Saturday, March 19, 2005

To blog or not to blog...

A few months ago when one of the librarians told me she wanted to start a blog for the library I was skeptical. I just couldn't see how a blog would be useful. What would the librarians write about that the patrons, mostly college students, would want to read? She didn't know the answer to that either, but she heard the crowd buzzing and wanted in.

I had become an avid blog reader myself about a year and a half ago. The blogs I was familiar with were more anecdotal than informative, containing basic narratives of peoples' lives. I still remember the first blog I read. It was an online journal filled with the ramblings of a twenty something girl dealing with day to day life. I was instantly drawn in to this stranger's world. I soon discovered other blogs by wonderful writers on various topics, for the most part, still very personal in nature. In those early days of discovery I spent the bulk of my web surfing time visiting both new and favorite blogs, devouring stories as fast as they could be written. It wasn't long before I was bloging myself, contributing to a community that I felt had given me so much. I just recently celebrated the anniversary of my personal blog which now contains more than 500 posts and several pictures about my life.

I knew what bloging was, I was living it, yet I couldn't see how it could be used as a productivity tool for a library, especially when they already had a webmaster (me). Then, I started thinking about what I had seen at Computers in Libraries last week, and I began to understand the draw. There was a whole crowd of people bloging the conference. At first I thought it was silly. I found their cat calls and whistles at the mere mention of the word 'blog' almost comical. Then it hit me. No middleman. You can share your ideas with the world as fast as you can type, or say, or record them without having to rely on anyone else. That is powerful (maybe even a little bit magical).

So here I am, fresh off the heels of my very first Computers in Libraries conference, starting a brand new work related blog at 11 pm on a Saturday night. Wishing I could have seen its value months ago. Hoping that late truly is better than never. And, looking forward to helping that librarian start her very own blog next week.

As for the conference, my head is swimming with information, ideas, affirmations, as well as a bit of a crush on one of the speakers. It was so great to hear what other libraries are doing and experiencing, in their own words.

I'm excited to get back to work on Monday and share everything I've learned. I should be able to get a few sentences out before they get tired of to my fandangled ideas and banish me back to my cube.

I'll post more thoughts on specific sessions in the next few days. For now I'll leave you with what I observed to be the hottest trends in library circles: bloging, knitting and Michael Stephens.


Michelle said...

I think blogging in our library would be especially useful in helping students with our BIs (bibliographic information - i.e. library lectures.
Let's see if this works.... mc

Julie said...

Hmm, I haddn't thought about using it for BIs, but we can try it out.

Congrats on starting your own blog! I can't wait to see what you do with it. Just let me know if you need help.

Anonymous said...

Julie, YOu might find this site interesting... I has very wonderful technical information for libraries. Sharon L

MS said...