Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large
ISSN 1534-0937
Libraries · Policy · Technology · Media


Selection from Cites & Insights 9, Number 6: May 2009


Public Library Blogs

Should your public library have a blog—or more blogs than it already has?

I can’t answer that question. I can say there’s a good chance your library could benefit from one or more blogs.

If anyone tells you that your library must have a blog, they’re wrong. Very few solutions apply to every public library, no matter how large or small.

On the other hand, hundreds of public libraries (serving as few as 400 people and as many as 2.3 million) already use blogs to good effect. I believe thousands of public libraries could serve their communities well by initiating blogs or adding new blogs.

Why This Book?

This book won’t tell you how to start and maintain a blog. You can find plenty of advice within the library literature and elsewhere, including sources as diverse as Michael P. Sauer’s Blogging and RSS: a librarian’s guide (Information Today, 2006) and the first week’s content in the Five Weeks to a Social Library course (www.sociallibraries.com/course/week1). For that matter, you can go to blogger (blogger.com) or wordpress (wordpress.com) and try one out, just to get started: It doesn’t take long and it’s absolutely free.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about a blog for your library or considering adding more to what you already have. Or you’re at one of the 196 libraries included here and want to see how your blogs compare to others.

You could check out every public library blog listed in the two major sources (the “Weblogs – Public Libraries” page of LISWiki at liswiki.org/wiki/Weblogs_-_Public_Libraries and the “Public libraries” page of Blogging Libraries Wiki at www.blogwithoutalibrary.net/ links/index.php?title=Public_libraries). But that’s more than 530 links (in early August 2007)—a lot of blogs to go through.

The purpose of this book is to guide you to blogs that you might find particularly useful when thinking about your own library’s case—blogs from nearby libraries, blogs from libraries with similar service populations or blogs that specialize in topics or work in ways that you’ll find interesting.

Most of this book is examples: 252 blogs from 196 libraries, arranged geographically. It’s not a comprehensive survey (I did exclude non-English blogs for reasons of practicality), but I did attempt complete coverage given a few basic criteria. I was impressed by the diversity and quality of what’s out there.

What’s a Blog?

A blog is a web site or portion of a web site consisting of multiple entries organized in reverse chronological order—that is, with the most recent entry at the top.

That’s it—as much as I want to define blogs for the purpose of this book and maybe as tightly as you should define blogs in general. Here are other elements frequently included in definitions of blogs—and why I don’t include them here:

A website: Some of the blogs here function within larger websites, and that can be appropriate for library purposes.

Archived by date: Some library blogs, typically those devoted to library events, don’t have visible archives—and that can be appropriate.

Relatively brief entries: While most library blogs run to one-paragraph entries, sometimes very brief paragraphs, there are also interesting blogs consisting of longer essays.

Links: It’s possible to have worthwhile library blogs that don’t have any links at all.

Permalink for each post: In some cases, permalinks serve no purpose in specialized library blogs.

Built with blogging software: Just as blogging software can be used for very different purposes, blogs can run on content management software or custom-built software.

Comments: While comments can increase community interaction and may be a sign of blogs as social software, many public library blogs don’t allow comments, sometimes for excellent reasons—and even more blogs don’t have any comments.

Categories or tags: Whether categories or tags are needed or useful depends on the purpose of the blog and its relationship to the library’s website in general.

Dated entries: There are very few occasions in which undated blog entries make sense—but “very few” does not equal “none.”

As general as I’m trying to be in defining a blog, it’s true that two or three candidate blogs were excluded from this survey if they did not have dated entries—and if they did not have any form of archive, unless the home page itself ran back to December 2006 or earlier.

Criteria for Inclusion

My intent was to include a broadly representative sample of successful and active English-language public library blogs. Here’s how I went about it.

I activated every English-language public library blog link in the two wiki lists noted above—the LISWiki public library blog list and the Blogging Libraries public library blog list. I added selective blogs from the “Library director” page of Blogging libraries if the blogs showed links to public libraries.

If the blog couldn’t be reached or it was obvious that it had ceased by February 2007 or began in 2007, I crossed it off the printed checklists I’d made of each blog list. Otherwise, I subscribed to its feed in a special Bloglines section for this purpose.

Baseline criteria: The blog must have at least one post before calendar 2007 and must have at least one post in two of the three months used for evaluation: March, April and May 2007. If a blog began in 2007, it’s a little early to call it “successful”—while official library blogs seem less prone to enthusiastic starts and quick fadeouts than individual blogs, it still happens all too often. If a blog didn’t include posts in at least two of the three spring months, it seemed fair to call it inactive. I can think of reasons why a blog might be silent for most or all of the summer; it’s hard to imagine why an active blog would go silent for all of March and April, all of April and May, or all of March and all of May.

Quick examination yielded a set of 238 blogs out of roughly 360 candidates (excluding duplicates). I encountered at least 68 defunct blogs and another 19 that weren’t reachable. Sixteen blogs on the lists began in 2007—and I’m sure many more have, but aren’t yet in the wikis. At least eight were non-English. Nine or more either weren’t blogs at all or weren’t from public libraries.

