Actually, I’ve written at least a couple of dozen articles and published my thesis as a book, but this weekend I decided to write an article for submission to the Scottish Journal of Performance. I started roughing it out yesterday, and sat down to work at it properly, late this afternoon. Suddenly, a light went on. Hang on, hadn’t I written an article about library ‘user education’ once before? Sure enough, there it was in my CV: ‘But how do I tell them?’, in the librarianship journal, Personnel Training and Education 8.3 (1991). I was fascinated to discover that not only had it been cited in a lengthy Australian study, but I was even quoted as observing, 23 years ago!, the lack of pedagogical theory in librarianship writings on user education!
Judith Peacock, From Trainers to Educators: Librarians and the challenge of change (1999)
Emboldened by my early success, I’m now feeling much more optimistic about the paper I’m working on today. Today’s effort is so very obviously better – I can tell that my writing has matured – although, after 23 years, I shouldn’t really be surprised.
However, this is interesting: Peacock quotes me noting the absence of something that I’ve only just, THIS YEAR, had the opportunity to make good. The wheel comes full circle, you could say! Except that, in one sense, it’s like looking down the other end of a telescope. 23 years ago, it was six years since my postgraduate diploma at library school, four since I’d reluctantly abandoned the PhD that I’d set aside during my librarianship training, and electronic resources consisted largely of databases for scientists and lawyers. Now, having completed a PhD on a totally different subject, and gained Fellowship in my professional body (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), I’m in the mature years of my career. E-resources are for everyone, and I’ve finally had the opportunity to do the Teaching Artist short credit-rated course that occasioned the writing of this blog. In the article I’ve been writing,I’m addressing the same subject again. But it’s like standing outside the Conservatoire knowing the land was once occupied by tenements. Same territory, but completely different environment!