Scholarly Value of Blogs

July 6, 2006

Ever since I started this blog back in September of 2005, I have been fascinated with the world of blogs – especially library blogs. They are a very unique means of communication that are just now entering a more mature phase. Jane, over at A Wandering Eyre, just posted a piece on The Worth of Information, Considering Its Source in which she discusses the value of blog information (notably in relation to my intention to use blog posts in a paper for a graduate class). I have to say that Jane’s concerns do echo my own, but I think it is appropriate to use blog posts supported by traditional research (I might even suggest any research would be missing huge chunks of relevant information if blog posts were not included).

My comments on Jane’s post:

“Over the past several months, I have been amazed (and often overwhelmed) by the sheer amount of information available about libraries via blogs. I see the library blog world as such a rich community filled with passionate people who care deeply about their profession – and who are interested in affecting revolutionary change in the library sphere. I am extremely interested in the impact of blogs on communication – formal and informal – and am mulling over ideas about examining the world of library blogs for my special project/master’s thesis (which is still a while in the future). I also still value the information garnered by traditional research methodologies, but I think it is time to look at the world of blogs in a more scholarly manner. I find the discussions that are currently taking place about the OPAC (as one example – at this point it happens to relate to a specific class that I am taking) to be extremely significant, thought provoking and worthy of review in a scholarly manner. How it will all pan out is a different story, but I think it is worth the investigation (supported by traditional literature reviews and research).

By the way, the majority of my current reading in terms of professional development and awareness is also done through blogs, web sites, etc. Generally, any new developments that are worth noting have been mentioned in someone’s blog – with a link to more in depth information. I think it would be extremely interesting to look at the ways in which blogs have influenced professional development.”

PS. Is anyone else annoyed by the fact the spell check in blog software always identifies the word blog as misspelled????

Excellence in Customer Service

July 6, 2006

There is a great post entitled 20 points on excellent library customer service over at Blog about Libraries that I think everyone who works in libraries ought to read – maybe even daily. Work often gets complicated and frustrating – insufficient resources, insufficient human capital, broken equipment, not enough equipment, etc. – and these are only the problems that I’ve had to deal with in this short work week that started yesterday. When one is frustrated, the patron often becomes the enemy. This makes it difficult to keep a smile on one’s face – and to be helpful. Every once in a while, we all need these reminders. This reminder certainly helped me put my work frustrations into their proper place today!

And by the way, I don’t think that these lessons are just important to libraries – especially points #4 Follow the Golden Rule, always and #9 Be professional; take customer service seriously (I think they are just as important in our day-to-day lives). Customer service is almost non-existent in today’s society. Our society has an alarming tendency to blame the customer for problems. Everyone could use a bit of help to remember the value of good customer service. I’d like to show this post to people at my bank, my mortgage company and I would especially like to show this to people who work in retail stores. It doesn’t have to be difficult – something as simple as saying “Please” and “Thank You” can make people happier.