Exporting the Bloglines section containing the 238 blogs, I imported the OPML to Excel, stripping out unnecessary columns and adding new columns for the metrics used in this study.

I went through each blog, measuring the number of posts during March-May 2007, total length of posts, number of comments received on those posts (in some cases correcting for spam comments) and the number of illustrations (photos, book jackets and others) in those posts. I stored the name of the library and its Zip code (or Canadian postal code) and looked for the library’s service area population using Worldcat Registry (and other sources when that didn’t work). I also looked at the relationship of the blog to the library website and noted interesting blog template choices. Finally, I looked at two crude measures of blog visibility, although those measures are even less interesting and meaningful for library blogs than they are for personal liblogs.

In the course of studying the blogs, another 29 fell by the wayside, most commonly because they failed to have at least one post in at least two of the three study months. One turned out to be a mischaracterized academic library blog; a few had gone missing between the initial pass and the second pass. In a couple of cases, I couldn’t verify the age of the blog or analyze its contents because posts were undated or there was no archive of any sort. I note a few of those blogs in a later chapter: While they didn’t fit the study, they might still be worth checking out.

That left me with 209 blogs representing 196 libraries. I then went back through these 196 libraries to add other blogs that met my criteria but weren’t listed in either wiki. I limited each multi-blog library to a maximum of five blogs, which was only an issue with one or two libraries.

The final list, represented in the last twelve chapters of this book, is 252 blogs from 196 libraries.

If that’s too much detail for you, here are the criteria in brief: Each blog had to be English-language, beginning no later than December 2006, with at least one post in two of the three months March, April and May 2007—and with enough internal evidence to demonstrate those criteria.

Blogs by Type and Service Population

What “type” is a blog? In some cases it’s clear from the name of the blog. In others, I assigned a type based on content of the posts within the study period. (Note: The Zip or Postal code would guide you to the blog discussion within the book.)

General and Multipurpose Blogs

This catchall includes most multipurpose blogs that aren’t aimed at an age group—blogs that include library news and hours, events, new materials, reviews, what have you. This catchall type also includes those cases where the library webpage is a blog.

General—Under 1,000

Blog................................................................... Serves........................ Zip

Wetmore Public Library.................................... 400................... 66550

Seldovia Public Library..................................... 400................... 99663

General—1,000 to 2,000

Sodus Free Library blog.................................. 1,700................... 14551

Hopewell Public Library................................ 1,900................... 08525

Madison Library news and links................ 2,000................... 03849

General—2,700 to 4,000

Whitewright Public Library.......................... 2,700................... 75491

Galway Public Library................................... 3,600................... 12074

Oak Bluffs Public Library.............................. 3,800................... 01557

Wabasha Public Library................................ 4,000................... 55981

General—5,000 to 9,900

Library Ledger Online.................................... 5,000................... 53040

Pioneer Memorial Library Blog.................... 5,200................... 67701

Warsaw Public Library Happenings......... 5,400................... 14569

AliceBakerBlog.................................................. 5,500................... 53119

The Short List.................................................... 5,600................... 06426

Richards Free Library News from Richards Free Library
 .............................................................................. 5,800................... 03773

h20boro lib blog................................................ 6,300................... 04030

Check out the Lyons Public Library!.......... 7,000................... 14489

West Long Branch Public Library............... 7,600................... 07764

Ye Old Village Library Blog.......................... 9,200................... 19543

River Rouge Public Library........................... 9,900................... 48218

General—10,000 to 24,000

Latest entries from lakevillelibrary.blog-city.com
 ............................................................................ 10,000................... 02347

HCL News....................................................... 10,000................... 49242

Carver Public Library . blog........................ 11,000................... 02330

Fiske Free Library........................................... 12,000................... 03743

Off the Shelves................................................ 13,000................... 60526

Lane Memorial Library Blog...................... 14,000................... 03842

Pburg Free........................................................ 14,000................... 08865

Parma Kids...................................................... 15,000................... 14468

Three Rivers Public Library News Blog
............................................................................. 16,000................... 60410

Brooks Public Library................................... 16,000............... T1R 1B9

Hibbing Public Library................................ 17,000................... 55746

What's New/Hot Topics............................. 18,000................... 01301

BLog................................................................... 18,000................... 11576

Brookfield Public Library - Recent News
 ............................................................................ 19,000................... 60513

Mansfield Public Library............................. 23,000................... 02048

Lucy Robbins Welles Library News ........ 24,000................... 06111

Southlake Public Library............................. 24,000................... 76092

General—25,000 to 44,000

What's New @ Roselle Public Library .... 25,000................... 60172

Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library Blog
............................................................................. 25,000.............. L3Z 2A7

Dover Public Library news......................... 26,000................... 03820

Neptune Public Library............................... 26,000................... 07753

West Islip Public Library............................. 29,000................... 11795

Homer Township Public Library.............. 29,000................... 60491

Albert Lea Public Library............................ 30,000................... 56007

City of Monterey | Monterey Public Library Blog
............................................................................. 30,000................... 93940

Madison-Jefferson County Public Library - Library-Buzz
 ............................................................................ 31,000................... 47250

The eStory......................................................... 33,000................... 19380

Chelmsford Library Blog............................. 34,000................... 01824

