Forrester, A. & Rockwood, S. (2015). Editorial: Libraries, museums, and publishers, Oh, My! UKSG eNews, 358(October).
As an additional bonus of participating in the London study abroad course, e-Publishing and Digital Scholarship, I was asked to co-author an editorial about the program with a fellow classmate from The Pratt Institute’s School of Information and Library Science. This piece was published on October 30, 2015 in UKSG eNews, an online newsletter for the UKSG membership that provides current news and views on the scholarly information sector.
The editorial strives to share our experiences while contributing to the professional knowledge base, requiring a high level of professional engagement with practitioners, such as publishers, librarians, and researchers. This formal channel of scholarly communication demonstrates the process of transferring informal communication into the formal domain. This example of professional writing, or practitioner literature, exhibits competence in written communication as well as in leadership by establishing our goals and monitoring progress in a constructive collaborative environment.
Reflection on Learning Experience
The challenge for this article was not only to recount our London experience, but to enlighten our professional community on the issues we surmised are paramount in e-scholarship. Throughout our site visits with libraries, museums, publishers, and researchers, we identified the information problems affecting these organizations as a result of technological change. The final narrative provided a tour of our experience, laced with views on how technology can impact the mission and function of these places.
My writing process relied heavily on a key resource, my daily weblog (or blog) we were required to maintain throughout the course. Utilizing this source to author the article truly underscored the value of the blog as an exercise and tool. During the program, the blog assisted in the assimilation of the massive amounts of information we received each day. As an accepted form of informal scholarly communication in its own right, it provided an online platform to document our experience, report on noteworthy information, and share personal reflection. In using a Web 2.0 content management system that additionally supports information organization and storage, the blog proved to be a valuable tool that served as our personal repository of knowledge for the creation of this new content.
One significant outcome from participating in the study abroad course—a point we made sure to convey in the editorial—was first-hand insight into how we, as future information professionals, will be paramount in resolving these information issues. How well we combine the practical aspects of information seeking, storing, and retrieving, with the investigative side of the properties and behavior of information, and with an emphasis on the use of technologies, will determine our success individually and as a discipline. While our practice will vary among information environments, embedding our skills will be a critical component to guiding (and in some cases dragging) these organizations into the future.