Introducing the editors: Barbara Fister

Joe Kraus has started things off with his introductory post. Here’s mine.

Who are you? 

I’m a librarian at a small liberal arts college in Minnesota. I’ve long been interested in all kinds of issues related to how people find and use information to make new knowledge. That has led me to spend a lot of time with college students helping them figure out how to navigate what’s out there and find themselves as authors and thinkers and agents of change. (Sometimes all they want to do is finish a paper on time; I try to help with that, too.) It also has led me to explore how information is used to make sense of the world through fiction; I’ve studied crime fiction and the social nature of reading and have published three mysteries, all of which have something to do with how information (bad information, misinterpreted information, or information uncovered by dogged detective work) plays out fictionally around questions of justice. And it has made me want to be involved in the future of publishing, a future that’s creative and open to new ways of sharing knowledge. A future that isn’t closed and owned by corporate interests or scholarly societies that act like them.

Why are you involved in this new journal?

Several members of the Library Society of the World (you should join! It’s open and creative and fun and free!) started kicking around what we would ideally want to see in a new open access journal, and this is the result. These are some of the smartest, funniest, most creative librarians I know, and that’s saying something. So of course I want to be part of it.

What would you like to accomplish as an editor? 

This journal is new and evolving and we’re still figuring out how we’ll carry out the work, but some of the things we agreed were important are built-in already. It has to be available to anyone who has an Internet connection. Check. It has to disobey rules that made sense when journals were printed on paper but no longer do. We can do that. It has to be hospitable to librarians at all kinds of libraries writing in a variety of modes. Totally. We value peer-reviewed research and want to be a respected outlet for it, but we also like thoughtful articles and opinion pieces that aren’t so formally dressed. Can do. We want our authors to see their work made public without months of delay and we want to let the conversations continue, as they can these days, through comments. Why ever not? We want to see how a journal about creativity can be, itself, creative. So far, so good.

In short, we want to be part of the solution. Maybe you do, too.  We’re open for submissions, and hope you’ll think of us when you have something to say.


photo courtesy of SomeDriftwood