Woonsocket Harris Public Library........... 35,000................... 02895

Bartlesville Public Library News.............. 35,000................... 74003

Whitley County Public Library.................. 37,000................... 40769

Half Hollow Hills Community Library
............................................................................. 43,000................... 11747

Highland County District Library Weblog
............................................................................. 43,000................... 45133

New at Hackley Public Library................. 44,000................... 49440

General—51,000 to 96,000

The Perrot Memorial Library Blog............ 51,000................... 06870

Old Bridge Library Weblog......................... 56,000................... 08857

Danbury Library Blog................................... 63,000................... 06810

Waterloo Public Library Reference........... 69,000................... 50701

Madison County Public Library News
 ............................................................................ 69,000................... 40475

LibLog............................................................... 75,000................... 94063

Hot Topics........................................................ 86,000................... 54901

Palatine Public Library District................. 90,000................... 60067

Fargo ................................................................. 91,000................... 58102

TCPL News...................................................... 96,000................... 14850

General—105,000 to 231,000

HOOPLA........................................................ 105,000................... 66061

Burbank Library Blog................................. 105,000................... 91502

the New Cybrary.......................................... 106,000................... 54911

WPLINFOSTUFF......................................... 113,000.............. N2L 5E2

ICARUS...  the Santa Fe Public Library Blog
........................................................................... 118,000................... 87501

Reading Public Library.............................. 127,000................... 19602

In the stacks................................................... 130,000................... 27203

By the Park: Archdale Public Library.... 130,000................... 27263

Marin County Free Library Blog............. 137,000................... 94903

Small Talk . . . KFPL.................................... 137,000.............. K7L 1X8

Birmingham Public Library's Latest News, Reviews & Info
........................................................................... 146,000................... 35203

Kenton County Public Library................. 152,000................... 41011

Ann Arbor District Library -..................... 155,000................... 48104

PaperCuts...................................................... 167,000................... 66604

McBook........................................................... 170,000................... 74501

SJCPL Blog..................................................... 173,000................... 46601

Wellington City Libraries.......................... 180,000..... NewZealand

CMRLS News............................................... 190,000................... 39043

The Atrium.................................................... 197,000................... 49503

Sutherland Shire Libraries News........... 205,000............. Australia

Galway Public Libraries Blog.................. 231,000................. Ireland

General—306,000 to 495,000

YARRA PLENTY LIBRARY BLOG........ 306,000............. Australia

acpl.info.......................................................... 324,000................... 46802

Johnson County Library............................ 380,000................... 66212

What's New @ Eastern Regional Libraries
........................................................................... 392,000............. Australia

Santa Clara County Library-The Latest SCCoop
........................................................................... 406,000................... 95032

The Blog @ ppld.org.................................... 495,000................... 80903

General—670,000 and Up

Austin Public Library Blog....................... 672,000................... 78701

Hennepin County Library: Catalog News
........................................................................... 709,000................... 55305

Free Library Blog...................................... 1,511,000................... 19103

Invisible Ink............................................... 2,350,000............. Australia

Books

These blogs focus on books—including new items and summaries. Note several other book-related types that follow.

Inside the Pages................................................ 3,800................... 53010

International Falls Public Library Happenings
............................................................................... 6,100................... 56649

Connections - Books...................................... 16,000................... 06820

Westport Public Library BOOK blog ....... 22,000................... 06880

Monroe Township Public Library - Staff Picks
............................................................................. 27,000................... 08831

Georgina Reads.............................................. 45,000............... L4P 3P7

MADreads..................................................... 260,000................... 53703

Memphis Reads........................................... 892,000................... 38111

Books and More

These blogs primarily deal with books but include related posts.

Book Comments............................................. 17,000................... 20912

Hinsdale Public Library Reading Corner
............................................................................. 18,000................... 60521

Lansing Library Adult News & Reviews Blog
............................................................................. 28,000................... 60438

Emporia Public Library Blog...................... 32,000................... 66801

HPL Book Hunt.............................................. 34,000................... 11743

Book Lovers Online Guide.......................... 97,000................... 95678

Cambridge Libraries Blog......................... 124,000.............. N1S 2K6

Book Clubs and Discussion Groups

Clymer Book Blog.......................................... 11,000................... 18350

Berkeley Heights Public Library Book Blog
............................................................................. 12,000................... 07922

52 Books, 52 Weeks....................................... 24,000................... 60106

SAPL Book Clubs........................................... 58,000.............. T8N 3Z9

Norwalk Public Library's Laid Back Book Club
............................................................................. 69,000................... 06850

Book Discussion............................................. 80,000................... 03060

Book Reviews

These appear almost entirely devoted to book reviews; there may be some overlap with book clubs.

Delphi Public Library's Read Spot.............. 7,900................... 46923

WLPL ONLINE BOOK CLUB.................... 10,000................... 06096

book bits............................................................ 14,000................... 02090

What We're Reading..................................... 17,000................... 10924

Juneau Public Library Book Blog.............. 46,000................... 99801

Pete's Picks....................................................... 58,000.............. T8N 3Z9

Newton Reads................................................ 84,000................... 02459

Guelph Public Library Book Buzz.......... 115,000.............. N1H 4J6

BookFix........................................................... 150,000................... 66101

Henderson Libraries Novel News.......... 232,000................... 89012

Yarra Plenty Book Blog.............................. 306,000............. Australia

Mostly NF Blog............................................. 497,000................... 98446

Reviews

These blogs focus on reviews of all sorts of material.

