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C. Brage

Linköping University (SWEDEN)
I would like to present an in-house formal writing programme for academic librarians that received little or no training in research methodology or scholarly writing in their graduate library education. One of many reasons to do so is that there is a “new” trend for us librarians to “articulate our value”. As librarians we gather a lot of data but that is not enough. We need to communicate our findings! Although writing for publication is an expected part of the role of faculty staff in most universities but almost no such recognition of the librarian as an academic writer exists.

Many librarians though present their findings at both national and international conferences and they offer a lot of interesting and innovative practice and research-related activities. The validity and reliability of what librarians have to contribute comes from their experience and not neccesairly from “research” findings. Librarians see user engagement through observation, focus groups, surveys and they often receive positive and sometimes negative comments from users. But not many academic librarians publish what they found in the peer-reviewed literature, sadly to say, since those experiences could provide value to other librarians.

Against this background, and the recognition in the literature that productive writing requires support I decided to offer an in-house formal writing programme in order to encourage fellow librarians in their academic writing.

This article is based on a programme that begun in the fall 2016 and ended in June 2017 with an in-house conference where the 22 participants presented their work. At the conference we also had an invited keynote speaker from Ireland. The theme of the keynote was a presentation of what an editorial board looks for in an article.

During our meetings I led the participants in different writing activities that encouraged them to become more familiar with their writing selves and the practice of academic writing and publishing. Practical exercises allowed them time to draw up an outline for an article, to begin writing sections, to formulate a working title and abstract and to consider where they might submit the piece.

Evidence to date is very positive and indicates that there is a strong value to the programme. A couple of abstracts have been accepted for both presentation and publication at different international conferences and we are now waiting for, hopefully, positive answers from other conferences where abstracts been sent to.