So, I am finally a published author. You can read my article here. It was tough to fit my dissertation and several years worth of work into one paper but I hope I managed to bring out all of the significant findings and discussion. As it was my first attempt to write a journal article I chose to co-author it with my research supervisor Paul Matthews. Paul also has a background in international development and so was able to provide further context and expertise, underpinning in more detail how my research related to current international development agenda. I enjoyed working collaboratively and I think Paul really helped to round out the piece. The experience increased my confidence enough to go solo in the future. I had intended to write another article for an international development journal as literacy and libraries have such an important role to play in the alleviation of poverty I hoped I might be able to play a small role in raising the profile of libraries and reader development to a wider audience, but my life has rather been taken over by campaigning activities for Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries and my PGCHE course so I have been unable to do this. I wonder if it is too late. I will post my full dissertation on my blog shortly. The NGO I based the research on chose not to follow the recommendations, which is of course their prerogative, but I hope it may be of use to other library aid providers.
When I wrote my dissertation the world was very different. I had no idea that a year later I would be fighting so hard to save our public libraries in the UK from a government that fails to see the value they bring to communities and the vital role they have to play in getting us out of the financial mess we are in. I often wonder how I would explain this to the people of Chembe village, people who look to us and the resources we have with envy. They could teach us a thing or to. Sometimes you don’t know what you have got until it is gone…..but I digress.