Skip to main content

Blog hunting lessons

In my traipse through the highways and byways of the interweb, looking for UK library and librarian blogs, I learned a few things about blogs in general, and UK library blogs. I'll try and make sense of it below...

Blog Tips

  • Have an “About” or “Profile” section easily locatable on your blog. Without this, it's like a book without a “blurb”: there’s no information to guide the reader on what to expect from you, and people may well get frustrated, leave and not return, regardless of how interesting your content is.
  • Give people some idea of what you blog about. If you blog infrequently, it can take a fair amount of time for a reader to skim through multiple posts and get an idea of what you’re about. A tag cloud is very helpful to allow a reader to see at a glance what your main blogging themes are. Or sort your labels by order of frequency, so people can see what you most often blog about.
  • Identify, if not who you are (if you want to blog fully or semi anonymously), then at least where you are. Don’t assume that because you know where you are, everyone else will without being told! I spent a lot of time just trying to identify the country some bloggers were located in, and often had to resort to trawling the blog posts for cultural references and diffrences in spellings to help me decide. Knowing where you're located can give the reader some idea if what you post might interest them / have common interests.
And yes, I did edit my blog to reflect these points myself - nobody said I was perfect! :D


General Musings


There are bloggers working freelance, in health libraries, school libraries, academic libraries, public libraries and special libraries. Every sector does seem to have at least one blog.

Even library suppliers have blogs!

Quite a few bloggers have started in the last 6 months.

The smaller countries have proportionately smaller amounts of bloggers, unsurprisingly! 4 or 5 Scots, and 2 or 3 Welsh (a rough estimate), both individual and institutional.

Academic institutions are well represented. They are usually very active blogs, with regular posts. This may be a result of both working as a team, and blogging as a team - it's perhaps easier to keep the momentum going if you're able to chat to co-workers about post ideas, what should be posted, when etc.

Very few, if any (going on memory here!) bloggers comment on their place of work...this isn't unexpected, as mentioning workplaces can create all sorts of problems for the blogger. Any comments about workplaces are usually positive. This does mean that library blogs are skewed quite heavily towards the "isn't the world a lovely place?" attitude, which may not actually reflect the reality of their work.

There are a good few librarian bloggers in the UK, but nowhere near as many proportionally as in the USA. What is it that encourages Americans to blog, but not British? Is it an attempt to stand out / be heard in a much larger group, which is easier to do in the UK without blogging, as the library pool is smaller?

Politics seems to be a taboo subject on UK library blogs - I'm aware of quite a few American blogs whose authors are happy to write about their political views / support for a certain candidate, but I can't remember seeing any posts touching on politics on UK blogs. This might well be because of the upcoming Presidential election in America, and the fact that the UK isn't near a General Election, but I'm not altogether sure about that. American bloggers seem to be more confident on voicing strongly held views anyway, and are willing to defend them, whereas UK bloggers are more reserved. Or am I just perpetuating cultural stereotypes? ;-)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Careering along

When I look around at the activities of information professional groups, it seems that there’s a disparity. There’s quite often a lot of support and funding available for those who’re just starting out in the profession, but a desert of nothingness for those of us who’re “just getting on with it”. If you’re a new professional, you have lots of groups to support you as you progress in your early career, various prize funds available for essay and report writing, access to bursaries for conference attendance, eligibility for awards for being new and enthusiastic. But what do you get when you’re past that bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed first 5 years (5 years seems to be the approximate cut-off point for becoming “established” and no longer new). What happens when you’ve already received a bursary from an organisation earlier in your career and so wouldn’t be eligible for one now, meaning you’re not able to attend events or training? When you’re heavily involved in a project but not at

What if you don't get back what you put in?

I am, as you may know, a member of CILIP, the professional body for information professionals. There are two main reasons I'm a member. I am a Chartered librarian, and I take my commitment to maintaining this visible badge of my professionalism seriously. I have revalidated my Chartership within the previous assessment system, and I have submitted my Revalidation within the new system. To continue being a Chartered librarian, I must be a member of CILIP (although currently the commitment to continue to revalidate my Chartership is voluntary, and has been so for the length of my membership since approximately 2001). So I continue to be a member. I am a registered CILIP Mentor, and I help to guide those information professionals who are keen to be professionally qualified through the Chartership/professional qualifications process. I could not abandon midway through that process the people who are looking to me for guidance in their professional development. So I continue to be

Losing the professionalism

So, recently, CILIP apparently sent out an email regarding a consultation on a change of brand image, and name. I say apparently, as despite being a member, I never got this email. When I went to the website to log in and check why it wasn't sent to me, it didn't let me log in. I tried a password reset, and that email came through, so it *can* send emails to me...but the password it sent won't let me log in. I’m losing the will to keep trying. Overall, this is kind of symptomatic of how I feel about CILIP, and how useless its IT systems are.... Anyway, the consultation is on changing CILIP’s currently, clunky and meaningless name (picked as the best of a previous bad lot, as David McMenemy showed with this link to the 2000 consultation results ) to something more meaningful and relevant is open. If you want to take part, it’s here . I was a good girl, and pootled over yesterday to take part, and after filling in all the bumph, I got to view the glorious options. Oh. My.