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May 10, 2004

Librarians who Write, Yet Again

I'm glad to see that discussion has revived on NMRTWriter, the discussion list for librarian-writers hosted by ALA's New Member Roundtable. NMRTWriter is not a perfect list--I wish it were more private and invitation-only, and that we knew who was subscribed--but many established librarian-writers subscribe to it, something highly in its favor (although the newer writers are important members of this community, too). The limitations of NMRTWriter can be addressed as they are on other ALA lists: by getting to know people, and writing them off-list when you have something delicate or sensitive to share.

It seemed that no sooner had I, in my ignorance, proposed the idea of a list for librarian writers then at least two other lists sprang up like mushrooms after a rain. But the new lists simply repeated the shortcomings of NMRTWriter without offering any clear advantages. If I'm going to share my joys and concerns in a writers' community, it might as well be on a list that has struggled along for awhile.

I would encourage the people who created these lists--and any other librarian writers who feel the need for community and feedback--to bring their subscribers over to NMRTWriter. To subscribe, send a message to listproc@ala.org with the following in the body:

subscribe nmrtwriter FIRSTNAME LASTNAME

Unless your mother named you FIRSTNAME LASTNAME, replace those words with your real name.

I admit to feeling a little silly about joining a list founded by NMRT, when I am really more eligible for OMRT, or at least MAMRT. But as Mehitabel said, "wot the hell, Archie, wot the hell." It's a nice group, and I have a feeling it will be a good place for me, particularly during these next two years. And why not for you, as well?

Posted by kgs at May 10, 2004 07:46 PM

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I can assure you it is merely coincidence that I created librarianwriters just as you were talking about it. If you read the description of the list I created, you'll see that it's purpose is not geared towards scholarly publication in the field of library science, thus people wanting to discuss their own creative writings would be out of place on NMRTWriter.

It’s merely by coincidence that I happened to create a Topica list called librarianwriters, around the time it was being discussed in your weblog. I had never read your weblog before someone brought it to my attention that you were discussing this topic.
If you reread the description of the list, you’ll see that my list does not focus on scholarly publishing in LIS, although these discussions are welcomed. The purpose of NMRTWriter is to serve those interested in scholarly publishing. There seems to be room for both lists to exist, since there isn’t really a lot of overlap.

Posted by: Todd at May 12, 2004 02:13 PM

Hello Karen. I guess I've caused some confusion without meaning to.

I mentioned the NMRT list to Todd after he'd created the Topica list (based on a discussion on an entirely other list), and mentioned the Topica list to you, as I assumed the two lists might want to know about each other. I knew about the NMRT list, in part from reading this blog. I thought (perhaps I was wrong) that it might be helpful to cross-post things like calls for papers or recent publications (LIS-related or not) by librarians, etc.

Nonetheless, I knew from Todd that the focus for the list he started would be more general and chatty, which (I also thought) didn't seem to be NMRT's focus. However, if that's not the case perhaps the description could be expanded as you mentioned, Karen.

I had lurked on the NMRT list briefly at one point, but there had been few posts. I'm glad to hear that's started up again. I had considered signing back on, but if you plan to change it to invitation-only, how would one get an invitation? Especially for new writers?

If I've caused trouble or offense, as I seem to have, my apologies. My intent was solely to keep the lines of communication open and let everyone know about our varied areas of interest.


Posted by: Louise at May 13, 2004 09:30 AM