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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.

Last Chance To Get Your Favorite Blog On The "Blogs To Read in 2009" List!

Last Chance! I'll be posting the list for 2009 soon!

What blogs do you read every day? What blogs help you learn? What blogs keep you informed? What blogs make you laugh? Who's the best writer out there?

Think of it this way... 'I read many others, but these are the LIS blogs that read even when time is short'

Your list doesn't need to be complete or fair. I'm looking for input from as many people as possible so the final list doesn't miss anyone new or overlooked. My goal again this year, 10 blogs that, when followed as a group, paint a complete picture of what's going on in our little world.

Before your nominate, take a look at past winners, they aren't eligible for 2009:

10 Blogs To Read in 2006
http://www.lisnews.org/node/17775

10 Blogs To Read In 2007
http://www.lisnews.org/node/20341

The LISNews 10 Blogs To Read In 2008
http://lisnews.org/node/28830

You can leave a comment below, hit the contact form, or Send Me An Email.

I effing-published a book; so should you!

I think every library blogger should resolve in 2009 to publish a book. With POD publishing like lulu and createspace, it's "mostly" free and incredibly easy.

Edit your blog and republish in print.

And buying (I used createspace) copies of my book was really cheap, so I was able to give all my friends copies (that's 3 copies for my 3 friends, not counting cats!).

Maybe if enough bloggers become publishers, we can create a whole genre of blog publishing,... or not. But get off your lazy ass and do it. Or sit on your busy ass and do it, whatever gets it done.

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Viewing Filtering From The Outside

When library professionals get together and talk internet filtering, we often forget something vitally important. Sure we talk about freedom of access, how filtering supposedly coincides with collection development policies, and how to protect our patrons and such like.

One thing that seldom gets brought up, at least in conversations I've been privy to is "So, what do our patrons actually think about our filtering?" And it's kind of rare to see any input from the outside, you know, from the people we're actually supposed to be serving.

Twanna Hines is not a librarian. She's a Funky Brown Chick. She's a writer, an occupation I think we can all say we know something about. She lives in New York City and writes about dating, sex, and relationships. And as a patron, she was appalled to find out that the New York Public Library filters her site.

I have to wonder, how many of us can access the above links at work? And does it say anything about filtering when some of us might have to go home to read about what people think about filtering?

It's here! The.Effing.Librarian in book form is here!

<div><a href="https://www.createspace.com/3362330"><span style="font-size:130%;">Click It To Buy It</span></a> Filled with over 300 pages of effing goodness, <strong>the blog you love to read for free</strong> is now available in the dead tree format for $15.95. <em>$15.95? Is that all? For something I can get totally free otherwise? Wow, that's a bargain.</em> Edited very poorly by me, and quite possibly violating the copyrights of dozens of individuals and corporations, the.effing.librarian book is now ready for human consumption in a handy 5.25" x 8" format. Hold the.effing.librarian in your hands. Take the.effing.librarian to bed. Burn the.effing.librarian in a festive fire and get those chestnuts roasting.</div> <div>Click the link below to read a sample of what you get:</div> <div> <table style="border: 1px solid rgb(53, 53, 53); padding: 0px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; background-color: rgb(93, 124, 186);" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody> <tr style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"> <td style="padding: 5px;" align="middle"><a href="http://www.esnips.com/doc/2d398e16-73c3-4d82-ad29-6b709044f5a7/Fame-and-Fortune-and-Other-F-Words_sample/?widget=documentIcon"><img title="click to ViewFame and Fortune and Other F Words_sample" alt="Fame and Fortune and Other F Words_sample" src="http://www.esnips.com/images/thumbs/thumb.pdf.gif" border="0" /></a></td></tr> <tr style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">

Brooklyn Librarian Puts Together An Image of NYC Library Patrons Needs

Nate Hill of the Bushwick (Brooklyn, NY) Library, who blogs for PLA got his blog mentioned in the New York Times City Room Blog this week. He was commended for his Wordle work to create a cloud of the most popular words written in by NY Times commenters about their library. Check it out.

