I decided to be a librarian in late 2006 at the urging of my mother in law Jill. She had been a librarian for many years and spoke of her work very passionately. With a simple poke and a simple “you know, you’d be good at this library thing“, I was off to attend Clarion University of Pennsylvania in January 2007.
When I was a kid visited the Northland Public Library in Pittsburgh, PA on a weekly basis. I remembered two things about my time there: they had rabbits in the children’s area and they had the best selection of books on whales in the whole wide world. Oh yeah, and I thought it was a super fun and magical place. To me, that’s what libraries needed to be.
My time in library school was good but I always fell out of place. I wanted to have fun! I wanted the library to be this amazing place full of wonder, joy, exploration, and full of heart! Instead, I found myself writing out cataloging records by hand or presenting papers on teen literature. I got something out of that but…there was another side.
Enter Tame The Web in early 2008.
Instead of talking about what goes in the 250 field in a bib record , Tame The Web was talking about things I could relate to: What Kind of Conversations can you have? My Library is…A Rock Show! I could relate to this. It was full of wonder, joy, and exploration! This was real. This was people connecting with people.
Since those days that’s been my focus with being a teen librarian. In order to succeed and give the community what they want, I realized that connection had to come first. All of those other things: collection development, cataloging records, and all of the other stuff I learned in library school were very important and had their place but first and foremost….IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE. I feel like it has worked out pretty well for me and the communities that I’ve served.
This taught me something else that was somewhat unexpected: there is so much value in connecting with your professional community. Through library blogs, Twitter, and other social networks, I have met a number of people that not only do I now call my friends but also who have given me so much professional advice and aided in my growth as a librarian and as a person.
All because of a blog that was started ten years ago. I don’t know if Michael thought about these kinds of things when he started Tame The Web, but they happened. And I thank him for that. What may have seemed like a ripple at the time has now created a very positive and helpful tidal wave.
Today marks ten years that Tame the Web has been up and running as a library focused blog.
After learning about blogs and blogging in 2002, I was inspired to begin blogging in April 2003. TTW officially began April 1, 2003, with a post about a recent presentation I gave at Computers in Libraries 2003, published from my brand new Apple laptop at Panera Bread in Mishawaka, Indiana. I learned as I went along, creating posts, adding links, and sharing my thoughts. Once in awhile, I would get a link from another blogger, pointing traffic my way. It was a thrilling time. Over the years, I believe TTW opened some mighty important doors for me: a PhD at UNT, teaching positions, and presentations and research all over the world. I am in awe of what’s happened in part because of this blog.
I would like to thank the guest authors and contributors who have posted recently, as my time for blogging has ebbed and flowed. I am happy that TTW has grown to be more than just me posting mean cell phone pictures and “Ten Things About…” essays to a family of folks that share and contribute to the profession. I must also thank the TTW readers who have been here for so long and have contributed in so many ways: by commenting, by emailing, and by introducing themselves at a conference saying “I read your blog.” The support has meant the world to me. Look no farther than here to see what I mean: http://tametheweb.com/2007/06/18/jake-march-13-1994-june-18-2007/.
In the beginning, I used the iBlog software for 2 years, then Movable Type. In 2006, we made the jump to WordPress. You’ll find links below to the old blog files. Warning: many of the links no longer work!
First post on TTW: http://tametheweb.com/iblog/B143020931/C1179432239/E961783833/index.html
Here’s the 2003-2004 version: http://tametheweb.com/iblog/B143020931/
Here’s the 2005-2006 version: http://www.tametheweb.com/ttwblog/
Over the next few weeks we will celebrate ten years of TTW with a look back, a look forward and some invited posts from people that inspire me. Thank you for everything! #TTW10!
To get started, here are some TTW favorites from the archives and the most popular posts by comments:
Libraries Doing Cool Things with iPods: This was when the “Library Circulates Shuffles” story broke and people were starting to talk about iPods in library settings. This post ultimately lead to this piece at LJ Net Connect. I really think it’s cool that what starts as a blog post can become an article.
Ten Things a Blogging Librarian Must Do: More ethics and guidelines for successful library blogging. One of my favorites: “And share yourself. I love learning about folks and how they see the world. Their POV may help me understand or change mine. It also adds to the community that is the blogosphere and more so the Internet. We are people… be yourself!”
Ten Steps to Insure Staff Buy-In: A recent post tied to a talk from Internet Librarian. One of the most important things library directors and administration should recognize is however you play out projects or implementations directly impacts library staff. They take the brunt of the change. Keep them informed and ask for their input. Library staff are not going to care about Technology X if their usual response is “No one tells us anything” when confronted with change.
Ten Things A Library Can Do to Boost their Techie Stuff* (*without breaking the bank): This post is a favorite of mine and it all rings so true in almost 2006. Michael Casey commented recently: “Looking at this more than a year after posting causes me much frustration and angst when I realize that so many libraries — libraries that can and should have embraced all of these long ago — have yet to adopt more than one or two. Blogs and RSS feeds, especially, seem to be a no-brainer, yet they continue to be difficult projects to push upstream.” Well said!
Ten Things I’ve Learned Presenting at Library Conferences: This was born out of a conference I attended where one speaker of two talked so long, the other person hardly got to say two words. The first speaker went on tangents and blah blah blah’ed too long. I was irked as were many in the audience. Check out the comment too – it’s so easy to fall into that acronym trap! I catch myself all the time. ILF..RSS..PDA..CMS..PHP…
Twelve Techie Things for Librarians 2005: A look forward for 2005, posted in January. How did we do? Where are we at?
Ten Things I’ve Learned as a Blogging Librarian: Ethics again! Typos! Virtual Communities! A cornucopia of my thoughts on blogging and libraries.
Threads of Conversation at ALA (2005): Could also be subtitled “Queer Eye for the Library Guy” because of a chance meeting with Ted Allen. A futurist post, I guess, as well, that includes this: “In my mind: Libraries will be headed by directors who grew up as gamers and got their degrees in new permutations of MLS programs. Librarians, I hope, will be visible and relevant and have presence. We won’t be hiding behind a reference desk or a mental wall of technophobia.” Written pre-discussion-of-Library 2.0 this is even more important now!
- Ten Trends & Technologies for 2009 (51)
- No MySpace, Facebook at Mishawaka Library (46)
- Passed! (45)
- Using Netflix at an Academic Library – a TTW Guest Post by Rebecca Fitzgerald (41)
- Thank you Harper Collins (for making the path forward a little clearer) (27)
- The Library Student Bill of Rights – A TTW Guest Post by Char Booth (26)
- Kennewick library giving students the boot (25)
- LIS768 Reading List (25)
- Jake, March 13, 1994 – June 18, 2007 (22)
- TTW Guest Post: Love thy Luddite (22)
- Screencasting to an Audience of One (21)
- What a List of Rules! (19)
#TTW10 “Tamer” Graphic by Theresa Papaurelis, Graphic Artist at Indian Prairie Public Library. (http://ippl.info)