iSchool Alumna Publishes Book: “Guidance for Librarians Transitioning to a New Environment”

Sara Duff (’09, M.S. Library and Information Studies) and co-author Tina Buck are publishing their first book together, “Guidance for Librarians Transitioning to a New Environment.”

The book aims to break down the myth that it is impossible for librarians to transition between library types throughout their career. Duff was a librarian for Gulf Coast State College for 7 years before starting at UCF in 2017. “I was adjusting from a small community College library to a massive university library, so Tina and I got to talking about transitioning to different libraries,” she explains. Buck had experience with several different library types as well.

“As we talked about career transitions in libraries, we decided we wanted to survey other librarians and see if this myth was widespread, and hear what other librarians thought about moving to different libraries,” Duff says.

The pair received thousands of responses and decided to write a book focusing on librarians transitioning to libraries that differed from their previous ones (including size and type). Duff and Buck interviewed 23 librarians from around the world and filled the book with their stories and advice.

“The writing and publishing process was very new to both of us,” Duff explains. “I was first approached by an editor at Routledge at a library conference after I did a presentation on my experience moving libraries. She asked me to complete a book proposal on that topic, and I brought Tina on board.”

After the original proposal was submitted, the book went through several rounds of edits before it was ready for publication. “It took us a little over a year to write the book, but the entire publication process, from first meeting the editor at the conference to holding the book in my hand, took 3 years,” Duff says.

To her, this book represents possibility and potential. “It’s not something I had even considered taking on until the editor approached me. And between having a great editor and a fantastic co-author, the publication process became less imposing and more accessible,” she says.

You can purchase your own copy here. In the meantime, Duff will be busy co-editing a book on zines in libraries for ALA (via ALCTS) while also working at UCF as the Acquisitions and Collection Assessment Librarian.