Librarian Bloggers

Modeling the role of blogging in librarianship

This phenomenological study examines the motivations and experiences of librarians who author professionally-focused Weblogs. I constructed a model of librarianship based on Wilson and Buckland. The results show a close fit between librarian bloggers and the ideals of the field as expressed by two primary library and information science philosophers. A Web survey generated 239 responses to demographic and open-ended questions. Using the results of the survey, I analyzed demographic data and performed a phenomenological analysis of the open-ended questions. A list of category responses was generated from each set of answers via the coding of descriptive words and phrases.

Results indicated the motivations of librarian bloggers are based around themes of sharing, participation in community, and enhanced professional development. Respondents reported feeling more connected to the profession and to colleagues across the world because of blogging. Respondents perceived the librarian blogosphere as a community with both positive aspects – feedback, discussion, and support – and negative aspects – insular voices, divides between technologists and librarians, and generational rifts. Respondents also reported an increased ability to keep current, improved writing skills, and opportunities to speak and contribute to professional journals.

The Pragmatic Biblioblogger Model describes multiple types of librarians who share similar desires: to comment, to connect, to create community. The pragmatic biblioblogger model describes a librarian who authors a professionally-focused blog beyond the scope of their job to constantly find, share and offer advice to others in the LIS profession. Constantly scanning via the tools of continuous computing, the pragmatic biblioblogger seeks to redesign library services in an era of enhanced technology. The pragmatic biblioblogger opens comments and engages with other bloggers to discuss and examine events, new technologies and the LIS profession with a common goal: improving libraries.


Articles & Presentations

Stephens, M. (2008). The Pragmatic Biblioblogger: Examining the motivations and observations of Early Adopter Librarian Bloggers. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, 13(4), 311-345.
Stephens, M. (2006, February). Who are the blog people: Librarians and weblogs. Presented at the Faculty of Information Studies Invited Speakers Series. University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.