Posts tagged ‘meta’

Blogging as professional development? Sure. Peer-reviewed discourse? No way.

Nancy Bertolotti wrote earlier this month for the YALSA blog about blogging as a professional development tool. She suggests that blogging gives the writer the opportunity to network with authors (a review she wrote of one author’s book led to an interview with that author) and colleagues, as a way to practice writing, as a demonstration of knowledge or skill, and as a way of gaining experience with social networking tools. I agree with all of this and on a personal level, I’ve enjoyed blogging because it’s gotten me thinking about library stuff more often and in a more structured sort of way. Bertolotti also mentioned that she’s a recent grad and that she feels like her blog addresses a lot of different sorts of topics but that once she finds a job, her focus will narrow–another feeling I share with her.

She also asserted that blogging was a form of peer-reviewed writing:

Blogging on a professional site like the YALSA Blog might even be considered a peer reviewed form of writing. You know you will be corrected or asked for clarification if you post something that is not clearly articulated and accurate. You will also receive comments if you post something controversial like, blogging as a peer reviewed publication!

I’m afraid I can’t agree with her here, though. While it’s true that writing in a public forum allows people to critique your ideas and presentation (if anyone’s listening to what you’re saying in the first place), people read blogs differently than editors read papers. And part of why peer-reviewed papers are given such authority is because the review and vetting has happened before publication. Furthermore, reviewers and editors for peer-reviewed journals are (usually) considered experts in their fields, whereas any sort of review that happens in a blog is more crowdsourcing than expert opinion.

Bertolotti also doesn’t explicitly mention the more internal benefits of blogging. She does say that blogging allows you to demonstrate expertise in a particular area and to practice your writing, but even in the short time I’ve been working on this blog, I’ve found myself thinking about library issues I want to talk about in a much more organized fashion, deciding what relates to the topic, what examples and counter-examples I might use, and what isn’t related enough to be included in one post but might be the start of a new one. I’ve also been reading a lot more to find connections between ideas and am doing a better job of pulling in examples from sources that aren’t necessarily library-specific. Blogging has external benefits like the ones Bertolotti identifies, but it’s also something that has more internal benefits as well.

And just for fun, some tips from other library bloggers: last month, Creative Literacy offered five tips for better blogging. And earlier this week, GreenBeanTeenQueen celebrated its second anniversary; Sarah has five lessons on blogging and reviewing. She’s also running a contest with ARCs as prizes, so make sure you enter by the end of April.


March 19, 2010 at 11:58 PM 2 comments

Obligatory introduction (or, First!)

Hello! I’m in my final semester of my MLS at Indiana University’s Indianapolis campus and I’ve been meaning to start a library blog for a long time. I work in a university library and a synagogue library and have done an internship in a public library’s teen services department. I’m also an officer in IUPUI’s Association of Library and Information Science Students (ALISS) and the School of Library and Information Science’s representative to the Graduate Student Organization. I’d like to become a teen services librarian, but generally I’m interested in public libraries, youth services, Teen Advisory Boards, partnerships between public and school libraries, social networking and new media, privacy and copyright issues, gaming in libraries, and intergenerational programming.

I’m still developing my library skills and librarian identity, so I do a lot of thinking about the values of librarianship, controversies in librarianship, and the way libraries interact with the rest of the world. I wanted a place to collect some of those thoughts and post interesting bits of news, links to other great library thinkers, or provide reaction pieces to articles I read. I’m sure that as I grow as a librarian, this blog will, too–and I’m looking forward to that!

One note: I came up with the name “Librarified” independently and when I Googled it to see if it was already in use, I did find a LiveJournal with the same name by someone named Jamie Davis, but as there have been no new posts there in over a year, I’m going to step in and use the name. I should be clear, though, that I have absolutely no connection to that journal or to its original author. Jamie Davis, if you want your name back, let me know and I will gladly return it to you.

Until then: onward!

January 27, 2010 at 5:33 PM Leave a comment