I’m done uploading my photos and while an errant picture of me or my sister may have crept into my Australian Libraries photostream, I think you’ll still enjoy it. Note: a few of these are from 2004, but most of the libraries don’t look too terribly different.
Month: March 2007
American Libraries: Mattering in the Blogosphere
I read this article online while I was away and it looked good to me though I have to agree with Rochelle that not including URLs was sort of silly. Here are my full unedited answers and the URLs to everyone’s blogs. Nicole added hers as well. I do tend to go on a bit.
- Blake Carver, LISNews
- Nicole Engard, What I Learned Today
- Rochelle Hartman, Tinfoil+Raccoon
- Sarah Houghton-Jan, Librarian in Black
- Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librarian
- Kathleen de la Pena McCook, Librarian at the Kitchen Table
- Mary Minow, Library Law
- Joshua Neff, Goblin in the Library
- Jack Stephens, Conservator
- Jessamyn West, Librarian.net
What does it take for a blog to have an impact on the biblioblogosphere?
I’m not sure if you mean “have an impact in the blog world” or if you really mean “have an impact in the non-blog world” because they are very different. It’s easier to have a bloggish impact. You can read and thoughtfully comment on other blogs. You can write your own well-considered and well-linked posts and interact with the comments of others. You can send a lot of link-love to your favorite bloggers who may add you to their blogrolls and send link love back to you. Alternately, you can post a lot of naked pictures of yourself or others, pick fights with people, take controversial and poorly supported stances on hot button topics or just parrot the opinions of other more popular bloggers. It really depends what you’re after. I think most of us would argue that we want to have an impact outside the biblioblogosphere — as well as with in it — and to do that you often have to have good ideas combines with good presentation and an interested and effective audience. It’s a trick, to be certain.
What do the readers of your blog value about your posts?
I think I provide a perspective that people don’t see as often in the library blogosphere. I work in a rural community with small libraries and people without much tech savviness. For most people who live in cities or suburbs, they never see these people. I also have the time to read big articles, papers and presentations and synthesize them down for people who may not have that sort of time. I’m never afraid to call things the way I see them, but I try hard to refrain from gratuitous insults.
I also have a sense of humor and read widely, not just within library circles. My agenda is fairly clear and I’m pretty approachable. I also travel a great deal and so readers of my blog get insights into other locations, library associations and libraries by reading what I have to say. Lastly, a lot of library school students or potential students read my blog and ask me questions along the lines of “how do I find a library school to go to if I’m interested in the things you’re interested in?” and so I do a lot of mentoring as well.
How do you decide when to postâ€”inspiration, obligation to keep the blog fresh and readers engaged, or what?
I post when I have something to say, usually about something I’ve read. I don’t keep any sort of timetable and as much as I love my readers, I don’t worry they’re going to go elsewhere if I’m not continually amazing. Librarians are steady folks by and large and I feel like once you reach some sort of equilibrium, you’re likely to keep it if you don’t piss people off.
How do you determine what the right length is for a given post?
I have an Alice in Wonderland approach to this, paraphrased “Start at the beginning, write through to the end, then stop.”
What has surprised you most about the process of blogging?
Two things. First, how many amazing people I’ve met who have enriched my professional and personal life to a degree I never would have considered possible. Second, a surprising amount of work has come my way as a result of me having a public professional presence. Certainly some of this is the result of what I say and how I say it in person as well, but a lot of the public speaking I currently do has come about as a result of my blogging.
What lessons can libraries learn from your experiences as an individual blogger?
I’m not sure if there is a lesson for libraries per se. I think generally writing for public consumption is a great way to find your own voice and interact with other people finding theirs. I hope that my blogging and others’ blogging has somewhat removed the “riskiness” factor of writing in public and made it seem like a more commonplace thing for people to be doing with their time and efforts. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has something to say and how nice is it that blogging is a tool that enables more people to talk to each other?
What’s missing from the LIS blogosphere that you’d like to see someone take on?
Better meta tools. I have been impressed by ArchivesBlogs, the aggregator for archive-related blog postings and I’d like to be able to do more fine tuning to get custom feeds of library blogs as groups and not just as individual rss feeds. I like LISNews very much but I’d like to see an even bigger and more robust library news reporting service that wasn’t just the voice of one professional organization or one vendor. Also, I’d like to see us using our online powers for good and spend more time being public presences of tech savvy librarians the way some librarians are doing in SecondLife, or Ask MetaFilter or even individual bloggers like Ask Tangognat.
How will the blogs of today be regarded a decade from now? Should digital libraries collect them?
I’ve just finished writing an article about this for Library Journal :) Yes, I think if you have a mission to collect the personal voices of a community or time period or event, you’re not going to be able to do it using just email or letters or memos, blogs are becoming part of the public record of how we know ourselves and need to be taken into account when we write our histories.
Society of American Archivists decides remove its own listserv archive
I’m back in the US, almost back in Vermont. Got this little bizarre piece of news today: Society of American Archivists decides to nuke its listserv archives. Huh.
A little more from Australia
Hi. Sorry to everyone who tried to access my 2.0 talk and found that it dropped out after the Cluetrain part. A little embarassing, talking about new tech and not being able to get your old tech to work… In any case, it’s fixed now. I’ve also been able to pop in a little and see some of the blogosphere responses to my talks and thought I’d list them here. I’m going to meet with some new librarians from ALIA in Melbourne tomorrow for lunch (thanks for arranging this Michelle!) and then I’m off to Sydney for two days and then home. So, I haven’t been online much — not at all in the past two and a half days — so not much else to report except that I have a sunburn and I plan to have been to four state libraries on this trip by the time I get home which I think is half of… all of them. It’s been a great trip and a real vacation; I’ll be back regular-link next week.
- Some Flickr photos from my Adelaide talk.
- Techxplorer Corey discusses my Adelaide talk.
- Kayo from off the trolley puts my talk into a few succinct bullet points.
- I added the Playford Library Service to my MySpace friends list.
- I met Constance, and Kathryn. So great!
- Sputty took my picture in Perth.
My two Australian talks
I’m making use of the wifi here at the Convention Center to make sure my talks are online. Both have been updated, these versions are shorter than similar versions I’ve given before. Thanks to everyone at the LocLib conference for your hospitality, attention and collegiality.