October 30, 2005

Uses of the Biblioblogosphere

Via LIS DOM and Meredith:

There aren't many places in the world where you can get by--get ahead, if you want to think of it that way--simply on the strength of your ideas and your willingness to express them. The biblioblogosphere turns out to be one of those places. I'm immensely grateful for that. I haven't been blogging much lately--the whole life trumps blogging thing that many have experienced--but I still dip in and sometimes dive in to this wonderful set of waterways that all of you have built. One way or another, I plan to keep on tumbling through it, and I hope that next June, one way or another, many of you will all wash up in New Orleans.

Read the whole thing here....

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October 28, 2005

Cerritos PL Blog for Learning and Thinking about Libraries

Via my Assistant Director at SJCPL:

This blog has been created as an e-communication tool of the clioinstitute , a learning arm of the Cerritos Public Library in Cerritos, California.

We hope you will visit the clioinstitute blog to tap into resources to help you find new ways to:
• stimulate creative thinking
• imagine new possibilities for your library and community

New resources in each of the clioinstitute clio specific focus areas will be added regularly:
•organizational change
So bookmark this page or add it to your RSS feed. Visit often to add your comments and help inspire libraries to inspire communities.

"Inspire Communities!" YES!

A new but possibly very useful blog from Cerritos PL, already I've found some HOT pointers to strategic plans and information for stimulating ideas. Promoting creative thinking, this is some good stuff and one to watch. The hottest thing so far: a pointer to this page at Multnomah where users talk about what they get from the library and what they do there. Echoes of Ann Arbor's conversations/comments in a static HTML format. Pay attention to these type of library sites - it's part of our future!

Listening to You
Listening to You

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October 18, 2005

Top Ten Blog Design Mistakes

Via Jessamyn -


What great stuff. I love to read a blog author bio as well as see who is writing! That puts a human element in all this blog stuff. And always remember: you are writing for your "future boss!"

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October 17, 2005

Gartner Hype Cycle at Stephen's Lighthouse Applied to LIS Weblogs

(Darlene Fichter and I are presenting a workshop on organizational weblogs next Saturday in Monterey...this is good food for thought!)


1. Technology Trigger: A breakthrough, public demonstration, product launch or other event generates significant press and industry interest.

Ponder any of the hot hot technologies we're discussing. When did you first hear about RFID? Podcasts? IM in libraries? Was it at a conference or a big event or in an article... what about BLOGS? Let's ponder blogs and podcasts for this example.

March 2002: CIL...I first heard about blogging..and I discovered some classic bloggers...

2. Peak of Inflated Expectations: During this phase of over enthusiasm and unrealistic projections, a flurry of well-publicized activity by technology leaders results in some successes, but more failures, as the technology is pushed to its limits. The only companies making money are conference organizers and magazine publishers.

Here I'm reminded of a bit I read in a recent issue of Business 2.0 on what technologies to ignore: podcasting, the writers state, "Yes, it’s nice to get MP3s downloaded to your iPod. But where are the revenues? Podcasting will continue, but as a business, it’s the latest iteration of CB radio."

BUT: while the business model may fail or die and return in some new way, user-created content will rule... be ready.

3. Trough of Disillusionment: Because the technology does not live up to its over inflated expectations, it rapidly becomes unfashionable. Media interest wanes, except for a few cautionary tales.

How many librarians started a blog and ceased after a few posts... how many libraries did as well. What about comment spam, broken software and how many folks sat in the conference and thought "I don't have TIME for this at my library...."

At the same time, some folk were realizing how powerful the read/write web might be....

4. Slope of Enlightenment: Focused experimentation and solid hard work by an increasingly diverse range of organizations lead to a true understanding of the technology's applicability, risks and benefits. Commercial, off-the-shelf methodologies and tools ease the development process.

Look at how the various content management systems have advanced and evolved. AADL is not your uncle's Blogger site is it?

5. Plateau of Productivity: The real-world benefits of the technology are demonstrated and accepted. Growing numbers of organizations feel comfortable with the reduced levels of risk, and the rapid growth phase of adoption begins.

Just look at ASIST...ALA TechSource (where I contribute)...PLA... 'nuff said!

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October 04, 2005

UPDATE: "Talkin' Blogs" An LJ Roundtable from ALA 2005


The whole cover thing blows me away... wow! I can't thank the group of people pictured there and Brian and the LJ folks for one of the best conversations I've had this year!

Flickr set of the session: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsphotos/sets/517913/

I was very happy to work with Brian Kenney on this article and gather the bloggers featured. I was impressed with their insight, candor and ideas for the future. Also, don't miss my interview with The Feel Good Librarian - in its full-length Web version!

Update: Meredith weighs in and I agree: I wish we had more space... the conversation was 2 hours in the making!

LIS Blogger's Roundtable for Library Journal at ALA2005

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UPdate: Library Crunch

This is one to add to your aggregator!!

Library Crunch

I linked below but here's Michael Casey's blog:


I'm intrigued by the twist "Library 2.0"... I just added it to Safari's RSS feeds. Michael - I want to hear more about your work and your library...

UPDATE: I am so excited to read these new voices of the Biblioblogosphere... and just looking at the last series of posts from Mr. Casey, I want to keep reading more. Someday, I want to sit across a table from him and talk all about this stuff! Wowza.

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September 27, 2005

Anne Clyde 1946-2005

Anne Clyde @ IASL

From the TTW Comments:

There is a tribute posted on School Libraries Online to Anne Clyde. www.iasl-slo.org Near the top, one can see a link entitled "Vale Dr. L. Anne Clyde". This is a compilation of messages and photos from around the world. Messages are still being added daily. Anne's funeral service was held today in Reykjavik, Iceland with over 200 people attending. - Peter Genco

Thank you Peter.

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September 26, 2005

A Hoosier Librarian in France



One of our SJCPL Librarians is touring Europe! To share her travels with her staff at the branch she manages, she started a blog! I asked if I could link to it here as well because it illustrates some wonderful points:

This is a great way to share experiences with the folks back home. I'd like to see this blog on our staff intranet. Now we're talking about creating buy in and buzz for blogging - wowza!