Blogging, the Next Generation

Hello, all! I am Bunny Burnstein, and I am a virtual librarian. I spend a lot of time in Second Life, attending library functions, so that's probably what you will read a lot about in this particular blog. I also have a blog that I've been working on for a couple of months: Tales of a Virtual Librarian. That blog is dedicated to my adventures in Second Life (and other virtual worlds) and to sharing free Internet resources with the public. It's a great place to find free reference web sites on a variety of topics.

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What Are Your Librarian Favorite Blogs? Put Them On The Blogs To Read In 2009 List!

Walt's Post reminded me it's never too early to start thinking about 10 Blogs To Read in 2009. Well, ok, so maybe there was a time it was too early, but that time has passed. Let's start thinking about our favorite blogs.

What blogs do you read every day? What blogs help you learn? What blogs keep you informed? What blogs make you laugh? Who's the best writer out there?

When building my list, I like to think of it this way: 'I read many others, but these are the LIS blogs that read even when time is short'

Your list doesn't need to be complete or fair. I'm looking for input from as many people as possible so the final list doesn't miss anyone new or overlooked. My goal again this year, 10 blogs that, when followed as a group, paint a complete picture of what's going on in our little world.

Before your nominate, take a look at past winners, they aren't eligible for 2009:

10 Blogs To Read in 2006
http://www.lisnews.org/node/17775

10 Blogs To Read In 2007
http://www.lisnews.org/node/20341

The LISNews 10 Blogs To Read In 2008
http://lisnews.org/node/28830

You can leave a comment below, hit the contact form, or send an email to btcarver at the lisnews.COM domain.

Work-in-progress for LISTen #43

I do caution that this likely has warts, typos, grammatical silliness, and worse. It is not a finished item and should not be treated that way. It is a work-in-progress that I am not finished revising and editing. It is planned that such be included in LISTen #43 in one form or another:

Commentary – The Strange Case of the Annoyed Librarian

For all the heat generated recently over the hosting by Library Journal of a blog by a person writing under the pen name “Annoyed Librarian”, there are disturbing things to be considered.

What is Library Journal? Is it a voice for the profession? While the publication may be that, it must also be remembered that it is a commercial entity. Unlike the libraries it serves, Library Journal has to turn a profit somehow. Library Journal is not owned by a professional association but rather Reed Business Information which publishes quite a few magazines and journals in fields beyond librarianship. Publications also produced by Reed Business Information include titles such as Modern Materials Handling, Home Textiles Today, Broadcasting & Cable, Daily Commercial News, Professional Remodeler, and more. The only thing that keeps such a publication afloat is the revenue derived from advertising and subscriptions. Library Journal is a for-profit entity quite unlike the predominantly not-for-profit world it serves.

As a for-profit media outlet, Library Journal is part of a world where it has to compete. Publications can host forums and blogs that do not necessarily agree with their editorial views. An example of such is the Washington Post which has a forum hosted by Ramesh Ponnuru who happens to be listed in the masthead of National Review as a senior editor. For those not familiar with such, the Washington Post is typically considered to be a liberal publication while Ponnuru writes for a publication associated with neo-conservatives. The forum continues and seems to be thriving. Similar works such as the blog network hosted by CNET, now part of the Interactive division of American television giant CBS, also allow for such diversity of views to be expressed even though they do not reflect the overall editorial view. For a year CNET had its own equivalent to the Annoyed Librarian known as the Macalope.

The outbursts and anger online over the hosting of the Annoyed Librarian's blog pose problems. For as much as librarians are supposed to be masters of information, are librarians well behind the curve in terms of media trends? Has the world changed and left librarians behind? It seems to be that even though librarians have tried to embrace Web 2.0 technologies that the louder librarians online don't quite see how the for-profit media landscape has changed. That becomes highly problematic, for example, in a public library setting when trying to answer questions at a reference desk without knowing about changes to the landscape that holds answers.

The Editor-in-Chief has made an open call for anybody willing to serve as a counter-balance to have hosting space from Library Journal. You could even potentially be paid for such! A big problem becomes whether it is easier to complain about somebody you don't like or to take action. If the granting of space to the Annoyed Librarian is such an existential threat to all librarianship then perhaps it is necessary to oppose such through a counter-balancing blog.

