Briggs Frame of Reference

Some thoughts from the current assistant editor & publisher

Elizabeth & Allen Briggs

Something Lost, Something Gained: The Looking Glass 2000-2007

The people working on a project inevitably leave their personal mark on it. This was obviously true for The Looking Glass. Started by a group of friends who were also Canadian children's literature professionals, the journal was a fun romp when we joined it in 2000, an eclectic mix of scholarship, observations, games, and gossip.

Although Elizabeth was recruited for a specific task, editor of "Alice's Academy", Allen fell into The Looking Glass sideways when, like more than one children's literature professional spouse, he agreed to help out with the publishing of the journal. What was intended to be a helping hand with the website became six and a half years of publishing the journal.

Soon after we joined The Looking Glass, Annette Goldsmith retired from the journal she'd founded and chose Jane Goldstein to take her place. The change in editors really began the transformation of The Looking Glass into a journal able to hold its own with the traditional heavyweights in the field. Soon after Jane took over she and her husband Joe traveled to our home, and the four of us stayed up late into the night laying out our vision of The Looking Glass and laboring over how to make it happen. It was the first of a few visits, each marking a change in direction for the journal as we decided how to best respond to and serve the needs of first children's literature, then children's studies, then international children's studies. The journal became more professional, more like its counterparts. As the journal achieved more and more success and respect, it lost much of its unique irreverent funny flavor. Joni Mitchell sings truth with "Something's lost and something's gained/by living every day". Jane has been invaluable at networking and drawing people into The Looking Glass. It is now a valued resource for professionals of all kinds. As a result it has touched amazing lives around the world in all sorts of practical ways including, most poignantly for us, the only teacher with computer resources in a war-torn country with few books for children. These are incredible achievements. But it has lost its playfulness.

This move to Australia and change in editorship are fantastic opportunities for The Looking Glass to continue evolving. Its character will continue to change as it expands its international focus and emphasis on all aspects of children's studies, and accomplishes more that we cannot now predict. We look forward to watching the journey!

Elizabeth & Allen Briggs

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"Frame of Reference "
© Elizabeth & Allen Briggs, 2007.
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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680