It also illustrates conversation and community building for the staff of her branch. Look: http://theanniversarytrip.blogspot.com/2005/09/here-is-staff-at-river-park-branch.html What a send off!

Finally, it's an education piece. It teaches folks that tech training might not have reached yet that tools such as blogs can be used to share information and fun stuff too.

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September 25, 2005

Three Bloggers of the Biblioblogosphere 2

Three Bloggers of the Biblioblogosphere

Aaron, www.walkingpaper.org, Michael, TTW, Jenny, www.theshiftedlibrarian.com

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September 17, 2005

Three Bloggers of the Biblioblogosphere

Three Bloggers

Michael Stephens, TTW, Michael Porter, Libraryman, & Jessamyn West, Librarian.net

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September 16, 2005

Jessamyn Talks Flickr

Jeff IMs with Butler University's Ref Desk!

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September 15, 2005

Spanish Blog Post at SJCPL

Well Done Maureen!


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September 10, 2005

Blogging Katrina

We have a slew of bloggers here at SJCPL that write for the Lifeline, but my colleague Joe Sipocz continually rocks my world with posts like this:


It's timely, interesting and relates back to the collection.

Posted by Michael at 09:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

Harris County PL Blog Entries for Hurricane Information

Via Luke:

Harris County Library Blog: Hurricane Info


Our sympathy goes out to those affected by the disaster.

Evacuees can obtain a Harris County Public Library Visitor Card. This card is free and provides access to all library materials and computers. To get a visitor card, you will need to fill out a library card application and provide your regular mailing address or the local address at which you are staying.

All branches have free storytimes for children and many branches have programming for teens and adults. Please join us.

Nice set of blog entries for the folks that are relocating to the Houston area. This most local of entries into library web sites offering Katrina information says a lot about the information needs of victims of the storm.

Is your library ready for such requirements? What, heaven forbid, might you need to do if disaster strikes to reach out to your community and beyond?

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August 31, 2005

TTW on BlogDay 2005 (5 Blogs of the Biblioblogosphere You Should Be Reading)



BlogDay is August 31: BlogDay is about meeting new bloggers from other areas of interest around the world, as well as introducing your readers to new bloggers. Conceived by Nir Ofir as a way of celebrating our unique gathering of souls here in the blogosphere, BlogDay will take place on August 31 because the date "3108" looks more like the word "blog" than any other..."

The directions go on to state I should choose 5 newer blogs I like and post about them. I've chosen some relatively newer blogs that always seem to inspire me. Here goes:

Blog Day 2005 TTW Recommendations:

Feel Good Librarian: Jessamyn and other folks have pointed to this one but I have to do it one more time. Heavens, but this is what front-line library blogging is about. In fact, FGL is one of the most unique voices of the biblioblogosphere. Read FGL, you'll be happy you did!

::schwagbag:: : Congrats to Sherri on her new job AND on one of my favorite, relatively newer blogs! The content concerning IM, including a survey, detailed training captures and outlines and ponderances on academic library messaging, are priceless.

Wanderings of a Student Librarian: Thoughtful, intriguing and full of useful stuff: look at "How to Read a Journal Article" as an example. I'm also all about gathering the links to student librarian blogs...fascinating!

Edifice Ref: Beatrice gets it big time! She is blogging and promoting new tools for her library, Rhode Island and has taken on the monumental task of setting up a blog for the ASIS&T conference this fall. Well done!

Information Wants to Be Free Ok, Meredith has been blogging awhile, but WOWZA does her stuff inspire me. Take a look at this post about "What is a wiki" and you'll see, she gets it too:


This is why I am dismayed that some of my colleagues seem to have given up this practice. In response to the question posed in BlogJunction’s post Am I Supposed to Know What a ‘Wiki’ Is? I say YES!!! I can understand reading the email I wrote to WebJunction members and not knowing what a wiki is. There is nothing wrong with not knowing. But, as librarians who must know how to search the Web, how hard is it to look it up? Doing a Google search for “what is a wiki” nets 10 sites on the first page alone that have useful definitions of what a wiki is. In the time it would take someone to send an email pointing out that they don’t know what a wiki is, they could easily change that situation themselves.

So, those are just 5 of many LIS blogs I like to read. What I like about this group is that in each of their own ways they are actively working in our field as practitioners: to make libraries better, to educate users about new tech, to tell stories of the world of libraries, to make the reference desk personal, and improve the image of librarians. Rock ON!

(This is my 700th post to this version of TTW!)

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August 20, 2005

Brain of the Blogger


Two researchers/doctors present this intriguing post. I'd like to see more ciations and links to studies, as one commentor states, but this should be filed under "Food for Thought."

1. Blogs can promote critical and analytical thinking.

2. Blogging can be a powerful promoter of creative, intuitive, and associational thinking.

3. Blogs promote analogical thinking.

4. Blogging is a powerful medium for increasing access and exposure to quality information.

5. Blogging combines the best of solitary reflection and social interaction.

I can attest to the fact that writing here has helped my thought processes.

Posted by Michael at 08:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 04, 2005

AADL in LJ & TTW is :-)ing


I'm a flutter over this quote folks:

"We wanted our web site to be interactive with the public, and chose blogs as the major form of communication," said Director Josie Parker. "The major point is to make the library transparent."

This comes from the AADL Director who is actively BLOGGING for the libraray and engaging the community in an ongoing dialogue. Humans are interacting here folks...not tech and not a faceless PR machine.

Lordy but AADL is on the Cluetrain now.

"They are even being used so that the public can talk with each other. The library is the public forum."

Take note, library admin types..this is a step toward an open, transparent community.

Posted by Michael at 11:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 03, 2005

Librarian's Voices on Library Blogs

Just saying: Here's a nice post to the SJCPL Lifeline by our AV librarian. It speaks to me becuase it's written in julie's voice. I know she hearts Cusack and it certainly comes through in the post. Just returning from the lake, I spent four hours in the car with The Cluetrain Manifesto and one of the pints is to speak in your own voice when participating in the Web. Well done Julie. Library bloggers - file this one under Notable Examples of Great Library Blogging!

