Are You A FIS Blogger?

Are you a blogger? Do you have things to say
about the profession (archives, museums, lis, etc . . . )? We're
looking to compile a directory of active FIS bloggers, so why not send
your details along and be included! OPML-based 'reading lists' will
eventually be created so that members of the FIS community (and
beyond!) can subscribe to a 'block' of blog feeds based on areas of
interest. For this reason, please be a specific as you can about your
blog's primary area(s) of focus. Here's what we need:
    * Blog name
    * Your name
    * Topic/area of interest


Sherri Vokey: Digital Services Librarian – Faculty of Information StudiesUniversity of Toronto
contact | – 416-978-5768 | aim/iChat – sherrivokey [at]

This is a sort of timely e-mail to receive (thanks Gord!) as I just stumbled across the blog for 757 – Social Software & Libraries.  One of that classes' first assignments was to create a blog and the instructor has linked to all of the blogs from the course page to encourage the students to realise that they're part of the blogosphere (which is cool.) 

But clicking through and reading some of them, I think she may have made the same mistake that many people teaching these types of courses do – namely, defining what the students must post rather than encouraging them to post whatever they want. 

If all that students post are assigned responses to readings and other coursework, blogging is going to feel like homework and nobody is going to continue doing it after the class is done (which should be at least part of the goal of a course like this.) 

Not to mention that instead of having original, readable blogs, you have this homogenous mass of blogs that are all talking about the same thing which sort of defeats the purpose as far as I'm concerned. 

I look at the list of people in the class and see people with interests in esoteric philosophy, medieval history, Russian culture not to mention those with knowledge of specialized areas of librarianship (one whose mother is a medical librarian and would likely have lots of insight into the profession, many who've been on co-op and could share their experiences on that, etc.) 

I'm sure the instruction didn't restrict them to only writing about their coursework but if that's what is assigned, that's likely all a person will have the time to do.  I think a much better solution would be to tell the students to come up with an original theme for their blog (it could be specific, it could be as general as “what's happening in my life”) and make that the subject of their weekly post (along with the occasional response to the readings/posting of coursework to achieve the learning goal of making them think about the role of/problems with social software.)

How's that for a mini-rant?

Classmate of the Day: Barb very generously offered me a ride to Word on the Street in Kitchener-Waterloo tomorrow.  I'd been planning to attend in Toronto all year since I used to be a board member of WotS Calgary and wanted to see what the “big guys” did.  (In fact, my ambitious plan was to organize a rental van or even a bus trip to take intereste students.  If it was first semester, I might've pulled it off but as I mentioned, third-semester Jason is stretched too thin as it is!)  But pending assignments, the expense to go to TO for a single day and a few other things all factored into making me decide not to go. 

Still, I was glad to have the offer of a ride to the much closer festival with a local and am looking forward to seeing the KW version. Kathy Stinson is reading, there's a celebrity spelling bee and a handwriting analysis tent plus there's even a panel on blogging that I should probably go take in so I know what I'm talking about when I go on my mini-rants! 

Comments 3

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Heh. I'm in that class. And you're right about it not really producing the kind of blogs that tend to get kept up or attract outside readers. I don't intend to continue with my 757 blog after the end of the course (any more than I did for 525), but then I already have a blog, and don't see a reason to put time into two.
    I can understand why our teacher has structured it this way, though – I don't know that I would do the readings if I didn't have to post about them every week. (At least not when I'm busy.) And since there aren't actual classes for us to attend, we *need* to do the readings in order to work through the course.

    Posted 24 Sep 2006 at 4:26 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    I can totally see why any instructor in this type of course would make students post their weekly responses on their blogs (Gord did it in 525 too though not weekly) – it makes sure they're doing the readings, it guarantees they'll have something to write about, and it gives them practice. But I just feel a core purpose of blogging gets lost with this method. Just my opinion (er, which is what blogs are all about, right?) Speaking of, if it's not a total secret, fire me your blog URL in an e-mail – I'd love to check it out.

    Posted 26 Sep 2006 at 12:56 am
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Well, if you really want to, it's at – I have decided I don't really care after all about posting it publicly, as there's not much on there that would matter that way, except maybe a comment or two about a certain required course last semester. 😉

    Posted 27 Sep 2006 at 2:02 pm
%d bloggers like this: