10 Librarian Blogs To Read in 2009

I started the "10 Blogs To Read in..." 3 years ago to find people in different areas of librarianship doing the most interesting and original writing on the web. Each year we've gathered a group of librarians working hard to increase the understanding our profession and it's place in the rapidly evolving online world. Again this year I tried to choose 10 writers who cover very different aspects of our profession, 10 sites that inform, educate and maybe amuse. I hope you'll find the list a nice place to find something new to read, or a place to gain better understanding of a part of librarianship that's outside of your normal area. We all have much to learn from each other, and these bloggers are working hard to share their knowledge and understanding with you. Read on below to see why each site made the list.

David Lee King davidleeking.com Feed
David King is the Digital Branch & Services Manager at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library as. He says his blog tends towards library website stuff - managing, marketing, experimenting, usability, and planning. Sometimes he strays into other related-yet-cool (translation: fun) topics, like video blogging, experience design and planning, and web 2.0 / library 2.0 topics.

In The Library with The Lead Pipe inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org Feed
Written by " six librarians working in academic, public, and school libraries across the United States." In The Library with The Lead Pipe "is intended to help improve our communities, our libraries, and our professional organizations. Our goal is to explore new ideas and start conversations; to document our concerns and argue for solutions. Each article is peer-reviewed by at least one external and one internal reviewer."

And now for something completely different… 2 communities from Livejournal. Choose your favorite based on your tolerance for chaos.
The Society for Librarians* Who Say "Motherf*@!%r" Feed
If that sounds like it's a bit too much for you, try
Library Lovers' LiveJournal Feed.
A post from yesterday to The Society for Librarians* Who Say "Motherf*@!%r":, " Is it Saturday or the full moon that brings out all the jackasses today?" Both of the LiveJournal groups are wonderfully eclectic and active places to catch some interesting reading.

David Lankes quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/blog Feed
R. David Lankes is director of the Information Institute of Syracuse, and an associate professor in Syracuse University's School of Information Studies. He posts video and audio from his presentations, and writes about a range of issues from an academic view point.

Planet Cataloging planetcataloging.org Feed
If there's a more exciting topic in librarianship than cataloging, I haven't seen it. And there's no better place to keep your finger on the pulse of catagloing than Planet Cataloging (unless you can handle AUTOCAT). Planet Cataloging is an automatically-generated aggregation of blogs related to cataloging and metadata designed and maintained by Jennifer Lang and Kevin S. Clarke.

Alternative Teen Services yalibrarian.com Feed
The Alternative teen services blog is maintained by teen librarians who share ideas, resources, and advocacy about serving teens. By sharing their ideas in a fun and supportive environment, the say they'll gain perspectives that improve our library services to teenage youth.

Designing Better Libraries dbl.lishost.org/blog Feed
Designing Better Libraries is a blog about design thinking and how it applies to library settings. The goal of this blog is to provide information, news and ideas that librarians can use to design a great library user experience for their communities. Among the topics they'll be covering are instructional design, innovation, technology design, and the application of new media to design - and of course - design thinking.

Closed Stacks closedstacks.wordpress.com Feed. Closed stacks was the "readers favorite" this year. Although I got far fewer votes this year than in years past, Closed Stacks was most popular. A group blog written by a variety of librarians, they cover just about everything.

Brave New World bookseller-association.blogspot.com Feed
Topical items and views on the impact of digitisation on publishing and its content and the issues that make the news. Run by Martyn Daniels, Value Chain International's VP Marketing, Media and Publishing. The blog covers book digitization and Internet, bookselling and publishing.

Open Source ILS Vendors, choose your favorite.
The Liblime Folks: blogs.liblime.com/open-sesame (Feed) and/or blogs.liblime.com/developers (Feed) and/org blogs.liblime.com/koha-with-class (Feed).
The Evergreen Folks: evergreen-ils.org/blog (Feed)
I'm a BIG believer in Free and Open Source Software, and I made a prediction that 2009 will be a big year for the open source ILS vendors. Follow along on their blogs to see what they're doing to give you control of your ILS.


Thank you!!!

Too much "think-tank" information for me.... I just didn't see the point of the information provided!