Posted by Michael at 09:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2005

AADL Web Site (or I have Seen the Future and it's Brilliant)

Read Jenny's post about Ann Arbor. I agree! This is truly an example of cutting edge technology used to make the library a human place with a human face. PLs should look to this model of service, use of technology and sense of community when planning their web presence.

And Panlibus agrees: "Just scanning the site gives you the feeling that there are humans behind it. Great site, and yet another exemplar for what can be done, for the rest of the Library world to aspire towards and beyond."

Posted by Michael at 07:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 13, 2005

Stephen's Lighthouse

Go. Now. Subscribe. Read. Learn.


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July 07, 2005

Blogging at Work


Meredith writes an insightful post about blogging at work. I was intrigued to read/hear about her interviews recently. Library folk who hire: if you are not looking at a potential employees online presence, you should be! And if you don't know how blogging, wikis and sites such as flickr are changing the profession, you better learn. You never know what types of questions interviewees may ask. For example:

Do you have a blogging policy at the library?
Does blogging count as publishing/contributing to the field at evaluation time?
What collaboration tools does the library use to enhance work?
What tools does the library use for its online presence?

AND speaking of, library administrators, have you looked at this lately? http://www.liscareer.com/cunningham_eiq.htm

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June 29, 2005

Pictures worth 1000 Words

Here are some flickr sets of the incredible experiences I had at ALA. I am now at the lake, PLUGGED in via a new internet service and setting to work on summer courses. I have a few posts about ALA, etc that will be forthcoming. For now, let's have these images tell their own stories...

LIS Blogger's Roundtable for Library Journal

LIS Blogger's Roundtable for Library Journal at ALA2005


OCLC LIS Blogger's Salon

OCLC LIS Blogger's Salon at ALA 2005



ALA 2005


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June 28, 2005

MIT Blog Survey

Do you blog?

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

I have some good things to ponder... and this survey includes IM!

Posted by Michael at 09:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 14, 2005

Example of a Post!

Here's a sample post!

Posted by Michael at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rob Coers in Top Ten Nederlandse Bieblogs

Congrats to Rob Coers for being named in the Top Ten LIS blogs of the Netherlands! Here's his blog: http://www.robcoers.nl/blog/


Posted by Michael at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 10, 2005

Workshopping at Purdue

How cool is this: Jennifer Sharkey is blogging the workshop so it is archived and can be looked at as Purdue Libraries move forward with blogs & RSS!


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June 09, 2005

At Purdue for Two Days of Blogging Workshops

Here's where we will be:


(there are frogs all over town too!)

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May 25, 2005

Feeling Oh So Good!

Please add The Feel Librarian to your subscriptions... she never ceases to amaze me by writing about the profession in her own unique way. It's all about people folks! (Sometimes techno-anything gets in the way of remembering we meet a lot of PEOPLE across these desks...FGL reminds me of that!)

Posted by Michael at 10:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 23, 2005

Why Blogging Sucks

Good food for thought:


Posted by Michael at 03:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cronin Responds


"I write this critique of personal blogging as dean of a school where academic freedom and freedom of speech are constitutive of what we are and what we do. " he says but nowhere in the original piece did he say "personal." I get that personal blogs are MUCH different than the blogs found in the Biblioblogosphere, to use Karen's most cool word, but don't dismiss the whole lot of serious bloggers trrying to make a difference.

Posted by Michael at 10:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 17, 2005

On Bloggers and Blogging

Here's a bit from NPR from fellow blogger and IUSB professor Ken Smith:


"Over time a virtual community is born there on the web..."

"Librarians are using blogs to keep up to date on technology..."

The SJCPL Lifeline is mentioned!

Thanks Ken!!!

Posted by Michael at 07:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 12, 2005

Things You Can Do with RSS

Thanks David! Good stuff... (I'm getting caught up after being on the road...)


Posted by Michael at 03:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Local Blogger

Nice chat with Ken Smith Tuesday about our community, blogging, RSS and "not getting blogging." Thanks Ken!

Posted by Michael at 03:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 07, 2005

It's So Easy...

Winnie, an Indiana Librarian, writes in an e-mail about setting up a blog at her library:

It's so easy and a great way to get library news and information out.


(Note NCHCPL also IMs....)

Posted by Michael at 05:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 30, 2005

April 28, 2005

Cronin-gate? (Update)(2)

Via Skagirlie:


One wonders for whom these hapless souls blog. Why do they chose to they expose their unremarkable opinions, sententious drivel and unedifying private lives to the potential gaze of total strangers? What prompts this particular kind of digital exhibitionism? The present generation of bloggers seems to imagine that such crassly egotistical behavior is socially acceptable and that time-honored editorial and filtering functions have no place in cyberspace. Undoubtedly, these are the same individuals who believe that the free-for-all, communitarian approach of Wikipedia is the way forward. Librarians, of course, know better.

What blows me away here is even as I read this, one of the things on my plate is a two-day consulting gig at the Purdue University Libraries to further explore internal and external blogging with them. Their Dean of Libraries, James Mullins, gets it!

Karen just posted this: http://freerangelibrarian.com/archives/042805/blaise_cronin_gorma.php. Please give it a look.

And FML just posted: http://www.familymanlibrarian.com/?p=882

And this from one of my favorite blogs: http://www.mchron.net/site/edublog.php?id=P3166

Posted by Michael at 04:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 11, 2005

Pondering the Place of Weblogs

Nice post at Weblogs in Higher Edcucation. Ken writes about discussing weblogs with a friend who sticks mainly with newspapers, journals, columnists, etc.

I found myself saying that bloggers were performing a different function than columnists. Sure, once in awhile bloggers carry out a direct act of reporting or research that could just as well have been done by a journalist. I think bloggers are processing issues and facts, passing ideas around, turning them over and over, nudging them, extending their reach, recontextualizing them, and otherwise living with ideas and information and drawing them out into wider communities to test them and to see how they hold up.

