Bringing You The LISNews

I get 90% of the stories I post to LISNews through Google News. A few times a day I run searches for librarian, libraries, library, books, and a few other words and phrases and that will usually dig up enough stories to fill up a days worth of LISNews. If I'm lucky there's enough submissions & other posts from LISNews authors I won't even have to go searching for any more. Most of what I end up posting is news from wire services and the popular press. I post things that seem interesting to me, or things that I think will be of interest to others. It's a formula that seems to be working, though I'm not sure it's one that'll keep working forever. I've always thought of LISNews as a newspaper for librarians, without the original reporting.

I never, well almost never, point to articles in the library press. I do this for a couple of reasons. The first is I almost never read the library press. I don't really have any reason for avoiding librarian oriented publications, I just don't find myself drawn to news aimed at librarians. My current job doesn't require much "librarian" reading, and when I have time to go searching for news, I don't look to other sources that are most likely already reporting the same things we are covering (or already covered) here. The second reason I avoid other "library" sources is I think you should be reading them already. Obviously this is a "do as I say not as I do" thing, but I think librarians should be reading LJ, AL, and a few other general library oriented magazines on a regular basis (along with LISNews). More importantly, I think most librarians DO read the sites I'm avoiding on a regular basis, therefore there's no need for me to keep my eyes peeled for things I find interesting to post to LISNews. I feel like I'd just be repeating what you've already read, and I'm always hoping to find that one good story that you'd never see anywhere else. A quick peak at AL reinforces my belief that I'm not missing much, at least there. The vast majority of the "Top Stories" were covered here. I guess that means we're doing a pretty good job. I do love Joseph Janes and I'll miss the Crawford files, but often the cover story at AL doesn't get me excited, it's the columns that interest me.

I think I've already written my thoughts on other blogs. I also avoid most of them, though now that LISFeeds is mo' better, I find my self reading the lisblogs far more often than I used to. I avoid them for largely the same reasons. Because I don't want to feel like I'm just doing the same ol' thing that everyone else is doing. I'm afraid that if I do keep up on all the trends, stories and bickering back and forth on the librarian blogs I'll become too involved with that, and lose my focus on doing whatever it is that I'm already doing at LISNews. Maybe I am doing the same ol' thing everyone else is doing, but at least I'm ignorant and blissful.

Thoughts? Should I be watching the library press for tidbits? Am I a rotten arrogant bastard for avoiding the other blogs? What changes should I make for the new year?

Speaking of next year, I'm about half way through a look back at the stories of 2004.


Okay...maybe you're a rotten bastard for not reading my blog, but I've found that much of the mainstream library press is old news to me by the time it's posted on an official website, not to mention by the time it shows up in my mailbox. There are terrific feature articles that I still find valuable, but for news it's mostly the 'net. I've even wondered if the trad sources are getting their scoops from in-the-trenches bloggers.

When I first came on board here, I would comb LJ and AL for headlines, but can't remember the last time I did that.

When I launched my blog, I wondered about how I would balance it against my LISNews involvement, feeling a real allegiance to Blake, and my first online home-away-from-home. As it turns out, there's been little conflict. My blog has been more anecdotal and personal (and very wordy), and if I do find a library story that really grabs me, I'll usually post to LISNews and link to it from my blog. Apparently, there are enough readers to go around, as I'm nearing 4000 hits in less than 2 months. (No one is more surprised than me.)

Anyway...I don't think you need to apologize or feel bastardy for not focusing on mainstream library press as a source. I think you, I, we are doing a fine job here at LISNews. You'll know you've gone too far when folks start to see this as too standard and mainstream a site to bother with. ;-)

and I have seen a lot of them as late, but you are not one of them, Blake (sorry to disappoint).

Keep up the good work! :)

heh, yes, we all need to pledge allegiance to Blake!

Thanks for the kind words.

Thanks! Keep up your good work as well, we need more open source evangelists.

Myself I worry that the bulk of posting content I find is via Google news. Sure Google does reference a number of different sites, but I still worry about the effect of putting all of my eggs in one content basket. I want other searchable news sources, with keyword mail alerts. Anyone have some sources they are willing to mention?

As to looking in the blogsphere for content, I would like to take website publication with a grain of salt. Witness that Technorati posting from last week, a bulk of the popular sites have no "Authority" whatsoever. I am not about to hotlink something that is opinion. Not to puff myself up but I feel that I have an obligation to provide news with a minimum of commentary. In my own blog, I try very hard not to post a great deal of my own opinions. Partly because of my sense of obligation (and partly because I don't think I have anything truly original or thought provoking to say).

As to the library press, I tend to gloss over what is published because, by the time it is reported there, typically LISNews has already reported it. does use a limited number of sources and I feel like it's not best practice to rely on it solely. I find the same sites/sources coming up over and over again. You can find fresh stuff on plain google, but it's such a bitch since you can't sort by date (unless I've totally missed that feature).

Hi Blake,

While I share others concerns about using Google News, it's currently one of the new best free services around. We shouldn't expect you to subscribe to LEXIS/NEXIS and set up eclipse services on our account. Have you tried searching Yahoo News for library related stories? That's the only other option I can think of off the top of my head.

Also, have you considered Google News alert service instead of doing manual searches? The only draw back is that you'd only get results once a day, but I like anything that keeps me from having to remember to run a search.

At my library, we've set up a search that searches Alaska based web media for stories containing "education" for our Education dept liasions. The idea is to expose them to the same sorts of stories that their patrons see.

I'm not inclined to scour blogs either, but if that interests others, a search feed could be set up on Bloglines that I think would capture a fair number of stories, rants, etc. I use Bloglines search feeds for "digital preservation" and "RSS in Government" that serve me fairly well.

Please add my "Good Work! Keep it up!" to the others, and accept my New Years Resolution to be a more productive author.

I get most of my library related news from here; some from a couple library related mailing lists I belong to.

I think you're doing a great job bringing the relevant stories to LISNews. I very rarely (ok, almost never) check out the mainstream sites. It just seems like a waste of my time to do so. I know that on some issues I'm not as, shall we say current as I could be--but I am for the running of my library. I belong to no professional orgs--the main reason being I can't _afford_ the memberships. I did belong to an org here in Atlantic Canada--but all I got out of it, at the end of the year, was a request for more money to renew my membership. I didn't as I didn't get anything out of it. But I digress, as usual.

I think you're doing things right, Blake--don't change it too much. If it ain't broke, why fix it? ;)

Thanks for all your hard work in providing us all with a great LIS site! Keep up the good work.


LISNews was such a great resource when I was having to dig for news as a graduate assistant that I decided to try to give back when I could as I could. We do get the news better, quicker, and faster than AL & LJ as far as I can tell.