What I’m Writing – 25 June 2018

So this is a new type of post for me: writing about what I’m writing!

I’m excited about some upcoming projects and thought I’d use this as a way to share the news but also flesh out some thoughts. It always helps me to share new ideas (verbally or in writing) and get feedback, so feel free to share any you may have!

I’ve always loved the research process and enjoy writing. Being a librarian in the academic institutions that I have, I haven’t had the requirement of writing to support tenure or for any other reason, really. Despite this, it’s always been a goal of mine to achieve my doctorate, to research, and to publish.

As a “non-traditional” undergrad and grad student (read: I was a single mom, working full time while in school), I didn’t have time to pursue writing and publishing like some other students. But I was able to dive into the research process when I began working on my doctorate in 2009.

This was such a challenging process and I devoted any time I had to it until its completion in 2016. During this time, I wasn’t researching or writing anything besides this dissertation about public libraries in South Africa.

eNseleni Library

A boy uses his local library in eNseleni, South Africa. (Photo by Karla J. Strand)

It’s been a couple of years and aside from newsletter articles and book reviews, I haven’t published much until recently. This summer, I was able to have an article based on my doctoral work published in Library Management journal. This is technically my first peer-reviewed article accepted in an academic journal and a big accomplishment for me!

Since then, looking for new writing projects has paid off and I am happy to share that I have signed a contract with Litwin Books/Library Juice Press! Part of the “Series on Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies,” my book will be edited by Emily Drabinski. It is tentatively scheduled for publication in 2020 and will be about the history of the Office of the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian at the University of Wisconsin, where I am currently the librarian.

The office has a wonderful history; one that demonstrates the power of women working together to affect change. I have four decades of office files and archives to sift through for the book, as well as a couple of previously published chapters that briefly cover highlights up to about 1990 or so. I’m excited to dive into research, reading, and writing on a focused project again.

GWSL Office files

Files in my office. (Photo by Karla J. Strand)

I’ve also gotten approval to submit a full draft essay for possible inclusion in an ebook focused on feminist leadership. My contribution will examine the role of libraries in the leadership development and empowerment of women, the initiatives some libraries are already undertaking to meet these goals, and the importance of libraries in addressing the gender imbalances of the current era. While there’s still a chance it might not be accepted, this is my summer writing project and I figure if it isn’t accepted for this ebook, I can submit it for publication elsewhere.

So that’s what I am up to on the writing front! Subsequent posts will be used to flesh out some ideas, share resources, and try out some themes. Until then, I welcome any feedback and would love to hear about your writing!

I’d like to write more and encourage more discussion on my posts, so to that end, I am joining the 2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge for the remainder of the year! This challenge is hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight. For this challenge, I aim to post a new discussion post each month from now on (so this would have me at Level 1) and I hope you will participate!

So let’s discuss!

2018-discussion-challenge

 

Do you like to research and write? Are you an academic, independent scholar, fiction or poetry writer? Do you write for work or fun? Would you love to publish a book someday? What are your writing projects this summer?

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