That's where I see the "Innovator & Commentator" LIS Weblogs thriving: as an engaging method of creating ideas, passing them between the bloggers and developing them as part of a community. Look, for example, at the coverage of IM in Libraries and how much discussion is occuring here, at walking paper, Librarian in Black, etc.

Posted by Michael at 08:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 01, 2005

10 Things I've Learned as a Blogging Librarian

Today is the two year anniversary of Tame the Web. Inspired to start blogging by Steven Cohen in March 2003, TTW went live via the iBlog software on April 1, 2003 from the Panera Bread in Mishawaka, Indiana via my laptop. Here's that first incarnation. And here are ten things I've learned in 2 years of being a Blogging Librarian:

Ethics and Guidelines Count

Ask Karen, she gets it more than any LIS Blogger I know. Not only are we writing and thinking about libraries but we are promoting ourselves, our jobs and the profession. Next time I bump into Michael Gorman, I'll ask him to not only take a look at TTW but at Free Range Librarian, and Walking Paper, and Dave's Blog and say "Look at these articulate, thoughtful folks who mind their Ps and Qs and work so hard to improve library services." What ethics do you blog by? What guidelines for your work do you use?

Read this post for all of my thoughts on blogging guidelines.

Your Blog = Your Presence (and spell stuff right please)

Typos plague us all. I'm the first to admit it: when I get a little excited and write furiously (with bad wrists, a bad neck and my patented 2 finger method), I make mistakes. I appreciate the IM or e-mail from a colleague that says "Hey you have a typo in that post about iPods at South Huntington." We all need editors.

Don't be sloppy. Take a look at that hasty post and FIX IT. Our blogs represent us -- our professionalism and our interest in LIS. If you put your blog on your resume or CV, it darn well better be well-written and focused. This is a big part of your presence. First thing I would do with a resume that cited a blog is to take a look! (and then Google the person too!)

The LIS Blogosphere is a Thriving Virtual Community

Howard Rheingold's The Virtual Community, published in 1993, defined the Internet as an interconnected computer network utilizing Computer-mediated Communication (CMC) to link people all over the globe in open discussions. He defined "virtual community" as “social aggregators that emerge from the Net when enough people carry on those public discussions long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace.”

Researchers Henri and Pudelko also argued that all virtual communities are learning communities by applying definitions cited from the work of Wenger who studied social learning theory within communities of practice in the physical world. Expanding on his work and utilizing their typology, Henri and Pudelko define three principal components of social interaction and information exchange within online communities: the goal of the community, the methods of creating the group, and the evolution of the community over time. They also defined descriptors for each component of virtual communities. I think the LIS Blogosphere fits very nicely under their heading of "Community of Practice"

Stems from an existing, real community of practice
Professional practice development through sharing knowledge among members
Appropriation of new practices and development of involvement

Sounds like a lot of what goes on between LISNews, the Shifted Librarian and all of the other LIS Blogs I keep track of.

Much has also been written about the strength of virtual communities in the real world as well as the aforementioned evolution of the community. Never before had it become so clear when many folks in the LIS Blogosphere crossed over into the real world in one place: Computers in Libraries 2005. It was fascinating to meet people I knew via their online presence and interact with them. There was much discussion, merriment, drama, knowledge exchange, learning, and hootin' and hollerin' - just like we all lived in the same town or belonged to the same extended family. We may not always agree..we may not always get along...but what a thriving group of folks. It did my heart good to meet bloggers like Chad and Michael Pate and chat with them in the hotel bar.

Libraries should be Blogging

At my talk on "Optimizing Technology in Libraries" -- absolutely hands down one of my favorites to present - I made a point that one way to create staff buy-in is to blog about a project. From 6 rows back, an audience member said (rather sternly) : "BLOGGING takes time! Who has time to do that?" I must admit I lost a little steam with that and realized our work is nowhere near done as "blogvangelists." (Thanks Will)

Blogs serve a purpose in libraries. The software -- simply a Content Management System (CMS) of sorts -- takes care of the dirty work and let's us focus on CONTENT. What could be more wonderful than that. Sometimes I think the name has a bad wrap. Maybe at CIL I could have said "Let your staff and public know by implementing a CMS and posting to it regularly."

Jenny turned me on to a great term: transparency. That's letting the public know what the library is doing, how we do it and what it means for our users. This is hot stuff. Here's where blogging libraries can really fly: telling stories to their users about their services, programs and everything else we do. AND IT'S EASY!

Look at what libraries are doing with blogs! It's incredible. As LIS Bloggers, we can sell that message and improve services internally and externally.

Librarians Want to Learn and Share

How wonderful is it that we can particpate in communities of practice and exchange ideas and share our best tips. I think one reason LIS Blogging thrives is because we like to see what other folks are doing. We like to stay in touch and informed. We share. This is not corporate cut-throat politics here... it's give and take. Nice.

Look at the resources at WebJunction, the Blended Librarian and LISNews! Lordy but we have some help in what we do. Look at what Aaron does with tech, or what Chris is doing in his library, or David with his Listen Up! blog or the wisdom of The Shifted Librarian.

This stuff isn't copyrighted folks (but there may be a creative Commons license!). Use it! I was so tickled at CIL 2005 to give our training workshop participants a CD with eight ready-to-go technology training classes they could take home. Same goes for blog stuff. Print a post, pass it out at a meeting, use it as a discussion piece. Then blog about it.

Blogging can be a Muse, a Catharsis, an Outlet and a Pure Document of Life

Nardi and friends did some great research and found these four motivations for blogging: blogging to document life experience: “…log your being," blogging as commentary such as a conference or a product, blogging as catharsis allowing writers to protest, shout, explore personal issues, and grief and finally, blogging as muse: “Thinking with computers."

Blog posts found here have been the genesis of presentations and articles. All in all, they document my professional/academic life since April 2003. This blog and the LIS Blogosphere has also influenced my research interests and what may become my dissertation. If..when..I'm in the classroom, I'll be talking about the years that blogging changed libraries! Wow.

