Star Gazing: Learning from Blogging Librarians of Merit
Admittedly, my initial exposure to blogging librarians resulted from an effort to fulfill the requirements of this LIS6010 course. During this semester, I have discovered numerous librarians who blog with care and substance; I admire their passion and consistent hard work. Readers, in this post I’ll share my thoughts on blogs I plan to continue following beyond this academic venture: In the Library with the Lead Pipe and Letters to a Young Librarian are blogs with exceptional writing that snared me at first sight.
In the Library with Lead Pipe was established in 2008. With outstanding writing from an editorial board of professional librarians with different career paths (plus outside contributors with various viewpoints) this blog is poised to make its mark for years to come.
Noteworthy posts include an in-depth article about sharing and withholding information in library workplaces by Elizabeth Galoogis at http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2014/me-and-you-and-everything-we-know-information-behavior-in-library-workplaces/.
This was an enlightening article about “library workplace behaviors and the effect they have on service to patrons and overall quality of the work environment” from the perspective of a working librarian. In a section on “New Librarians and Principles of the Profession, there were specific references to the code of ethics, appropriate since the code purportedly guides LIS professionals on the job. During this semester, we have reviewed and discussed the ALA code of ethics at length in class. The inclusion of the code in the blog is further evidence that the code is not a throwaway or something to be learned by students and filed away in the real world of work. Instinctively this is known, but still….
Because I love reading and writing poetry, I was thrilled to read an article by Erin Dorney at http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2014/librarian-as-poet-poet-as-librarian/ featuring interviews “with three poets who also work in libraries.” Dorney highlights notable poet librarians and concludes “Both the poet and the librarian rely on curiosity—on questioning, exploring, and learning to make sense of the world around them.”
Though all the contributors are good, my favorite is Emily Ford, 2007 MLIS graduate who generously shares her personal struggle to obtain her first permanent full time library position, five years after graduation. This award winning librarian/blogger certainly seems to have hit her stride. I have been educated and entertained by her writing. Armed with new information re: outreach, I discovered I had a slightly different take on this topic (previously covered in an older post by Emily Ford) I was inspired to write a post of my own for another class assignment. Emily Ford’s article is at http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2009/outreach-is-undead/. My article is at http://waynestateteam46010.blogspot.com/p/re-tagging-outreach-charged-with.html I look forward to more from Emily Post. She’s inspiring.
The other blog that I plan to continue reading is by Jessica Olin: Letters to a Young Librarian. Olin offers “advice to those who are new (or even not so new) to librarianship from someone who has been doing this work for a while now” at http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com/.
The blog archive dates back to 2011. In a post regarding why she started the blog at http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com/2011/06/why-i-decided-to-start-blog.html
Jessica Olin explains, “I want this blog to be about more than an experienced librarian dispensing advice to the new kids, however. In my conversations with individuals and groups who are joining my profession, it seems that there is a gap between what library programs are teaching and what new professionals will need to know in order to be successful.” This blog is her attempt to fill this gap.
A recent post explains how she gained leadership experience by: “serving on campus committees, teaching a freshman writing class, and coordinating programs and activities” among other things.
Jessica Olin shares the ups and downs of her first year as a library director at http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com/2014/02/what-difference-year-makes-my-first.html
She admits, “I had to fire someone…I put my foot in my mouth…I felt so overwhelmed at times”
Like many posts on this blog, this article was accompanied by great graphics –a moving picture of frightened, but happy kids on a roller coaster.
Olin even has a blog about other librarians who blog at http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com/2014/01/bloggity-blogging-librarian-blogs.html
She likes Feral Librarian, written by Chris Bourg and Beerbrarian, written by Jacob Berg.
While Olin is my favorite writer on this blog, guest writers have made solid contributions including a post by 2011 graduate Emily Weak, an Adult and Virtual Service Librarian, who explains how she got her “foot in the door” at : http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com/2014/01/getting-your-foot-in-door-moving-from.html
She gained experience as a “pool librarian over a year and a half before getting a permanent full time position at one of the three libraries” where she had previously done pool work.
Readers, I hope now you see why these blogging librarians are stars to me.