It’s good to blog. As readers, as writers, browsing or settling in for a good long read, we can use blogs as a way to discuss issues beyond the day-to-day challenges of library services – to think about strategy and vision, to share experiences and mistakes we’ve learned from, and to step outside the hierarchies of our organisation. Your creativity isn’t determined by your paygrade after all – and blogs, in the library sector, can provide a useful outlet for creative voices that might otherwise go unheard.
But don’t just read blogs – why not write on blogs, voice your opinion, stay informed, raise your profile, participate on professional debates, get involved in discussions about the shape of things to come.
You can start by reading our previous guest Justin Hoenke to see the current state of play in US libraries, or Ian Anstice’s Public Libraries News for updates from the UK and beyond; explore In the Library With The Lead Pipe and read Angie Manfredi and Jessamyn West and Sarah Houghton in the US , plus Ellen Forsyth’s Read Play Participate and Tim Sherratt’s Discontents in Australia.
Read more widely and even more voraciously than that – AusGLAMBlogs has a list of local bloggers worth checking out.
Blog in order to dream…. In order to think of things that might or might not happen, that might only be spotted out of the corner of your eye, or in an ideal world.
For example, Kyla Stephan of Gold Coast Libraries writes an occasional blog called The Library Ghost. It records the correspondence left at a librarian’s desk by the ghost which haunts her building.
We only ever see the ghost’s side of the conversation, but we follow the progress of their relationship over the months and years, as the icy spirit – “I could not, in all honesty, be described as benign” – it develops a certain affection for their librarian friend.
It’s a great way to reflect on the ways in which libraries haunt and inspire us – the idea that a building and collection might have a spirit, or protector, who acted idiosyncratically and supernaturally to advocate for its own interests.
It’s a conversation that we could never have in the “real world”, one which lies beyond the world of professional development plans or organisational strategies, but it might provoke bright ideas and new reflections on what it meant to be a librarian in the 21st century.
So just blog library folk – not just to share your thoughts, or see what others are up to, or develop your professional awareness. …Blog in order to dream.