In 2016, the library of the then Institute of Technology, Tallaght launched the ITT Short
Story Competition, in collaboration with South Dublin Libraries and the Red Line Book
Festival. Submissions of between 1,500 and 2,000 words, on any topic, were invited from
anywhere in the world. From the outset, it was envisaged that the ten stories finally
shortlisted would be published in an anthology under the auspices of IT Tallaght.
Following weeks of research into the bewildering array of self-publishing services on offer,
the editors settled on CreateSpace, and the collection eventually appeared under the title
Together, in paperback form, [print on demand], and as a Kindle e-book. The process was
repeated in 2017, with the Lifeblood anthology being proofed, edited and designed in-house
by library-staff-turned-publishers, and only slightly altered last year for a third collection,
Stand Fast!, as CreateSpace became absorbed into Kindle Direct Publishing.
The now-annual ritual of preparing the anthology for publication has proved immensely
rewarding for the library staff involved, acquainting them with the nuts and bolts of a
profession not normally thought to overlap their own. Furthermore, not only has the
realisation of the stories in book form turned out to be the perfect way of bringing down the
curtain on that year’s competition, each stage of the process, from making the initial
overtures to the global writing community through to mailing the paperbacks out to authors
and libraries, has allowed for unique opportunities to engage with stakeholders and a public
we would otherwise have no reason to encounter.