Category: Public Librarians Symposium

142 - From Class Project to Published Work: A Librarian's Role in Publishing

Tuesday, May 22
2:00 PM – 2:55 PM

Objectives: University librarians support institutional missions beyond the walls of the academic health center, with efforts including instruction to undergraduates and international outreach. A librarian at the Health Science Center Library at the University of Florida worked with numerous partners to edit and publish a conservation-themed children’s book. Community health can be tied to the health of that community’s environment; education can be a first step in improving both.

Methods: The librarian taught a one-credit Honors course on the book “Thank You, Madagascar: the Conservation Diaries of Alison Jolly”. The course required students to develop an original class project. Two students wrote and illustrated an engaging children’s alphabet book, concentrating on Malagasy animals and plants. Based on the exceptional quality of the work, the librarian was inspired to have the book published, with the goal of distribution to NGOs and other educational/conservation entities within Madagascar. As editor, the librarian consulted with educators in Madagascar to examine cultural nuances, and with on-campus experts for publishing and copyright issues. Based on feedback, she worked with the student authors to identify culturally-appropriate content, and partnered with a Malagasy colleague to reorganize the layout for clarity, simplify the text for age-appropriateness and translate the final product into Malagasy.

Results: The illustrated children’s book “Madagascar From A to Z” is the end product of these collaborations. This book is expected to be distributed to non-governmental agencies, schools, and research centers in Madagascar during UF’s annual study abroad course in July of 2018.

Conclusions: Collaborations external to the library can grow in unexpected and meaningful ways, while still supporting the missions of the institution; in this case the missions of instruction, service, and internationalization. Working closely with students and the Malagasy colleague has enriched the librarian’s work, and resulted in a collaborative tangible product that promises to make a difference.

Michele R. Tennant

Associate Director
Health Science Center Libraries
Gainesville, Florida

Michele R. Tennant received her PhD in Biology from Wayne State University in 1991, and her MLIS from UCLA in 1994. Since 1995, she has provided liaison, outreach and instructional at the Health Science Center Libraries (HSCL) of the University of Florida, with a focus on bioinformatics and genetics. She is currently the Associate Director of this library. She has created and taught courses for the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), and provided instruction in the science and resources of genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, and cancer biology to librarians for the Medical Library Association (MLA). Tennant served as PI on the “Women’s Health/Sex and Gender Differences Outreach Project” in 2013 and the complementary “Sex and Gender Differences/Women’s Health Outreach Project” in 2014, both awarded by NLM and the Office of Research on Women’s Health, as well as on the NLM’s contract “Partnering to Provide HIV/AIDS Information Outreach”, awarded in 2015. Tennant is currently editing a children’s book – “Madagascar from A to Z” – to be published by the LibraryPress@UF, and teaches a study abroad course on biodiversity, conservation, sustainability and culture in Madagascar. Tennant has authored or co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles in the library and scientific literature, as well as 5 invited book chapters, and nearly 140 posters and presentations at conferences and other venues. Since 2005 she has been a Distinguished Member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP). She has been the recipient of two awards from the MLA – the Estelle Brodman Academic Medical Librarian of the Year Award (2005), and the Lucretia McClure Excellence in Education Award (2014), and has served on numerous grant panels for the National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine.

Grace L. Gibson

Environmental Science
Gainesville, Florida

Grace is a 3rd year University of Florida student from Tampa majoring in Environmental Science and Political Science. She became interested in Madagascar when she enrolled in an (Un)Common Reads course at her university, which focused on the book "Thank You Madagascar: Conservation Diaries of Allison Jolly." She chose to pair with Soleil Nguyen to create a children’s book about Madagascar’s incredible biodiversity to combine her passions for education and the environment. In her free time, Grace volunteers at an elementary school garden and helps teach students about gardening and agriculture. She also participates in numerous environmental organizations at her university and helps plan events to encourage environmental awareness. She plans to further her education by attending graduate school in preparation for devoting her life to public service and working to promote the development and implementation of effective environmental policies that promote equity and sustainability.

Soleil T. Nguyen

Gainesville, Florida

Soleil Nguyen is a 3rd year University of Florida student from Tampa, Florida. She is majoring in Architecture with an emphasis in sustainability and the built environment. Soleil gained interest in Madagascar when she enrolled in an (Un)Common Read course. Relying on her experience in fine art medias and scientific illustration, she has captured the diverse flora and fauna of Madagascar through her insightful drawings. Soleil plans to pursue a Masters of Architecture and continue her interest in sustainable practices.

Michel Eric Andriamihajanirina

Marketing and International Commerce
Antananarivo, Antananarivo, Madagascar

Michel Andriamihajanirina is a native of Madagascar. Since 2009, Michel has worked in marketing and tourism throughout his country. Michel is a marketing manager for RED Company, an event communications and marketing company. He also works as a free-lance English tour guide.
Michel received his Master’s degree in Event Marketing and Tourism from the University of Antananarivo. He is certified by the University of South Africa through the YALI RLC SA program in the Business and Enterprise development track.
In everything that he undertakes, Michel strives to contribute to the global development of his country by using and sharing his skills, especially in the fields of economics and environmental preservation. As such, he is a member of business and environmental associations and volunteers in the Civil Society Organization. Michel believes that an ecofriendly mindset toward production can result in successful sustainable development.