RSS Aggregators & Library Blogs

It was interesting reading through the five blogs we were required to subscribe to as well as finding some library blogs on my own to follow.  For the five required blogs I found Librarian By Day to be by far my favorite to read.  Bobbi Newman just has a talent for writing in a style that made me feel like she was actually speaking to me.  Her posts weren’t too long that they started to lose my interest like those on In the Library with the Lead Pipe.  She provided useful and interesting bits of information, her opinion on the topic and the best part was she then provided links to other posts, articles, etc about the topic that may offer differing viewpoints or additional information.  This way if the reader wants more details they know where to go but if they are content with an overview it doesn’t feel like they are getting bogged down in every minutiae.

David Lee King has some interesting information on his blog but it just was not as engaging to me and as a personal preference I do not like having so many videos posted.  Often times I am going through my Google Reader at times where I cannot listen to a video and find it frustrating especially when it sounds like an interesting topic.  The other two blogs did not make a huge impression on me and one specially said they would be closing it down at the end of 2012.

In regards to topics I enjoyed Librarian By Day because it had a nice mixture of personal posts that add a twist of fun such as poking fun about stereotypes of what librarians look like, offering personal experiences like attending ALA Midwinter independently rather than being sent by a library and also professional information about things like the executive board for ALA.

When it came to finding other library blogs to follow I was surprised how much harder that task was than I expected.  I already followed  three library blogs but only one that really impressed me, the second was just so-so and the third totally turned me off and the only reason I still follow them is because it’s a local library.  So I went on a hunt to find other library blogs to compare them to. I was amazed how many of the blogs no longer existed, led to dead links or were not updated in years.  It is a little sad to see how many library blogs have been born and died within the span of just a few years.  After finding a handful through the LIS Wiki Weblogs-Public Libraries site I turned to my fellow book lovers on Twitter to see if they had any favorite library blogs and added about 8 to my RSS reader.

My 3 favorites turned out to be:

  1. The Bryant Library Blog in New York. They have a nice mixture about posts regarding events at the library, awards they have won and bookish events going on around the city. My only complaint would be about the frequency of their posting. They sometimes went months without a single post.
  2. Burbank Public Library-YAThink. The Burbank Public Library actually had several different blogs but being as my area of interest is YA I followed those posts.  I loved their blog!  They talked about books they were currently reading, books their teens were reading and what their opinions were of them and just general things going on in the genre like trends of dystopians, teenage pregnancy, etc.  My only disappointment was only Burbank Public Library patrons are allowed to comment on the posts.  I found myself often wanting to say something but was unable to do so since I am not a patron with an account. The other minor thing is a pet peeve of mine in that I do not like when blogs only allow a partial feed in Google Reader.  The first few sentences are sometimes not enough to let me know if it’s worth reading the entire post and since I follow so many blogs that extra click to actually go to the blog can be irritating.
  3. The third library blog that I enjoyed is my own local library’s blog, Union City Public Library, that I have been following for quite awhile now.  They have a mixture of book reviews, postings about library events and my favorite feature is their Monday Children’s Book Reviews.

After going through all of these blogs I really think the key points a library blog needs to keep in mind is the “voice” that comes across in their posts: a more relatable tone is more appealing, the length of posts: too long and people may lose interest and too short may mean nothing useful is gained from the post and the frequency of posting: if the library does not post often enough patrons may stop visiting the blog.

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One Response to RSS Aggregators & Library Blogs

  1. sue.duran says:

    Exactly what I said about a blog and it’s voice! My manager just told me the other day she missed reading my blogs. I asked, do you remember any? She said no, but that it was ‘how’ I stated things that made it interesting.

    I will have to look into the Burbank Public to see how its working for them. I’m not much of a blog reader, but I do love good ideas for programs and the like, as YA is also my speciality.

    Good blogging!


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