Saturday, April 23, 2005

Great Books, Great Blogs, Great Librarians: What if Dewey or Ranganathan had blogs?

Read this article from, about the passing of Ms. Alberta Massingill, director of the Grand Rapids Public Library (Michigan, USA) from 1972-79. She lived to a very respectable age of 90.

The headline got my attention - "Former library director's legacy could fill a book". Inevitably I thought, "What legacy would I leave behind, never mind librarianship?" Ah, delusions of grandeur... I entertain them from time to time. Shall keep them private for now. Ask me again when I'm like, 80 or 90.

While the article paid tribute to the person, it still didn't reveal much. I've heard and read accolades to the point of them being clich├ęd. So what would tell us more about the person (or what the person wants us to know)?


Great blogs are those that speak to you. That personal voice. Great blogs have personalities. You can't project personality with only a few posts. It's built over time, over many quality posts. A first-time visitor would look through the latest and the earliest ones, and get a sense of that quality without ever corresponding with the author. Sounds like what great books do, doesn't it?

Maybe for me, an accolade might be "Librarian's legacy fills a blog"... hmm, sounds a bit stange.

My mind wandered further -- what if the really great or famous (not necessarily both) librarians had blogs? What would they have written? Dewey, Ranganathan... would the DDC and 5 laws develop to become Wikis?

If CEOs can blog, why not library directors? Anyone know of any Library Director's Blog?

BTW, some stuff relating to Dewey and Ranganathan:

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