Tagged: library blogs

Successful Library Blogs

Using Google Reader as my aggregator, I have been keeping up with the following blogs:

  • In the Library with the Lead Pipe
  • The Librarian’s Commute
  • The Distant Librarian
  • Librarian by Day
  • David Lee King
  • Librarian.net
  • Tame the Web
  • Librarian in Black

When comparing blogs, a main difference I see is posting length. Some of the bloggers create quite lengthy posts, namely In the Library with the Lead Pipe. This blog contains essay-length posts that are well-written and well-researched with proper citations. In the case of such lengthy posts, I can recognize the value of thoroughly exploring a subject. I found, however, that I never made it to the end of a post, no matter how interesting the subject was, because I was constantly interrupted. If I were to continue to follow this blog, I would have to make sure that I dedicated a interruption-free time slot to read it.

Other bloggers have shorter posts, such as Librarian’s Commute, The Distant Librarian, and David Lee King. Too short was occasionally a problem when the brevity was a result of not giving any examples to demonstrate the points being made. Also, the extremely short postings were so short that they didn’t catch my interest. The blog I am most likely to continue to read is David Lee King. His posts left me wanting a little more, but in a good way: long enough to catch my interest but short enough not to bore me. Lesson to be learned here: find that sweet spot when it comes to length.

I enjoy the various titles given to the blogs, and I found it ironic that the cleverest, catchiest title (In the Library with the Lead Pipe) belongs to the blog with the serious and well-researched essay-length posts. Not what I would have expected from the title. Instead, I had imagined a humorous blog with comic strips. Whether or not this is a problem depends on the pickiness of the reader.

I was interested in librarian.net by Jessamyn West. Her bio says that she works in a rural Vermont library which promised to be very interesting to me since I work in a remote region. Her latest post advertises an online conference called Big Talk for Small Libraries, which could be very interesting for me to attend. I may continue to follow librarian.net due the similarity in our work situations.

I attended a conference back in my first semester of library school, and Sarah Houghton was a speaker. For this reason, I was interested in following Librarian in Black. I love her blurb “Amazingly informed & therefore properly opinionated,” and I found that she has a casual tone. I’m not sure that this blog matches my interests, however, since I currently work at an academic library. If I decide to switch to public libraries, this may be a good blog to follow.

Tame the Web is written by Michael Stephens, and new professor in the SJSU SLIS program. I want to like this blog. I can appreciate that a lot of effort has gone into its layout and appearance. The layout and appearance, however, are very distracting for me. I have no sense of what this blog focuses on because I am still trying to figure out what all the various widgets are. The features distract me from the message. In this case, I can read this blog through a reader rather than going to the blog itself, but then I miss out on things like photos, blurbs, graphics, colors, etc. that are visually appealing. Again, I like just enough but not too much. Call me Goldilocks.

A library blog will be successful (at attracting me anyway) if it is compelling but not boring, focused but not scattered, visually appealing but not busy, casual but well-edited, and relevant to my interests. I think these are characteristics that will appeal to many people.