From Laurie the Librarian, a helpful guide to publishing for librarians. After my last post, I hate that this is put out by Elsevier (ugh ugh ugh), but it does have quite a bit of good information in it.
I’m currently in the process of trying to put together an article for publication about the Zoo & Wildlife Library Survey we did last summer. There’s already quite a precedent for this type of thing, with articles about zoo libraries published every few years. The most recent one I’ve found is from 2005, done by Dorothy Barr, where she specifically describes her survey as, “a survey sent ‘cold’ by an unknown student in the middle of summer during a time of economic downturn.” The San Diego Zoo has had the same librarian (my supervisor) for 20 years, and she told me that our library wasn’t included in this survey. Considering the results from our recent survey are markedly different, I’m suspicious of Barr’s results. Our survey was slightly different in scope and didn’t target aquariums, but we had nowhere near her 20% rate of responses from professional librarians. Rather, most zoo libraries seem to be run by volunteers or educators on the side of their regular job duties.
This might be my ego talking, but I think our library, and our survey, would be the basis of a fascinating article for a publication like Information Outlook. As a special librarian, I love reading about other small special libraries that break the mold of huge corporate resources, and zoo libraries are certainly unique. With the current economic crisis, other special libraries would benefit from hearing about how zoo libraries get by on the most minimal budget imaginable. Our library is better off than most zoo libraries, but compared to many other SLA member libraries, our budget is a tiny drop in the bucket. My next step is just to convince their editorial board of this, and then I can start writing! I’d love for this information to reach a wider, more general audience than the previous peer-review scholarly publications provided.
Barr, D. (2005). Zoo and aquarium libraries: An overview and update. Science and Technology Libraries 25: 71-87.
Coates, L. (2001). The San Diego Zoo Library “Began with a roar”. Science and Technology Libraries 21: 101-120.
Shaw, J. (1988). Lincoln Park Zoological Gardens Reference Library. Science and Technology Libraries 8: 9-20.
Kenyon, K. (1984). Zoo/Aquarium libraries: A survey. Special Libraries 75: 329-334.