Blog-braries: Library Blogs, Blogging, & Blog-ography
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Blog-braries: Library Blogs, Blogging, & Blog-ography. Adriana Edwards-Johnson MLIS, Serials & Electronic Collections Librarian, Southwestern Oklahoma State University Libraries. Definitions:

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Blog braries library blogs blogging blog ography

Blog-braries: Library Blogs, Blogging, & Blog-ography

Adriana Edwards-Johnson MLIS, Serials & Electronic Collections Librarian, Southwestern Oklahoma State University Libraries

  • Definitions:

  • Blog (or weblog): A Web site of personal or non-commercial origin that uses a dated log format that is updated on a daily or very frequent basis with new information about a particular subject or range of subjects. The information can be written by the site owner, gleaned from other Web sites or other sources, or contributed by users. Estimates indicate that there are over 4 million blogs in existence

  • Blogger: One who posts to or operates a blog

  • Blogosphere: Collection of blogs

  • Blogrolling: The section of a blog that lists the sites that the blogger reads on a regular basis.  This is usually located on the side of a blogger's frontpage, or on a separate page linked off of the frontpage

  • Comments: Ability to allow blog readers to comment on individual entries. Not all Blogging tools allow this to be easily accomplished

  • Permalink: Short for permanent link, acts as a way to link directly to a specific days posting without having to navigate through the blog archive

  • RSS: RDF Site Summary - formerly called Rich Site Summary is a method of describing news or other Web content that is available for "feeding" (distribution or syndication) from an online publisher to Web users. RSS is an application of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) & details the Web sites text content.

  • Trackback: Can automatically list all sites that have referenced a particular post, allowing visitors to read the response on the other weblog. Provides a firm, explicit link between the two entries on separate blogs

Library Applications:

Since blogs can be set up to allow anyone to post to them, without needing special access to web servers or ftp software, they are ideal for web design neophytes and institutions where duties aren’t defined by “departments”. Here are just a few ways you can utilize blogs in your library.

News & Events:Many libraries have News or Events pages that are used to keep patrons aware of library happenings. Unfortunately because of time constraints or a lack of technological know-how many of these pages go months without updates. Because blogs have friendly user interfaces, without needing to purchase special software, anyone can easily update the postings. Plus younger library users enjoy the interactivness of blogs and are more likely to visit something regularly updated rather than occasionally updated.

Book Discussion Group: Some libraries are trying out online book discussion groups via email or pricy software geared for this purpose. Why not use a blog? The facilitator of the group can post the main entry and then participants can use the comments features to easily post their feedback. Also by utilizing the trackback features of many blogs book clubs around the world can share their discussion without losing that local focus.

Web-bibliographies:Subject bibliographers, besides being spread across disciplines are also spread across the technological spectrum. No matter how much of a ludite a person might be everyone can type. Blogs allow bibliographers across the world and fields to be able to contribute information at one central locale without needing to send files or transfer everything into html, all they have to do is login, type, and click submit—the blog software does all the rest.

Library Operations: Besides outreach to your community blogs can be of great use in office communication. In regards to the Reference Desk, if there is an assignment for a particular class, a group is suppose to adjourn in a particular meeting room, or the third computer on the last row just keeps acting up…you could use a blog to relay messages to the next desk shift or that allusive computer technician.

Professional Development:Want to share with colleagues and potential employers what you see as the leading developments in the field? Want to create a forum where peers with your interests, specialties, or duties can locate information? Then start a personal professional blog! It will be an easy way for you to “bookmark” resources you use everyday and give others an unique look at the professional you that they otherwise may not have time to experience.

February 2003


1992-93 First blog prototype by Tim Berners-Lee who tracked

new webpages as they appeared

Start of 1999 there were a reported 23 blogs in existence

July 1999 First do-it-yourself

blogger tool Pitas.comcreated

Mid-Late 1999 discussion of blogs begins to appear in paper literature

1997 “weblog” coined

Late 1990’s wide spread talk of blogging started to emerge

Related Materials:

Balas, Janet. “Here a blog, there a blog, even the library has a blog.” Computers in Libraries. v. 23 no. 10 p. 41 (Nov/Dec 2003)

Blood, Rebecca. “Weblogs: A history and perspective” Rebecca’s Pocket. September 7, 2000 (last accessed on 03/29/04)

Brown, Andrew. “It's a blog's life.” New Statesman. v. 128 no. 4458 p.49 (10/11/99)

Harder, Geoffrey. “Throw another blog on the wire: Libraries and the weblogging phenomena.” Feliciter. v. 49 no.2 p. 85 (2003)

Richardson, Will. “Blogging & RSS…Webtools for Educators.” (last accessed on 03/29/04)

Tennant, Roy. “Feed your head: keeping up by using RSS.” Library Journal. v. 128 no. 9 p. 30 (5/15/2003)

A Few Free Blogging Utilities:



Moveable Type: