Check out this post from Angel over at The Gypsy Librarian on getting to know our students and who needs to know them better. Angel writes “I guess here is what worries me. I can educate the students. I am comfortable with them, and they tend to be willing to at least give the crazy librarian a chance. I don’t think I can educate those administrators, and that worries me since they make the decisions with no idea of what the reality in the trenches is like.” I think that this is a problem at many schools – and may be one of the reasons why it is so difficult to institute postive change.
As a distance education student, a post yesterday from the LibrarianInBlack caught my eye – The importance of getting library cards to remote users. Sarah Houghton-Jan expands on a post by Laurie the Librarian and applies the same concepts about library cards to the public library. Laurie’s post, Why the highest priority to helping distance students should be getting them library cards, chronicles a bit about her adventure to facilitate an easy system of getting cards to distance students at a college library. I think that both Sarah and Laurie are trying to make the point that services need to be brought to distance students and/or remote users. Not only do we need to bring these services to our constituents, but we need to do it in a painless and way that is easy to understand and facilitate.
From my perspective as a student, these services don’t necessarily need to come from the library. I really want all of my ID numbers (whether I get a physical card or just the information) to come from one place – and really wouldn’t it be wonderful if I only needed one number??? Actually, I want all of my services to come from one spot. The library really isn’t a separate entity. In Laurie’s post, she talks about trying to get librarian presence in the online space that houses the distance classes – aka WebCT. I personally think this is where libraries need to be in order to better serve distance students. I don’t want to have to leave my class session, open a new browser window, and log into the library’s proxy server to get information. A link within the course place to the library catalog, to the electronic resources, etc. would be wonderful. It isn’t really about bringing the library card to the user, it is about bringing the library services to the patron.
Happy BlogDay to all!!!!
I first heard of this from Angel at The Gypsy Librarian – and I thankfully
she summed up the BlogDay information on her blog since the BlogDay site seems to be unavailable at the moment. From Angel’s post: “From the Blog Day website, “Blog Day was created with the belief that bloggers should have one day dedicated to getting to know other bloggers from other countries and areas of interest. On this day, every blogger will post a recommendation of 5 new blogs. In this way, all Blog web surfers will find themselves leaping around and discovering new, previously unknown blogs.”
I thought that I would list some of my favorite blogs by fellow students. My five recommendations (in no particular order):
- LIS: Michael Habib On Librarianship and the Information Sciences – Michael Habib is a MSLS student at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Michael has some great insights on Academic Library 2.0, including a great visual picture of the concept. I’m a little bit jealous (okay, I’m a whole lot jealous) that he is almost done with his degree.
- Into the Stacks – kiki is a library student in Oklahoma. While she has had this blog since November of 2005, I have only recently discovered it. I enjoy her insights into academia.
- Librarienne - A new student in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne’s library science program who started this blog back in March of 2006. She starts classes this fall. Librarienne’s personal stories add quite a bit of character to her blog – and make her blog very entertaining.
- What I Learned Today – A blog by Nicole Engard – an MLIS student at Drexel University who has a great deal of technical knowledge. I’ve picked up many neat tricks and quite a bit of good information from Nicole’s blog.
- Subject/Object – A blog by Steven Chabot, a masters student in Information Studies at the University of Toronto. This is another blog that I have discovered recently. Steven puts together some very insightful posts on a variety topics.
As for the questions about blogging, I will admit to not preparing in advance.
- Why did you start blogging? The answer is really two fold. As the tech support person in my library, many questions about blogs, RSS feeds and other social software applications kept coming up. I find that actually using new software is the best way to learn it. At the same time, I had just finished applying to graduate school – and a blog seemed like the perfect way to document my progress through school.
- What do you blog about mainly? I mainly blog about things that are related to library school. Sometimes, my topics may come from work-related events, thoughts or issues. Lately, I have felt the desire to incorporate more personal information, since school is really a very personal journey.
- Do you blog in your first language or in another language? Why? I blog in English which is my first language. Although I did take six years of Spanish in high school, I wouldn’t call myself fluent. Hence, English it is.
- What motivates you to keep blogging even if (like most bloggers) you are not paid much for it? I’m not paid at all for it. Oddly enough, I find blogging to be a very engaging process that keeps me thinking about issues that are important to libraries and to library students. I have been very suprised at how much I enjoy blogging and at how much I get out of it.
- Is your audience mainly inside your own country or around the world? I would have to say the audience is probably mainly in the my own country. Several of my posts have been linked to by bloggers from other countries, however. I’m not overly sure exactly what my audience looks like.
- What does your family and friends think about the fact that you a blogger? My husband thinks it is fun to murmur “blog, blog, blog, blog . . . ” when I am sitting in front of the tv with my laptop writing posts. I’m not entirely sure what that means. I would guess he isn’t really sure about what a blog is. My best friend isn’t really sure what to make of it – she kind of can’t believe it. Other than that, no one knows.
- Does your boss know you have a blog? No, he does not. I struggle whether I should mention it to him or not. The place where I work does not have a blog policy in place – and that scares me a little.
- What is the relationship between blogs in your country or region and the mainstream media? I’m not sure how to answer this one.
- When you blog, how would you describe what you write? I think sometimes I rant, sometimes I use the blog as a sounding board, sometimes I ask questions, sometimes I try to write more thoughtful posts. It really all depends upon what is going on in my life at the moment. I don’t think blogs should be restricted to any particular type of writing.
- Have blogs started to have in impact on politics in your country? Have they started to influence what stories get covered in your country’s media? Given the non-political nature of my blog, I’m not really sure how blogs may have begun to impact politics. I think it will be interesting to watch this over the upcoming presidential election.
Pretty lame answers, but really that’s all I’ve got time for right now.
I’ve always had a hard time wrapping my head around the need for branding and marketing in a library. For most of my time working in a library, I have pretty much paid the concepts very little to no attention. Our library has been doing fine. Academic libraries are generally guaranteed a certain number of patrons given that kids keep coming to college. However, over the past couple of years, I have come to believe that branding and marketing may be the most important things libraries can do in order to combat stereotypical attitudes and to provide better service. Ok, really these are THE most important things because, let’s face it, it is all about the perception. The reality doesn’t really matter as much to the world at large. There is a great branding video on the show with zefrank (found via Louis Rosenfeld.com – Bloug). This video really gives a great explanation of branding – both positive and negative. What I get from thinking about this is that libraries need to have a better brand before they can successfully market themselves to the world at large.