The two big benefits you could get from such would be the feeling that you are standing up for traditional values as well as some supplementary income perhaps. As someone who first saw their byline in newsprint ten years ago, I can say that the rules for the media realm are such that complaining about how hateful and spiteful someone may be is hardly as effective as providing competition. As such comes up in the for-profit realm routinely, it can hardly be said the skills to support providing competition are all that present in the non-profit realm most libraries inhabit.

Not all editorials need to give explicit marching orders in their calls to action. This one certainly won't. Sometimes editorials, let alone blog posts, are written just to hopefully jump-start the brains of those who hear or read such.

Be thankful that the Annoyed Librarian only got hosting space at Library Journal. Could you imagine seeing such as an arts and culture newspaper column distributed through a features syndicate that even the laity could see? Perhaps we can be thankful for small blessings that this is merely intramural for now.

New Blog: In the Library with the Lead Pipe

We are six librarians working in academic, public, and school libraries across the United States. In addition to essays by its founders, In the Library with the Lead Pipe will feature articles by guests representing special libraries and archives, as well as educators, administrators, library support staff, and community members..

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.

They posted the first article today, What Happens in the Library…

Have your say on the Annoyed Librarian matter

Blake posted earlier about the hiring of the Annoyed Librarian blogger by Library Journal. David Lee King wrote at his blog about how he no longer trusts Library Journal. Apparently something has gotten the library community agitated. Have an opinion to express? Wish to ventilate a view? The production team is looking to gather reactions to air in LISTen #43 as part of a segment. In the United States, you can leave an audio message by caling 646-495-9201 and entering extension 61340 when prompted. As the cost to call a number in the United States is somewhat high for those located outside US borders, an upload widget is provided below to submit MP3 files:
drop.io: simple private sharing
All audio submissions will be reviewed but all may not necessarily make it to air. It is best to identify yourself at the beginning akin to this example: "Hi, this is Libby from Cleveland, home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I..." To allow time for us to listen to them all and get them edited together, we would need to hear from you by 9 PM Pacific Daylight Time this Friday. There is a converter pre-set to show what that time would be in other locations across the planet. There is no geographic restriction as to who we are looking to hear from. If you are Tasmania and have something to say in the matter, we'll be more than happy to review what you send. Whether it is Perth or Sudbury or Dublin, this is open to you.

Annoyed Librarian Sells Out, Starts Blogging for LJ

Library Journal has made a big linkbaiting move, and recruited The Annoyed Librarian to write at libraryjournal.com.

David Lee King and others, say "I Don't Trust the Library Journal." Over on twitter 2 LJ columnists "will need to consider [their] options as an LJ columnist."

DLK asked, "do you respect a publication that allows one of their writers to be anonymous, when that anonymity has been used in the past to attack other librarians and the work they do?"

Topic: 

Fame and Fortune and other F words.

So I don't know if you heard, but apparently the Annoyed Librarian has sold out and has started writing for LJ.

I saw a post that derided her (or their) new found fame as if getting paid a little money for writing is a horrible thing. But now she has to really write stuff. She has to find a way to be annoyed about libraries once or twice a week in order to earn her keep; and this means she's probably going to have to make stuff up. I hope she can figure out how to do it and still "keep it real." (sorry.)

But because of this news, I feel I need to confess something to all of my readers, the.effing.librarian has been making money writing about libraries for many years now, for example:

Dear Penthouse letters,

You won't believe what happened to me in the LIBRARY the other day. I was browsing the stacks looking for a tune-up manual for my badass Kawasaki 650 when I was approached by a woman who was pretty stacked herself. She had huge double-D's, and when she noticed my gaze targeting her huge rack, she pressed past me in the narrow aisle and pushed those well-fed puppies against my tense chest. And you can bet that's not all that was getting tense.

She was somewhere in her thirties, a little on the plain side, but pretty, with her hair pinned up in the back and her lips colored the same bright red that was printed on the "no cell phones" sign in the front of the Circulation desk. Her skirt stretched against her firm backside as she bent down to retrieve my book.

