I Don’t Want To Know!

November 10, 2007

Earlier, I referred to today’s postings over at Information Wants to Be Free and Annoyed Librarian about the identity of the pseudonymous Annoyed Librarian. I chuckled quite a bit about both posts (or really the one post and its slightly edited twin). As the day wore on – and the comments on both posts rolled in, I got to thinking about anonymity, pseudonymity and blogging. This has been a much debated topic. It can be easy for people to hide behind anonymity and use it as a tool to engage in negative behaviors. However, it can be necessary and even important in many circumstances. I thoroughly enjoy the Annoyed Librarian’s take. She often annoys me, sometimes makes me laugh, but always makes me think and rethink my own opinions about particular topics. She challenges me to challenge my own beliefs.

With this in mind, I started thinking about the overall impact of the Annoyed Librarian. I realized today that one of the reasons that I have never really speculated about the AL is because I do not want to know her identity – I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW! She is an effective voice because of her pseudonymity. In a very weird sort of way, I think that knowing her identity could possibly ruin her credibility. It could essentially take away the punch that AL packs – and that would be a shame. So, I’m going to allow myself to bask in the possible ambiguity of today’s events. That is how I want to see it.

On an entirely different subject, this is my third post today and fifth in three days. I’m guessing the blogger’s block has moved on to haunt someone else.

Library Blog Search – LISZEN

October 27, 2006

Check out this library blog search tool from Garrett Hungerford of Library Zen. Very cool stuff – and useful too! For more information read Garrett’s post about LISZEN.

More Thoughts on Blogging

May 22, 2006

In one of the first posts that I wrote for this blog, I voiced some of my thoughts about blogs – especially library blogs. I can honestly say that I am still addicted to reading blogs – and it is one of the first things that I do every day. Blogs have become the primary means by which I keep up with developments in the land of libraries. I have become even more fascinated with the development of certain blog issues. It is remarkable to watch the way that certain topics make the rounds of library blogs – and often develop lives of their own. The whole debate/arguments surrounding Web 2.0/Library 2.0 is a prime example.

To read some of the posts (my favorites) on this topic look at the following sites:
Michael Stephens’ Do Libraries Matter: On Libary & Librarian 2.0
A 2006 article from Walt Crawford’s Cites & Insights entitled Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0”
Library 2.0 – Questions and Commentary from Library Stuff
Working Toward a Definition of Library 2.0 from LibaryCrunch
11 reasons why Library 2.0 exists and matters from blyberg.net
Label 2.0 from Information wants to be free
Library 2.0 Discussion: Michael Squared from LibrarianinBlack

Add to all of this the recent debates over technical difficulties with ALA’s Library 2.0 boot camp and I can’t stop checking to see if there are any new posts. I get as caught up in these debates as people do in their favorite tv shows. Recently, I sadly realized that sometimes I’m caught up more in the personal aspect of these debates (who says what about whom, who responds to whose post, who is apologizing to whom, etc) than I do in the actual content. Many of the debates that take place in the library blog world are incredibly important and necessary. However, some of the commentaries get quite personal and every once in a while they are a bit offensive in tone. When this happens, it is hard for me to filter out personal biases to get at the message the blogger is trying to convey.

Ultimately, this makes me question the nature of blogs as a source for professional information. Blogs are inherently personal venues for people to post their thoughts and opinions. When people start posting comments about topics relating to their profession, I think lines start to blur between professional and personal behaviors. Sometimes this may not be a good thing. I don’t this this is specifically a problem inherent to blogs. This is a trend that has been growing for several years. Listserv email debates become remarkly unprofessional in a short amount of time. Heaven forbid that someone send an unsubscribe message to the listserv address. Despite the fact that this annoys me as much as anyone else, rudeness should be inexcusable in a professional environment.

This has been a topic that has troubled me since I started this blog back in September 2005. During the summer of 2005, a colleague at work asked me about RSS feeds, XML and blogs. She had noticed more and more RSS feeds and wondered what they were. As the primary technical support person in the library where I work, it falls to me to provide answers about new technologies. In trying to come up with a cogent answer for my colleague, I started reading library blogs, researching wikis and social software and gatherning information that could be useful in the library. As always with new technologies, I find doing the best way of learning. As such, I thought that actually creating a blog would be the best way to discover what one can do with them and how one can use them. Since I had decided to apply to graduate school for a masters in library science, it struck me that blog dedicated to that endeavor would be appropriate.

Personally, I didn’t feel comfortable with creating a blog for work because the college where I work did not (and still doesn’t) have a blogging policy nor do they have blogging software. Additionally, I am very aware of the fact that what I write on this blog is public. To me, it made sense to stay as far away from specific work issues as possible. To this end, I try to be deliberately vague about where I work. On the other hand, I think it best to be upfront about what I do because that certainly affects my perspective on technology, libraries and my mls program (to reiterate, I am a systems librarian sans mls). I guess this is why I have trouble wrapping my head around what I should be able to write about versus what I shouldn’t write about. This is why I haven’t commented about things like Library 2.0, etc. Of course, that doesn’t mean that these issues are not important for mls students. It just means that I haven’t resolved my conflicting thoughts about what is or isn’t appropriate upon which to comment – in light of my professional life versus my personal one.

Favorite Library Blogs

October 6, 2005

In response to a classmate’s email, I am posting a list of my favorite library blogs.

There are a bunch of MLS student bloggers that are really informative. Joy Weese Moll has a listing of blogs by current students and recent graduates on her site Wanderings of a student librarian. Some technology centered blogs – LITA Blog, the Shifted Librarian, TechnoBiblio, LibraryTechnology NOW, LibrarianinBlack.net, and Information Wants to Be Free. Other blogs I read regularly are the Creative Librarian, the Convivial Librarian, Librarian on the edge, Walt at Random, Phil Bradley’s Blog, Peter Scott’s Library Blog, Mike’s Musings, and the Kept-up Academic Librarian.

Karen G. Schnieder has a blog with a listing of library blogs that is worth wading through for ones that may peak your interest. This is where I found most of the blogs that I currently have in my aggregator (and right now I have about 90).

Blogs in libraryland

September 19, 2005

I’ve only been reading different blogs for several months. One of the reference librarians at the library where I work had a question about RSS feeds and XML which led me the world of blogs. In the course of answering a simple question, I discovered a fascinating new world. At this point, I may even be a bit addicted to blogs – seriously. Some mornings I can’t wait to log into my computer and see what new posts are waiting for me in my aggregator. The majority of blogs in my reader are library-related ones. The information that people post is incredible. This has definitely become one of my favorite ways of keeping up with trends in libraries.

Of course, there are so many posts that keeping up with them can be overwhelming. This is one of the reasons that I really enjoy the Carnival of Infosciences which is essentially a roundup of the best, most interesting posts from library bloggers from a set period of time. For more information, see this post at Open Stacks where the Carnival of Infosciences originated. To date, there have been seven Carnivals hosted by various bloggers. To check them out, see Carnival of Infosciences #1 (hosted by Open Stacks), Carnival of Infosciences #2 (hosted by Open Stacks), Carnival of Infosciences #3 (hosted by Wanderings of a Student Librarian), Carnival of Infosciences #4 (hosted by lis.dom), Carnival of Infosciences #5 (hosted by Christina’s LIS Rant), Carnival of Infosciences #6 (hosted by . . . the thoughts are broken . . .), and the current Carnival of Infosciences #7 (hosted by Mike’s Musings). The things that librarians and library professionals come up amaze me some time!!