Sparkling prosecco and old master paintings provided the lavish setting for last week’s highly successful CDG event. Held in the National Gallery of Ireland’s Lavery Room, usually the gallery’s luxurious venue for corporate launches and weddings, the evening consisted of a series of talks by established and up-and-coming authors working in the library profession. Entitled “Publish to Flourish: An Leabharlann and Beyond”, about 40 attendees listened to a series of speakers who gave important advice including pitching ideas for articles and books, as well as writing techniques, tips, as well as the vital “do’s and don’ts”. Chair, Marta Bustillo, welcomed the attendees and first up was Marjory Sliney, who as editor of An Leabharlann, gave handy hints on writing for the LAI, recommending the need to keep book reviews and conference reports concise (<500 words), and emphasised the importance of reviewing past issues of the publication to get a feel for format and style. Back-issues can be consulted either in print or online (LAI/CILIP Ireland members have immediate access by logging into the site; non-members can access up to six months ago) through the LAI website/CILIP Ireland website via eDeposit Ireland. The CDG committee is now involved in the Open Access management of An Leabharlann and were delighted to celebrate this at the event.
Aoife Lawton, Systems Librarian at the HSE, then provided a presentation on general advice for novice writers, specifically on publishing and then gave some information on how she wrote her book “The Invisible Librarian”. I asked a question in the Q&A about how it was possible to manage the writing of a book, and Aoife explained that it meant sacrificing a lot of free time, but that the pay-off was more than worth it in terms of career progression, and making your mark. Colm O’Connor, Information Resources Librarian at the RCSI then gave a presentation on articles he has had published in medical journals, and the triumphs (and pit-falls) of collaboration with co-authors. Next up, Senan Healy, Head Librarian and Information Systems Manager in the RDS, gave insight into how as a librarian he had once pitched an article to colleagues using “librarian jargon”, and his text was rejected. He then explained the vital importance of writing for your audience and tailoring your texts to meet the reading and comprehension levels of readers from different disciplines. Two members of the CDG committee then gave talks on their writing for An Leabharlann; Laura Zaliene, Library assistant at UCD, and Amye Quigley, Librarian at Wicklow Co. Public Libraries. Both Laura and Amye stressed the importance of venturing into the world of writing and publishing as an important step in library career development and progression. Last but not least, Alex Kouker, Research Librarian at Dublin Business School, gave an interesting insight into a new journal which he manages with an editorial team; “Studies in Art and Humanities”. Alex focused on articles from the point of view of commissioning editors and stressed the importance of adhering to style guides, and gave some salutatory advice to rejected contributors: if you can’t beat ‘em, then blog your own articles (write for LibFocus or for the CDG blog!), and better still, start up your own journal! Alex also considered the perspective of the author and the idea of self-regulated learning when writing for publication.
The event was a wonderful evening, meeting new people working in librarianship, and hearing from a range of enterprising and motivated colleagues – see the Storify here. Marta wrapped up the evening by letting everyone know that the CDG’s next networking event will be at the annual LibCamp, which this year will be held at Dublin Business School on the 21st May 2016. Tickets (and more details) will be available online soon, so mark this date in your diary. See you there!
Library assistant, National Gallery of Ireland