Drum roll for the blogroll …

It’s high time I gave you a glimpse into the best of my blogroll.

As I already subscribe to more blogs than I can ever possibly read, I didn’t tempt fate by searching Technorati for any more reading material to stash away for retirement. However, I did run a quick search on ‘librarian’, and unexpectedly found this entry, where a blogger who completed an online political ideology quiz notes the similarity of the words ‘libertarian’ and ‘librarian’. I made a brief comment to the effect of their similarity not only being skin deep, however I wouldn’t want anyone to think we’re too libertarian (refer to my earlier post on censorship).

(‘the library of congress : look something up, or just look up’,
from sandcastlematt’s Flickr photos and reproduced under a Creative Commons License)

I’ve supplied a link to subscribe to each of my most influential blogs via RSS, but I realise that it’s not the solution to everything. Some people prefer to read their RSS as email, while others even want to receive their updates via text message.

If, like me, you think RSS makes your life easier and you shudder when you find a frequently-updated website that isn’t using it, help is at hand. Feedity and Dapper allow you to create an RSS feed from any website’s URL. I’m using Feedity at the moment for one of my webcomics. It works perfectly, but Lifehacker suggests that Dapper has more flexibility and customisation options, so I might give that a go in the future.

International library blogs (or ‘the big ones’)

Information Wants to be Free is written by Meredith Farkas from Norwich University Library in the US. As Dana notes, Meredith is famous for her annual surveys of the library blog world (results from the latest one were published in Library Journal), and for being serious, informative and up-to-date. She is one of a series of what might be described as ‘professional library bloggers’.
Subscribe to Information Wants to be Free via RSS.

iLibrarian never fails to be interesting and accessible. It has a strong focus on the use of social software in libraries, and began the year well with this particularly good post on how to build the reader base of your blog.
Subscribe to iLibrarian via RSS
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The LibrarianInBlack is Sarah Houghton-Jan from the Silicon Valley, a self-confessed ‘goth librarian’. She is particularly interested in the role of technology in the future of libraries. The only downside for me is that she’s very prolific (how can that be a bad thing?) so I struggle a bit to keep up with her posts.
Subscribe to LibrarianInBlack via RSS.

Lorcan Dempsey is Vice President and Chief Strategist of OCLC. As an Irish librarian who now lives in the United States, he brings a little variety to a sector dominated by North American librarians (and, of course, women). Lorcan Dempsey’s weblog comfortably marries sensible discussions about new technologies with traditional notions of library scholarship, then peppers it with a healthy dose of good humour.
Subscribe to Lorcan Dempsey’s weblog via RSS.

The Other Librarian is Ryan Deschamps from the Halifax Public Libraries system in Canada. It is not one of the most famous blogs on the scene, but I think it makes an interesting contribution to the genre, including practical advice on how to implement new technologies in public libraries within a limited budget.
Subscribe to The Other Librarian via RSS.

In her post on finding blogs of interest, Dana mentions that we often find new blogs to read through the other blogs we read and enjoy, so I think it’s only fair to mention that I came across Library Revolution through her. Library Revolution is Emily Clasper’s often hilarious take on the realities of working in a library. She is probably most famous for her controversial post on the minimum technological competencies for librarians.
Subscribe to Library Revolution via RSS.

librarian.net is Jessamyn West’s longrunning blog about technology and libraries. She’s something of an icon in library blogging circles, so I’ve included her on the basis of her influence, even though by her own admission she’s not to everyone’s taste. Jessamyn maintains an amazing collection of photos from libraries around the world, including some in Australia.
Subscribe to librarian.net via RSS.

Librarian Avengers is written by Erica Olsen, a user experience designer for Second Life (but please don’t hold that against her!). It’s a mixture of professional and personal musings in a style that’s witty, clever, and at times outright alarming. I’m a big fan of Erica’s historical lolz.
Subscribe to Librarian Avengers via RSS.

Library 2.0 : An Academic’s Perspective is maintained by Laura B. Cohen from University at Albany, State University of New York. It’s particularly interesting because most of the discussions on Library 2.0 (whatever that actually means … more in a later post) centre around public libraries, including the 23 Things program.
Subscribe to Library 2.0 : An Academic’s Perspective via RSS.

Australian library blogs (a small but interesting pool)

You might think I am just returning a favour, but in fact Dana’s user experience blog is one of my absolute favourites. I hadn’t even heard of usability and human-computer interaction before I started this job, but reading this blog makes me feel like an expert in a field that is absolutely essential to the development of any future library services. I don’t know how we ever got on without it.
Subscribe to Dana’s user experience blog via RSS.

Derek’s ALIA Blog is written by my boss, who also shoulders many other responsibilities, including the mantle of Vice President of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). This blog reminds me of Lorcan Dempsey’s weblog in its explorations of ethics, librarianship and linguistics. The Word of the Day segment is particularly interesting.
Subscribe to Derek’s ALIA Blog via RSS.

Librarians Matter is the work of Kathryn Greenhill from Murdoch University. It’s probably the foremost Australian library blog, with a strong focus on Murdoch’s use of Second Life in teaching and learning.
Subscribe to Librarians Matter via RSS.

As much as it pains me to say it (since Swinburne has its own Library Blog), Your Library@CSU is the best Australian academic library blog on the market. If the mission of a library blog is to communicate successfully with staff and students, and even to boldly attempt to reach a wider audience beyond the university walls, then this blog is astonishingly successful. I can only hope that this is part of the curriculum for Charles Sturt University’s postgraduate library courses. Some excellent features of this blog include highlights of new acquisitions, feedback about the library website, and the ability to tie current research to library collections.
Subscribe to YourLibrary@CSU via RSS.

Purely for amusement

Working in libraries, particularly in a face-to-face role, it’s vital to maintain a sense of humour. This is aided and abetted by a daily dose of webcomic Unshelved, which chronicles the saga of everyday experiences in a library that feels very familiar.
Subscribe to Unshelved via RSS.

If you feel as though the speed at which your library is embracing new technologies is too hectic, then relax and save money on therapy, because two blogs are here to help you. A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette targets the ‘problem children’ of modern libraries, such as unhealthy obsessions with Second Life or Twitter, and sends them up in a biting style that would make Ambrose Bierce proud. Worth reading for the comments from disgruntled librarians alone …
Subscribe to A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette via RSS.

Last but not least, the Annoyed Librarian , who really belongs in a class of her own. AL thankfully remains anonymous; she’s bitter and twisted and she wouldn’t get away without a law suit if the establishment knew who she was. AL is indiscriminate in her attacks; she rubs everyone up the wrong way. She’s like the kid in class who was brave enough to say everything that you thought but were too afraid to let out. A great antidote to the mass hysteria about ‘twopointopia’.
Subscribe to Annoyed Librarian via RSS.

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