Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Exploring the Library-blog world

One of the changes that I noticed when I (temporarily) switched to the clinical research/public health field was a surprising lack of online community.  As a Web developer librarian, I was very aware of the many Web sites, blogs, and news feeds relating to library and information science.  Some of the more popular Nings (the then latest online community-building tools) were developed by librarians (Library 2.0), and I was looking forward to discovering the blogs, Nings, Web sites, and discussion forums relating to biostatistics, clinical research, and public health.  Unfortunately, the landscape was more barren than I expected.  Not surprisingly, there were a number of resources relating to global public health, but precious little directly related to what I was doing.

Thus, when I returned to academic librarianship, I prepared myself to explore, once again, the dense jungle of the professional online resources in the field.  I cleaned out my Google reader and Delicious accounts, updated my LibraryThing, reorganized my CiteULike, and started this blog.  Once geared-up, I felt ready to set out on my first expedition.  Not really knowing enough about what I would be doing and in what I would be involved, I kept my eye out for the more general, librarianship-oriented blogs, and for the most part, my initial selections have been quite useful.  While over time, I've added a few others here and there, I feel that I now know the issues, ideas, and concerns that are most relevant to my position, and I'm ready to embark on a second expedition.  For this trip, I will use as my initial home based the Salem Press Library Blog Awards nominees.  Here are a few that have caught my eye:

  • In the Library with a Lead Pipe - this is not your typical library blog because it is not only open to a variety of contributors, but it is also peer reviewed.  As I am trying to re-establish myself in the field, I am attracted to opportunities for publication that have established standards but are within easier reach than traditional forms.
  • iLibrarian - this is more oriented to the technical aspects of online librarianship than what I need now (it would have been perfect for my last librarian position), but there are a number of posts about ebooks that would be relevant to our collection.
  • Stephen's Lighthouse - A staple that I somehow missed in my first run.  Perhaps I was just trying to limit my collection...
  • No Shelf Required ® - Sue Polanka's blog that was created to accompany her monograph on e-books in libraries, but which has taken on a life of its own.  
  • Agnostic, Maybe - While I don't always agree with Andy's viewpoints, the scope and breadth of his blog entries are interesting enough to keep me reading.
A few others that I have added that I think are noteworthy include:
  • Library Impact Data - this blog communicates info about the title project that is part of the JISC Activity Data program. Although this is focused on British institutions, I find the results quite fascinating and applicable to other environments.
  • Library Data - some very interesting graphs of publicly-available data on libraries and library services.
  • Musings about Librarianship - This blog from Aaron Tay in Singapore includes some interesting articles and, well, musings on issues relevant this my environment halfway around the world.
I updated the "Blogs I follow" list in my Blogger Profile. I look forward to the new items that I will be reading.

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