Barclay, Donald A. 1958-
BARCLAY, Donald A. 1958-
PERSONAL: Born July 14, 1958, in Alexandria, LA; son of Louis H. (a military officer and teacher) and Mary S. (a homemaker; maiden name, Ingrassia) Barclay; married Darcie R. Reimann (a psychologist), September 1, 1990; children: Mary Elizabeth. Ethnicity: "European." Education: Boise State University, B.A., 1981; University of California—Berkeley, M.A. 1984, M.L.I.S., 1990.
CAREER: Librarian, author, and editor. New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, coordinator of Library Institute, 1990-96; University of Houston, Houston, TX, coordinator of Electronic Publishing Center, 1996-97; Houston Academy of Medicine—Texas Medical Center Library, Houston, assistant director for systems and informatics, 1997-2002; University of California—Merced, assistant university librarian, 2002—.
MEMBER: Medical Library Association, American Library Association, Western Literature Association.
(With James H. Maguire and Peter Wild) Into the Wilderness Dream: Exploration Narratives of the American West, 1500-1805, University of Utah Press (Salt Lake City, UT), 1994.
(Editor and contributor) Teaching Electronic Information Literacy, Neal-Schuman (New York, NY), 1995.
(With James H. Maguire and Peter Wild) A Rendezvous Reader: Tall, Tangled, and True Tales of the Mountain Men, University of Utah Press (Salt Lake City, UT), 1997.
Managing Public-Access Computers: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians, Neal-Schuman (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Deborah D. Halsted) The Medical Library Association Consumer Health Reference Service Handbook, Neal-Schuman (New York, NY), 2001.
(With James H. Maguire and Peter Wild) Different Travellers, Different Eyes; Artists' Narratives of the American West, 1810-1920, Texas Christian University Press (Fort Worth, TX), 2001.
Teaching and Marketing Electronic Information Literacy, Neal-Schuman (New York, NY), 2003.
Contributor to books, including Updating the Literary West: A Supplement to the Literary History of the American West, Texas Christian University Press (Fort Worth, TX), 1997, and reference books. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Horn Book, Journal of Academic Librarianship, RQ, and Western American Literature.
SIDELIGHTS: Donald A. Barclay told CA: "I am certainly not the only author of published nonfiction who has the manuscript of an unpublished novel lurking among his papers. While my youthful dreams of making the big leagues of literary fiction never came to be, I have found writing nonfiction to be both personally satisfying and professionally enriching. The three areas in which I have published are library science, children's literature, and the literature of the American West.
"Writing about library science comes directly out of my chosen profession. My first professional library job was a faculty position in which publication was one route to promotion and tenure. After publishing an article or two in library journals, sheer dumb luck saw me doing a book for Neal-Schuman, a publisher specializing in books for librarians. Once the first book was done, Neal-Schuman asked me to do another and then another. Today, as soon as I get one book in galleys, my editor at Neal-Schuman is wanting to know what I will do for my next book.
"I got started writing about children's literature when I adapted a paper I had written for a 'history of the book' course into an article for Horn Book magazine. This led to an offer to contribute several chapters to Anita Silvey's monumental Children's Books and Their Creators. It has been several years since I have written anything on children's literature, but it is an area I would like to revisit.
"Writing about the literature of the American West is my passion. I have lived most of my life in the West and identify myself as a westerner. I see the literature of the American West as undervalued and under-appreciated, so part of my objective is to promote western American literature to those who think it begins with James Fenimore Cooper and ends with Zane Grey. Much of my work in this area has involved collaborating with other writers. While the stereotype of the lone writer in his garret still persists, writers and would-be writers should be open to collaboration. While collaboration has its own rewards in terms of providing quality feedback and keeping a writer on task, it can also be a great way for the newcomer to break in . I certainly would not have been able to find a publisher for Into the Wilderness Dream: Exploration Narratives of the American West, 1500-1805 without the clout and publishing savvy of my more experience collaborators, Peter Wild and James H. Maguire. On the other side of the coin, in recent years I have had the pleasure of playing the role of the more experienced collaborator mentoring the fledgling writer.
"My best piece of advice to any writer trying to get published is to start by publishing as much as you can wherever you can. Do not turn up your nose at opportunities to publish in small-circulation newsletters, local magazines, and the like. The experience you gain writing for such publications will prepare you to move on to bigger and better things, while holding out until the New Yorker or Viking Press comes calling will only insure that your words will never see print. I cut my writing teeth on my college newspaper, a publication of almost no significance. Even so, writing for the paper gave me much-needed experience and fired my desire to see my words in print. That desire remains with me to this day, and writing remains one of the most rewarding parts of my life."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Libraries, October, 2000, Cathleen Bourdon, review of Managing Public-Access Computers: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians, p. 76.
Australian Library Journal, February, 2001, Jennifer Burrell, review of Managing Public-Access Computers, p. 91.
Booklist, November 15, 2000, Edward Swanson, review of Managing Public-Access Computers, p. 606; March 1, 2002, Carolyn Mulac, review of The Medical Library Association Consumer Health Reference Service Handbook, p. 1176.
Library Journal, June 15, 2000, Dean C. Rowan, review of Managing Public-Access Computers, p. 123; June 1. 2002, Margaret Allen, review of The Medical Library Association Consumer Health Reference Service Handbook, p. 203.
Reference and User Services Quarterly, fall, 2000, Lucinda Covert-Vail, review of Managing Public-Access Computers, p. 99; summer, 2002, Jean Blackwell, review of The Medical Library Association Consumer Heath Reverence Service Handbook, p. 200.