First, whilst I was in Orlando amusing some of my favorite MMLs (Muckety-Muck Librarians) with my 12-megabyte PowerPoint slideshow, I received news that my essay The Outlaw Bride was accepted for publication! In my typical ultra-superstitious manner I’m not going to tell you where until I at least see a contract, but it’s a well-respected literary publication, and that certainly earns a moue of delight.
To get it published took a good 13 submissions and a decision to rewrite the beginning. Make that 12 submissions, a disciplined revision, and finally and suddenly, a home.
Second, guess what: even if your primary is over, or your state doesn’t have one, you can still vote through February 9… in Florida’s Ask a Librarian YouTube contest! High school students made these videos, and the only downer is that they can’t all win, because I love, love, love every one of these videos, which are surprising in their takes on the value of virtual reference as well as laugh-out-loud funny.
Then my little balloon lost some of its bounce when over on ACRLblog I read this post by Brett Bonfield:
Here’s the second point I’m trying to make: good, thoughtful prose generally takes more than a few minutes a day to write and more than a couple of hundred words to express. I don’t think it’s a bad thing when people dismiss longer pieces with tl;dr (too long, didn’t read). Certainly, when we’re writing for undergraduates or Pierre Bayard, we need to take that wholly defensible sensibility into account. But if you’re writing for me, and for many other academic librarians, please understand that we’re likely to dismiss light, quick, frequent posts with ts;db: “Too short, didn’t bother.”
In theory I should be on the first part of this paragraph like white on rice. My blog could easily be named The Windily Prolix Librarian, or even (to borrow from a favorite joke) On and On, Anon. I do tend to gab, and some of my posts take months or even a year or longer to percolate through my brain and into a shape I want to make public. ’tis what it is.
But I tripped over the comment, “But if you’re writing for me, and for many other academic librarians…”
So the world is divided between the brainy top crust of LibraryLand, able to master long, dense posts at a single bound, and those dim bulbs incapable of what M*ch**l G*rm*n called the “sustained reading of complex texts”?
For that matter, I happen to think some of the best writing on the Web comes in the form of “light, quick, frequent posts.” Stylistically, it’s not my typical approach to writing (I, with my microscope and my tweezers), but I respect it and could frankly learn a lot from it — as could those who have had their wit dulled and their senses muffled by academic librarianship, which can be a castle of intellectual endeavor but can also be a grim, grey dungeon.
In any event, I’m home safe, because “academic librarians” aren’t my audience. You are, gentle reader, whoever you might be.