December 8th, 2010

Reflections: How can you act when you’ve never seen the script?

I’ll be honest: I know full well the content frequency has plummeted this year compared to 2008 and 2009. I have never held myself to any ‘write X posts per Y time period’ here because that opens the door to banality and I value both your and my time too much to go down that path. It’s been a rough year for me both personally and professionally although things have been looking up again.

There are several topics others have written about recently that I’m coalescing here because as 2010 ends I’m reflecting on what my writing here is and can be. I hesitate to say should because the moment I think I’ve reached some destination with my writing is when I should stop because there is no end, only evolution.

I try to keep up with a wide variety of RSS feeds in many topics but have identified an interesting conundrum: There are plenty of blogs I read because I want to, but also a large number that I scan quickly because I feel I need to or I will miss something and/or not know what everyone else is talking about. There is a mixture of work and personal expectations about current information I’m supposed to keep up on and I relate well with Alisha declaring information bankruptcy. The filter is failing for me because there’s an ever-present need to know more, More, MORE. David Hale (yeah I didn’t know he blogged either) reminds us that Organization and management are futile exercises, if the information we organize and manage does not add value in our lives.

Information value. What role are we as librarians really playing in that as individual reference points? A rather dismal one if the figures Mark MacEachern highlighted from Project Information Literacy about how students evaluate information are accurate in the one year plummet for librarians. The 72 page report PDF is on tap to reflect upon this weekend.

I agree with John Halamka: 2010 has been a strange year with an awful lot of negativity. How many librarians are in the thick of balancing budget cuts and 30% price increases (edit: or 183%) along with There may come a time when we spend more time defending our work to consultants, regulators, and naysayers than doing it right this moment?

Not that I would call fellow colleagues regulators and naysayers, but something that’s beginning to weigh heavy on my mind is what I as a ‘young librarian’ (meaning less than two years of full time experience as one and not my actual age – 2011 marks 20 years since I graduated from high school and quite frankly that scares the crap out of me) need to be doing with my writing.

There is very recent allowance for blogging in our promotion review process here at work but I know this venue doesn’t carry the same weight as Real Publishing. Eric Schnell reminded me about this in Are Blogs Given Any Weight in Library Tenure and Promotion Cases? I don’t know how those of you who both blog AND publish regularly do it. Despite gentle (and not so gentle) encouragement from some of you I’m as scared of Real Publishing as I am of how long ago I graduated from high school.

The downfall of not having to write a thesis for my Masters is that I am absolutely clueless about how to take the ideas I have to produce a journal or other type of article for publication that hasn’t already been done or will be done by someone else already in the pipeline by the time it takes for things to come to print.

What can I do to add more value and not just more noise to the blogosphere? I’ll post when I have something I consider timely and helpful to share, whether that’s several times in one day (haha yeah right) or a few times a month. That means Fridays will settle down. I have ideas that I think need to be channeled into journal articles instead of blog posts but I don’t know for sure.  I’m looking forward to a few weeks off from work at the end of the year to take the time to even brainstorm all of this a bit and figure out some direction.

Posted at 08 41 PM | 2 Comments » | print this post

2 Responses to “Reflections: How can you act when you’ve never seen the script?”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nikki D., Alisha Miles. Alisha Miles said: RT @eagledawg Info overload & value, blogging/'real' publishing in librarianship. Inspired by @alisha764 @lostonroute66 […]

  2. Aaron Tay says:

    “I have ideas that I think need to be channeled into journal articles instead of blog posts but I don’t know for sure.”

    Blogging versus publishing/presenting – I have being pondering this question lately myself. Blogging is a lot faster, I have being blogging quite a few full length blog posts (Surveys of mobile library websites for instance) that probably could be converted to a journal articles.

    The funny thing is I enjoy the process of literature review, writing in an “academese”, but blogging gives you instant gratification, post it and you see people retweeting, commenting…

    I should really aim to publish at least 1 Journal article next year…

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