Book series idea – your views please!

Over the last few months I’ve been mulling over some ideas with Facet Publishing regarding developing a book series (Facet are a publishing company aimed at information professionals, so that would be the target audience). I’d really appreciate input from anyone who is willing to give it!

A couple of years ago I wrote a book with Jo Webb and Chris Powis, A Guide to Teaching Information Literacy: 101 Practical Tips, thankfully received generally good reviews with many referring positively to the format.

Facet have asked me to explore the idea of creating a book series based on a similar concept and structure.

For those who haven’t seen it (shame on you!), the book is structured into 101 short sections covering a ‘tip’, which vary in depth and content. The format is described in the introduction as follows:

“Each tip has an overview and details of the tip or activity, guidance on when to use the tips and some issues to watch out for when trying out the techniques. One of the most important parts of each tip is the More section, where we give further ideas and suggestions to adapt and extent the tip. We hope these ideas will prompt you to think about ways you can adapt the tips to your own teaching situation – it is important to experiment!”

Some tips cover more general themes such as ‘Assessment’ or ‘Planning’ whereas others cover specific teaching tools or activities. The sample given here is actually one of the more in-depth ‘tips’: http://www.facetpublishing.co.uk/downloads/file/blanchett-ch1.pdf

The full range can be seen in the contents page: http://www.facetpublishing.co.uk/downloads/file/blanchett-toc.pdf

The aim of the book was very much to provide practical tips (the title gives that away a little!). One of the strengths of the book was that it synthesised the collective experience of the authors in a hopefully easily accessible and useable way. A natural extension of this would be to gather practical tips from as many people as possible – crowdsourcing these, if you like that expression!

What I’d really appreciate some help with is:

  • Does a series of books like this appeal to you?
  • What sort of topics would you like to see?
  • Would you be prepared to contribute examples from your experience?
  • Can you suggest authors you think could bring the examples together and provide clear guidance on practical applications?

It would be great to gather together collective experiences, but I’m conscious that the end result would be published commercially. This does sit a little uncomfortably with me, given that there are completely open resources such as wikis with similar aims, but hopefully the added value and efforts of the authors/editors would be worth it.

I already have some ideas for topics I currently have include engaging library customers, evaluating impact, reader development, strategic planning and leadership, staff development – very diverse, but the common theme would be a practical approach and tips.

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions!

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