Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Why librarians don't blog & does every librarian need to blog?

Doug has a nice post that cites some reasons why librarians don't blog. Top 3 reasons (out of 13, as listed in Doug's post):
  • Not enough time to blog or blogging is a low priority

  • Absence of compelling professional need

  • Ignorance of technology and no clear reason to learn it

About a year ago, I emailed some colleagues (informally) asking if they knew what were blogs and whether they blogged. Majority said they didn't know what it was. Maybe one or two said they knew but had no time to blog.

I think if I were to ask the same questions to the same group, they'd have heard about Blogs by now, though I'm not too certain if everyone will understand the potential of what blogs can (and cannot) do for librarianship.

On this note, it was quite apt that I read another of Doug's post, or one of the comment rather, from Deborah Stafford who thought aloud:

My main question - does EVERY librarian need to blog? Certainly blogs are useful, I read several most every day. But of what use is if for everyone to have one? Can't some people just reap the benefits of those bloggers who have something to say, say it well and are willing to share?Just because we can do something, doesn't mean we all need to do it.

Good question from Deborah. Or rather, she's put across some points by framing them as questions.

I don't think there's any definitive answer to a question like that. It depends on what perspective we take when answering it. Do we see blogs as a PR tool? A communication tool (like email)? A tool for social networking?

I'd define a "blog by a librarian" as one where the blogger identifies him/herself as a librarian, regardless of the blog content.

And my response to Deborah's question is: Not all librarians need to blog. Right now, I can't think of any compelling reason why every single librarian would need to. But there's no harm if that happened.



  1. Anonymous2:48 am

    Hi Ivan,

    Just to clarify, the reasons were not mine, but a summary of a column written by Debbie Abilock for AASL's Knowledge Quest journal. Don't want to take credit for something that wasn't mine.

    I also think Debbie raises an interesting question. On reflection, I might say that every librarian needs to COMMUNICATE in some fashion. A blog may or may not be the best vehicle for that communication.

    Like Debbie, just thinking out loud.

    All the best,


  2. I don't think anyone, including librarians, 'needs' to blog. Blogging is a 21st century invention. For ages, we have lived without it. The question shd be, would librarians enjoy blogging. To me the anwere shd be yes. If you like reading, you probably like to write as well.

    I once commented in Pinto's blog, (
    Blogging overrated? - Deadpoet's Cave) that blogging is like karaoke singing; anohter relative new invention. This is what I wrote:

    "I think blogging is like karaoke singing. Go to some senior citizen karaoke corners and you know what I mean. Some can sing like professionals. Some are terrible; but they are not deterred. They share a common love and encourage one another.

    Journalists are like professional singers. They sing for a living. But some are not so good. Many of the articles; especially those in Life section of Straits Times are just like blog articles. Sometimes, it looked as if they write becos they have to write, and not out of love. Sometimes, it appears that they have a target number of words to achieve."

  3. Anonymous11:05 am

    short and to the point - I became a librarian because I like to read, not write. I don't blog but I love to read everyone else's blog. Hope that makes sense!

  4. a beta version of, where you can search amazon books with NLB information.

    I find myself doing manual repetitive task of checking out good book in amazon site and finding if it's available in the library. So this site may be helpful. Do check it out.

    not my stuff but might be of interest to you :)


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