What We're Readin' and Watchin'........... 24,000................... 06111

Lost in the Stacks........................................... 69,000................... 50701

the Cybrary Reviews................................... 106,000................... 54911

Turning the Page…..................................... 815,000................... 45202

Movies and Music

Connections - Movies & Music.................. 16,000................... 06820

Seen Scenes...................................................... 21,000................... 44087

Westport Public Library MOVIE & MUSIC blog
............................................................................. 22,000................... 06880

Music at HBPL............................................. 199,000................... 92648

New Item Lists

These blogs list new items with little or no annotation.

What's New at Carter Memorial Library
............................................................................... 4,600................... 54963

S. W. Smith Library.......................................... 9,200................... 16743

New Materials @ Menasha Public Library
............................................................................. 24,000................... 54952

New Materials

These blogs list and discuss new items of all sorts.

What's New @ Coloma Public Library...... 1,700................... 54930

New Materials at the Poy Sippi Public Library
............................................................................... 1,700................... 54967

Shelf Scene....................................................... 59,000................... 20186

Business Lines.............................................. 213,000................... 46410

eBranch Blog.............................................. 1,321,000................... 77054

Directors’ Blogs

Musings from Vermont.................................. 9,700................... 05301

Darien Library Directors Blog.................... 16,000................... 06820

Administratively Speaking......................... 17,000................... 10924

Hinsdale Director's Blog.............................. 18,000................... 60521

Monroe Township Public Library............ 27,000................... 08831

She Said/He Said:Kankakee Public Library Blog
............................................................................. 27,000................... 60901

Director's Blog................................................. 29,000................... 60491

CFPLDirector................................................... 38,000................... 50613

WPLDirector.................................................... 69,000................... 50701

Director's Blog................................................. 80,000................... 03060

Library Leader.............................................. 971,000................... 32801

Events

These blogs feature almost exclusively library event listings.

Osage City Public Library.............................. 2,900................... 66523

Parsons Public Library................................. 11,000................... 67357

Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County
............................................................................. 14,000................... 46703

Connections – Events.................................... 16,000................... 06820

Library Staff Weblog..................................... 17,000................... 20912

Harford County Public Library News & Events
............................................................................. 22,000................... 21017

Delta Township District Library............... 30,000................... 48917

Buena Park Library District News............ 81,000................... 90620

C-Scapes......................................................... 110,000................... 33755

Fresno County Library Events & Book Clubs
........................................................................... 836,000................... 93721

Genealogy

History & Genealogy at the Culver Union
-Twp. Public Library....................................... 3,100................... 46511

Ancestor Research Log................................. 37,000................... 48170

Columbus Public Library Genealogy & Local History
 .........................................................................  197,000................... 31906

Yarra Plenty Geneaology.......................... 306,000............. Australia

Technology

Technically Speaking................................... 17,000................... 10924

Sites and Soundbytes.................................... 24,000................... 54952

Tuesday Technology Talks @ PPL............ 28,000................... 08542

Lansing Public Library Technology Blog
............................................................................. 28,000................... 60438

Iosco-Arenac District Library Technology Blog
............................................................................. 44,000................... 48730

Webmaster Blog........................................... 497,000................... 98446

Children and KidLit

Children's Books from Wright Memorial Public Library
 .............................................................................. 9,100................... 45419

The Children's Room.................................... 17,000................... 20912

Kids Lit.............................................................. 24,000................... 54952

Wilmette Public Library Staff Book Reviews
(Children's Books) ........................................ 28,000................... 60091

Galesburg Library Kids................................ 34,000................... 61401

Lisa's Blog...................................................... 101,000................... 33401

Kid's Blog....................................................... 495,000................... 80903

Toronto Public Library LOUD for Kids
....................................................................... 2.300,000........... M4W 2G8

Teens—9,100 to 35,000

Teen Scene.......................................................... 9,100................... 45419

Teen Blog@Brooks............................................ 9,700................... 05301

LWTeens........................................................... 11,000................... 14103

Highland Park Public Library Teen Blog
............................................................................. 13,000................... 08904

Parma Teens.................................................... 15,000................... 14468

Goshen Teens.................................................. 17,000................... 10924

Teen Book Buzz.............................................. 17,000................... 20912

teen blog............................................................ 18,000................... 60521

MGPL Teen Zone Blog................................. 22,000................... 60053

What's happening for teens at the library?
............................................................................. 25,000.............. K0K 2K0

Lansing Library Youth News & Reviews Blog
............................................................................. 28,000................... 60438

Lansing Public Library Teen News & Reviews
............................................................................. 28,000................... 60438

Stuff for Teens................................................. 35,000................... 74003

Teens—41,000 to 97,000

JMCPL Teen Scene......................................... 41,000............... S6V 1B7

Orland Park Public Library Teen Blog
............................................................................. 51,000................... 60462

