An Interview With An Editor: Dr Gillian Dooley

This is a conversational interview recorded with Dr Gillian Dooley about the editorial work which she is involved with in Australia and other parts of the world.  She is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of English after having retired from Flinders University Library where she had been Special Collections Librarian from 1999 until 2015 and Publishing Support Librarian 2016 from 2017.

Dr Gillian Dooley
Dr Gillian Dooley


It was a good opportunity to learn about what is involved in an editorial relationship with writers and find out about deeper aspects of library sciences and publishing.  The conversation took place in a conservatory in Edinburgh with rain coming on and off.  As a writer myself, without any formal experience of publishing until recent years, I had no experience of working with someone to improve a piece of writing – i.e. an editor.


The chance to be in conversation with someone about what they have invested their lives in is a potent opportunity to discover hard won nuances in fascinating subjects.  The skill of active listening, thinking and relating is one of the primary means by which we can learn.  Audio recording conversations and situations where you become the active listener is a powerful way to be able to absorb deeply what was being told.


A listening conversation involves a process of apprehending a complex world through simple means.  We discussed the balance which is struck and the lines which are drawn in making decisions to publish, who gets published and censorship.  It was good to hear the experiences of someone who has been involved in libraries understanding them as multifaceted social educational spaces.  She describes the basic premise of a library as a provider of knowledge and information but also as an interface between academia and society.


Putting on public events and bringing diverse audiences together around public speaking brings the formal and informal worlds together creating circumstances where unmeasurable forms of learning take place.  Libraries have always been important places which serve critical social functions, much more than any reduced notion of warehouses for books as much as writing is more than ink on a piece of paper.


I hope you enjoy listening to the podcast, it was a great pleasure getting the chance to learn from her thoughts….



You can find out more about the work of Gillian Dooley below


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