The Four Bloggers I Chose to Follow for SI 643
My Interest-Public Libraries
“Swiss Army Librarian”
Brian Herzog from the Chelmsford Public Library in Chelmsford, MA shares real-life stories about his experience as a librarian. His insights are very practical: he talks about lost book fines and dealing with snow storms. My favorite feature is his “Reference Question of the Week”, because it demonstrates the variety of reasons people might visit the library, and also provides hints that could prove useful to those of us who haven’t done much reference work.
David Lee King
David Lee King works at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. His blog focuses on how best to choose and use technology in libraries. When it comes time to research software for his library, he shares what he finds with his blog. Although he seems very knowledgeable about technology, I like that he isn’t egotistical about it. He admits when he makes mistakes, and he seems just as happy to share someone else’s knowledge and experience (with proper credit, of course) as he is to share his own.
“Tame the Web”
Michael Stephens is an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. His posts are kind of short, and some of the longer ones are actually from guest bloggers. He tends to write about technology and learning in libraries from an academic point of view. Maybe this connection with scholarship explains why he is the only blogger in this list to comment on the Dale Askey case.
“K-M The Librarian”
“K-M The Librarian” prefers to remain anonymous. She discusses anecdotes from her experience as a school librarian, with a focus on information literacy. Her writing shows a clear commitment to the students she serves. She approaches the challenges of online searching thoughtfully, and of motivating teenagers to read with creativity. I particularly liked her post about setting up a “mixer” with teenagers and books—how she used a clever metaphor to make some points about reading that could change the students’ lives. As someone who is interested in public libraries, it’s good to have an understanding of the education of the youth who hopefully are or will be public library patrons as well.
Two of the librarians focus specifically on technology. In fact, it was harder to find interesting bloggers who don’t specifically talk about technology than those who do. But I wanted more variety, so I specifically chose an SLM blogger whose stated topic is not technology. However, she does like to share what she can do on her iPad. Though I knew it already, this experience has reinforced the idea that librarians are a techy bunch. This may also have to do with their evolving job descriptions. Brian Herzog specifically discusses how some more technical jobs are moving from technology desks to service desks.
I was surprised to find material from the bloggers’ presentations on three of the four blogs. I expected the university professor to produce materials like this, but not necessarily the public and school librarians. Sometimes they’re trying to teach a skill, but often they just want to make a point. It’s a good thing we are learning how to create effective presentations in SI 643!
Each of the bloggers concentrates on how to best serve library users, rather than the just the collection or the budget. I appreciate the focus on providing the best service, even when it may be tempting to just play with the newest technology. It’s a good thing to know that librarians are in it for the good they can do the public.