What's a blog, you ask? Blog is the short form of "web log," which is typically a personal journal that is updated frequently and available to the general public. For a better introduction to blogs, take a look at The Common Craft Show's video, Blogs in Plain English:
Libraries are using blogs as a way to share information, to encourage feedback from their patrons, to highlight services or new materials, and more. Blogs can be wonderful marketing tools, and a fantastic way to become more "real" or "approachable" to your users. It's all about inviting opinions and getting input from your users to collaborate on making your library the best that it can be. Here are some examples blog use in libraries across the country. If you'd like to explore more, visit the Blogging Libraries Wiki.
Ann Arbor District Library
AADL's homepage is now a blog where staff can share information on everything from holiday hours to new resources on the web to construction or book lists. They have an Audio Blog, Books Blog, Video Blog and Media Mentions blog just to name a few where they share information about materials in their collections. The beautiful thing about their site is that they encourage patron comments on their postings.
Helene Blowers of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County created an online training program for library staff to encourage them to experiment and learn about new and emerging technologies. It was such a popular program that she has now created Learning 2.1! Our very own Project Play was built off of Blowers' idea.
Marin County Free Library Blog
A way to share news and events taking place at the library.
St. Joseph County Public Library's SJCPL Blog
A way to share news about the library, including categories like "Musical Notes," "Movies & More," "Programs, Classes & Events," "To Read or Not to Read." They include book jacket art in their lists of new materials and do a nice job linking titles from there right to their online catalog.
Student Reflections on Night by Elie Wiesel
"This blog was first created to allow students at Cold Spring Harbor High School in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, and at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, Michigan, to share their reflections upon reading the autobiographical memoir Night by Elie Wiesel." Created and moderated by a high school librarian, and includes very thoughtful comments from students involved in the project. A great prototype!
Waterloo Public Library Book Club Blog
A site for this library's book club that discusses books being read and encourages people to participate in the discussion whether or not they are able to attend the monthly book club meetings at the library. What a great way to reach people who can't attend programs at the library!
WisBlawg - from the UW Law
A Wisconsin blog discussing a variety of topics with recommended reading links and "blogs I read." A nice example of communicating with a target audience.
Many librarians are out there blogging on their own time, sharing their views and opinions on current trends and sharing their passion for librarianship in their own way. There are several that are becoming quite well-known, as some of these authors were named in Library Journal's list of Movers and Shakers. Here's a short list of examples, and IMHO, the ones you should be paying attention to.
David Lee King
This blog focuses on the social web, emerging trends, and libraries. It's a great place to be informed on social media and why libraries should be paying attention to what our patrons are using every day.
Ellyssa Kroski writes this blog about news and resources on Library 2.0 and the information revolution. She often posts tips and top ten lists related to the social web and popular web tools.
"Resources and discussions for the "tech-librarians-by-default" among us..." Sarah Houghton-Jan says it like it is and provides lots of links to cool tools along with her opinions on library happenings.
Created by Jessamyn West, a rural librarian "putting the rarin' back in librarian." Jessamyn shares her thoughts on a variety of topics, and it is obvious she is passionate about librarianship.
The Shifted Librarian
From Jenny Levine. Her goal is to "help us librarians become as technologically adept as our users are so that we can deliver services to them and in their preferred medium and platform." Lots of posts about cool tools and how you can use them in libraries.
Tame the Web
Michael Stephens focuses the content of his blog on libraries and technology. He was formerly the special projects librarian at the St. Joseph County Public Library and will be an instructor at the Graduate School of Library at Information Science at Dominican University starting in August 2006.
From Aaron Schmidt, formerly a reference librarian at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library now director of the North Plains Public Library in Oregon. Posts on a variety of topics, but many are related to techie info and use of techie stuff in public libraries.
"Library cataloging, classification, metadata, subject access and related topics."
Library Link of the Day
Provides a daily link for keeping up-to-date with the library profession. You can sign up to have the link delivered to your email daily, rather than having to check the blog.
"The library weblog dedicated to resources for keeping current and professional development."
This blog is great for information on general library and information science news. What is the latest hot topic in the library world? You'll probably find someone here writing about it.
"The alternative guide to new books, magazines, and music along with news & views from the Net of interest to booksellers, publishers, librarians, writers and readers."
"Issues concerning libraries and the law - with latitude to discuss any other interesting issues. Note: Not legal advice - just a dangerous mix of thoughts and information."
Internet Scout Project Weblog
The well-known Internet Scout Project from UW-Madison has entered into the blogging world with a great blog full of miscellanea. Very current with lots of variety of topics. Great for reference librarians and curious people.
Neat New Stuff on the Net
Marylaine Block shares her latest finds on the 'net.
"Librarians sharing news, applications, and ideas of interest with others working with handheld computer technology."
A blog that focuses on technology and libraries.
The Wisconsin Library Association posts legislative info and other news WI libraries need to know about.
Here are a few blogs created by librarians with good senses of humor. Just for fun, but also informational.
Want to find a new blog on a particular topic? Take a look at some of these directories and spend some time exploring.
If you're looking for what's been written in the blogosphere on a particular topic, try these blog search engines:
Here's a short list of other blogs not necessarily library-related, but which might be worth keeping track of:
The PC Enthusiast's Resource
A "constantly updated resource of web applications, services or sites with a focus on next generation web (web 2.0), social software, blogging... and digital media sharing." Great way to keep up-to-date!
"Geek and you shall find..."
A group blog that discusses existing and new tools, services and technology for finding information on the internet.
"Computers make us more productive. Yeah, right. Lifehacker recommends the software downloads that actually save time. Don't live to geek; geek to live."
News for nerds, stuff that matters
Interested in starting your own blog? There are free services on the web that will help you do just that. Take a look at these and decide what seems to work best for you. Remember, if you're going to blog, make sure you have something new to say!
Supporting public libraries in Outagamie and Waupaca counties
© Outagamie Waupaca Library System · 225 N. Oneida Street · Appleton, WI 54911 · 920.832.6190
All rights reserved.