic Publication

Really pleased to be invited to deliver a webinar for UKSG on Writing for Academic Publication. The webinar will be on Tuesday 17th July and full details of content and  how to register are here 

If you aren't available on Tuesday at 13:30  but would like to access the presentation, you can register and you will be sent a link to it afterwards.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Superhero Writing Tips for Librarians

I co-present a travelling workshop: the ‘Superhero Librarian Roadshow’. I've written about this initiative for SCONUL Focus.  The idea is to encourage librarians to be loud and proud of what they do – and to actively seek opportunities to showcase aspects of their regular work and special projects which could benefit from being shared. So often we information professionals are self-effacing and reluctant to talk about our achievements. We need to get our capes on, adopt our alter egos and shout about how we are pushing the library boundaries.

As a published author, I am relatively new to the game and until two years ago I had never published anything even in an internal newsletter. I am just a subject librarian who has finally seen the light and is having tremendous fun getting out there and writing about library stuff. So  here are a few top writing tips from the superhero angle:

Superman’s tip: Beginning is half the deed

Don't agonise over the opening paragraph being perfect. It will hold you up no end.  Write something to start. Anything. Just begin. You can hone it into immaculate prose later. 

Black Widow's tip: Be Prepared

Get the structural integrity sorted right from the get go.  Draft your headings with outline summaries of what might be covered in each section. The sous chef approach often works.  Chop it up in advance into small chunks and then it's so much easier to tackle individual bite-sized ingredients, before you pull it all together. Much less daunting than addressing all five courses in one hit.

Spiderman's tip: Go with the flow
Once the creative juices are working and it's all flying out from the keyboard, don't stop for anything. Coffee/Pizza/Prosecco/Visits to the gym/Messaging your Mum. Let it wait. Carpe diem.

Iron Man's tip:  Big yourself up
Be confident through all the highs and lows that this piece is going to be absolutely stellar.  Eventually. Even when an interim draft reads back as completely underwhelming. Hang on in there in the certain knowledge that ultimately your writing super powers will triumph.  

The Hulk's tip: Get an angle
Look at what's trending.  Develop some contemporary threads - and use the zeitgeist vernacular which will of course change daily.  Lots of social media hashtag surfing required here to see what's doing it for librarians in your particular area at the moment.  

Batman's tip:  Dare to be different
In the relentless pop-ups of posts and downloads your maverick piece needs to stand out. If you don't grab the attention with some kind of new gimmick, your reader is going to get easily distracted by the multiple other windows they have open and wander off-piste altogether.  Remember humour is a great engager. Aim to elicit at least a wry smile and then reel them in slowly.  

Wonder Woman's tip: Phone a friend
There's nothing like the advice of a fellow professional to honestly critique your awesome offering. Helpful hints on verbosity, sentence structure, glaring omissions and unnecessary content are always valuable. Find a friendly editor. 

Captain America's tip: Let it go!
A certain amount of tinkering time is productive. But eventually you have to stop.  Sometimes there is such a thing as over-finessing. There are other calls on your time. If you think it's good enough, take a deep breath and press send. 

Book a gig with the roadshow here
Superhero librarian presenters are:

Superhero team - Leo, Wendy & Claire

Captain America addresses troops

Sunday, June 24, 2018

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS - New Review of Academic Librarianship - DEADLINE APPROACHING (2 July 2018)

The New Review of Academic Librarianship invites proposals for a themed issue on Innovations in Learning and Teaching in Academic Libraries in summer 2019 (guest editors, Sheila Corrall, University of Pittsburgh, USA  and Liz Jolly, Teesside University, UK 

The themed issue will focus on innovative developments in library contributions to the educational mission of their parent institution. Proposed papers could be reports of empirical investigations of service innovations, state-of-the-art surveys or reviews of emergent practices, or single or multi-site case studies of strategic initiatives. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
  • Innovative contributions to student learning, undergraduate research, faculty teaching, or curriculum development;
  • Innovative approaches to co-creation and incorporation of the student voice;
  • Innovative services and support for first-year students, international students, remote learners, or under-represented groups.
  • Innovative contributions to student enrollment, student experience, student progression and retention, and student success;
  • Innovative collaborations and partnerships with other units, such as careers services, student services, teaching centres, or writing centres;
  • Innovative approaches to measurement and assessment of library impact on student and institutional performance, including participation in learning analytics initiatives

Proposals should be submitted as extended abstracts of around 500 words (excluding references) and cover the background and purpose of the innovation or initiative, the approach used to investigate the subject (e.g., survey, case-study report), a brief description of the innovation, and the key findings and insights gained, highlighting learning points for academic libraries. Please send your abstract as an email attachment to by Monday 2 July 2018.

Abstracts will be evaluated by members of the Editorial Board against the following criteria:
  • Connection and relevance to the issue theme
  • Originality and significance of the innovation described
  • Explanation of the rationale for the innovation
  • Potential impact on professional thinking and practice
  • Clarity and coherence of the written submission.

Proposers will be sent feedback by the end of August 2018. Authors of accepted abstracts will be expected to submit full papers (5,000-7,000 words) by Monday, December 3, 2018.