Magazine article Information Today

Get out and Write

Magazine article Information Today

Get out and Write

Article excerpt

The Librarian's Guide to Writing for Publication by Rachel Singer Gordon Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2004 ISBN: 0-8108-4895-3 208 pages $34.95

As information professionals, we all know that knowledge is vital to our work and lives. But think about this: Do you have unique or specialized knowledge to share with others? You may have completed a complicated project or done something innovative with your library's Web page. You may have strong opinions on a professional topic or work in an academic job setting where professional publication is required. But how do you get started? Accomplished author Rachel Singer Gordon has written The Librarian's Guide to Writing for Publication to help "maintain the integrity of our profession ... through the creation of a robust body of professional literature."

Gordon is the founder, a library career site. She is also a columnist for Library Journal and has written four books on library topics in the last few years. Gordon currently works part-time as a librarian while focusing on her writing and is well-qualified to advise about writing and publication.

Gordon begins The Librarians Guide to Writing for Publication by discussing her survey on publication in library literature. She conducted this study through and uses quotes and ideas from the dozens of responses throughout this book.

The first chapter is, sensibly enough, about getting started in library publication. Gordon presents encouraging quotes from published professionals. Tips on developing ideas complement a list of the advantages you get from publishing, such as name recognition, raises, and networking opportunities. Overall, Gordon feels that "writing for professional publication provides an avenue by which you can become more involved in the profession and help advance your own library career." The rest of the book follows the sequence of a writer's work, from deciding what and where to publish to the actual writing process. It also features specific chapters on writing a book, academic writing, and marketing your work.

The several chapters on developing your ideas for publication are great. Gordon first discusses choosing possible outlets for your writing. There's a handy chart of questions to ask yourself before you decide where to publish, such as "Do I need to publish in a peer-reviewed outlet?" and "Is it important that my research be published in a timely manner, or is my topic evergreen?" Gordon also discusses looking into contributor guidelines. …

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