The Loft online................................................ 54,000................... 60477

tuftsstuff teens................................................. 55,000................... 02188

SAPL Teen Corner Reviews........................ 58,000.............. T8N 3Z9

in the teen zone............................................... 59,000................... 02860

Worthingteens................................................ 59,000................... 43085

HTFLteens........................................................ 65,000................... 19083

FPL Teen Blog................................................. 67,000................... 01702

Teens @ Waterloo Public Library.............. 69,000................... 50701

NPL Teen Reads............................................. 80,000................... 03060

Sellers Library Teens..................................... 97,000................... 19082

Teens—123,000 and up

Blogging Vortex............................................ 123,000................ L4J 8C1

FCL Teen Talk............................................... 128,000................... 29506

Teen Corner Blog......................................... 130,000................... 27203

Graffiti............................................................. 167,000................... 66604

JMRL Young Adult Services..................... 184,000................... 22922

Camden County Library Teen Zone
........................................................................... 224,000................... 08043

GVPL Book Picks for Teens...................... 300,000............ V8W 3H2

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Teen
........................................................................... 457,000................... 15213

Teen Zone Blog!........................................... 495,000................... 80903

Teen Blog ....................................................... 497,000................... 98446

B&ECPL Teen Space Blog......................... 947,000................... 14203

Tweens (5th and 6thGrades)

MGPL 5th and 6th Graders........................ 22,000................... 60053

Young Adults (as defined by library)

Winfield Library's Y.A. Blog......................... 8,700................... 60190

The Young Adult Loft................................... 38,000................... 60068

The Zoo Informer........................................... 40,000................... 40004

PML YA Yakkers!.......................................... 51,000................... 11772

YA Library News........................................... 56,000................... 43050

YA KNOW @ BCL....................................... 110,000................... 97005

Adult Literacy

Project Read of the San Francisco Public Library
........................................................................... 793,000................... 94102

Censorship

Fahrenheit 451:  Banned Books................. 16,000............... L0S 1E0

Websites

The In-Site Bank................................................ 5,600................... 06426

Latest entries from lucys-webrarians...... 24,000................... 06111

Community, City, State

Darien Community Matters....................... 16,000................... 06820

SkokieTalk –..................................................... 63,000................... 60077

Construction

What’s New With The Renovation Project
............................................................................. 18,000................... 60521

Lafayette Public Library South Regional Library
........................................................................... 195,000................... 70501

Digital Collections

Birmingham Public Library's digital collections
........................................................................... 146,000................... 35203

Essays

These two blogs don’t fit any other category—they’re essays.

Wayne County Public Library................. 114,000................... 27530

The Librarian's Own Grove...................... 277,000................... 92501

Friends

I suspect more Friends of the Library groups have blogs, but they’re not in the library weblog wikis.

Friends of the Lacey Library....................... 31,000................... 98503

Gaming

GameBlog...................................................... 173,000................... 46601

Job Advice

Newton's Quick Job Search Blog............... 84,000................... 02459

Library Staff

Library Musings:  Kankakee Public Library
............................................................................. 27,000................... 60901

Children's Department Paperless Notebook
............................................................................. 33,000................... 15102

Currency..................................................... 1,000,000................... 66049

Local History

Yarra Plenty Library Local History Blog
........................................................................... 306,000............. Australia

Nonprofits

Springfield-Greene County Library Nonprofit Prophet
 .......................................................................... 240,000................... 65801

Parents

MGPL Parents................................................. 22,000................... 60053

Podcasts

Sunnyvale Public Library Podcasts....... 132,000................... 94086

Readers’ Advisory

Readers' Advisory Knapsack..................... 84,000................... 02459

Reference

Hinsdale Reference....................................... 18,000................... 60521

From the Reference Desk............................. 80,000................... 03060

What's New in Newton Reference?.......... 84,000................... 02459

What’s Feasible?

The list above should challenge some of your assumptions as to what smaller libraries can and can’t do. Book review blogs when your library serves fewer than 15,000? See 46923, 06096, 02090. Do directors of under-20,000-user libraries do their own blogs? Maybe even 10,000! See 05301, 06820, 10924, 60521—and, a little larger, the remarkable back-and-forth blog at 60901.

Surely only larger libraries could devote blogs to genealogy? 46511: Service area 3,100. A children’s book blog from a 9,100-person library: 45419. Teen blogs for libraries of under 20,000? Eight of them—go look at the list (and don’t forget the YA blog for a library serving 8,700 people).

As for doing blogs at all—well, the two libraries “under 1,000” actually have service area populations of fewer than 400 each. In both cases (as in a couple of other cases), the blog is the library’s homepage—and it works well.

What’s Not Here

I didn’t include blogs that clearly began in 2007 or gave no evidence of starting earlier. Given the rate of failure for very young blogs, it didn’t seem realistic to include these startups. I also didn’t include blogs that had no posts after February 2007—or, for that matter, that only had one post within the March-May 2007 period. They’re definitely dormant and may have ceased.

Here are a few special cases that might be worth a look—blogs and bloglike sites that have been around for a while (or may have been around for a while) but didn’t work for the body of this book.

