Bonus Post: Bloggers in LibraryLand

Through reading blogs of professional librarians, I have got lots of understanding on the career of being a librarian. These bloggers post their personal altitudes, experiences and thoughts to relevant issues of library and information science (LIS) on the internet, which allow me to look over various aspects of LIS from an insider angle. Although these blogs are interested in different topics by the preferences of bloggers, which will be compared in details the following section, a common context attracts wide attentions. Because of the development of information technique (IT), the methods to generate, store and deliver information have been significantly reshaped nowadays. Different bloggers response to this issue from various aspects. David Rosenthal is highly involved in studying the updated technique in digital preservation, and attempts to apply it in the daily life. .

Andy Wentworth worries about the attitude of public to the traditional library: more and more people visit libraries with a lower frequency, prefer to assistance by the electrical device but not regular librarians. Jessica Olin emphasizes the original meanings of libraries, the service to the public and the wish to help people, while Andy Burkhardt concentrates on educating young librarians.

David Rosenthal – DSHR’s blog

David Rosentha is the chief scientist for the LOCKSS project (aimed at long-term preservation of web published materials: e-journals, books, blogs, websites, archival materials, etc), first at Sun and then since 2002 at Stanford University.

The blog is to discuss the work he is doing in the Digital Preservation field, and mainly concentrates on the technical methods of digital preservation. His blog is logical solid, supported by accurate data and figures, and my favored part of his argument is: his consideration is not solely constrained on the technical aspect of the problem, but also examines the feasibility of specific technique from economic side. For instance, his post at January 22, 2013 discussed the question of whether the use of cloud storage can reduce the cost of long-term digital preservation. In this study, a LOCKSS box is run in Amazon’s cloud, and detailed costs are recorded and compared to local disk costs. Possible configurations are reviewed, they conclude that current cloud storage services are not cost-competitive with local hardware for long-term storage. Especially under the context that the 30-year history of raw disk costs shows a drop of at least 30% per year, while the history of cloud storage costs from commercial providers shows that they drop at most 3% per year. Therefore, nowadays the possible technical architectures by which LOCKSS boxes could use cloud storage are irrelevant.

Andy Woodworth – Agnostic, Maybe

Andy Woodworth is a librarian at the Burlington County Library System in New Jersey. He has been in the position for 5 years. His responsibility embraces reference service to adult patrons, running monthly library programs etc.

Quoted by himself, “I would say that the keyword that has appeared within my own thoughts around why I blog is ‘challenge’. I want to challenge people to defend their beliefs so as to help make their arguments tighter or see an error in their thinking.” As a result, his blogs are composed of arguments, say, in his post at January 23, 2013, That Pew Internet Study”, the report “Library Services in the Digital Age” is reviewed and challenged. In this report, more than 76% people believe library is important to their lives, but only 53% of them have visited a library in the past 12 months. Andy pointed out this inconsistence, and commended it as the gap between the qualities of ‘important’ and ‘useful’. This report showed 72% of Americans ages 16 and older thought that a GPS-navigation application to help patrons locate material inside library buildings would be useful, and Andy make fun of this idea like using a Garmin for a Hot Wheels speed track. Reading his blog is really amusing to me, and I even start to picture a dramatic face with a little cynic. However, behind his articles, I can feel the deep worry in his heart, revealed by the last section of this blog ” I don’t know what the future of the public library holds (I know what I hope it will hold), but based on these results, our patrons are expecting a little bit of everything, even if it contradicts itself”. As a traditional paper-based librarian, under the current context of fast development of IT and internet technique, how the library system should take the move is the key question posted to everybody of the community.

Jessica Olin – Letters to a Young Librarian

Jessica Olin is the director of the Robert H. Parker Library at Wesley College since January 2013. She has been an instruction librarian for over 4 years. Her responsibility includes: coordinate and plan information literacy and instruction initiatives, develop and run library outreach program, develop library assessment etc.