Librarians Can Tell Good Stories

I'm all about Joan Durrance's How Libraries and Librarians Help. It addresses how we need to tell our libraries' and our users' stories to better market libraries and keep us relevant. Durrance talks about statistics versus stories and how stories bring that human element to the library.

I think librarians like to tell stories, not only in storytime, but in blogging. We blog stories about technology, the reference desk and support services.

Remember Librarians Gone Wild? Remember the Male Librarian Centerfold? The front line anonymous library blogger is a rare breed these days, it seems to me. I do miss them. Glad to see Ref is still grunting. I'm glad we have The Feel Good Librarian!

Anyone can have a Voice from Anywhere

In the LIS Blogosphere, there's room for loads of voices. I like that part as well. I like the fact that someone in a tiny little library in Podunk, USA who serves 500 people can blog about his or her experiences and add it to the mix. Think of the blogs you read - probably a pretty diverse group of folks from many backgrounds, locales and states of mind. Yes, a lot of us write about technology but still there's a lot of variety from the hardest of the hard coders to softest of the soft skills people person.

Cite Your Sources (Always)

Just sayin'... see below.

Blogging Librarians Make a Difference

How else would so much information move so quickly to folks tuned in and turned on to RSS or bloglines. The Gorman thing exploded in the LIS Blogosphere. Blogs like RFID in Libraries offer news and a whole lot more. I'd go there first and spend some time before even thinking about it!!

What does the future hold then for the blogging librarian? Could we sway ALA elections? Yes. I'll never vote again until I know where each candidate stands on new tech trends in libraries, thank you very much. Could we save a library from closing? Maybe if our posts were picked up by the bigger blogs and media. Can we help librarians and libraries thrive, remain relevant and meet users on their own turf? I hope so.

Henri, F., & Pudelko, B. (2003). Understanding and analyzing activity and learning in virtual communities. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (19), 474-487.

Nardi, B., Schiano, D., Gumbrecht, M., & Swartz, L. (2004). Why we blog. Communications of the ACM, 47 (12), 41-46.

Rheingold, H. (1993). The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. New York: HarperPerennial.

I've proofed this twice. Just want to thank all the bloggers that have touched me, supported me and given advice. You know who you are, you dear souls! Rock On!

Posted by Michael at 03:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Welcome to the LIS Blogosphere Walt!


(Via IM w/Steven)

Posted by Michael at 10:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 30, 2005

Overheard from Across our Workroom

"If you can blog...you can wiki."

I'm tingling!

Posted by Michael at 01:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 23, 2005

Ann Arbor District Library Responds to Blogger

Via Jessamyn:


How geeked am I that this gets me going:

Rest assured that useful, flexible, and broad RSS support is a major
design goal of our new website, and we hope our feeds will find good homes in aggregators throughout the district... and beyond! Watch for the new aadl.org coming in early July [2005].

Posted by Michael at 06:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2005

March 10, 2005

Blogging Policies and Rewards

Via Stephen, Steven and Stephens:


4. No matter how great you are, your career depends on communicating. The way to get better at anything, including communication, is by practicing. Blogging is good practice.

Well said. One thing that came up in conversation with Mr. Abram at PLA is that a blogger can have a voice in the LIS blogosphere from the smallest, most remote library in the world and still reach a huge audience if they are putting their blogging presence out there. This, to me, insures we get original voices. Original thoughts. And best practices to try out in our own orgainzations.


I like this positive spin of getting employers and emplyees to talk about blogging, its impact on work and the "story" a librarian's blog tells. Nice.


Nice directory of LIS Weblogs to add to the mix.

Posted by Michael at 10:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 09, 2005

"Stupid People"

Abram Slide - Gorman

Abram said: "that's a young Michael Gorman."

I LOLed!

Posted by Michael at 07:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 03, 2005

The International Take: Gorman


Speaking of the UK response to our ALA president's words... Check in with our colleagues in the Netherlands as well... Rob is posting about Gormangate.

(I promise I won't beat this issue anymore!)

Posted by Michael at 08:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Technogeekery and a UK Blogger on Gorman

Nice little weblog found its way to NetNewsWire this am:


Note UK Blogger Phil Bradley's post who I got to meet last year in London. He edited my book for the UK back in the day. I was interested to read his perspective.

Posted by Michael at 08:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 28, 2005

I'm In (I'm a Blog Person!)


Well done Greg & Karen!

I am loathe to link just to the LJ piece... other suggestions?

Posted by Michael at 08:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 25, 2005

An Open (yet personal) letter to Michael Gorman

Dear Mr. Gorman:

After being struck speechless early this morning when your article and commentary related to it began to pop up on the LIS Weblogs I monitor, I feel the need to write a bit. Maybe I can assist you with the question you posed in Library Journal:

Who are the Blog People?

I realize this is a broad question and your article did not single out librarians as bloggers, but here goes:

I am a librarian and I am a blogger. I love libraries -- especially the public library. I've been with the St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend, IN for almost 14 years. My library's blog is here. I have worked hard to improve services to our users via my particular passions: staff and public technology training, using new technologies to meet user needs and the juncture of tech, people and libraries.

"Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs. In that case, their rejection of my view is quite understandable."

In response to this quote, let me tell you a bit more about me. I am a doctoral student at the University of North Texas in the inter-disciplinary Information Science program and I have spent quite a bit of time reading scholarly works and professional articles. Since June I have been gathering information on online communities and the interactions of people within them. I have written literature reviews, proposals for research, critiques of articles and multiple blog posts on my experiences and thoughts about libraries and librarians. The community of practice I have seen spring up within the LIS Blogosphere has inspired me to participate, write better and seek opportunities to show librarians how such a simple thing as Weblog software can ease the dissemination of information and generate knowledge.

Ultimately I want to teach in a library school somewhere, focusing on public libraries, technology and people.

"...technology-obsessed progressives.."

I do like technology. I write about technology. I use it and I teach others how to make their jobs or lives better by using a computer, or a digital camera, or an RSS feed from CNN, or a Web index. I hope I'm not obsessed. I'd like to think I'm passionate. And I recognize the need to balance it all out. Work. Life. Love. Spirit. I call it unplugging.