Champaign Library Events (www.champaign.org/ events) began in August 2006. It provides either a “month view” with color-coded items for days with events, or a “day view” with a little more information—but for past months, you can only see one day view at a time. All but two of the 91 days in the study quarter had events, and there are probably more than 200 posts. It’s an interesting approach that just didn’t fit.

Morrill Public Library (www.hiawathalibrary.org) appears to be using a blog as its home page (each entry has a “Posted in” mark with categories and “No comments” note). It’s another clean example of using blog software as a library website. But the entries aren’t dated and there’s no archive whatsoever—which may work perfectly well for the library’s purposes (and is certainly worth a look), but meant I couldn’t verify eligibility or track posts during March-May 2007.

Pontiac Public Library (www.pontiacpubliclibrary. org/drupal/) is also in one of the library blog wikis and has the look of a blog-populated front page (again with no dates and no archive), but “drupal” suggests that it’s driven by an open-source content management system rather than blogging software. Also clean, open, worth a visit.

The PVLD Director’s Blog (Palos Verdes Library District, pvlddirectorsblog.typepad.com/kathy/) looks to be an interesting Directors’ Blog, including some feedback—but there’s no archive or other way to retrieve older posts and the earliest visible post is from July 2007.

Consider Library Events from the West Branch Public Library (www.westbranchlibrary.com/events.htm): The clean, open page says “Powered by Blogger” and a big “87” above a list of events suggests a blog entry—but there’s no navigation at all. Again, this may work just fine for the patrons of West Branch—after all, do you really need to look back at old events?

Metrics and Standouts

What makes a library blog a success? That depends on the library. Each of the blogs may qualify as a success for the people who produce it and the patrons who read it. I’m not planning to praise specific blogs. I’m certainly not planning to critique the writing.

What I can do as an outside observer is describe the blogs. A few metrics help flesh out that description. Here, I’d like to explain the metrics used and list the outliers—the blogs in the top quintile (top 20%) of a given metric.

Defining the Metrics

I noted and calculated the following metrics, in all cases based on tracking blog posts from March 1 through May 31, 2007.

Number of posts: A simple count of blogging frequency. There were 91 days and 13 weeks in the quarter. You can calculate other frequencies based on that, although some blogs clump several posts on one day then go several days without posts. In one or two cases (noted in the profiles), I counted posts for one month and multiplied by three—because it was too cumbersome to count posts for all three months.

Number of comments and comments per post: Many blogs don’t support comments. Many more didn’t have any. In a couple of cases where there were quite a few comments on one post and none on others, I found that the comments were spam and discounted them. Blog profiles include comments per post when that ratio is at least 0.3 (that is, three comments for every 10 posts), the mean figure for all blogs.

Number of illustrations and illustrations per post: Quite a few blogs don’t use illustrations. Others have at least one illustration for every post. I include illustrations per post within the blog profile when that ratio is greater than 0.7, the mean figure for all blogs.

Total words and average post length: I included blog overhead within posts (e.g., “No comments” and “Posted on…”), but not around posts (sidebar contents). In a few cases (noted in profiles) where it was difficult to copy-and-paste blog archives, I determined the length of the most recent 10 (in one case 20) posts and extrapolated the overall length from that figure. Profiles don’t include total words, but the most voluminous blogs are noted later in this chapter.

Longevity: The profile includes the month in which the first post appeared, based on internal evidence.

Visibility: This may be an entirely meaningless figure for public libraries, since blog visibility within a community may show up in ways that don’t influence this number. Profiles only include a visibility note when the visibility factor (described below) was at least 1.0.

The Visibility Factor is a SWAG—a statistical wild-ass guess as to a blog’s visibility within the broader community. It’s become more difficult to estimate visibility over time, as search engines have made it more difficult to count actual links to a blog. It’s also clear that visibility isn’t a linear issue: A blog with 1,200 Technorati links and 1,000 Bloglines subscriptions is not “ten times as visible” as one with 120 links and 100 subscriptions; it’s perhaps twice as visible.

The Visibility Factor used for this book is a logarithmic measure: Log10 (that is, logarithm to base 10) of the sum of Technorati links and Bloglines subscribers, as reported by the website popuri.us. For 209 of the blogs, the popuri.us check was done on the same day in late May 2007. For the other 43 (“additional blogs” from the 196 libraries in the study), the check was done during the last week of July 2007. Visibility factors less than 1.0 are not reported.

I’m calling visibility factors between 1.0 and 1.9 “slightly visible” (the sum of links and subscribers is between 10 and 99). 2.0 to 2.9 “visible” (the sum is between 100 and 999). 3.0 to 3.9 “quite visible” (the sum is between 1,000 and 10,000). If there are any in the 4.0-4.9 range, they’re labeled as “highly visible.” In the broader blogging world, “A-list blogs” have visibility factors in the 5.0 to 6.9 range.

For any set of metrics this large and varied, two “averages” both have meaning and tend to be different. What’s usually called the average is the mean: The total of all values divided by the number of values. A few high values can throw off the mean significantly. Another average worth paying attention to is the median—the value for which half of the values are higher and half are lower.

