In one of the most commented posts in the world of library blogs last week (Keeping it real), Meredith Farkas asked “For those of you who blog, why do you do it?” As many of Meredith’s posts do, this question really made me think. Ostensibly, I started this blog as a way to document my progress through my MLS program. I thought it would be a great way to document my progress through school – and would be a place where I could reflect on my education. Because I have a professional librarian position, my thoughts and experiences in school and at work sometimes overlap – although I deliberately try and refrain from specific references to my place of work. When I started blogging in September 2005, I thought the process would be fairly straightforward. I remember an email exchange with my advisor at SCSU: I sent him an email link to my blog because I had annotated some of my projects for my first class in the MLS program on it – he responded that he thought I would probably find other topics to write about. I was skeptical at the time, but he obviously was correct. Thus, over time blogging has become much more than a simple way to document my experiences in grad school. It has become THE place where I work through the issues that have become central to both my school work and my own conceptions of what it means to me to be a librarian – or more accurately what it means to be the best librarian that I can be.
The bottom line, you ask? I blog primarily for myself. It is an online venue that I can use to think through important topics that I am studying (and ok, let’s face it, some topics that I find less important), document projects, discuss current events in the library world and keep track of important blog posts. Ultimately, I don’t blog for the people who may or may not read this blog. I am truly amazed that people do read it. It has been an unexpected benefit – comments and support from people around the library blogosphere has really transformed my blogging experience. As such, I do not worry about whether a post falls into the category of mindless “me-tooism” or not. If there is a topic or another blog post that I think is important, then I will write something about it – sometimes with original commentary, but sometimes not. Generally speaking, I have links within my blog to almost all of the blog posts that have meant something to me on some level. I have used social bookmarking sites, bibliographic citation tools that allow one to keep URLs, and other social software sites. However, as of today, I use very few of the sites that I created accounts for. In some ways, I have total social software overload – blogging is really the only tool that I have really found useful in the scheme of my online needs. I am not making any specific comment about the usefulness of such tools like del.ico.us. If they work for people, then they are useful. I just can’t honestly remember my usernames to so many different sites. So, I use my blog to keep track of things that I find interesting, informative or noteworthy. It works best for me.
I can honestly say that blogging has been one of the best parts of my educational experience – even though it isn’t an official part of my education. This is highly ironic, I know. I would venture to guess that my blog and its focus will continue to evolve. As my educational experience evolves – as my work life evolves, my views on the library world will evolve. I suppose that is a good thing!