Tag Archive: libr246


High Hopes & Low Expectations

One of my friends in a land far far away (Philadelphia) sent me a card in the mail. Yes, a real card made from dead tree delivered to a little box that sits outside of my house. The artwork on the front of the card reads, “I’m more interesting on my blog.” I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have met these people. They ARE more interesting on their blogs.

I hope I am never that person (or library). This being said, there are a number of things that library staff should consider before committing to a blog because yes, it is a commitment.

Joe over at Junta42 has a general list of 10 things to consider before you start blogging. I’d like to discuss some of things in terms of YOUR library.

1. What community do you serve? Now that you’ve answered that, WHO in the community is going to read the blog? Who do you WANT to read the blog? Is there a possibility that your intended audience and actual audience are two different entities? Come up with some plans and some back-up plans for this.

2. Who is going to maintain the blog? It’s all really exciting at first, but after a few weeks, is staff interest going to wane? Is the blog going to all fall on the shoulders of the new (and enthusiastic) librarian? (Hint: bad idea.) There should be a plan of attack with a clear schedule of posting.

3. Do you have your Social Media Policy buttoned up? (Hint: Do it.)

4. What is the scope of the blog? Is it so broad and varied that you should think about breaking it up into a few different blogs and link to them through the library’s homepage?

5. Are your ideas of what your blog is going to be an accurate representation of your library? (See intro.)

6. Finally, how thick is your skin? Your staff is going to be putting themselves out there for cheerleaders and critics alike (assuming you get readers).

Blogs are dynamic. They’re about throwing things out there and seeing what sticks. Have plans, have goals, but realize that they may change as time goes on.

I’ve been in SLIS for two years. If it weren’t for online social networking, I’d have forgotten the names of most of my friends and family members. With Facebook, I get to know my family members in different ways other than the occasional family gathering. There’s constant contact and I’ve grown closer to some of my friends and family members via social networking than if we were limited to offline contact. Sometimes it can be thrilling to reconnect with someone I haven’t spoken to in years (and sometimes not). I’ve actually seen more of my friends OFFline because of our relationships ONline.

Professionally, social networking has also had a great impact on me. One of my jobs gets pretty crappy reviews on Yelp and it has affected morale and the ways that certain things are done. In my volunteer job, I run the online social networking for the entire nonprofit. We provide free, accurate, non-judgmental information about sexuality. As soon as I took over the social networking, the interest in people volunteering has increased exponentially. We used to have to beg, borrow, and steal to get people to help out and now we don’t have that problem (okay, we don’t have that problem as much).