Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Writer Librarian

I started this blog to help librarians who want to be published. Whether you are an academic librarian looking for tenure, or you surround yourself with poetry and prose in the hopes of writing your own book, you fall into this category. I am sure there are many of us.

This is a place where librarians who want to be published can ask questions, and where librarians who are already published can pass on some wisdom to the rest of us. Writing can be a tricky business, and we should help one another.

One of the best tips I've received is to write as simply as possible. Clear the clutter. I read an article in the November 2008 issue of Communication Briefings that discussed writing to the lowest common denominator. Basically, it is better to be understood by as many people as possible instead of using smart-sounding words that no one knows the meaning of. (Yes, you scholarly types, that means you.)

This goes hand-in-hand with eliminating unecessary words in a sentence. Instead of writing "I feel that it is important for librarians to meet the needs of users," it is clearer and more concise to write, "Librarians should meet the needs of users." Go ahead, give it a try. Look over something you've wrote, and see if you can eliminate words while still retaining the meaning you want to convey.

-The Writer Librarian

2 comments:

Lisa Guidarini said...

Excellent! I'll link to you from my blog "Librarian, Uncensored," dedicated to Intellectual Freedom.

This is an excellent premise for a blog. Thanks for starting it.

Lisa

http://bluestalking.typepad.com/librarianuncensored/

jmlis said...

I am very interested in your blog and have added it to my Google Reader. I am currently a library assistant, and I just received my MLIS. I love writing and really want to write some LIS articles, but I am having trouble picking a topic. I also feel like I don't have enough "authority" to write a professional article since I am not yet a librarian. Perhaps you could include some advice for people who are new to the field?