Summertime is the time I usually have off from travel and even from a lot of local library work. While I’m waiting for one of the teeny libraries I work with to give me a contract — helping with automation and ILL, check me out a real librarian — I’ve been doing a lot of reading and that thing we call “keeping current.” I will spare you the sad story of my recent hard drive crash, but suffice to say that recreating my digital life from scratch is TONS easier than it would have been a few years ago. That said, it’s not easy. I realized at some point that when I talk about woodshedding, people don’t always know what I mean so I will point you to the Urban Dictionary definition. That’s me, minus the weed and the banjo.
I think it’s hard, in our profession to both do our jobs and learn about doing our jobs. Unlike many jobs I’ve had — tech support being a notable one — working at a library is not always a great way to learn about working at a library. It’s a great way to learn to do your job, engage with your community and your content, and deliver the best services you can, but it’s not easy to meet other librarians, learn about the way they do their librarianing other places and share ideas. The web helps us with that. I think people like me who travel and tell stories about libraries in other places also help.
This is all just a long winded way of talking about WordPress, actually. Laura Crossett has put together a few little communities for librarians interested in learning about WordPress for libraries. While WP is blogging software, you can actually use it to simply run a small website. We use it for the Vermont Library Association and it’s allowed more members more access to content creation which I think has been very helpful. Here are the places she has created, if you’re WordPress curious, check them out.
- WordPress for libraries wiki
- WordPress for Libraries WebJunction group (still pretty nascent really)
- WordPress for libraries Google group (requires google login)
Please consider checking them out and adding your knowledge, or experimenting with WordPress if you’re looking for a basic content management system or blogging tool for your library.