Posts

I counted or extrapolated 5,976 posts among 253 blogs for the three months of March, April and May 2007. That’s a mean of 23.7 posts—a bit less than two posts a week, not a bad average for blogs. But the median was 12.0 posts: Slightly under one post a week.

Working up from the least frequent (and noting that any blog with fewer than two posts was excluded), 26 of the blogs had two or three posts—no more than one a month on average. Another 40 had four to six posts, still less than one every two weeks. Thus, just over 26% of the blogs had very infrequent posts. Sixty-six more blogs (another 26%) had seven to 12 posts—more than one every two weeks, less than one a week.

Getting from median to mean, 49 blogs had 13 to 23 posts—more than one but less than two per week. Another 20 had 24 to 32 posts—and that brings us up to the 20% of blogs with most frequent postings (shown in descending order):

Blog...................................................................... Posts........................ Zip

Ann Arbor District Library -............................. 400................... 48104

Inside the Pages................................................... 211................... 53010

SJCPL Blog............................................................. 203................... 46601

PaperCuts.............................................................. 159................... 66604

ICARUS...  the Santa Fe Public Library Blog
................................................................................... 112................... 87501

SkokieTalk -........................................................... 108................... 60077

Santa Clara County Library - The Latest SCCoop
................................................................................... 108................... 95032

Kids Lit................................................................... 105................... 54952

Sellers Library Teens.......................................... 103................... 19082

Turning the Page…............................................... 92................... 45202

Dover Public Library news................................. 86................... 03820

Sites and Soundbytes............................................ 83................... 54952

Southlake Public Library..................................... 83................... 76092

MADreads................................................................ 80................... 53703

From the Reference Desk..................................... 74................... 03060

Burbank Library Blog........................................... 69................... 91502

52 Books, 52 Weeks............................................... 66................... 60106

Graffiti....................................................................... 66................... 66604

Columbus Public Library Genealogy & Local History
..................................................................................... 63................... 31906

What's New @ Eastern Regional Libraries.... 62............. Australia

The Perrot Memorial Library Blog.................... 60................... 06870

Free Library Blog.................................................... 60................... 19103

Birmingham Public Library's Latest News, Reviews & Info
..................................................................................... 60................... 35203

Albert Lea Public Library.................................... 60................... 56007

Wellington City Libraries.................................... 60..... NewZealand

The Blog @ ppld.org.............................................. 56................... 80903

The Atrium.............................................................. 55................... 49503

West Long Branch Public Library..................... 54................... 07764

YA KNOW @ BCL.................................................. 52................... 97005

Westport Public Library BOOK blog................ 51................... 06880

FPL Teen Blog......................................................... 49................... 01702

The Short List.......................................................... 47................... 06426

Old Bridge Library Weblog................................. 46................... 08857

HPL Book Hunt...................................................... 45................... 11743

Sodus Free Library blog....................................... 45................... 14551

Fahrenheit 451:  Banned Books......................... 45............... L0S 1E0

The In-Site Bank..................................................... 44................... 06426

h20boro lib blog...................................................... 42................... 04030

Warsaw Public Library Happenings............... 39................... 14569

Wilmette Public Library Staff Book Reviews
(Children's Books)................................................. 39................... 60091

Berkeley Heights Public Library Book Blog... 38................... 07922

Children's Department Paperless Notebook. 38................... 15102

Memphis Reads..................................................... 37................... 38111

Norwalk Public Library's Laid Back Book Club
..................................................................................... 36................... 06850

Marin County Free Library Blog........................ 35................... 94903

Toronto Public Library LOUD for Kids........... 35........... M4W 2G8

Westport Public Library MOVIE & MUSIC blog
..................................................................................... 34................... 06880

Connections - Events............................................ 33................... 06820

New at Hackley Public Library......................... 33................... 49440

Small Talk . . . KFPL.............................................. 33.............. K7L 1X8

Comments

Blogs may be a great way to increase community involvement—but don’t be too surprised if your library blog doesn’t get many comments. While there were 1,768 comments on the posts—an average (mean) of seven per blog—that’s a wildly misleading average. Nearly one-quarter of those comments were attached to gaming-related posts at Ann Arbor District Library’s blog. The three most-commented blogs had 647 comments between them: 37% of the total, leaving 1,121 for the 249 other blogs, or an average of 4.5 per blog.

That number’s also misleading. Only 118 of the 252 blogs had any comments at all, and another 25 had one comment each. The median number of comments is zero, since more than half the blogs had no comments. Many didn’t allow them (entirely reasonable for an events blog) and many others just didn’t have any. Fact is, it can be tough to get comments on an official blog—particularly if it doesn’t involve trash-talking teenagers.

