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April 12, 2011 / bethan


The Toolkit now has its own Twitter account, @lisnewprofs. I’ll be tweeting news and updates about the book, along with various random interesting things. A lot of this info will also end up on my personal Twitter (@bethanar) – @lisnewprofs is for people who want to know about the book, but don’t want to put up with my general ramblings 🙂

I created a new Gmail account to go with the Twitter account – do contact me at with any questions or comments about the Toolkit or the website.

April 6, 2011 / bethan

Have your say!

Rebecca Goldman from Derangement and Description is contributing a case study to the Toolkit about webcomic writing as a form of professional developement. If you don’t know DnD, it’s a webcomic about archives, metadata, and related issues. I discovered it while I was learning EAD (Encoded Archival Description) for my work with the Archives Hub, and loved it! There’s nothing like chuckling over a joke about EAD to really boost your confidence that you’ve understood it.

We show DnD to the archives students we teach about EAD, as a bit of light refreshment at the end of the session – it always gets a laugh, as well as reinforcing what they’ve learned. Entertaining and educational! What more could we want?

My favourite comic is still probably this one, and I also love this. Rebecca doesn’t just do funny stuff though – she (rightly) gained a lot of attention in the archives world last year with her Post-SAA Howl, about the plight of archives students and new professionals.

Rebecca has posted a draft of her case study over on Derangement and Description, and is asking for feedback and suggestions on it. Please do go read it, and let her know what you think! While you’re there, have a browse through the archives too 🙂

March 31, 2011 / bethan

How did we get here?

So, why are you here? Why am I here, for that matter?

It all started back in October, when Sarah Busby from Facet emailed me to ask if I’d be interested in putting together a toolkit for new information professionals – something by new professionals, for new professionals. Once I’d got over the shock, I burbled ‘of course!’, and we started talking about how we might put it together.

One of the things we decided we needed was a website to support the book – a place to drum up interest, share information, and bring together all the extra reading and online resources that will be mentioned in the book.

As you may have noticed, it’s taken me a while to get round to doing this. I’d originally planned to do it almost immediately – get the website up, have a focal point for potential contributors to find out a bit about me and the book. A quick win, I thought.

So why has it taken me so long? Because, readers, I couldn’t think of a darn thing to write about. Nope, not at all. I managed to get as far as ‘contributor bios!’, and stuck fast. What else could I possibly write without giving away so much of the content that no-one would want to buy the book? I asked Ned Potter for advice (as I’m prone to do when I get stuck on things – he always has ideas!), and he suggested that I needed to make sure that the content wasn’t just promotion, but was something people would be interested in reading for its own sake.

This got me thinking – what could I blog about that people would want to read? ‘Things of interest to new professionals’ was my first thought – but what a hideously unmanageable remit! How do I narrow it down? It can’t take too much work, because I’ve still got to do the actual book as well, and that’s hard enough. I mean, what do I know about editing a book?

That’s when it hit me. I don’t know anything about editing a book – this is seat of the pants stuff all the way, baby. And so other new professionals probably don’t either. Why don’t I blog about that? What it’s actually like, as a new professional, to edit your first book? A true tale of the trials, triumphs, and tribulations. Surely that would be both interesting and useful?

So here we are, and I hope it is 🙂