Library vs. Librarian Blogs: Is one Better than the other?

Blog concept

I did a Google search as part of a class discussion this weekend looking for “library blogs”. Nearly all of the sites that came up on the first page of results were for blogs run by individual librarians–or lists of “best” blogs that were mostly written by individual librarians–rather than blogs that were sponsored by entire library systems. In fact, in the first ten results, one link was for the blogs (yes, plural) of the New York Public Library system (hereafter, NYPL) and another was a list of mostly school library blogs with a few librarians and public libraries thrown in as well.

I haven’t yet had a chance to follow all of the links–most of the list posts had 20+ sites listed–but I did find some interesting ones that sparked some ideas for me.

hls

A collaborative project called HackLibrarySchool, which has twelve+ library school students contributing to it at any one time, caught my interest right away. (Right now it has three editors and twelve contributing writers, according to the site.) They talk about libraries, library programming, applying to library schools, “hacking” library school programs (both generally and specific schools), and just about books and life in general. They post a weekly round up of library-related news and posts that they’ve found, and they also have a brand new Twitter chat feature that just began last month. It’s a really neat example of a group of writers with similar yet different experiences coming together to write on a single platform, and it’s a great resource–one I wish I’d found three semesters ago!

nypl

If you’re going for a general feeling of OMG, can you imagine the manpower and coordination that would take? then you should check out the NYPL blog channels page. So. Many. Blogs. So. Many. Bloggers. There’s one for just about every aspect of the library you can think of, including one dedicated to Women’s History Month that is a “series of posts highlighting the many amazing women they’ve discovered through the print and online resources of The New York Public Library” (New York Public Library, 2017). Some years have a lot of posts (2015 had eleven) and others not so much (only one for 2014) but by and large they all look to be very interesting. My personal favorite, Wonder Woman, comes up at least twice. So far they haven’t posted anything new this year, but the month is still young! I’ve subscribed to their RSS feed, so I’ll know as soon as something is posted.

I found Mr.Library Dude‘s blog, who has a whole post on creating a “READ” business card holder using a makerspace 3D printer (and links to the files he created in making his own, that you can download and use for free! Must try out at the Launch Pad at the Central branch of my library system), and another on the library in the prison in the show Orange is the New Black. Okay, I totally wanted to read the book and watch the show before, but now I have to, just to see how it compares to my last job at the library in our county’s correctional facility (and yes, I was one of two individuals in the library at any given time who wasn’t wearing orange. Actually, I couldn’t wear orange to work…not that this was a hardship).

I also found Screwy Decimal, whose sense of humor is absolutely fantastic, as you can tell by her blog name. She just wrote her first picture book, Edward Gets Messy, which sounds absolutely adorable but that our library system doesn’t have (must. Fix. This.) and which–wait for it–the actual ELMO came to her library and read out loud with some patrons. (Really! You can see a picture here. Why aren’t I a librarian in Brooklyn, where Sesame Street characters can just wander in willy nilly off the street? Wait–do you think she works on Sesame Street???)

Going back to the topic of my last job for a moment, I also found a school library, the Castilleja School Library, that had a book drive for their local prison. I found this to be very.cool, and am seriously considering it in the future. We do, after all, have not one but two (county and state) prisons within my library’s zip code, not to mention an entire department (linked above) in our system that works with those and other institutional libraries. I already donate some of our dusty list/weeded books to the cause and may or may not snag some from our library’s used book sale stash on occasion, but trust me, they always need new books out there. Always. And you can’t go wrong with anything written by (or supposedly written by–don’t get me started on that topic) James Patterson.

As a book review blogger (my “other” blog can be found here) I’ve toyed with the idea of blogging as a librarian too–either on my regular blog, or on a new designated one–though not until grad school is (finally!) over. I’m still thinking about it, but these blogs and the others I’ve yet to discover are definitely inspirational. I think I’d be more comfortable blogging as me, the librarian, rather than doing a blog for my library. I’m more comfortable being me than having to be thinking about “being the library” for yet another social media format–I’m still hoping that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr (assuming I ever figure out those last two, and supposing nothing else is going to come along in the social media world in the meantime–yeah, I know, like that’s going to happen) will be enough for me to do as “the library”.

So…what about you? Any favorite library or librarian blogs? Do you or have you ever considered writing one yourself? Tell me about it!

Here’s the list (in many cases, it’s a list of lists) of what I found while researching “library blogs”:

Five Librarian Bloggers to Follow (Information Today, Inc.)

Top School Library Blogs (Teacher Certification Degrees)

5 Library Blogs to Follow (Library Science Degree)

Blogs by and for Librarians (Public Libraries Online)

Top 25 Librarian Bloggers (By the Numbers) (Open Education Database)

23 Great Library Blogs (The Edublogger)

NYPL blogs (New York Public Library)

NYPL. (2017). Women’s History Month | The New York Public Library. Retrieved from https://www.nypl.org/voices/blogs/blog-channels/womens-history
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