I'm really trying to stay on top of current trends in the academic library field without having a ton of money to go to national conferences...what are your favorite blogs, listservs, tumblarians, etc. to follow or even websites to get news from our community? I feel like I'm always behind...or following things that are more just noise than good sources of trends. When I was in library school it was easier but now not as much. Thank you so much!
Two pieces of advice before I recommend a few blogs:
- There may be local conferences in your area that are more affordable than national conferences. For example, where I live, there’s an annual one-day conference on library instruction called CCLI. These types of local conferences — with no travel costs, hotel costs, and a lower registration fee — are more feasible for those with a limited budget, but still supply a ton of value. They connect you with local professionals, you learn trends relevant to your area, and often learn about forthcoming jobs before they hit national listservs.
- Find a local mentor you can sit down with might help, someone who doesn’t work at your institution (if you’re employed). Getting someone’s perspective, who works in a different environment, is a good way to know what’s going on more broadly. I had lunch yesterday with the librarian who mentored me when I was an intern and it was tremendous — and made me realize I should do that more often.
Here are a few blogs to keep up on (very much a partial list, there are other blogs I also read):
- Char Booth, info-mational. Char does not post frequently, but she’s very insightful.
- Meredith Farkas, Information wants to be free.
- Jessica Olin + guest contributors, Letters to a young librarian.
- Brian Mathews, The Ubiquitous Librarian.
- Jacob Berg, Beerbrarian.
- Chris Bourg, Feral Librarian.
- Karen G. Schneider, Free Range Librarian.
Full disclosure: one of these is my boss. Some of the others are my friends. I am not bias-free. Who is?
Tumblr division, academic librarians (again, partial — I follow well over 500 total tumblrs):
- The Lifeguard Librarian (you knew that one, right?)
- Library Journal (that one too I assume)
- Laura in Libraryland
- Libral Thinking
- Danielle Westbrook
- metadata priestess
Some of these are professionally focused, some are not, but I enjoy following them all. I enjoy the mix of personal and professional on tumblr.
I also follow a lot of public librarians (you can good ideas to port over!), institutions, and submission blogs like Librarian Wardrobe. You can browse the tumblarian list for both institutions and individuals to follow.