Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Librarians & Blogging

Monday evening four local librarians generously shared their experiences as bloggers in a Meetup meeting at the NYPL Mulberry Branch’s community room: Lisa von Drasek, EarlyWord Kids; Alexandra Crosier, Shelved @ NYC; Jenna Freedman, Lower East Side Librarian; and Jennifer Craft, Blogs @ NYPL−Mulberry Street Branch.

The blogs discussed range from professional to semi-personal, from collaborative to solo, from self- to system-initiated. In EarlyWord Kids, von Drasek reviews advance books for young children, providing a heads-up for librarians. Crosier’s unique New York City-based blog, Shelved @ NYC, combines an event calendar with her commentary on library-related issues. Freedman, who has other blogs, mixes personal and professional concerns−among them subject headings and zines−in Lower East Side Librarian.
Craft and her staff contribute to the NYPL system-wide blog for their branch, Blogging @ NYPLMulberry Branch, featured in a recent NYPL newsletter. (To read Craft’s blogs only, see

They did a fantastic job as speakers, touching upon
untapped needs, development of their respective blogs, snarky blogging, and finding a middle ground between caution and total frankness. Von Drasek, for instance, turns to colleagues (in the audience!) who serve as sounding boards for posts that might be over the top.

Other issues explored were rude feedback, posts that received lots of hits and why, and waning output. Attentiveness to design, commitment to open-source technology (Lower East Side Librarian utilizes Drupal), and use of tag clouds and Twitter were also discussed.

About twenty people attended this informal discussion, including Marion Lipshutz, a Meetup member. She started a library-related blog last month, Information Vistas.
Afterward seven members went to a nearby restaurant on Lafayette Street.

Thanks so much to our fabulous guests and audience for their participation. And a big thank you as always to Jennifer Craft, Mulberry Branch Supervising Librarian, for use of the community room.
- LT (rvsd. 11/6/09)

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