or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk


Knowing When To Say When

   January 26th, 2012 Brian Herzog

Reduced signSo, this post might not matter to anyone but me, but I felt like I should announce it anyway.

For the last few years, the blogging schedule I've stuck to was new posts every Tuesday and Thursday, and the Reference Question of the Week on Saturdays. Over the last couple months though, I've felt that I'm both running out of things to say and have less free time to work on posts, so I've decided to cut back to just one new post a week and the Reference Question on Saturday.

Not a major change I know, but it feels major to me because it's a schedule I've stuck to for so long. I know a schedule isn't mandatory for blogs, and most people probably just post only when they have something interesting to say. For me though, I think that if I didn't make myself stick to a schedule, I'd quickly slip into nothing at all.

So anyway, again, I don't know if anyone would have even noticed if I didn't say anything, but there you go.

But I am curious about the schedule/no schedule thing, both for personal and library communications. Does you're library have a set goal or schedule for blog posts, tweets, email newsletters, etc., or do you only do it when you've got something to say? In my library, it varies: I try to have a new blog post once a week, but Twitter is much more as-needed (in addition to automated tweets for library events). We have a main email newsletter that goes out once a week, but also sort of a childrens supplement which only goes out when the Childrens Room has something specific to communicate.

It seems like all models work in their context, but I'd be curious to hear if other libraries have had success following one path or another.



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Psst… Want a Sticker?

   October 20th, 2009 Brian Herzog

Swiss Army Librarian stickersThis is the week* I would have been at the Ohio Library Council's annual conference, had it not been canceled. However, before I knew that, I had printed a bunch of Swiss Army Librarian stickers I was going to give to the people who came to my panel discussion.

Since that is no longer possible, I thought I'd offer them here. I have 40 of them, so the first 40 people to email me will get them - free, but you will need to send me an stamped return envelope (I'll email you back with more details).

Update: Sorry, all the stickers are gone. If I get more I'll post again here.

My cousin and graphic artist Tom created the artwork (thank you again), and CafePress did the printing. I put the same artwork on shirts, too, but haven't seen how those look - maybe I'll get one for myself for Christmas.

And speaking of gift ideas, here's a few other Swiss Army-related products I've had kicking around in my bookmarks folder for awhile:

And just because I thought it was funny, here too is a Swiss Army Knife FAIL comic:
Explosm.net Swiss Army Knife Fail comic


*This is also the week of NELA09, which I attended and blogged Sunday and Monday. Yay for library conferences.



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Welcome to SwissArmyLibrarian.net

   February 26th, 2008 Brian Herzog

Swiss Army Librarian logoFor the first official Swiss Army Librarian post, I wanted to mention a few things about my new home.

I upgraded from WordPress v2.0.1 (which is what herzogbr.net/blog ran) to v2.3.3, and a lot had changed - but happily, most of the changes were for the better. The major outward change is the new theme, but my real goal was to update my code. Now, it's all css-based, and the only code that doesn't validate properly is the flickr badge.

It took a lot of behind-the-scenes fiddling to make this transition happen (Chris, my thank you gift on the way). On my About page I list all the plugins I'm using, and a few other technical details. I also fully explain "why Swiss Army Librarian?," in two parts, but I'll just summarize here:

  1. I've had a Swiss Army knife ever since college, and I use it all the time. Most people who know me couldn't image me without it
  2. If I had to summarize the job responsibilities of a librarian, “swiss army knife” comes pretty close. We’ve got to be ready to handle any request that comes along, and be prepared with whatever tool is needed for the job at hand

During the migration, I found I really enjoyed playing with WordPress plugins and pages. It has gotten me excited to start seriously using WordPress as a CMS for a full website, and not just a blog. My library is looking to update the way we manage our website, so I'm going to be pushing and pulling WordPress to see what it can do.

Alright, that's that. I'd appreciate hearing what people think of the new look, and if you have any tips or tricks on using WordPress as a CMS. And now, back to the regularly scheduled postings...



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Brian’s Got a Brand New Blog

   February 22nd, 2008 Brian Herzog

Swiss Army Librarian logoI've been threatening this for awhile, but I finally got in gear and managed to get it done - I've got a new blog: the SwissArmyLibrarian.net.

The official transition day is Tuesday, Feb. 26th, 2008, so I won't be posting anything until then. I'll talk more about it soon, but before then, please update your feed readers to the new RSS feeds.

And stop by the new domain to take a look and let me know what you think.



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