SPSCC librarian begins to write own book

As recently approved by the Board of Trustees, Margaret Thomas, a South Puget Sound Community College librarian, intends to spend fall quarter 2013 to finish her manuscript about a Japanese photographer.

“We are very are very pleased that Margaret has been awarded this sabbatical to write her book,” said Beth Hill, library, media, and elearning director.

In her application requesting sabbatical leave, Thomas explained that she has been researching the Japanese photographer, Shoki Kayamori, for the past several years. When Thomas learned of University of Alaska Press’s interest in her work, she decided to finalize the manuscript.

Kayamori lived in an Alaskan village until he committed suicide after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The photographer often highlighted traditional Tlingit culture and the Alaska salmon canning industry, making his work important to the preservation of Southeast Alaska native culture.

Thomas’ book will additionally act as an official documentation of the approximately 700 deteriorating glass-plate negatives that compose the Kayamori Collection.

Thomas plans to spend fall quarter writing a chapter about photographic techniques of the 1900s. She will spend the second part of the quarter organizing her notes and references and finally meeting with her publishers to gather the various permissions she will need in order to include work that is not part of the Kayamori Collection.

Beginning winter quarter 2014, Thomas will teach journalism courses at SPSCC. Her quarter of sabbatical leave will duly serve as time to prepare for this new endeavor.

Thomas’ upcoming research regarding photographic techniques will contribute to her curriculum for the two classes she’ll be teaching, Introduction to Online Journalism and Advanced Online Media Production.

Thomas wrote in her application that she hopes to enrich her knowledge of academic writing, interviewing, storytelling, and media resources throughout this firsthand experience. She also intends to use her experience as both a librarian and a professor.

Hill explained that throughout her work as a librarian, Thomas formed serious relationships with faculty, implementing meaningful instruction to students.

To cover her absence, adjunct librarian hours will increase temporarily.

Because of her book’s unique connection to U.S. history and changes in immigration, her research is also in line with SPSCC’s goal to promote multicultural awareness.

Thomas plans to reference SPSCC in the acknowledgements of her book and donate a copy to the library.