Overall, it just makes me sad that ALA has yet to get a grip on what's happening in libraries: Blogs - yes. RSS feeds - yes. Instant Messaging as a tool to reach users - yes. Wikis - yes. And finally, online/real world communities of practice -- in this case: groups of librarians working together with the common goal of meeting user needs and meeting our users on their turf, not ours -- interacting, learning and generating knowledge - yes.

I'd love to see ALA look seriously at libraries with blogs and librarians who blog and acknowledge how our profession has changed because of such a simple yet powerful thing.

Michael Stephens

Posted by Michael at 10:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 21, 2005

Exploring Weblogs at Purdue University

Bookstall at Purdue

Last Friday I presented a 90 minute talk on Weblogs, RSS and Wikis for a group of 35 Purdue University librarians. It was a wonderful experience!

My goals for the session:

Demonstrate how powerful blog software can be to meet the needs of delivering content externally and internally in libraries

Provide explanation of how blogging works, what RSS is about and how to use Bloglines to gather content.

Define some of the top tech trends swirling around this whole idea of blogs/rss/wikis... and OSS, folksonomies, etc.

Some of the coolest parts:

* Playing Karen's podcast of TTT on some great speakers and walking to the back of the room while she invoked what technologies are heaeded our way. After the cast, I went back up front and posed a questions: How many of the trends she mentioned have hit on in the talk so far? Quite a few actually as we moved through blogging, podcasting, photo blogging, folksonomies, etc.

* Discussing customizable RSS feeds of new library materials and seeing a lady in the back make a thumbs up! I said ""Thumbs up! You just made my day."

* Having in attendance the Dean of Purdue University Libraries who taught my Library Management class at IUSB in 1995! Throughout my talks these days I emphasis education and buy-in of adminstration is key to successful tech-based initiatives in libraries. How cool to have him there...and on the front row!

* Dining the night before with Scott Brandt and Rebecca Richardson, who arranged the presentation, and covering such topics as the merits and drawbacks of podcasting ("That podcasting is so hot right now..and so is Hansel."), librarians who blog, research studies with titles longer than this whole post!, and some interesting theories concerning reality television.

* The two folks in the back that had been discussing flickr on the way to the presentation and then whooped when I demonstrated photo-blogging and tagging! (and who nodded and smiled big everytime I said "RSS")

* The idea of internal communication enhanced by a blog intrigued many of the folks. Twice, questions brought us back to the slides where I demonstrated how we turned our Intranet into a bunch of blogs at SJCPL!

Here are my materials from the day:

PowerPoint (PDF) (6.6 MB!)

Evaluating LIS Weblogs (PDF)

Types of LIS Weblogs

Purdue Talk

Posted by Michael at 11:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Front Line Blogger: Feel Good Librarian

Give this one a try:


a perfect example of what Schmidt and Stephens (2005) call "The Front Line Blogger." :-)

Posted by Michael at 10:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 18, 2005

Greetings from the Bookstall at Purdue

I have just started my presentation! Watch for the handouts here soon!

Posted by Michael at 10:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 16, 2005

Heading to Purdue University

Tomorrow afternoon I head down to Purdue University Libraries to present a little session on Blogs, RSS, Wikis and implications for libraries to some Purdue library folk!

Read about it here.

See you in the Bookstall!

Posted by Michael at 02:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

RSS Synchronicity this AM

Nice bit of synchronicity. I e-mailed David King's new Computers in Libraries article (as a PDF) to some folks here at SJCPL to highlight how focusing on local content and offering RSS is effective in serving users.

Then, I log on to the Online Social Network Conference and find that one of the attendees has posted a link in the "Library Table" are:


"Libraries get hip to RSS" -- sorry if someone posted this last month and I missed it.

Posted by Michael at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 11, 2005

Will Richardson's Teacher Blogger Guidelines

Via Weblogg-ed, one of my favorites in Net News Wire...

(I can't stand it...I'm reprinting them all here...)

For Teachers (Librarians), blogging at work:

"So, here's a short list. This is open-text, remember, so we can all play along.

1. Decide carefully if you want to create a public space for your ideas with your name on it. Maybe going anonymous would be better. There are a couple of great anonymous teacher blogs out there, Hipteacher among them.
2. When you write, assume it will be read by the very people you may not want to read it. Think about the consequences.
3. As much as possible, blog on your own time with your own equipment.
4. Tell the truth. If you can't, don't write.
5. Ask people's permission before you write about them in your blog, especially if it revolves around some struggle that you might feel worth reflecting upon or sharing with your audience.
6. If you do use a blog for professional reflection or opinion, my personal wish is that you take the time to present those ideas well. I'm not perfect when it comes to misspellings or errors, but I try to read everything at least twice if not three times before publishing.
7. Start simple, and find your groove. If you just post about news and don't add much in the way of commentary at the start, it will give you time to develop your voice.
8. Again, if you decide to blog openly, don't try to hide that fact from peers or supervisors.
9. If you think people may have an issue with your blog, ask first, and make your decisions based on the feedback you get.
10. If you find yourself looking over your shoulder, don't blog.

Posted by Michael at 09:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 07, 2005

BLOG spells "Outreach to Patrons"

Please visit


to read about the SJCPL Lifeline in an interview with Joe Sipocz and myself.

Posted by Michael at 02:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 27, 2005

Greg's Podcast

I chatted this am with Greg Schwartz, who asked me what i thought of his podcast. "Be honest," he said.

I listened Tuesday while working on stuff at my desk and I enjoyed it. I was tickled to hear Greg do a sort of audio lit review -- ah, that thing I know so well and will certainly be doing more of as I work on my degree -- and he hit points of the article and chimed un with his thoughts. I like that.

I also like the format: 20-30 minutes of news and information for the LIS community with a personal flare and easy-going touch. I would be very inclined to listen to each future installment, like a date with a radio show. HOWEVER: I might not tune in/download a podcast or three every single day but regular (monthly?) installments sound nice: morning tea, a podcast and some inspiring comments.

