As part of my “23 Things Assignment” to explore the various tools available to a tech-savvy librarian, or ‘cybrarian,’ I have begun blogging with WordPress.
WordPress is a web log (blog) posting site that allows users to post content for free. Users can build and maintain a blog with a variety of design options. I chose WordPress because it has a wider assortment of design options and users can add more powerful options such as reader feedback and polls. When it comes to social networking, WordPress can publish (“Publicize,” as they call it) blog posts directly to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other accounts. Perhaps most importantly, I am a decently proficient user of technology; Blogger was repeatedly described as the choice for people who have little to no technical expertise, and I often find that descriptor translates into “less-than-versatile.”
Libraries use blogs to do what libraries do: empower their patrons, disseminate information, and be a go-to source for educational, recreational, and informational needs. Some specific examples include promoting library events, informing patrons about new and upcoming releases, offering tips and techniques of information or technology use, providing news about issues related to information literacy or intellectual freedom, and performing many more useful functions.
Additionally, a blog can be a marvelous branding tool to educate potential patrons who might hold an antiquated view of libraries in the digital age. Because blogs can be stored, archived, and searched they become a reference resource themselves. It would be fun to have multiple librarians write sub-blogs that focus on different topics or genres to unite and encourage niche users. Such topics could include sci-fi, fantasy, horror, movies, home improvement, gardening, or mysteries. Library blogs could even have sub-blogs dedicated to more popular franchises. In all, anything that could draw an audience would be appropriate.