Monday 18 June 2012

Google Reader Roundup

Hello ALIA Sydney Readers! Today I’m going to share a quick roundup of good bits from my Google Reader, and take this opportunity for a good reflective think-out about blog readers.
The best thing about Google Reader is that you don’t have to use it all the time. You can dip into it occasionally or regularly, according to your needs. Recently I’ve been re-learning the flexibility of the ‘social’ in ‘social media’, especially with respect to my reading of blogs in and around the LIS field. If I read every interesting thing all the time, I’d get nowhere, unless I was undertaking a PhD on discourse analysis of LIS blogs. (actually that’s not a bad idea…) At present, Google Reader functions more like a trusted local café. I don’t have to go there all the time, or even regularly, but when I do there’s usually someone there to catch up with and have an interesting discussion.
I’ve shaped this roundup to include 7 useful blog post genres, and I’ll summarise them here for your (time management) convenience:
1. The LIS Reflective Practitioner Post
2. The Specific Call Out For Responses Post
3. The Managing Information Not Necessarily in LIS context Post
4. The Conference Roundup Post
5. The Online Participative Event
6. The Post about Teaching
7. The Scathing Rant

1. The LIS Reflective Practitioner Post
My first anniversary

After one year in the post as a college librarian. Cara Clarke reflects on her experiences working at a higher level and within a new library context  - a College Library – in comparison to her background in school libraries. The main value of this kind of post is the   candid nature in which Cara talks about her work environment and realities of professional life. It provides a useful insight into ‘on the ground’ work activities.

2. The Specific Call Out For Responses Post
‘repackaging’ information education – your input needed!

This blog post genre is characterised by a direct need for interaction. In this case, Kate Davis is seeking responses to 3 questions for ‘a context-setting/provocation video for a workshop that [she] is facilitating at the upcoming Australian Information Education Symposium on ‘repackaging’ information education’. If this is your bag, and you’ve got something to say, head over there now!  Seeing as I’ll be attending the Symposium, commenting on this blog is top of my list, but I have a post here to finish first!

3. The Managing Information Not Necessarily in LIS context Post
Twitterror, via

This blog post poses an interesting idea to include strike through option on tweets. I can see why it would appeal to the latent proof reader and social historian in all of us. You can deal with your own misinformed tweets by ‘transparently’ adjusting them accordingly, rather than accepting the sometimes ambiguous vacuum left by a deleted tweet.  Ultimately it’s a translation of a live blogging /journaling trope whereby you can say exactly what you mean under the guise of deletion. I’ve seen it used to much hilarity in fanfiction communities that I belong to on dreamwidth. As the Twitter designers argue (quoted in their ubiquitous 140 characters), it would cause massive problems for their core function. However, as the author has demonstrated, it can also add a layer of discourse more suited to the boys' own shower room gossiping. Which is not how I prefer to engage with Twitter. Obviously any person on Twitter will tell you that people gravitate to their own groups and through constant negotiation develop rules and etiquette for discussion.

4. The Conference Roundup Post
University Science and Technology Librarians Group Meeting #USTLG

Blogs provide an excellent forum to share reflections from a conference tour, or even a big day of presentations. In this example  Librarians on the loose Sarah and Emma report on a twice yearly meetup to share information and good practice. And look, they’ve also shared the twitter hashtag if you want to look up the twitter archive.

5. The Online Participative Professional Development Event
Thing 7: Real life networks

The cpd23 is a blog-based summer online event (UK) which explores 23 things related to professional development for librarians and information professionals. It’s in its second round this year and looks to be a great way to develop your skills in social media relevant to LIS. Primarily because you’re exploring these tools with a network of geographically disparate people at the same time! That is, if you’ve scheduled the time to do it.
This week focuses on real life networks and commends participants to reflect on the place of professional organisations on their career path. There’s even extra credit for investigating new groups and organisations!

6. The Post about Teaching
Teaching: Design Anthropology via
This post features a wonderful list for “How to be an Explorer of the World”, in a post which reflects on teaching design anthropology, with many salient points for learning, teaching and sharing knowledge within an educational setting. I often think that education and design fields are perfectly complementary to library and information science, and there’s much to be gained from the convergence (but not merging!) and overlapping of common threads.

7. The Scathing Rant
Libraries: crowdfunding our asses off

A bombastic rant reflecting on the reputation of libraries and the impact of the digital economy enabled by the globalisation and late capitalism. Censored genius is your go-to librarian when you want to get all riled up about the state of libraries today. I particularly love the effing librarian for their delivery of high quality invective on issues in the library profession. No blog roundup would be complete without this kind of blogging.

Obviously, this is a partial and highly selective list. Do you have a favourite blogger that you turn to for any of the above genres? What other contenders might there be for blog post genres?

Over and out,
Liz Stokes
ALIA New Grads Coordinator NSW

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