Truthfully, I have never really had much of an interest in blogs until I began looking into them for my SLM508 course. My general lack of interest created a lack of understanding that there are so many different types of blogs and even among the different types, there is such a vast variety of posts available to the public. It is so interesting to read the thoughts and anecdotes of others through their blog posts, especially when the content directly relates to a potential career. This leads me into my findings from investigating blogs created by librarians. I looked at three very different types of librarian blogs and their reviews are below:
In the Library with the Lead Pipe: The murder victim? Your library assumptions. Suspects? It could have been any of us. (http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/)
I was attracted to “In The Library with the Lead Pipe” because it was voted the Best General Blog by the 2012 Salem Press Library Blog Awards. Rather than having a single author, this blog is run by six regular authors, along with various guest authors. This is nice because it contains various points of view on one blog. For example, there is one post titled “Our Philosophies of Librarianship” (http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2012/editorial-our-philosophies-of-librarianship/), which contains different philosophies of librarianship from librarians who have very different personalities and are in different places with their careers.
This blog also contains many posts that discuss current topics of interest for librarians. The post titled “Are you reading YA Lit? You Should be” (http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2011/are-you-reading-ya-lit-you-should-be/) evaluates Young Adult literature as a genre. The article discusses its popularity and the benefits of reading YA Fiction, while also comparing the genre to Adult Fiction. This is a wonderful post for high school librarians in particular because YA Fiction is so popular among the high school students. Another significant topic for all librarians is the struggle with increasing workload and decreasing budgets, which is explored in the post “Running the Library Race” (http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2012/running-the-library-race/) This post describes the importance of librarians to pace themselves as they tackle all of their duties and responsibilities.
The Adventures of Library Girl (http://www.librarygirl.net/)
“The Adventures of Library Girl” is a blog written byJennifer LaGarde the lead librarian for New Hanover
Schools, Jennifer LaGarde. Of all the librarian blogs that I explored, I believe that this one did the best job of providing helpful, useful suggestions for new concepts to incorporate into my teaching methods. LaGarde travels to present her innovative ideas and this blog details those travels and ideas. In her post “Game On! Using Video Games To Ramp Up Your Instruction!” (http://www.librarygirl.net/2012/06/game-on-using-video-games-to-ramp-up.html), she explains how to integrate common themes from video games into instruction to motivate and encourage students. LaGarde even includes the slides from her presentation, which provides colorful visuals to accompany her ideas. I could see myself frequently visiting this blog to gain more knowledge about what other methods librarians are using to continually improve upon their instruction and presentations.
Screwy Decimal: Tales from an Urban Librarian (http://www.screwydecimal.com/)
“Screwy Decimal” is written by Rita Meade, who is a public librarian in Brooklyn, NY. This is such a quirky blog of funny stories and awkward situations that librarians might encounter throughout their career. Her posts had me laughing as I read them. I think it’s a refreshingly different type of librarian blog because it is simply there to provide readers with entertaining, amusing antidotes about being a librarian. It is also good because it shows the lighter side of the job and it might even provide suggestions for fellow librarians on how they should, or should not, handle similar awkward situations.
In her post “Kids Say The Darndest…Well, You Know” (http://www.screwydecimal.com/2012/10/kids-say-darndestwell-you-know-4.html) Meade provides blog followers with many humorous comments said to her while she works as a public librarian. These funny little stories and conversations would be just what a fellow librarian would love to read after a rough day on the job. Not all of Meade’s posts are amusing because she also includes heart-warming stories. For example, her post “Moments” (http://www.screwydecimal.com/2012/10/moments.html) describes a short exchange she experienced with a little girl that confirms why she still loves her job.
These three very different librarian blogs helped me see how I could use a blog in my school library or for professional development. I could develop a blog for my high school library that takes different aspects of the three blogs I reviewed. If I created a school library blog, I would write posts about current happenings that students, parents, and school faculty members would all enjoy reading. I would also use it to feature new books that students would enjoy checking out from the library.
In addition to the current events and books, I would have a tab for faculty professional development that incorporates the newest methods of instruction, research tips, and any other tools I thought the teachers would benefit from reading. I do also think it could be fun to have a tab containing posts of stories from the library. Of course, I would obtain permission from the students involved in the anecdotes before including them on the blog.