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One (very exciting) thing I haven’t properly talked about here on the blog is that I’m editing a New Professionals Toolkit for Facet Publishing! It’s had a couple of mentions in passing, but it really is a huge thing for me, so I thought it deserved its own blog post.
A book! Of my very own! Just me and 50-odd contributors! I’ll be on legal deposit in the BL! Which means I’ll be in Copac! I was utterly delighted the first time I appeared in Zetoc, and being in Copac will be pretty much the pinnacle of achievement. Can you guess who’ll have a new favourite test search for using in Copac demos?
One of the great things about having this blog is that it gives me the chance to get excited about things again. While doing the book is a ridiculously exciting thing to do, it’s also an Awful Lot of Work, and it’s this aspect that I’ve been tending to dwell on: gotta get the proposal done; decide topics; find contributors; contact them; chase them; get the case studies; write the chapters; find hints and tips; resources and further reading?; gotta do the website; need to tweet it; need to blog it; what about an index etc etc ad bloomin nauseum…
So a chance to stand back from that for a few minutes (especially coupled with the fact that I’m on the brink of a 2-week holiday where, quite frankly, I’m going to do my best to forget that libraries and the internet even exist) is a helpful and healthy way to start reinvigorating my enthusiasm for the book, and remember why I’m doing it: for the fame, fortune, and my name in
Of course, that’s not the only reason I’m doing it. I aim – hope! – to fill a need in the profession; to help new professionals through that tricky time in their first role when they’re realising that they definitely didn’t learn everything they’d need to know in library school. I want the Toolkit to be a real help to people, perhaps especially to those who don’t have much support in their own workplace, or who are debarred (for one reason or another) from traditional professional support and networking. I’m not saying it can replace peer guidance and support! You can’t go out for a drink and a gossip with a book (well, you can, but you won’t be doing the ‘loony librarian’ stereotype any good), nor can it understand your particular situation, and offer specific, tailored advice. It can’t brainstorm with you, or remind you of the name of that polling agency you were looking for (thanks, Twitter!). But maybe it can help you find resources and people who can, and ways to cope if you really do have to go it alone.
There’s loads more information about the Toolkit over on the website, and that’s where I’ll mainly be blogging about it as well – sharing what it’s really like for a new professional to edit their first book. There’s a twitter account for the book too, @lisnewprofs. More content will be added to both of these as we head towards the submission deadline of 30th November (*gulp*) -and beyond! I’m sure the book adventure doesn’t end once you’ve turned over the manuscript, and the website will definitely be updated after publication with new resources etc.
So if you find me distracted over the next few months, a little distant, prone to wandering around muttering under my breath – don’t worry! Come closer and you’ll probably hear me saying ‘innovative copyright education! I need case studies on innovative copyright education!’ (seriously, I do! email me if you know of one, and win my undying gratitude 😉 )