A tour of the library blogosphere

writing at computerTo the best of my knowledge, Reading, Writing, Research is the only blog written by a librarian intended to be read by the general public.

All the others are written either to other librarians or to patrons at whatever library the author works for.

That is not to say that other library blogs have nothing of interest to the general public. Today’s post links to posts on other blogs that you might enjoy. If you like this one, it will become the first of an occasional series.

Weeding

As much as we librarians insist that a library is more than a collection of books, most libraries at least have a collection of books at their very heart. And those books take up a lot of space in the library. In order to make room for new books, it eventually becomes necessary to get rid of some of the old books. We call it “weeding.”

Normally, it’s a routine chore. Occasionally it becomes a matter of public controversy. Some people begin to wonder, do librarians even really like books any more? Here’s one answer: “The librarian’s love/hate/love relationship with books” by Andy. (That’s all it says. Andy.)

Are libraries in trouble?

There’s a hashtag on Twitter #savethelibrary. It comes in handy any time a library faces budget cuts. It doesn’t help any that for at least 20 years ignoremuses that find themselves with power over library budgets have wanted to cut them deeply on the grounds that everything is online. (It isn’t.)

But does all this discussion about saving libraries project the right image to the public? Wouldn’t it be better for librarians to stop being on the defensive and start touting how library services can save the day?

The author of this post is not alone in wanting to promote a different hashtag and image: It Takes a Library: It is Time to Change the Tone of the Conversation About the Future of Libraries #ittakesalibrary by Bobbi Newman

What’s a paperless library?

One of the earliest promises when desktop computers began to supplant mainframes was the paperless office. It hasn’t happened yet. It seems to me that if anything we generate more paper now than ever before.

That hasn’t stopped Bexar County, Texas from experimenting with a paperless library. Apparently intended as a library system for rural people who don’t live in San Antonio, its first branch will offer a bank of computers and 100 ebook readers for the public to borrow, but no printed books or other non-digital materials in the collection. An anonymous columnist for Library Journal writing as the Annoyed Librarian wonders why not.

3D printer

Michael Stephens writes a blog called Tame the Web, and a recent guest post there mainly consists of a recommendation to visit another link. Here’s the link to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Heard Off the Street: Library’s 3-D printer spits out all kinds of fun and learning

Librarians have always been early adopters of new technology. Maybe not all librarians all the time, but its generally true nonetheless. For example, “metadata” has been in the news lately.

It was a librarian who invented the first nationally approved metadata standard. At first it was just an easier way to print catalog cards. It still not only forms the basis of  library catalogs but directly or indirectly inspired other metadata systems used for inventory control, etc.

So the newspaper article describes one librarian’s desire for a 3D printer. Why? For one thing, it’s a way for the library to help develop children’s enthusiasm for learning about technology.  They’ll be able to download software from the Internet and use the printer to make things.  A very imaginative way to carry on the public library’s traditional support role in the education of children.


Comments

A tour of the library blogosphere — 2 Comments

  1. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after going through some of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly pleased I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

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