I'd also like to see the program be chapter stopped -- where I could click ahead to different sections. This would also include a linked Table of Contents I guess...

I'd also like to hear some guests from the LIS community...

My worry for Greg and future LIS Podcasters -- and if I ever have anything I want to "SAY" to you, I'll sit myself down on the G5 and record it -- is setting up unreachable goals and expectations. I would not wish a 20-30 min "show" written and produced once a week on anyone with full time commitments and other things to do.

Just sayin!

Well done Greg -- who also thrills me everytime he says "LIS" or "Library and Information Science" since the IS part is so near and dear to me these days!

Posted by Michael at 11:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

An LIS Weblog I'd like to see (Updated)

I was pondering this morning that we have a lot of blogs for library tech folk...and many of the library specialties out there... but I would love to see a blog dedicated to the whole Audio Visual area scene. What's hot in AV? What circulates? How are DVDs doing versus tired old VHS? What are some innovative AV departments doing -- like circulating games? iPods? SACD? DVD-A?

Maybe some librarian is doing just that and I haven't seen it yet...please let me know...if not..I, for one, think there's a place at the LIS Blog table for AV stuff.

UPDATE: Greg sent me this:

http://librarypop.org/ I am liking this!

Posted by Michael at 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 26, 2005

Social Learning

So true...


My brain hurts. Sometimes there are just too many interesting, intensely profound ideas floating around out there. What did I do BB? (Before blogs...) ... My zeal for the potential of Weblogs, wikis, RSS etc. is born almost entirely from my reflective self that is constantly amazed at the way these tools have transformed my learning first and my teaching second. This is pure passion for new ideas, for stimulated thought, for dreaming. It is in many ways intoxicating and exhausting. But I really feel like for the first time in my life, I'm getting the most out of my brain.

Posted by Michael at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'm all about Presence

Please visit http://www.lawtechguru.com/archives/2004/03/31_online_presence_considering_blogs_instead_of_web_sites.html and read Jeff beard's thoughts about how using blogs can increase someone's presence and then translate the implications to libraries. Good stuff!

Concerning the value of blogs for "guerilla marketing," Beard states:

1) Search Engines Love Blogs

2) Instant "Expertability"

3) Super Easy Updating

4) RSS News Feeds = Extended Reach = Larger Audience = More Hits

5) Built-in Search and Content Management Features

Hmmm.. how easy can it be? So -- to the librarians out there that cringe when they remeber their libraries' out-dated and not up-dated Web site...ponder a blog instead! There are great benefits to be had.

Posted by Michael at 10:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2005

Karen at the Webcred Conference

Please visit the Free Range Librarian and read Karen's reports from the Webcred Conference. This little passage just sent me:

But Friday and Saturday were also vacation days for me in the truest sense of the word, because at Webcred I went somewhere new and came back changed. Like many travel writers, I was on a quest, but did not quite know what I was looking for. I observed journalists and bloggers in their native habitat; I enjoyed their colorful costumes and quaint manner of speech; I heard both L'eminence grise and fresh-faced upstarts in both communities share their thoughts, boasts, and concerns about credibility, authenticity, and trust in the online world.

I have felt the same way coming back from some of the incredibble conferences I've attended and been a part of. I LOVE the fact that Karen crossed over and returns to tell us all about it. I'm reading..waiting for more..

Posted by Michael at 03:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 22, 2005

Evaluating LIS Weblogs

I updated a handout from last year this morning after chatting with Karen about this important facet of Weblog training. I'll use it in February for a class I just scheduled at the Purdue library. It's one thing to say to classes "Look at all the stuff you can get to via RSS!" but we must also remember to give folks tools to choose the LIS weblogs right for them.

I incoprated some of the excellent work by Laurel Clyde and updated the banner. Take a look -- and use it if you'd like!


Posted by Michael at 09:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 11, 2005

The LIS Blogosphere Defined, Examined and For your Consideration

I have only read a bit, but I LOVE this!


Take a look!

Posted by Michael at 09:49 PM

The Tide Turns.... PLA Blog

THANKS to Steven and all at PLA for making this a reality. I'm rejoicing today (and rejoicing for the cool new Apple products as well!)


I am interested to see how the PLA Blog plays out. I'll be reading fellow bloggers!

Posted by Michael at 06:09 PM

January 06, 2005

Nice Blog article at FORTUNE

Via Skagirlie, who works across from me and never ceases to find cool stuff about the wonderful web, social stuff and libraries....


Posted by Michael at 09:21 AM

December 28, 2004

Joyce Valenza Blogs

Take a look at Joyce Valenza's new blog:


She is a member of the UNT Cohort with me and has done some incredible work in the realm of digital libraries, schools and learning.

Posted by Michael at 08:33 AM

December 23, 2004

Training Your Library Blogging Team

Last Thursday I did two training sessions for the official team of SJCPL Blogging Librarians. It was a 90 minute session. I developed some objectives for the training first:

After successfully completing this session, participants will be able to:

• Post SJCPL Weblog entries formatted with bold, italics and inserted hyperlinks.

• Insert special characters as needed with HTML coding.

• Locate and insert images that are “fair use” compliant for Weblog entries.

• Utilize stylesheet and guidelines to insure consistent posts across system.

And then I created a handout to go with it. A general guidelines sheet was developed by our Head of Collection Development who is overseeing the blog and a style guide was created by our Publicity Manager. Armed with three handouts, we discussed blogging, what the mission of the SJCPL blog is and how the team could make their posts effective and consistent and still have their own voice.

A note: blogging for the library via a team approach insures multiple POVs and coverage. One single person blogging for a medium to large library system will probably burn out quickliy.* I think the team inspires each member to blog and blog well.

Take a look at these excerpted guidelines, posted here with the permission of the author, Joe Sipocz, who heads up the Lifeline Team:

Have fun! If it’s a chore for you, your posts will bore people. We want our weblog to be snappy, informative, and interesting. Write about things you love or feel strongly about.

