June 14th, 2011 Brian Herzog
Hey, check it out - my website won the 2011 Salem Press Library Blog Award for the Public Library category!
What a nice way to come back from vacation.
Thank you to everyone who voted, and to everyone who reads my website. It's great to get feedback that lets me know people find what I have to say useful and helpful.
And congratulations to all the 2011 winners and nominees:
General Interest: Blogs providing broad discussions of library topics and trends, including reviews of books and products.
Academic: Blogs targeting academic librarians and academic institutions
Public: Blogs addressing the challenges and triumphs of public librarianship
School: Blogs covering topics relevant to school libraries and K-12 education
Local: Institution-specific blogs promoting the interests of a public, academic, or school library
Commercial: Professional blogs written for profit, generally tied to a trade publication
Newcomer: Blogs by next-gen librarians who have only recently started blogging
Quirky: Character-driven blogs covering an array of library topics that defy categorization
I read quite a few of these blogs (and quite a few others as well). One thing I like most about the field of librarianship is our spirit of collaboration and cooperation - there is no way I could do what I do without all the people I swipe ideas from.
Thank you again everyone - I'll try to keep earning this.
May 12th, 2011 Brian Herzog
At the NHLA conference last week, I was lucky enough to attend a talk on using Twitter by Twitter for Dummies author Leslie Poston (a.k.a. @leslie).
The talk was great, and the part I found most interesting were her guidelines about what to say, what not too say, and how to draw a line between being personal and professional online. This included my favorite advice:
I think toeing this line is easy on the library's Twitter account/blog/flickr/et. al. - the topics there are always library business, but in a friendly and engaging way. My goal is to be personable, not personal. The trickier area is with personal accounts, which are read by both personal friends and professional colleagues.
In my own head, I drew a distinct line between what I post here (on SwissArmyLibrarian.net) and what I post on my @herzogbr Twitter account. The blog is professional (well, mostly-professional), and the Twitter account is personal - hence choosing @herzogbr as my username. I don't know if anyone else noticed it, but it's the rule I try to follow.
But @leslie's talk got me thinking, and so did a recent blog post by @LibrarianE13 on this very topic. Which also reminded me that Jessamyn West solved the problem by dividing and conquering - she has a personal @jessamyn Twitter account, and a separate @librariandotnet for librarian.net library-related things.
Since doing what Jessamyn does is often a sound strategy, last week I created a new Twitter account just for Swiss Army Librarian stuff: @SwissArmyLib (drat that @SwissArmyLibrarian was too long). I'm using Twitterfeed to automatically tweet new blog posts, so if you'd like to follow* my posts via Twitter, now you can. I'm not sure if I'll use that account for anything else, but if I do it'll be totally library-related.
Having a separate account for personal stuff and for professional stuff theoretically should eliminate cross-over confusion, but things easily get mixed and mashed-up online. I am a bit leery of maintaining two accounts, because it seems like twice the effort. Which is another point @leslie made: with multiple accounts, it'll quickly become obvious whether you enjoy personal tweeting or professional tweeting, because the one you enjoy less will get less attention and quickly feel like a chore. I'm curious to see what happens with mine.
*I also recently added a follow-by-email
feature, which is part of Google's Feedburner
February 12th, 2011 Brian Herzog
I'm upgrading my WordPress installation this weekend, going from way-out-of-date v2.5 all the way up to v3.0.5.
So far so good - a few glitches, but nothing major.
I know commenting is a little different, but if you notice anything out of the ordinary, please let me know.
I'll post the bigger problems I'm having here, and then solutions as I find them (but I am also open to suggestions if someone else has encountered these):
- WordPress won't accept my FTP credentials - this is annoying, and it is preventing me from updating any of my plugins
- Save Draft button isn't working - these are a few interrelated issues here: it seems like something is wrong with the permalinks, which is preventing me from previewing draft posts. Draft posts are also not saving to the list of draft posts, which means I can't save anything in advance
It looks like this is finally resolved. The root cause was two-fold, I think
- I hadn't been keeping up with regular upgrades (it had been years)
- The underlying database was corrupt, and wasn't allowing me access to everything I needed access to
Even before I upgraded, the access problem existed - it only became noticeable after such a huge upgrade jump, because WordPress had changed how it accessed the database, and now the parts I couldn't access were more critical than before.
The ultimate fix was to scrap the old install completely and start over with a fresh install - new WordPress, new database, everything. I exported all my posts and other content, got my theme set, and then my host essentially redirected my domain to point to the new directory.
A pain in the butt, basically, that could have been avoided long ago if I had been upgrading properly.
Thanks to Otto from WordPress for all his troubleshooting help, and to Chris of thevale.net for fixing everything I couldn't.
November 11th, 2010 Brian Herzog
No post today in honor of Veterans Day. Read about the history of Veterans Day from the Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
March 15th, 2010 Brian Herzog
Library Journal's 2010 Movers and Shakers list was released today, and I'm happy to be part of it.
Librarian By Day posted a nice linked list of all 50 librarians - thank you Bobbi. Thanks also to the other Movers and Shakers and everyone else out there that I learn from. I enjoy what I do, but generally feel quite stationary compared to many both on and off the list. Thank you.
February 25th, 2010 Brian Herzog
An interesting question posed at Unshelved Answers:
Given the changes in the economy and the re-organization/downsizing of many public library systems these days, public librarian jobs are few and far between. So, if you could no longer work as a librarian, what work would you do?
Read the rest of the question (including the parameters), and other peoples' answers, and give it some thought.
I posted my answer (too wordy as usual), but who knows what I'd end up doing in this situation - paperboy? volunteer fireman? park ranger? fry cook on Venus? I'm really not sure.