1. In the Library with the Lead Pipe makes clear its intended audience is library workers. The posts are long and content heavy, and are not meant to be scanned by someone with a casual interest in libraries. The team of contributing authors includes many library directors and library staff with deep academic backgrounds. Lots of words, very few pictures.
The Librarian’s Commute reads much more like one library worker’s personal blog (which it is). Olivia Nellums is the only contributor, as far as I can tell, and the blog feels like her take on the library world. Many of the posts are personal musing on library issues while some read like more formal posts written for an MLIS program. Don’t get me wrong, neither description is meant as a critique. Olivia Nellums posts are well written, and she manages to effortlessly combine her own personal narrative with real library topics that are of concern for library staff like myself.
Visually, the Distant Librarian blog looks artfully techy, and a quick scan of the blog topic titles let you know the content matches the aesthetics. Paul Pival, the blogs author, focuses on technology (but is not limited to) and how it is affecting libraries. His posts tend to be shorter than In the Library with the Lead Pipes, quickly getting to the point, with a more prevalent use of graphics. There’s not much personal narrative going on here.
Librarian by Day’s takes a remarkably comprehensive approach to a library blog. Bobbi Newman writes about everything, and I mean everything. Much less focused that the Distant Librarian, Newman’s blog is similar to The Librarian’s Communute in that it combines the personal narrative with the structured analysis of library issues ranging from technology to literacy. Newman isn’t afraid to impart her own humor on a subject too. Newman also links to many other blogs via her own content. It’s an amazing effort by just one person.
Like The Distant Librarian, David Lee King’s blog focuses on technology. King is definitely a visual person and likes to make himself present on his blog. This makes it personal, but also less professional (not meant as a critique) than the other four blogs. His posts are generally short and make use of media including music and videos (usually made by King himself and his fellow library staff).
2. I feel a bit temperamental trying to decide what type of blog post appeals to me. It depends on what I’m looking for at a given moment. If I feel like being moved, so-to-speak, I lean towards the more personal narrative. If I’m looking for some content, blogs like In the Library with the Lead Pipe appeal to me. Oftentimes I’m bouncing around blogs to scan and be entertained, and blogs that use more multi-media appeal to me. Regardless, I want to feel like the blog author (s) actually care about what they are doing and are just blogging for the sake of blogging (which I have been guilty of myself).
3. I subscribed to the King County’s library blog, which is primarily a reader’s blog that’s similar to the old book talk reviews many public libraries published in their weekly local newspapers. King County has done an incredible job organizing the reader book reviews by categories, all with their own RSS feed link.
I also subscribed to the Library of Congress blog, because who can resist the Library of Congress? It’s a hard blog to describe in two or three sentences, because it, like the Library of Congress, covers many subject from history, art, culture, music, etc. I got instantly pulled in to a post they had about the Library of Congress’s three original Stardivari violins and how they were being CT scanned in an effort to duplicate what made these instruments so un-reproducible. Fascinating stuff.
I have to admit I picked New York Public Library’s blog because I new it would be regularly updated. From my cursory exposure to the blog, it feels like a very traditional library blog that focuses on book talks and library programs.
4. Library blogs are a much more specific genre than the five library related blogs provided for this exercise. A library blog needs to convey the unique personality and contribution of the library it represents, without relying on personal narrative or specific areas of focus like technology or library trends. It’s a tough go making a library blog worth visiting with fresh content and relevancy (we don’t all have the inherent uniqueness of The Library of Congress’s content).