Moving Beyond the Dumpster Fire: 2022 Projects

Moving Beyond the Dumpster Fire: 2022 Projects

Writing in 2021 was challenging, sometimes it felt like a dumpster fire; many times we questioned if we wanted to write at all ever again.
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Dec 10, 2021
Russell Michalak MLIS
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Moving Beyond the Dumpster Fire: 2022 Projects

Writing in 2021 was challenging, sometimes it felt like a dumpster fire; many times we questioned if we wanted to write at all ever again. We wrote our resignation to an editor about five times, but instead powered through and finished the writing project. Besides the grind and challenges we faced from the pandemic, we stopped working together synchronously at the same institution. We questioned what we would write together about. While we published an edited collection on plagiarism at the beginning of the year which feels like forever ago and wrote four columns, probably our lowest output of writing in years, we didn’t know if we would continue to write any longer. We did not need to for a variety of reasons. For the first time in years, we didn’t submit an article for peer review because we didn’t need to submit an application for tenure & promotion. But, after many lengthy discussions over Zoom, we now have a lot of upcoming writing projects we want to do in 2022 that we’re very excited about. In this blog post, we share the writing projects we are scheduled to write. These writing projects include two books, an article, and four columns.

2 Books Projects

We have signed contracts with two publishers American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL). For our project with the ALA Press, we are writing our first solo book on performance management in academic libraries. In this book, we will write a guide on effective performance management strategies such as creating a user guide and 1 + 1 weekly meetings. For our project with the ACRL press, we are editing a collection of book chapters on toxic cultures in higher education with two colleagues. We are focusing on us vs. them. The selected authors will identify the signs, find solutions and collectively address the problems that create and sustain toxic cultures.

1 Article

We collected data that we intend to use for an article that we plan to write in 2022 on toxic leadership in academic libraries. We plan to submit the manuscript to a journal such as the College & Research Libraries. We surveyed librarians, who work in all types of libraries, to see if they have ever experienced toxic leadership in their workplace.

4 Columns

We are in the fourth year of writing for the Journal of Library Administration. Once a quarter we have a column due to the editor. We write about information technology in academic libraries. Our idea bank includes the following topics : a series of columns on the assessment of personal knowledge management (PKM) tools we use, an analysis of remote usage of library resources and services that we presented at the Coalition for Networked Information (@cni_org or CNI) in 2021, and a column that we have tentatively titled “Repeatable processes: Make an SOP for that!”. These writing ideas could change depending on what we are working on at the time. The pandemic still marches on.


Writing is not always fun; it takes dedication and time. To remain dedicated and find the time to write, we follow these three tips to continue writing while also completing our day jobs. First, what helps us write together is finding common themes that we are both excited about, such as toxic cultures, personal knowledge management, and finding solutions through performance management to help employees succeed at work. Second, we must outline our projects ahead of time. Planning is essential for us to complete our writing projects. Third, deadlines do motivate us to write. Apply for Call for Proposals. If you can’t find a call for a proposal that matches your interest, then, if you have the time, pitch an edited collection to a publisher, as we have. These tips help us move beyond the day-to-day impediments that we encounter that can quickly prevent us from writing.