Following on from some past posts (1 & 2) about university library websites that suck, I thought I’d look at some university library blogs to see if any of them suck. I’d point out that I’m not always negative, and will give credit where it’s due, such as with this post: Some libraries get it right.
My starting point was some library blogs that I’ve subscribed to from Google Reader. Like many people, I expect, I hadn’t updated the subs for some time and I therefore found some dross, and also some nice stuff.
The following library blogs suck because, at the time of writing, they have either not posted in a long time, or may even be dead or have moved. If this is the case, it doesn’t take much to have a final (death) post so that followers can update themselves, does it? This example and this other example show how.
Library Announcements. The feed for this one is actually http://www.lib.ox.ac.uk/users/news/index.rss and on Reader there are 14 subscribers. It is supposed to contain news items about the libraries associated with the University of Oxford, or which contain information of interest to users of these libraries, but it says “No news at present”. So…either nothing at all has happened at Oxford for weeks, or they haven’t bothered to change this site. In any case, most of the news they used to post was about ‘OLIS downtime’.
Blogging at UoD. This was “A blog about blogging in Higher & Further Education from the University of Derby” so it’s not actually a library blog, but there have been no posts since August 2007, so, really, there should be a death post, because the website still exists (though the RSS feed doesn’t). This blog is like the Mary Celeste, because in August 2007, they wrote “We intend to complete the survey at the end of September and issue the findings in October to the participants for discussion and futher feedback.”
Glasgow University Library. There’s a feed at http://www.lib.gla.ac.uk/rss/gulnews.xml and there’s still 10 subscribers to it on Reader, but there’s no death post telling you that as a result of their new website, the new, excellent blog is now here.
Hot New Resource: News from Library@EPA, tips, and information about new or interesting resources available on the www. Things must have gone very cold at EPA, because at the time of writing, they haven’t posted to this blog since June 2009. There’s no death or redirect post, though.
Innovating Research! This one seems to be dead – the last post was May 2009. Is there no more innovating research at Warwick? 18 subscribers via Google Reader should be told.
SHUSH! the Information Services Library blog. The final post in the SHUSH! blog, in October 2009, questioned whether blogging (in general) was dead and also whether SHUSH! was dead. I suppose it must be (the SHUSH! blog, that is – Blogging in general is certainly not yet dead, yet). They do Facebook at the University of Northampton Information Services, which is just as well, as the main Library website is a sub-sub-section of the University website, though there’s also a Bibliotech blog for Information Services at the University of Northampton – at the time of writing it hasn’t been updated since May.
Could do better.
Bournemouth University Library: Research Support. At the time of writing, hasn’t posted since 5th August 2010. Not much going on at Bournemouth, then.
Engineering and Mathematics @ City. At the time of writing, nothing since 30th July 30th, which is a shame, as this blog was quite engaging.
from your science librarian’s desk. At the time of writing, nothing since 7th July, and only very occasional posts before that.
ILS Matters. There are still 29 Reader subscribers to the old feed at http://www2.worc.ac.uk/wordpress/?feed=rss2 where there was no death post, but at least you get redirected to the current, and excellent, ILS Matters blog. There was a death post at their other Update blog.
Library and IT News from Staffordshire University seems to contain some gibberish, such as “SUBJECT:Â Â Â Oracle Financials” and “DATE:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Tuesday” and “â€¢Navigate”
SCINews: Loughborough University Library Science Team news hasn’t posted since July 2009, which is a shame, as it was quite informative. Maybe it’s dead. Who knows, as it’s not listed on the Library A-Z List, where the ad-lib Loughborough University Library Blog is included.
Perth College Library Blog is dead. There was a death post, which now links to a ‘Not found‘. I can’t see a blog on their new website.
Boring, boring, boring
Some library blogs are, well…plain boring. I won’t list them, but you know who you are! Library blogs with nothing but posts about “The Library catalogue will be down for maintenance next Tuesday” and “Opening hours next week” and “Library talk on RefWorks”. In other words announcements, and little else. Too many are written without any real engagement with the intended audience. Such announcements are, of course, part of what a library blog can do, but why not make the posts more personal and engaging? Include photos. Include screen dumps. Include reports about those information skills seminars. What questions were raised at it? What did the audience learn? What did those who didn’t attend miss? For example, Karen Blakeman’s Blog (which is Not boring) includes reports. To those people who produce boring library blogs, I say “Are you really as boring in real life as your boring library blog? Has your library really got nothing interesting to say?” If you do something, anything at all in your library, why not blog about it, otherwise your readers won’t know what you’ve been doing.
Good or excellent
University of Glasgow Library. Apart from the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a title/header, this is a very attractive and informative blog. Nice photos and graphics.
Glasgow School of Art Library: Architecture Resources and Glasgow School of Art Library: Fine Art and Design Resources are both very attractive and well-maintained blogs.
Faculty Librarian Newsletter. I like this blog because it is written with the audience very much in mind. It engages the intended audience. It has posts about all sorts of things. There’s also a photo of the author. Why don’t more library blogs feature photos of the authors, so that students will know who to contact?