The purpose of these library blogs is to share what is going on in the library. While many libraries have websites, the addition of a blog keeps information fresh and allows the visitor to have interaction with the blogger through comments. By becoming a blogger and interacting with our students, we are able to set many great examples such as using good manners online and possibly inspiring a student to write more and perfect their craft. In Windham’s article, Reflecting, Writing, and Responding: Reasons Students Blog, she talks a lot about how blogging gives students relevant practice for things that seem dull and boring in other scenarios. One example is of practicing a foreign language through a blog, which is much more interesting and helpful than by practicing drills in a notebook. The following library blogs are examples of blogs that I found interesting and that have inspired me to possibly begin to blog on my library website.
I am almost afraid to say it but my favorite library blog is from Murray Hill Middle School and is written by none other than the Daring Librarian, Gwyneth Jones. I know! This blog is not at all like the blog for Educators though. This blog is all about the school library, the students and connecting them to knowledge and information. When you enter the blog, you will notice that there are lots of pictures. Pictures taken of the library space and of students creating, doing and just being in the space. There is information on conferences for students to attend, tech tips and apps for students to try, trivia games, and wiki pages for even more information. One post that I found particularly interesting since we do not have BYOD in our district was Charging Lockers & BYOD. From the comments, you can see that students can easily ask questions and interact with the blogger. While these posts have more visuals than a typical blog does, I would imagine this would be necessary to create interest for students. You have to catch their attention before giving them the information.
Warning! This next blog that I have selected has not been updated since October 2015. The blogger has moved onto a new job and I mentioned her newest blog in my previous post. Regardless, the Curtis Elementary Library blog is an excellent blog for the time being but over time, it will become dated. I particularly enjoyed that the site is divided into different sections, such as Library Happenings, New Books & Reviews, Teacher Resources and Maker Spaces and Maker Clubs. The teacher resources page has several screen casts showing how to use digital resources while the Maker Spaces & Maker Clubs talks about that is offered in the library and after school for students and how they were able to fund such projects. One of the most inspiring posts was Morning Book Club which explained that students spent about six weeks reading a book before they were able to meet the author. They also explained that they were also able to meet another author via Skype. These are just wonderful opportunities for students to make connections to books.
The Canandiagua Academy Library blog was by far the most professional blog I’ve come across. The posts within the blog are current and are directly linked to students and their needs. There are many sections to choose from including Creative Commons, Books Lists, Books News, Environmental News, and Custom Searches. My favorite part of the blog is a recent post New Nonfiction Part 2 which not only lists every new book added to the shelves but provides a cover picture and a review of the book. Each book is also linked to their OPAC. As a parent of two teenagers, I am very impressed with the variety of topics that are covered by these new books and how obvious it is that there was no bias when making the selections. They are so very relevant for today’s teens. There are also many similar posts promoting books that will be arriving soon which creates excitement among the students and raises the anticipation for the new arrivals. It appears as though each new arrival of books is greatly anticipated and celebrated upon arrival.
From these school blogs, I can see the potential for great interactions with students. Between the clubs offered, the new books and exciting activities planned, there is much that could be discussed among the students of each school. I would really like to encourage students to actually participate in these blogs in some way. For example, students in the book club could blog about the books they are reading. Students who have checked out the new arrivals could blog about the books or offer their own reviews of the books, with approval from the blogger, of course. These are just a couple of ways I would use a library blogs to encourage students to write and voice their opinions in a meaningful way.