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

Library words

Putting words about libraries and books onto posters is very popular, so there's all sorts of options out there. These items are here because they have a quote or slogan about libraries or books printed on them. There's one quote in particular that seems to be a favourite of poster makers: see if you can spot which one it is.... Library bird (ok, it's a magnet, but hey...) Print Print Print Print Digital printable Hand-lettered quote Print Linocut block print Vinyl wall sticker Print Letterpress print Digital printable Print Print Linocut print Print Print

Mini Christmas gifts

Miniature things are one of my favourites, and miniature books are no exception. These tiny books are available either as volumes or sets of volumes on their own, or as parts of dolls house or in specialised miniature library settings. And some of the miniature libraries are just insanely good! I've not included here the many options of wearable miniature books - earrings, necklaces, bracelets, badges... A book with its own drawer for safekeeping Mini clay books Decorative mini books Ghosts in the library books Not exactly miniature, but very small "Little Leather Library" collection How about a Medieval illuminated book, in miniature? Or one with a secret compartment? There are even illustrated erotic mini books! You can theme by colour! Dollshouse insta-library (including 50 Shades of Grey, and the Hunger Games trilogies) Miniature haunted library Miniature Victorian library Still one of my favourites: themed mini

The library look - part two

Continuing the theme of art featuring libraries and librarians...let us pick up again where we left off.... In the rural library Shields library Original life portrait Library lion Birds nest In the library browsing Library freak Book lover At the library Library love Library gal Book lovers Read with me Book store girl Bath reading room Owls going to the library Sometimes, some other animals manage to creep into the library... Reading bear Bookworm