The Active Librarian


Publication analysis

About the publication

TitleThe Active Librarian

ISSN: 2379-95281


Purpose, objective, or mission: The Active Librarian (TAL) is devoted to publishing repeatable and data-driven initiatives in order to improve the services of public librarianship.2 TAL aims to become a centralized “repository of best practices among public librarians for developing new services and enhancing existing ones.”3 Its goal is to enhance the profession by publishing needed program analysis and assessment.”4

Target audience: LIS professionals working in public libraries.5

Publisher: Michael J. Carlozzi.6

Peer reviewed? Yes.7

Type: LIS professional news.8

Medium: Online.

Content: The publication reports on specific initiatives, services, programs, and protocols. Articles should provide concrete details about projects and programs so that other public libraries can use the information to develop, implement, or enhance their own services.9

Frequency of publication: TAL plans to publish one volume per year with nine issues; although the publishing schedule may be adjusted to meet supply and demand.

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: The journal seeks reports on public library initiatives, programs, or services—for example, a recently adopted adult literacy program. Acceptable topics may include any library-related idea that can be generalized to and applied by other librarians—for example, “fostering an educational partnership, configuring credit card payments, developing a community ‘make space,’ writing a troubleshooting guide for Envisionware’s Time Management service, becoming a passport processor.”10 The journal’s submission requirements emphasize articles of “practical application rather than theory-building or historicizing.”11

Submission and review process: Submissions may not be previously published, or under consideration before other journals. All articles undergo a peer-review process (unless an article is solicited by an editor). The editors determine whether an article is appropriate for publication in TAL, after which the article is submitted to at least two referees in a blind process wherein the referees are anonymous to the authors. Submissions may be accepted, accepted with minor revisions, accepted with major revisions, or declined.12

Editorial tone: According to the journal’s submission requirements: “TAL is a practical rather than academic journal.” The tone should be professional but not overly academic, “easy to read but not juvenile.”13

The journal adheres to important practices of publishing original peer-reviewed work, but forgoes overly-rigid academic norms in order to emphasize application. A TAL article does not require a literature review, exhaustive references, or deep statistical analysis. However, an article must include a clear, direct explanation of a project or program so that may be replicated.14

Style guide used: APA.15

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

The journal presents a new opportunity for LIS professionals to share projects that have been implemented in a public library setting. (As of this writing, no issues have been published.) Authors need not be a public librarians to publish in TAL, but their work must be applicable to or done in partnership with public libraries. For example, academic librarians are encouraged to submit if their work can be generalized or applied to public librarianship, or if working in concert with public libraries. TAL intends to be a forum for professional exchange for projects that are best publicized widely and freely.16


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: The journal is entirely open access. According to an ALA Library Fact Sheet, there are approximately 137,000 paid library staff in the United States.17

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The editors are based in the United States, so it may be inferred that the audience will be primarily U.S.-based. However, international (non-American) submissions are also welcome.18

Reader characteristics: Expect that readers are well-acquainted with public library issues and trends. Readers will want to know how their libraries might benefit from the work other public libraries have done, and the features and steps to implement such efforts.19

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: As a professional publication, most readers will be familiar with issues relevant to public libraries such as outreach and marketing, technology demands, computer networking, digital literacy instruction, collection development, among other areas.20

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

The TAL website notes that “public librarians typically do not readily enjoy professional development opportunities that other LIS professionals do. Unlike colleagues in academic positions, [public librarians] often cannot attend distant conferences or take sabbaticals, purchase expensive database subscriptions, limiting exposure to cutting-edge research; and many do not have time apportioned for pursuing large-scale research projects. But our work benefits from the same professional exchange as academic librarians; the patrons we serve are no less important, and our community outreach is arguably greater and more critical.”21 If your library does something well and you want to share it, TAL provides an excellent forum for doing so.

Last updated: May 13, 2016


Show 21 footnotes

  1.  The Active Librarian, Michael J. Carlozzi, accessed May 5, 2020,
  2. The Active Librarian. (2016). Retrieved from
  3. The Active Librarian. (2016). Retrieved from
  4. The Active Librarian. (2016). Focus and scope. Retrieved from
  5. The Active Librarian. (2016). Focus and scope. Retrieved from
  6. The Active Librarian. (2016). Journal contact. Retrieved from
  7. The Active Librarian. (2016). Focus and scope. Retrieved from
  8. The Active Librarian. (2016). Focus and scope. Retrieved from
  9. The Active Librarian. (2016). Retrieved from
  10. The Active Librarian. (2016). Focus and scope. Retrieved from
  11. The Active Librarian. (2016). Focus and scope. Retrieved from
  12. The Active Librarian. (2016). Focus and scope. Retrieved from
  13. The Active Librarian. (2016). Author guidelines. Retrieved from
  14. The Active Librarian. (2016). Focus and scope. Retrieved from
  15. The Active Librarian. (2016). Author guidelines. Retrieved from
  16. The Active Librarian. (2016). Focus and scope. Retrieved from
  17. American Library Association. (2016). Number Employed in Libraries: ALA Library Fact Sheet 2. Retrieved from
  18. The Active Librarian. (2016). Focus and scope. Retrieved from
  19. The Active Librarian. (2016). Focus and scope. Retrieved from
  20. The Active Librarian. (2016). Focus and scope. Retrieved from
  21. The Active Librarian. (2016). Retrieved from
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