Be real. Avoid jargon or libraryspeak. While some of our audience might be staff members, we hope to make the weblog an information source for our community.

Bloggers tend to be somewhat informal and so should we. We’re not writing a dissertation, it’s an online diary. Remember, it’s the SJCPL Lifeline!

Even if we’re informal, don’t forget to spellcheck your posts.

Write as often as possible but do not dwell over every word, sentence, paragraph.

Posts can be as short as a sentence or two or as long as a few paragraphs. Shorter posts should have photographs or links, longer posts had better be really interesting.

Write in complete sentences and use proper grammar.

Establish your credibility and your own voice. It’s OK for us to not all sound the same.

While you’re establishing your own voice, don’t forget that you are speaking as a library employee.

Cite your sources and provide links to them when possible.

After discussion, I took them through building a post. I asked all via email a few days before to come armed with text for a blog post and we would use it to do some live training! We discussed choosing a GOOD title for the entry, that might catch readers eyes (as well as Google's), choosing a correct category and entering text.

Then we used this brief little handout to format text and possibly add graphics. Look at this GREAT post grabbing our computer class banner from another SJCPL page:


We also utilized the cover art found in our Web Catalog to insert images of library materials.

Finally, I gave them an assignment to post to the blog before Christams. Take a look:


* A note: But Michael, what if I'm the only one in my little library that blogs? Well, dear library person, just use some of these guidelines and blog as much as you can. Short sweet posts, in my mind, are much more effectrive that large blocks of text anyway!

Posted by Michael at 11:07 AM

December 16, 2004

Blogging for the Profession

Steven writes about librarians who blog oh so nicely:


Anonymous blogging intrigues me. I've never done it but I read some "front line" blogs every once in awhile and appreciate the candor and honest look at what happens at reference desks all over. And I agree with Mr. Cohen - if you are blogging, let your boss know. My blog is on my resume..is yours? I have also mentioned here I turn in conference reports made up ofd all of my blog entries from that event. It's easy and it keeps me focused on blogging while at the conference. It works for me. Some may want to dgest and write later...that's cool too.

I know one of our adminstrators reads my writing here and it pleases me to know that line of communication is there. The dean of the SLIS department at UNT blew me away when she said : "I read your blog." Wow!

This ties in with ethics as well. Blogging as a practiotioner and as a student I am reporting/commenting on stuff that happens in my library, at school and in the LIS world. I owe it to myself to do the best I can, be honest and watch out for typos.

Posted by Michael at 08:13 AM

December 15, 2004

What the %&^$? No blogging at SES via their connection...

Just read Steven's post...


This makes me a little crazy. I don't get it.... But maybe, like Mr. Cohen, I need more information.

Posted by Michael at 10:38 AM

December 10, 2004

Blog Ethics!

Karen posted this yesterday -- probably about the same time I was looking at it and pondering a blog post! Well done Karen!


Follow the links in her post to the other links. I'm tickled to see a PhD candidate looking at Blog ethics. I am just forming my thoughts about LIS Weblogs, librarians and information for research and possibly my dissertation at UNT. Just scratching the surface with a literature review, Dr. Laurel Clyde's book Libraries and Weblogs, and a first stab at a research proposal whets my appetite for more!

David Weinberger, in the C-SPAN video, I linked to yesterday tells the crowd at the LOC that blogs are so wonderful because they are in the moment and will have typos ( because of the speed posts are written and published) etc. He also says he would trust the blogosphere as a whole more than the traditional broadcast media! Wow. Give that speech a listen/view, read Karen's thoughts about blogging:

I also feel that as librarians our "code" has to go even farther than in the examples I cite at the beginning of this entry. We are the standard-bearers for accurate, unbiased information. Blogs filled with typos, half-baked "facts," misrepresentations, copyright violations, and other egregious and unprofessional problems do not represent us well to the world. (Karen, you rock!)

and ponder how this immediate form of communication will impact librarians in the next few years:

New Products
Publishing in general
Smaller libraries that suddenly have access to the "big news" that might not have trickled down before.

And I agree with Karen - I post hurriedly but I often go back to correct typos. Especially for conference posts, which I turn in at SJCPL as a report.

Are we representing our organizations in the right way? Ourselves? Our common goal? I love the part about having a mission/goal for a blog. Bloggers - what are your priorities for blogging? Your goals for writing? The minute a blog becomes ME ME ME I usually check out, unsubscribe that feed and look for another one.

My thoughts ob LIS bloggers personal protocols are here: http://www.tametheweb.com/ttwblog/archives/000568.html and Ten Things a Blogging Librarian Must do are here.

Posted by Michael at 08:08 AM

December 09, 2004

David Weinberger on Blogs at C-SPAN


Part of the digital future project, give this some time if you can. Nice thoughts about the nature of information and Weblogs.

Posted by Michael at 01:28 PM

NYT Notes SJCPL Blogs! WooHooo!

Dateline December 9, 2004: New York Times story Libraries Reach Out, Online By TIM GNATEK mentions my very own SJCPL! This, my friends, is one more example that LIS Weblogs have arrived and are being noticed.

"Posting electronic versions of libraries' holdings is only part of the library's expanding online presence. Library Web sites are becoming information portals. Many, like the Saint Joseph's County Library in South Bend, Ind., have created Web logs as community outreach tools.

Here's the link (login required): http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/09/technology/circuits/09libr.html?adxnnl=1&oref=login&adxnnlx=1102601642-A0MCaqBVo7Bhh6fYAy3YEQ

I wish they would have linked to us but they didn't. I womder how many folks may seek the blog out after reading about it today? Hopefully, some will be inspired to add blogs to their sites.

Attention: now is the time for all good librarians to begin their blogging experience: blog your programs, your collections, your outreach, your mission -- in fact, make a blog part of your mission to keep your library in the public eye!

This fires me up!

And please visit the SJCPL Lifeline!

Posted by Michael at 09:15 AM

December 08, 2004

Congrats Steven! Well Done PLA!

Wow! I wish I could be there!!!


I am tickled that a major library organization is starting a Blog!

Posted by Michael at 10:18 AM