By Anne Deutsch
Fifteen ACRL/NY members from the five boroughs and beyond made their way to New York City College of Technology (CUNY) late in the afternoon on Friday, November 20 to attend an ACRL/NY event to discuss “Research & Writing as a New Librarian.” The event was jointly sponsored by ACRL/NY’s Mentoring Program, and its New Librarians Discussion Group and Research and Writing Support Group. Attendees were rewarded with wine, cheese and camaraderie. As participants introduced themselves to the group, they also discussed the hurdles they face as they try to get their research and writing projects going. Common themes that emerged included carving out time, time management, generating ideas, limiting ideas, and working without deadlines or accountability.
The large group broke up into two sub-groups: one focusing on scholarly writing and the other on creative writing. When the entire group reconvened, participants discussed next steps the group could take to build momentum and group cohesion. There was agreement around calling regular meetings at flexible times. This could be paired with an online presence utilizing Facebook and/or other social media. There was also interest in accountability cohorts or parings and the idea of using a matching system similar to what the ACRL/NY Mentoring Program uses was discussed.
Susanne Markgren prepared and distributed several helpful handouts. Participants suggested productivity tools for writers, including 750 words, OmmWriter and Q10. There’s even a website that rewards users with pictures of kittens every time they type a certain number of words – Written? Kitten! A resource list included helpful books and websites for writers. There were also exercises on mindfulness and assessing activities from the book “In This Moment: Five Steps to Transcending Stress Using Mindfulness and Neuroscience.”
Anne Deutsch is Instruction Program Coordinator at the Sojourner Truth Library, State University of New York at New Paltz. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .