Column Editor: Debbie Vaughn (College of Charleston) <email@example.com>
Column Editor’s Note: This year’s ALA Annual Conference includes a content area dedicated to Transforming: Teaching and Learning. It is staggering to think about how much teaching and learning has changed since I entered the world of librarianship in 1998. These transformations in the last 1.5 decades, and the myriad of transformations to come, are largely predicated by the evolution of science and technology. It is therefore critical that our communication efforts, and those of our patrons, stay up-to-speed. Stephanie Roberson Barnard and Deborah St. James’ new manual, Listen. Write. Present. The Elements for Communicating Science and Technology, is one of many recent publications to meet the information needs of students, professionals, librarians, and the like in this content area. Though this book is specific to communication in the fields of science and technology, it has tips that span many subject areas. Many thanks to veteran MM reviewer Joey van Arnhem for offering her review of this new title.
Happy reading and happy ALA conferencing, everyone! — DV
Barnard, Stephanie Roberson, and Deborah St. James. Listen. Write. Present.
The Elements for Communicating Science and Technology. New Haven, CT:
Yale UP, 2012. 978-0300176278. 224 pages. $22.00.
Reviewed by Jolanda-Pieta (Joey) van Arnhem, MFA (Instructor and Technology Coordinator, College of Charleston Libraries) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Listen. Write. Present. The Elements of Communicating Science and Technology, written by Stephanie Roberson Barnard and Deborah St. James, provides practical, to-the-point advice on every aspect of communication for scientists, healthcare providers, and information specialists. The authors provide proven methods, delivered succinctly in numbered lists and focused on six foundational skills required for professional success. Chapters include strategies and tips for professionals on how to “Plan, Listen, Write, Present, Meet, and Serve” based on their over 30 years of experience as communication consultants training biomedical, scientific, pharmaceutical, and technology professionals to communicate effectively.
Listen. Write. Present. The Elements for Communicating Science and Technology provides refreshing and much needed everyday common sense tips on how to “Plan, Listen, Write, Present, Meet, and Serve.” Each chapter is to-the-point, easy to read, and addresses key approaches for each topic. The numbered tips and lists make this book user-friendly and easy to remember. Chapters are constructed to provide readers with the opportunity to actively process information through “Skill Builder” activities that can be done in the car, during a break, or before you head in to work in the morning, providing immediate results.
Bernard and St. James’ helpful index is organized and thoughtfully arranged, allowing readers to find helpful advice relevant to their needs quickly and efficiently. My favorite chapter is “Write,” which, as noted by the authors in the preface of the book, distills their years of writing and editing experience into one easy-to-read chapter, making this book one that you will want to read, keep, and re-read. All of the chapters clearly address the real-world challenges of today’s multitasking professionals.
Listen. Write. Present. The Elements for Communicating Science and Technology provides a simple, modular approach to effective communication that can be implemented in its entirety or in parts as needed. This collection of best practices is a valuable practical aid for new and experienced science and technology professionals alike who are trying to improve and enhance their communication skills and increase their professional mobility. This handy reference is recommended for any library.
Authors invite readers to submit new tips and examples on their Website at www.listenwritepresent.com. Readers can continue the discussion online by following Listen. Write. Present. on Facebook, @StephRBarnard on Twitter, and Stephanie Roberson Barnard on Pinterest or subscribing to the Listen. Write. Present. blog available at http://listenwritepresent.blogspot.com/.
Leah was appointed Executive Director of the Charleston Conference in 2017, and has served in various roles with the Charleston Information Group, LLC, since 2004. Prior to working for the conference, she was Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for the College of Charleston for four years. She lives in a small town near Columbia, SC, with her husband and two kids where they raise a menagerie of farm animals.