Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Library Blogs, Librarian Bloggers

B I B L EI'm a bit link happy. Don't think its because I have dried up. I just finished going to conferences/staff development for the past 4 days, and I'm ready to burst with hilarious things to write.

Library Journal just ran an article written by Michael Stephens of Tame The Web. It is a frank look into the blogging issue, and how it is looked at. Is it a tool? Is it a fad? Is it for fun? The article which can be found by clicking the link, is pretty interesting. I'm just sad that Mr. Stephens didn't call me. The other guy, Aaron Schmidt, is one of those guys in the library that I would probably stare at for too long. Supercute.com. At any rate, blogging is becoming a big deal at work.

It has come to my attention, that my blog, dear old thing that it is, is no longer a secret. Seems everyone but the cleaning people read it. HR has mentioned that they are aware of it, people make references about it when talking to me (secret code for "I READ YOUR BLOG"), and in fact, my list of "Conference topics that SHOULD exist has been printed out and hung in several bathrooms across the system.

Interesting.

Now, of course, my natural curiosity has gotten the best of my cute self. I find myself looking for people who have linked to me, and why they have linked to me. One blog, that will remain nameless, noted that I was the "least favorite of all the library blogs" she read, because I didn't write about libraries. She noted that it might be interesting to read my blog if you knew me. She was writing it for library school. Poor disillusioned dear. Library Blogs aren't all fact spewing, filled with interesting links, and social commentary on the library scene at large.

Library blogs fill different purposes. If you want real library information, you visit sites like Michael Stephens Tame the Web or Librarian.net, or some of the fabulous links provided at this fine website.

I think if you want to laugh, you should visit sites that I have linked in the side bar. Kimchijon, of this great site is a really hunky librarian who loves to cook Asian food. What does this have to do with library science you ask? LIBRARIANS ARE PEOPLE. We don't sit behind desks all day, answering questions, doing paperwork, and going home to sleep until we go back to the building with books. We have lives. Blogs are not only a great communicating tool to express library related information, but also to let and remind others that librarian's don't have to live, breathe, eat, sleep, dream libraries. The Hot Librarian is a fine point in this case. She's just plain hot. She's a librarian with a crazy social life (and an affinity for pens with teddy bears on them). Sadly, sometimes life can get in the way of all of this.

It is sad that even librarian's blogs are stereotyped. By our own. Its like Jews turning on each other during the War. OK, not THAT bad, but my general impression is: If your blog isn't scholarly, or a "useful tool", your blog has less merit.

Crazy.

The funny part is, these same people read the Wall Street Journal, and Cosmo. Why? Both convey news, its just delivered differently. If you come to my blog to learn about being a librarian, there are a few links. Well Dressed Librarian.com was set up specifically for this purpose. This blog, as is stated at the top, is about me: "Young, fabulously well dressed librarian takes on the world of libraries,
and anything that comes at him while he's at it". And it's true. That's what this is about. Being a librarian. Our lives effect our work, our work effects our lives. A blog is the perfect milieu for this phenomenon.

If you want vanilla, there is plenty out there. If that is the case, I strongly recommend So, you want to be a librarian by Ms. Wallace, c. 1963. Text book information, or read about the real lives lead by librarians. What you learn in grad school does not happen at work. Trust me.

I never learned, NOR was any class offered at my wonderful (and prestigious) Library School about dealing with people with Mental Health issues (patrons, not co-workers, though sometimes one wonders). No class was offered in libraries in poverty stricken areas, reaching out to communities who WON'T or WILL not associate with people with different economic backgrounds. Issues in Race, Child Welfare, or Security.

Any of you take a class in library school that teaches you how to disarm a patron with a shiv? Email me if you did. It happens.

Though some of you may end up in Stepford. Some of you may end up in fuzzy rose colored high rises in sexy cities. Some of you may live your life in the basement or backroom of a library, sunlight only touching your skin as you walk to and from your car- and will never deal with anyone but coworkers. Some of you may end up with law firms, hospitals, museums, military installations (any of you army boys read this? you can email me too). Some of you may sit at home and play library, and make your cats check out Scientology pamplets all day...though I should point out that doesn't actually make you a librarian. Libraries have been given iconic status. Why? Because we, librarians, keep them that way. You learn what you learn in the trenches - but we never let them see us sweat.

Blogs are a great way for librarians to let other librarians know they are not alone, and to let "freshers" know what they are getting into.

Moral of this blog: I am way too passionate. And so well dressed...damn.

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