Mi Takuye Oyacin

OMG...what a bunch of WHINERS.... Most of these people seem to being doing clerical/circulation desk work...and in a Public Library!

Buck-up kiddies...this is what it means to be on the Front Lines in a Public Library Customer Service Job!

If it the bath water is too hot for you, get out of the damn tub!


Mi Takuye Oyacin

Um. Wow. Condescending much? So, they're clerks or in clerical positions--does that make their frustration and complaints any less valid? I guess it does to an uber-librarian such as yourself (that's if you're even working in the library field). Hmm. Maybe you don't like it because you see yourself reflected in the types of people/management the members of that comm have to deal with. Mo-fo much?


*Sarcasm is your body's natural defense against stupid.

*Tact is for people who aren't witty enough to be sarcastic

Nice to see you're still around. Good to hear from you.

I'm not really front-line anymore (unless reference is front-line which, I guess it depends on the library), but having spent close to a decade in various customer service positions, it's my considered opinion that the only way most people can stand to do it for any length of time is by having a place to vent. Because in my experience, most front-line personnel, whether they're circulation clerks, reference librarians, cashiers, or helpdesk support workers, really do care about being helpful and providing a good customer service experience. It's tough to do that for years on end when you have to deal with some of the things that inevitably, well, come up in that setting.

(And: you hold that opinion about the person who had to deal with a suicide off the roof of their building? Really? Really really? That's what it means to be on the front lines in a public library customer service job?)

Ah yes, the old "If you don't like it get another job." dismissal. Because as we all know jobs just grow on trees and anyone who can't get one is stupid and/or lazy. Why I get offered better jobs then I have all the time! Can't walk down the street without being offered a cushy office and 100K a year, but I don't accept because I love to whine about my library job...


likewise, if you don't like reading the posts, stay the hell away from the community. It's a place to vent.

You're whining about people whining, you pathetic baby

Oh no! We don't accept suicide, assault, abuse, bad policies, bad service and stupidity with a smile on our face! We instead go to a like-minded community and vent about those who make bad policy (the ones who couldn't stand the heat maybe?), the truly awful members of the community and things that make librarians burn out.

I'm a librarian, not a machine. You want good public libraries, you make sure your policies protect people. Some employers (obviously) don't, so forgive the staff if they don't take it all in grace with smiles.

And do you really want to encourage fewer public librarians? Really? Because it's a really great way of screwing up librarianship - you end up with only the dregs there, because everyone with skills has decamped and you get millions of people served by librarians no-one wants to employ.

And since when has cataloguing been clerical?

"Mi Takuye Oyacin" You keep using those words. I don't think they mean what you think they mean. Especially given the high handed timbre of your comment about clerical/circulation work, public libraries, and Front Lines.

Front lines, huh? I didn't know it was supposed to be a war.

Oh, by the way. I'm 32 and I've been working behind one of those Public Library Circulation desks doing that "clerical/circulation" work for half of my life. This year I'll celebrate 16 years in the profession. So don't tell me, or anyone like me, to "buck-up." And I am not a "kiddie." When you've had a patron accost you outside the public library, gotten into a fist fight at work, pulled a half naked woman out of a bathroom stall so she didn't aspirate her own vomit, stared down a crazy man who thought he worked for the CIA, dealt with a gang fight spilling into your front lobby, taken care of stalkers going after your teenage female pages, taken care of stalkers going after your fully grown female librarians, thrown out flashers, reported drunks, handled a man in the depths of a drug overdose, handled another man in the depths of withdrawal, and had absolutely no administrative back up because they didn't have the the balls to throw anyone out regardless of how dangerous they may be to staff and public... Then I, and countless other Circ folks will be happy to hear you out. Until then The Society of Librarians Who Say Motherfucker are the kind of people I go to work with every single day.

Some books contain the machinery required to create and sustain universes. Tycho (Jerry Holkins) @ Penny Arcade

You can't please all of the people all of time...but a ver good try~

To that list I'd add the New York Public Library's Labs blog. Here's how they describe it: "NYPL Labs provides a window into the overall digital experience of The New York Public Library. Take a look as we generalize our best practices into processes and tools and start experimenting with new applications and interfaces."