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Poster Presented at the American Library Association 2024 Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, United States

Publishing and peer review are two core ways librarians can support each other in their work. After noticing an untapped opportunity to support library workers from across the spectrum of libraries who would like to publish or provide professional service in the field, a group of library workers established First Draft Matchmaker, a peer review program that pairs volunteer reviewers with writers for supportive and nonjudgmental feedback. This initiative supports library workers’ writing processes prior to submission for a journal, conference proposal, book chapter, or trade publication and encourages many voices to participate in the professional conversation. Writers from any type of library can take part in this program, with opportunities to begin their participation and engage at a time of year that best fits their schedule. This free, librarian-led service offers a more equitable opportunity for writers to give or receive feedback.

Following the success of this program and inspired by feedback from peers, in 2023 we developed and launched a National Article Writing Month (NaArWriMo) program that supports writers as they work on their submissions. This support includes optional accountability partners, weekly Zoom writing sessions, and helpful weekly emails with calendars and playlist suggestions. Writers can also use the First Draft Matchmaker program to have additional support during this writing period.

This poster will present data on how the First Draft Matchmaker and NaArWriMo programs began, the outreach and effect they’ve had with participants so far, and where they’re heading in the future.

Learning Objectives:

  • Upon completion, participants will be able to identify how they can receive support for their writing, provide support for other writers, or both.
  • Upon completion, participants will be able to explore approaches to setting goals and celebrating milestones in their writing process.
  • Upon completion, participants will be able to identify strategies for providing and acting on constructive feedback.