Friday, March 24, 2006

Why write?

Why do people write for library journals if they don't pay? So asked a budding scribe on the Managing Information forum and it's something I've often muttered to myself as I filed my copy - minus an invoice. There are scores of information management publications out there in libraryland, all full of worthy articles by people who do it purely for the joy of seeing their name in print. Pathetic really, but we keep on writing. Two schools of thought exist about this:

1- These magazines are usually run on a shoestring and so can only exist by concerned individual writing for nothing. Better to exchange ideas rather than not have a forum to do so. Sharing information is what librarians do.
2- Librarianship is a service industry and the people who go into it enjoy being used and abused. They just can't say no and so happily bend over and take it.

As ever, the truth is probably somewhere in-between. I can't help thinking, though, that someone out there is having a laugh. Surely it devalues a product if the contributors are writing for nothing, merely out of a weary sense of duty. Which brings me nicely to the point of why am I wasting my time writing this blog for nowt?

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