She is passion about the profession of being a librarian, which is fully expressed in her blog posted at February 14, 2013, “You Are Paid in Smiles”, the Valentine’s Day, maybe she subconsciously takes the career of librarian as her entire life lover: Sure, you literally get paid in dollars, but in reality, this is a profession where you are paid in smiles. …… You now have the opportunity to help everyone that walks through that door and help solve so many problems. You can be a mentor for children and teens, show various worlds to people. …… You will have to remind yourself why you are doing the job every day, and It’s not easy. …… What is the library about to you? Is it books? Information? Computers? To you, from here on out, it is about helping those that come into your building any damn way you can.” This article is lyric and moving, dispels my concern of the future career, and revokes me the very original reason why I chose to be a librarian. Even though now is not the golden time of libraries, and the whole community encounters a significant change caused by the varied method how information is generated, stored and spread, my love to library and wish to help people will keep me stick to my decision of being a quantified librarian.

Andy Burkhardt – Information Tyrannosaur

Andy Burkhardt has been the Assistant Director at the Champlain College library in Burlington, VT since July 2012. Before that he serves as the emerging Technologies Librarian, whose responsibility includes designing and teaching information literacy and library instruction sessions, providing reference services, creating online tutorials etc. Professionally, he is interested in technology in the service of education, social media, information literacy, organizational development, and innovation in libraries.

Consequently, his blog share lots of his first experiences on the theme of education. For example, his latest three blogs talk about his group study on the digital strategy and user experience, how to instruct student ask the right question, and the skills to propose a cover letter grabbing eyeballs. His comments and suggestions are pertinent and I really appreciate these advices from the real world. In his post at January 29, 2013, the essential simple rule to writing an amazing cover letter is summarized as: Don’t talk about you, talk about them. The common mistake made in resume is to spend too many efforts on explaining applicants themselves, but not bridge their talents, experience, and attitude to the success of employers. The whole point of a cover letter is to talk about the applicant indeed, but it has to fit the context of employers. The search committees have no interests on the applicants unless they can prove to be capable of enhancing the business of the organization. Therefore, applicants have to present themselves from the angle of employers, linking their abilities to the needs of employers.

6 thoughts on “Bonus Post: Bloggers in LibraryLand

  1. Thank you for my inclusion on this list, but I have to point out that my last name is “Woodworth”, not “Wentworth”. Although, I have to admit that I have not seen that misspelling variation of my last name in a good long while.

    Good luck with your studies!

  2. Thank you for your post! I knew that I should probably be reading librarian blogs before this class, but hadn’t gotten around to it. Now that I’ve started following my bloggers, I’m on the lookout for more (it seems like a good way to network and get information about issues and events in Library Land in a rather painless way). From your post, it looks like Andy Woodworth would be worth following since he posts his opinions about current happenings, the future of libraries, etc.)
    If you’re going to continue following blogs, I’d love if you’d share with us whether there are any big-name librarian bloggers in China. If so, what are they writing about. Are Chinese librarians nervous about the “death of the print book”? Are the public librarians arguing over whether to have maker spaces and video games? I’d be interested to know!

    • I also find myself wondering what librarians around the world are talking about. Certainly the internet allows for international communication that was never before possible (or at least not feasible). However, within my own circles, I stay pretty United States-centric, at least in the blogs I follow and the opinions I hear. I may have to make more of a conscious effort to seek out librarians who are blogging from elsewhere. It would be pretty fascinating to hear a perspective on libraries from England, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and/or Guatemala. Does anyone follow any good international library bloggers?

    • I am not following a specific Chinese librarian’s post currently, but sometimes their post will pop up while I search some the keywords in Chinese. I did read some regarding the eBook issue. There are a lot of concerns of building digital libraries. The libraries in China is kind of slow toward the development of digital libraries.

  3. I love letters to a young librarian! It’s probably my favorite blog I’ve found through this class. I really like how the viewpoints expressed on the blog are so different, and that they all cater and give information to young librarians. I assume that this blog will be helpful to me in the coming days, as I graduate and get my first job.

    Thanks for recommending Andy Wentworth’s blog! It sounds really interesting; I’m going to have to add it to my reading list. And he replied to your post! That’s so exciting. :)

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