Monday, April 30, 2007

Blogging articles

Early last week I read two different articles regarding blogging and employment. The first, an article in School Library Journal (April 2007) discusses Five Reasons Not to Blog, the second; an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette (4/22/07), a reprint from the Wall Street Journal Online, How Blogging Can Help You Get a New Job highlights the usefulness of a blog during job searching. Both articles present valid arguments concerning blogging as a professional and how to approach the call to blog. However, both articles also present different viewpoints regarding the actual use of said blog.

Teachers and librarians are using blogging professionally and in the classroom as a tool for learning. You only have to take a quick look at Will Richardson’s blog
Weblogg-ed to see how truly innovative teachers are harnessing Web 2.0 technologies to expand the traditional classroom. But, as Chris Harris mentions in his article Five Reasons Not to Blog, “unfortunately, some educators should have thought twice before answering the call to post.” Here are the five reasons presented:

Sarah Needleman, author of How Blogging Can Help Get You a New Job, mentions a few of the same instances and states that while blogging can help you be seen,“indiscrete bloggers can derail job opportunities.” For instance:

“Job seekers who blog increase the odds that a potential employer will find information online that the candidate wants to be seen, says Debbie Weil, a corporate blogging consultant in Washington and the author of "The Corporate Blogging Book," which was published last summer. "Everybody has an online identity whether they know it or not, and a blog is the single best way to control it," she says. "You're going to be Googled. No one hires anyone or buys anything these days without going online first and doing research." (Needleman, 4/10/07).

Rebecca and I discussed these topics before beginning this blog last summer. It was important to both of us our bosses were made aware of the endeavor and that we had a few general rules in place for what we would present on the blog. While the blog is a great option for professional discussion, it should definitely not be the “teacher’s lounge.”

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Shameless: New IRC web page

Looking back through blog post history I located three different occasions during October (2006) when I discussed, in some detail, the redesign of the Instructional Resource Center web page. Once design changes and "artistic" layouts were established, decisions regarding retention of different pages and how to present key elements were addressed. I completed the first test pages in January and changing over old pages to new pages began in earnest soon after. So, it is with great joy I announce the frames are gone; the page is done, posted, and best of all it works!

Information is presented in five categories:

  • IRC Information - Faculty, GA's, student workers, hours, pricing and both IRC and EDCI 131/504 FAQ's.
  • IRC Collection - Information regarding the library catalog, juvenile books, curriculum textbooks, IRC & it's technology, IRC services, and quick copyright resources.
  • What's new - Links to the various IRC blogs for the latest information regarding additions to the collection and news. Sidebar widgets detail new books reviewed in the IRC Book Review blog, news from this blog, and a quick catalog search tool.
  • Children's Author & Illustrator Pages - The main page presents reference resources, database recommendations, and Internet links for children's authors and illustrators. Additionally, over 75 individual author and illustrator pages are presented.
  • IRC Resources - A compilation of various resources available beyond the traditional IRC collection; Internet resources, education & research, course handouts, leveled book kits, and mock Caldecott pages are featured here.

It will come as no surprise that my favorite element of the redesign is the IRC "What's new" page. It incorporates several blog widgets, LibraryThing, a Widgetbox Blidget, and a catalog search widget, as well as provides RSS feeds from Feedburner. Right now I am spending time tweaking things and adding more author and illustrator pages (especially Caldecott & Newbery) to the existing collection. Overall, I am pleased and relieved to be finished!

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

What's new: LOC Blog

New to me this week is the Library of Congress Blog authored by Matt Raymond, LOC Director of Communications. Several catagories have already been determined for regular discussion and include blogging, curators, exhibitions, news, and my personal favorite Today in History.

A hidden gem in their blogroll listing is a blog from the Smithsonian, "Eye Level."


Monday, April 09, 2007

ALAO: Election results

Email arrived last Friday, via the ALAO membership list serv, concerning results for the recently held ALAO elections complete with instructions to access said results on the ALAO web site. After several minutes of confusion, rollout has started for the new site design (I remain highly enamored of the design and flow), I was able to use the old ALAO web site address @ and the old member login page @, to view election results.

Congratulations to all!