Career Crossovers

This Thursday, I’m presenting my first library-sponsored writing program at a local coffee shop. I’m really excited for this — and the whole series — but also a little nervous. I consider both librarianship and writing careers, but I’ve never combined them for a program like this.

Writing Elements.

As a librarian, I’m looking forward to the series because it’s the first time (at least in my tenure here) that our library has reached out to a local business to present a program there. Off-site programming is becoming increasingly popular as libraries are focusing more attention on community engagement. Dozens of libraries across the country now run book clubs that meet in bars, and I’ve heard of libraries partnering with local gaming stores, restaurants, and other businesses for various programs. For the Writing Elements series (a tie-in with our summer reading theme, Literary Elements), I reached out to a new local coffee shop where individual writers already practice their craft.

The librarian in me is also excited about the series because I know the target audience. I don’t know everyone who will be coming, but I know a few who have already told me they’ll be there. And not just because they’re my friends, but because they’re genuinely interested in a writing program.

I’m looking forward to the series as a writer because it’s a chance for me to meet and network with other local writers. I’ll have exercises related to a different topic each week (characterization this time around), and I’ll lead the group’s discussion, so the series will give me a chance to hone my skills as an instructor a bit. The writing community is so helpful and supportive, I always enjoy a chance to return that support, whether that means critiquing a friend’s work or hosting a library-sponsored series of programs.

Any tips as I make my foray into library outreach and more formal writing instruction?


4 thoughts on “Career Crossovers

  1. Jean

    Best of luck with the writing program. Has anyone at the library given blogging workshops? We would be ideal for tips on fostering social engagement. From a MLS-degreed librarian now KM specialist.

    1. Liz Osisek Post author

      Thank you! No one has given any blogging workshops at our library. But we’ve always have a lot of interest in our computer classes, particularly our Facebook class, so blogging would be a great addition. Thanks for the suggestion! Have you taught any blogging workshops before?

      1. Jean

        No I haven’t. And I don’t count my partner who I did teach. He ended up creating 2 blogs (one of them with e-commerce –Shopify) on his own and taking up 2 additional blogs that I started up for him.

        If the library does teach an intro session –it’s a matter of not becoming a defacto support contact point OR library facilitates initially a local bloggers’ group.

      2. Liz Osisek Post author

        Yeah, it can be tough to find that balance. It’d be a great workshop but we’d run the risk of being the support contact. On the other hand, we already do that for things like Facebook and email (how to post pictures, attach files, etc.), so this might not be a huge deviation from that.

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