There’s nothing the AL loves more than free publicity, which is why I give so much "link love" to all my fellow bloggers, hoping they’ll return the favor and say nice things about me. I especially love it when reputable and respected independent websites run by careful and intelligent people link to me in long lists of so-called good library blogs. When that happens, I just go all gooey inside. The great thing is, I always know right when it happens, because I get that helpful email telling me. You bloggers out there might be familiar with it. It goes something like this:
"Dear Annoyed Librarian [yours probably says something different here],
I have just compiled a helpful list of Random Library Blogs. I just want you to know that your excellent blog, which I read religiously every day, has made this list. Thanks!
The latest one seems to be the stupidest yet, and probably has a very similar methodology to Random Library Blogs. I won’t link to it, but it claims to be a great list of blogs for people studying library science, and the AL is listed under a heading that reads: "Librarian 2.0 – Get a look into the next generation of librarians with these blogs." That alone should tell you that either this site is completely bogus, or else the compilers have a sense of humor, which I doubt. Oh, and the link points to the old blog, which has been dead since I moved to LJ almost eleven months ago.
There are a lot of blogs listed, including some of the usual suspects. Most of those I wouldn’t recommend to my grandmother, much less library school students. Most of the "famous" library blogs so hot a few years ago have all but dried up, and they weren’t usually that interesting in the first place. Even back in the day they were just advertisements for their authors to get gigs speaking to gullible librarians.
Several of the blogs I’d never even heard of, and I’ve heard of a lot of library blogs. Once I started clicking through the links, it was pretty obvious why.
At least when I was trying to get to them, Loomware and Libraries & Learning didn’t even exist anymore. Maybe that teaches young librarians something, but I’m not sure what.
Then there are the dead blogs, which are always scattered plentifully across the bibliotek-bloglandscape. I’m always coming across blogs someone began in their "23 Things" workshop and abandoned as soon as their colleagues or instructors weren’t monitoring them anymore. Usually, though not always, one can see why the blog died. The author never had anything even remotely thoughtful or interesting to say about libraries, and after a while got tired of posting photos of her kitties. But the fact that dead blogs are on the same list of great blogs as I am just makes me sad. I start to think that maybe the compilers of these lists aren’t nearly as impressed with my blog as they claim to be.
Serials Scene lasted less than a year and ended in March 2004! The last post is entitled "This Blog Ending." I don’t know how these bloglisters missed that very clear post title. Schooliblit lived and died in 2004. Info Edifice, never very active, died in March 2006. The last post reads in part: "I have gotten away from this blog, while I was off sowing other electronic seeds. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I will try to do better." Guess he failed. Then there’s BIBLIOTHEKE, which has the tagline "watching libraries evolve." It watched libraries evolve all the way up to November 2006, which is when it was last updated.
Something called Library Cog seems to have begun and ended in 2007. Trying to read it, one can see why. Librarian Way ended in June 2007. The Librarian Way might be broad, but it’s very short. InSilico is supposedly a blog about digital libraries and metadata, but seems to be behind closed doors. Obviously these bloglist compiling weasels didn’t click through to all of these blogs.
Library school students can learn a lot from these blogs. They learn not to start blogs if they don’t write well or have nothing to say. Or maybe they could learn to take down their dead blogs after a few years so that some blogger with a snarky death rattle (as one blogger impervious to reason or evidence recently wrote about the AL) doesn’t come along and make fun of their folly. Even good blogs look bad when they’ve been dead a few years.
In addition to the dead blogs, let’s not forget the suckers. There’s at least one on that list. iLibrarian links to the website I’m not linking to and says "If you’re an LIS student, or just someone looking for some interesting library-related blogs to read, you’ll want to check out this post." Uh huh. Very careful analysis there, iLibrarian!
My favorite is one called Next Generation Librarian. Some very clever media whore snapped up netgenlibrarian.net. The tagline reads: "To add a library to a house is to give that house a soul." Awww, how quaint. But check out the "Disclosure Policy": "The articles being submitted in this blog are written by me with great dedication.I am a professional person trained in library science and engaged in library services.I am ready to accept compensation in the form of cash rewards for writing a few sponsored posts." Everything about that is so deliciously incompetent I’m almost ready to believe a real librarian wrote it.
There’s an article – no doubt written with great dedication – about a "trusted male enhancer." Few need a "male enhancer" more than male librarians, or at least that seems to be the thinking of the Next Generation Librarian. The blog seems to have slowed down, but there were a whopping 158 posts in April 2009, so some months following this blog isn’t for the faint of heart. The faint of mind will feel right at home, though.
As always, I’m flattered and honored to be in such august company as the bloggers here. The irony, of course, is that the Annoyed Librarian really is one of the 100 best library blogs, but it would be hard to determine it from some "100 Best" lists.
Contact the AL: firstname.lastname@example.org