moving the needle: advancing the profession through publishing

For this year’s ARLIS/NA conference I asked a group of terrific editors and writers to talk about publishing. I moderated the entire session, Moving the Needle: Advancing the Profession through Publishing.

First we had an excellent paper from Eric Wolf who talked about scholarly publishing outside librarianship. He encouraged us to use our subject expertise (many of us in art librarianship have a second masters) and to write within that field. This is something I have been considering for a few months now – pursuing my interests in outsider art, tattooing, and other “low brow” art forms. Hearing Eric talk about the benefits and seeing his enthusiasm for writing outside information science has convinced me to move in this direction.

The lightning talks I arranged were also a success. In about an hour, seven speakers presented on a range of topics about writing and publishing. Three editors from ARLIS/NA discussed writing for them – Hannah Bennett represented the editors of ARLIS/NA Media & Technology Reviews, Terrie Wilson talked as a co-editor of ARLIS/NA book reviews, and Judy Dyki encouraged us to write for the scholarly journal Art Documentation. I have written book reviews for Terrie; she is great to work with and it was my first foray into writing in librarianship. I published my first peer-reviewed article in Art Documentation. Judy was very encouraging and considerate as an editor.

These three were followed by Anna-Sophia Zingarelli-Sweet who shared her experiences writing as a MLIS student and being a consulting editor for the great blog Hack Library School. I have been impressed by the work she’s done as a student! Then Laurel Bliss talked about publishing in relation to tenure for academic librarians. Laurel is an accomplished writer and had great ideas on making writing “easier” for the beginner.

Patrick Tomlin had an informative presentation on online scholarly profiles. He introduced us to many online tools like ORCID. Wrapping up the session was a presentation by Alex Watkins on open access publishing. Another accomplished writer, Alex discussed why open access matters and how authors can ensure their work is freely available.

I created a Zotero bibliography, Writing Opportunities in Art Librarianship, for the session. I linked to all the resources shared by the panelists and included some of my own recommendations. This proved to be worth my time as it was viewed by many ARLIS/NA participants over the course of the conference!

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Thanks to all the session speakers and attendees for making Moving the Needle a success! See you all in Seattle!