I’ve hinted at writing another book. Now it’s official. I
signed a contract with ALA Editions. The manuscript is due to them in January
2012. The first one
was a growth experience because it really pushed me to think differently on how
I viewed my job and the library profession.
In terms of size and commitment… obviously there is a big
difference between writing a 5,000-word article and a 55,000-word book. But
it’s more than length—it’s sustaining a concept, building a story, and
hopefully leaving people with positive ideas. I really wanted to capture a
particular emotion (excitement) and for the most part I think that worked out.
Contractually, it was a marketing book, but I wanted to
project my public service orientation, especially in the epilogue. To me– that
book was more about interacting with students rather than “marketing” advice.
The new book has been brewing for a while. It took me a long time to find the
right tone. I want it to be very readable and hopefully widely appealing. It’s
a bit philosophical actually, yet simpler. Here is how I described it to my
mom: a synthesis of library experiences
viewed at a molecular level. I’m sure ALA is expecting that to just fly off
the shelf, huh?
But seriously, it’s going to be a short energizing book
exploring core qualities that most libraries share. I’m stripping away
functional things, like collections, technology, and people and aiming for the
emotional nerve of what we do.
I’ve decided to chronicle the writing process online. A few
friends and my brother have expressed interest in what goes into writing a book
and so I figured I’d share it with them over the next 18 months. I have to
admit that my approach is wildly inefficient and that there are far better and more
productive ways to get this done—so I’m not advocating my behavior, but here it
is should you be interested: BrianMathews
What else is going on? Oh yeah, my wife is pregnant. I’m
excited! I’ve been learning A LOT and I’m more observant of kids out in public.
I find myself critiquing the parental decisions of my neighbors—and their
fashion choices too, but this is California. I’ve also been watching a lot of
baby videos on youtube.
My wife and I are both librarians so I’m hoping the kid will
strive to be the Librarian of Congress or something noble like that. At the very least I hope that our bookish
nature is passed along.
I’m not planning to turn this into a baby blog, but I just
wanted to take a minute and share what’s going on in my life-view these days.
Hope everyone is having a good summer.