Saturday, 9 March 2013

Reflections on starting a blog

I’m thinking and rethinking the merit of starting a blog for our library. 
especially as we already have other marketing tools in place. A blog could be an efficient way to deliver a web 2.0 service for news and features, and widgets can be uploaded easily as well. A link to the blog could be facilitated from our web page and the campus wide newsletter.

There is a need to reach the campus community members who do not regularly come through the library doors, for instance module postgraduate students. A blog should help to reach prospective clients, so I’m starting to think about best practices to manage such a blog.  

Blogging - another service or rather a better integrated service?

A blog will be another service to be squeezed into already fully packed working days.  As academic branch librarians, the days are filled with a variety of many services, and don't get me wrong, it's not the idea of “extra work", but knowing  it'll need nifty footwork and be dependent on other more important services being attended to first. Inter library loans, collection development, client training to support learning and research, other existing marketing tools, information services and more will need attention first.  The blogging will necessarily have to move way down the list when one starts prioritizing

A better communication tool?

I believe one needs to be available to attend to possible bloggers, because people who blog, would expect a fairly quick return comment/answer to their question/remark. I mean, what is the use of blogging if one turns off the comments feature? It would still be a nice tool for communication though, but a one-way one, so perhaps the bloggers could be referred to the e-reference service when they have a question? A link to the reference service question form should be available on the blog then.  
There is a web part for news on our library web page, so maybe starting a blog in stead of the news web part, with librarians taking turns to attend to the blog, could work?!  Almost in the same way as we take turns to answer Ask A Librarian questions that come in. If teamwork comes into play, there might just be light in the tunnel for a library blog which take over the news web part.

This course is great so far as it enables me to think about what I heard in class, how our current practices at work could be adapted to ensure even more efficient applications of web 2.0 technologies.

Wiki on Using blogs for marketing

The Library success wiki on using blogs for marketing seems to be worth exploring.

More links on Social Media


  1. Yes, blooging can become quite a time consuming exercise, depending on the impact it has made to the community you serve. IN your situation, being on a campus, you could expect to have quite a few followers. The idea of sharing the responsibility would be a good one so that it does not consume too much time of one individual. In our case, at Brooklyn Library, we sort of started a blog. We have one staff member giving it attention, basically trying to get it off the ground. Later we will look at having other staff contribute to it, so that it becomes more of a team blog rather than an individual blog.
    In an academic enviroment your focus will be so much more different to a public library.

  2. Your comments are valued, thank you :) Although our focus will differ, in the end we are/will be where (some of)our users are. Through social media technology and more specifically through keeping a library blog, we'll be using another tool to market our libraries and promoting appropriate library services according to the needs of our communities. As a spin off it may also blossom into a higher rating of our libraries, be they public, academic, or school libraries. So it is thumbs up for Brooklyn Library and I say, let's blog :)