…and this is basically how I felt after I finally started using Google Reader. Last night, my reader didn’t say that I had 548 unread entries or 837 unread entries. It said, “1,000+.” There is so much for me to sift through that even The Google doesn’t feel like counting.

I got déjà vu. This was the same feeling of being overwhelmed as when, years ago, I first walked into my large university library. So many things to read! So much information! I needed a librarian to whittle things down for me then, so now, as I’m subscribing to RSS feeds like a kid in a candy store, I thought, “Oh man, I need a librarian to…..oh wait. That’s now MY job.”

NOT discounting what we do, but RSS feeds allow people to be their own librarians (to a certain extent, when it comes to using their aggregators). Instead of going and finding the information all the time, the information can come right to you. And it’s a lot of information that you will want (at least, that’s the idea). I want librarians everywhere to be spreading the word. It has the ability to streamline our jobs and better serve our patrons. We can extend our reach even when we aren’t consciously “reaching.” And then by integrating RSS into library websites, librarians are able to take more control over what is posted rather than going to “the web person” to make sure that something appears on the site. Librarians should care about RSS because it makes things happen immediately and with little effort. And RSS technology is free, unlike LibGuides.

I’ll admit: I have problems with LibGuides. Much like I have problems with Macs. I’m a paranoid person, and I am nervous about products and services where there are a lot of proprietary elements. I fully understand having the ability to design pages in the WYSIWYG manner is a huge selling point. I’m biased, as I can write html. Not the greatest, but enough to use a free (or less expensive) platform so that when xyz company goes under OR raises its prices, whatever I design can be moved to a new space. At this point, LibGuides has a lot that can and has moved libraries forward. I just hope that in the future, it doesn’t hold the users back.

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