Liblog landscape: Opinions requested

Currently, Walt's working on the first part of The Liblog Landscape 2007-2008–the part where he looks at patterns among the blogs. He Says it's going well, and he's just about to start on the chapter that interests him the most. But he's wondering just what data points to include. Maybe an example would help?

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Jimmy Wales Interview on Open Licenses

Ellyssa Kroski, who writes at iLibrarian, also teaches a class at San Jose State University on the Open Movement and Libraries (Fall of 2008). As part of the class shes has done interviews with such notable figures as Stephen Downes of the National Research Council in Canada, and Nicole Engard of LibLime. Her guest a couple weeks ago was Jimmy Wales. You can hear the full 10 minutes interview with Jimmy Wales here.

Drupal Developer’s Toolbox

Drupal Developer’s Toolbox: In this post you will find a thorough collection of all kinds of resources that will aid designers and developers working with Drupal-powered websites. This collection is intended to simplify your tasks and save you time when working with Drupal.

This post covers essential resources related to Drupal — the basics, modules, Drupal design inspiration, Drupal themes, tutorials, starter themes, blog editors and Drupal-projects.

Coming up in LISTen #38

BlogWorldExpo 2008 remains underway and has been a unique event. In many cases, the LISTen production team have been some of the only ones conducting stand-up interviews. Los Angeles-based TechZulu is also on the floor doing interviews. Who isn't here? We've been looking for representatives from CNET and other tech news outlets. They're surprisingly missing. With the TWiT network suffering a fairly major server outage right now, their attention is focused on their own house rather than the happenings here. Interviews we have conducted so far include:
  • Pajamas Media
  • Sodahead.com
  • MindTouch
  • PodBoxx TV
  • Woopra
  • CrowdScience
The event continues today as well as Sunday. The next episode of LISTen will have coverage from the event. Specials throughout the week might also arise, circumstances permitting.

My MLS will come in handy here, somehow. I know it.

I know, my absence of late has left a giant gaping hole in your hearts somewhere right below the left ventricle or something. It's hard to visualize on the ultrasound, because no one in the clinic knows really how to work one of these things...

We'll hold the medical stuff at the moment, at least, as it pertains to me, except to say that we've got a loose name of what has been keeping me from living a normal life for -- well, it's been at least 20 years, but it only got particularly nasty in the last eight, and horribly blood-curdling nasty in the last five. It's a sleep disorder, they can not cure it, and if the case proves to be beyond a moderate sort of manifestation, they really can't treat it terribly effectively. A lot of non-sleep/neurological doctors will tell you that they can... There's this new drug... Uh. No.

Long and the short is, the sleep-neuro-guy says that I function at about 20% capacity on a good day. It isn't going to get better than that at this point, or even in the mid-range future.

So I've come to terms with the fact I am not going back to work in a normal environment. I've come to terms that I will never be able to see a movie in a theater again. I'm trying to deal with the idea that if I can come home and mentally function (or at least not walk into solid objects) after a twenty minute trip to the grocery store, I am having a pretty damn good day.

I hate not doing stuff. You know that, right?

Drupal as the Foundation of Ohio Textbook Portal

Disruptive Library Technology Jester: The textbook portal is based on the Drupal (version 6) content management system. In particular, the portal makes heavy use of the search module to execute and format search results. If you are familiar with Drupal, it is going to be different enough, however, that you’re going to want to read this to see why some decisions were made. If you are not familiar with Drupal, this document will give you a head start into understanding the Drupal way of the world.

The Man Booker Prize 2008 Shortlist

Olivia Liang of the Guardian/Observers wonders if some masterpieces were overlooked. As the status of the Booker becomes ever more lofty, so the pressure on the jury grows to select the definitive book of the year. Blogging about the decision-making process, judge Alex Clark observed that the realisation 'that we were engaged in choosing the winner of a prize that had been won by Naipaul, not to mention Iris Murdoch, JM Coetzee, William Golding and two of this year's longlisted authors (John Berger and Salman Rushdie), is enough to send one scurrying back to one's looming piles and ever-increasing notes'. The short list follows.

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