Blogs. I am really learning to love blogs. I have not had one before this term, although I followed several blogs, they were more personal “find out how my friends are doing in Thailand” kind of blogs, but recently have begun to realize the importance of professional blogs, library blogs. I have found some to be helpful to get ideas, to hear what other librarians are doing, to be challenged and inspired with ideas for my own library – I mean, for the library where I work (I sometimes feel like it is “my” library, which is little and cute and I am the only staff member there, which is really fun and really challenging. I digress.) I have discovered that reading blogs has also made me feel like I am a part of a wonderful community, in this case, library world!
I also think a library blog for the patrons is such a good idea, provided it is written well, actually provides helpful information, and draws the readers to action. A blog that nobody reads is not helpful to anyone, libraries or users.
RSS feeds are a fantastic tool to help minimize time spent filtering through all of those good websites out there. One site that I have followed for some time, Stephen’s Lighthouse, posts library/tech information – and interesting cultural facts (as of this writing the most recent is an interesting infographic about millennials) fairly regularly. I subscribed to the RSS feed so that I didn’t have to keep looking at the site and could decide if I would or would not read the latest post.
RSS feeds in libraries can also be a great tool for the users to keep up with and manage information coming out of the library, but as I stated in my comment about blogs, they need to have information that the users really want or need to know, not just having RSS feeds for the sake of having them. People don’t want to waste their time on something that is not meaningful, helpful, or just plain interesting to them.
Lesson 3 has been a real eye opener for me. I can see now that I can be far more efficient in my management of “want-to-read stuff” by keeping it all in Google Reader. I subscribe to various blogs via email, but now I see that if I just add the RSS feeds to Google Reader, I can keep it so much more organized and manage my time more efficiently! The constant emails can get a little overwhelming sometimes. Perhaps I am behind the times in figuring this out, but I guess that’s partly why I wanted to take this class! 🙂 I have added a few more RSS feeds to Google Reader, and really haven’t had any trouble. They just all look a little different. Meredith Farka’s blog Information Wants To Be Free gave me a choice as to what reader I wanted to use; Librarian in Black didn’t seem to do that, so I copied the URL and added it myself. CBC’s RSS symbol was blue (silly me, I was looking for orange!) but it was there, and when I clicked on that, then it gave me a myriad of options, such as “Top Stories”, “World”, “Canada”, etc. (This time the symbols were orange, not that it really matters). So I just clicked on the one I wanted to follow.
I think I am going to have fun with all of this!