blogging on blogging

11Feb09

Today’s update is going to be a little unusual to my three or four faithful readers:  rather than waxing philosophical on school projects, I’m going to wax philosophical for a school project.  This week’s learning concept is blogging, so we’ve been assigned the task of creating a blog.  Which means that, for once in my educational career, I am completely ahead of the game!

Before I get too carried away with my celebration, creating a blog is just the start of our assignment.  Our professor, as well as this week’s discussion facilitator, have provided us with a few articles on the subject.  Our facilitator has provided us with some poignant questions about the readings for us to ponder on our blogs.  The cool thing about this is that we get to find out which of our classmates are regular bloggers- I love hearing about the lives of my fellow MLSers!  

The articles that our facilitator chose are the ones I’m most specifically referring to.  The first is Chris Gustafson’s “Blogging in the Library,” from Library Media Connection, and the second article is “Mattering in the School Blogosphere,” from American Libraries.

1. The contributors in Mattering in the School Blogosphere differentiate between library blogs and librarian blogs, with each serving a different purpose. How, if at all, would you incorporate blogging into your professional career? And which type would you lean more towards – the library blog or the librarian blog?

Aside from the bureaucracy of school internet filters, which restrict most blogs from reaching the monitors of school computers, blogging in schools is an easy way for students to learn valuable writing skills as well as appropriate internet behavior.  If we are encouraging students to express themselves in the blogosphere, it is an excellent idea for school media specialists and teachers to set a positive example by keeping their own blogs on which they practice solid blogging etiquette.  Given that I already maintain a blog, it would be a simple transition for me to adapt for school media use.  Rather than strictly containing my internet presence to a blog, my ideal situation would be a library home page with a professional blog built in.  The home page would serve as my “library blog”: it would provide information about events, policies, and gripping library media center news.  My “librarian blog” would be reserved for in-depth analyses of these things.  

 

2. All of the readings give specific examples of ways to use blogs with students and in schools, as well as the positives and negatives of incorporating blogs into your school. What other issues or positive consequences can you foresee happening as a result of utilizing blogs in schools? Can you think of other ways to blog or use established blogs as a teaching tool?

This was mentioned in the articles, but I think it’s worth repeating that librarians who blog are helping to dispel the overwhelming notion that librarians do nothing more than check books out.  When people find out that I’m venturing into librarianship, the majority raise an eyebrow before promptly asking me why I need to go to school for that.  Through a blog, we can inform others that we play an integral role in children’s educations, and make them aware of the challenges we face and the things we accomplish on a daily basis.

In a school setting, librarians who blog have the added benefit of communicating with students, teachers, and parents on a variety of levels.  Frances Jacobson Harris, one of the contributing library media teachers to the article, “Mattering in the School Blogosphere,” mentioned the impact that his blog has had on his school library: “It humanizes me at the same time as it helps them see me as a thoughtful professional.”  The importance of this boon cannot be underestimated.  If librarians find the right writing style, students (as well as parents, teachers, administrators, and the community at large) will learn that the librarian has more to offer his or her patrons, and is thinking far beyond keeping track of the library’s writing utensils.  If students can see that their librarian is a real person, they will be much more likely to connect, and will only gain from the relationship.   

 

 

I can’t wait to hear what all my other MLSers have to say on this matter.  Thanks to Kat, for providing such good discussion questions!

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3 Responses to “blogging on blogging”

  1. 1 Rebecca B

    I agree that it is important to show a human face to our students. It will make us more relevant to them. As a regular blogger, do you think your writing will change when you are writing for a student audience? I’m thinking it will take some getting used to for me. Even though technically students can read our blogs now, when you are specifically targeting that audience, it is different. What do you think?

  2. 2 karenthelibrarian

    It’s hard for me to say, because I haven’t spent any prolonged period of time in front of a classroom. I’d like to think that my blogging style is G-rated, but I couldn’t say for sure without reading each entry with the awareness of a student audience. I wish I could say that my writing style won’t change an iota, but this is unrealistic because I simply do not write with that awareness.

    My blog’s content, on the other hand, will change considerably to reflect the growth of my goals for myself, my library, and my blog. What’s my blog’s mission statement… ? :)

  3. Karen,

    I loved your insight on linking a library blog to your library homepage. This could certainly streamline the process.

    Thanks again – Kate


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