Raising Awareness

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Use of Blogs in Libraries

About This Document

The briefing document provides suggestions for ways in which blogs can be used to enhance the services provided within libraries.

Blogs Can Help To Communicate With Your Library Users

Librarians have long used a variety of means for getting information about the library out to our communities - newsletters, alerts, emails, posters and flyers and more.

Using a blog offers the opportunity to innovate your communications. Blogging gives you a way to push information out, but also to gather feedback and build a community without having very much technical know-how.

Types of Blogs

Blogs can be personal or professional. They may be private with use internally in an organisation or they may be publicly available - this is controlled by the settings on your blog site.

Blogs can be individual, group or subject blogs. An individual blog is a personal blog reflecting the thoughts of one person. A group blog is a collective effort written by a team or organisation, and a subject blog is written by any number of people, and is focused on a particular topic [1].

Once you have decided on the blog's purpose think about which of these different approaches will work best for you. You may also like to think about developing a set of blog policies to help outline the blog's scope, and focus your target audience.

Ideas For Using Blogs

The following provides a few ideas for blogging in your library. This is just a small selection - blogs are very versatile and there are many more practical applications.

News gathering and dissemination:
Blogs provide a useful way for librarians to disseminate small snippets of information to their library users. A subject librarian in an academic library might find it useful to gather database updates, new site and service notices and event information in the one place on a blog.
From the librarian's desk:
Blogging about your daily work gives your library users an insight into your roles and responsibilities. It helps to provide openness and transparency, whilst informing of library news and events.
Community building:
As librarians we are part of a group of professionals that benefit from the sharing of good practice and experiences. Blogs can be a very timely way to offer advice and commentary on current library issues.
Library resources:
Raise the profile of the resources in your library by blogging about their features. If you have a collection of resources for speakers of other languages, why not invite a few people using these materials to blog about them, and build an online community.
Special projects:
Are you building a new library, refurbishing a new section, or other library developments that are visible to your library community? Blogging about the project will allow your users to engage in the project and become involved in decision making, and photos or videos of progress can add interest to your blog.
Task groups:
Use a blog to capture and collect the thoughts of members involved in a task group. Blogs have built in archive features to record your work and tagging can be used to categorise sections.
Reflective journaling:
Blogs don't have to be public affairs. Think about your own professional development and chronicle your activities on a blog. It's amazing how a few minutes spent reflecting on your daily activities adds up so you can see a path of progression and achievements. If appropriate, share these thoughts with your colleagues so they also have a record of your activities.

Getting Started with your Library Blog

Blogs can be as resource and time intensive as you make them. Deciding to use a blog to communicate with your users allows you to be as creative or serious as you like.

There is a wealth of information and advice available especially for librarians wishing to investigate blogging: read other briefing papers, join mailing list such as lis-bloggers [2] or participate in services aimed at the blogging librarian community.


  1. Blogging and RSS: A Librarian's Guide. Sauers, M.P. 2006. New Jersey. Information Today
  2. lis-bloggers, JISCMail, <>


This briefing document was written by Kara Jones, University of Bath.

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