Blogs with more than five comments over the three-month period make up just less than 20% of the blogs. Here they are, in order by descending number of comments:

Blog........................................................... Comments........................ Zip

Ann Arbor District Library -............................. 392................... 48104

SJCPL Blog............................................................. 153................... 46601

The Loft online..................................................... 102................... 60477

PaperCuts................................................................. 72................... 66604

MADreads................................................................ 71................... 53703

Kids Lit...................................................................... 70................... 54952

GameBlog................................................................. 67................... 46601

Monterey Public Library Blog............................ 46................... 93940

Fahrenheit 451:  Banned Books......................... 45............... L0S 1E0

Mostly NF Blog....................................................... 40................... 98446

Graffiti....................................................................... 36................... 66604

Sellers Library Teens............................................. 34................... 19082

Teen Blog ................................................................. 27................... 98446

Lucy Robbins Welles Library News................. 26................... 06111

Dover Public Library news................................. 23................... 03820

The Perrot Memorial Library Blog.................... 20................... 06870

The Blog @ ppld.org.............................................. 19................... 80903

Kid's Blog................................................................. 19................... 80903

Turning the Page…............................................... 18................... 45202

Toronto Public Library LOUD for Kids........... 18........... M4W 2G8

Worthingteens........................................................ 16................... 43085

The Atrium.............................................................. 16................... 49503

52 Books, 52 Weeks............................................... 16................... 60106

She Said/He Said:Kankakee Public Library Blog
..................................................................................... 15................... 60901

Westport Public Library MOVIE & MUSIC blog
..................................................................................... 14................... 06880

Lisa's Blog................................................................ 14................... 33401

Teen Scene................................................................ 14................... 45419

Norwalk Public Library's Laid Back Book Club
..................................................................................... 13................... 06850

Birmingham Public Library's Latest News, Reviews & Info
..................................................................................... 13................... 35203

Hennepin County Library: Catalog News..... 13................... 55305

Teen Zone Blog!...................................................... 12................... 80903

Webmaster Blog..................................................... 12................... 98446

Half Hollow Hills Community Library.......... 11................... 11747

Burbank Library Blog........................................... 11................... 91502

PML YA Yakkers!.................................................. 10................... 11772

Free Library Blog.................................................... 10................... 19103

Connections - Events............................................... 9................... 06820

C-Scapes...................................................................... 9................... 33755

Memphis Reads........................................................ 8................... 38111

Brookfield Public Library - Recent News.......... 8................... 60513

Georgina Reads........................................................ 8............... L4P 3P7

From the Reference Desk........................................ 7................... 03060

The In-Site Bank........................................................ 7................... 06426

Darien Community Matters.................................. 7................... 06820

FPL Teen Blog............................................................ 6................... 01702

The Short List............................................................ 6................... 06426

Connections - Movies & Music............................ 6................... 06820

Inside the Pages........................................................ 6................... 53010

What's happening for teens at the library?...... 6.............. K0K 2K0

Comments per Post

If the median number of comments is zero, the median comments per post must also be zero. The mean number of comments per post—the average—is a modest 0.3, and only 45 blogs manage to beat that average. Instead of listing the 20% of blogs with the highest ratio, here are the 41 blogs (16%) with at least half a comment per blog during the three months:

Blog.......................................... Comments per Post........................ Zip

Teen Blog .............................................................. 13.5................... 98446

GameBlog................................................................ 5.6................... 46601

Hennepin County Library: Catalog News.... 4.3................... 55305

The Loft online....................................................... 3.3................... 60477

Monterey Public Library Blog........................... 3.3................... 93940

JMRL Young Adult Services.............................. 2.5................... 22922

Mostly NF Blog...................................................... 2.5................... 98446

Kid's Blog................................................................ 1.9................... 80903

Webmaster Blog.................................................... 1.7................... 98446

She Said/He Said:Kankakee Public Library Blog
.................................................................................... 1.5................... 60901

Teen Zone Blog!..................................................... 1.5................... 80903

Teen Scene............................................................... 1.3................... 45419

Fahrenheit 451:  Banned Books........................ 1.0............... L0S 1E0

Ann Arbor District Library -.............................. 1.0................... 48104

Worthingteens....................................................... 0.9................... 43085

Lucy Robbins Welles Library News................ 0.9................... 06111

MADreads............................................................... 0.9................... 53703

What's happening for teens at the library?... 0.9.............. K0K 2K0

The Young Adult Loft.......................................... 0.8................... 60068

Georgina Reads..................................................... 0.8............... L4P 3P7

SJCPL Blog.............................................................. 0.8................... 46601

PML YA Yakkers!................................................. 0.7................... 11772

Musings from Vermont....................................... 0.7................... 05301

Teen Blog@Brooks................................................ 0.7................... 05301

Kids Lit..................................................................... 0.7................... 54952

Juneau Public Library Book Blog..................... 0.7................... 99801

Currency.................................................................. 0.6................... 66049

Darien Library Directors Blog........................... 0.6................... 06820

WPLINFOSTUFF................................................... 0.6.............. N2L 5E2

Graffiti...................................................................... 0.5................... 66604

Brookfield Public Library - Recent News....... 0.5................... 60513

Lisa's Blog............................................................... 0.5................... 33401

Toronto Public Library LOUD for Kids.......... 0.5........... M4W 2G8

tuftsstuff teens........................................................ 0.5................... 02188

Richards Free Library News…......................... 0.5................... 03773

Goshen Teens......................................................... 0.5................... 10924

WPLDirector........................................................... 0.5................... 50701

YARRA PLENTY LIBRARY BLOG................. 0.5............. Australia

SAPL Book Clubs.................................................. 0.5.............. T8N 3Z9

What We're Readin' and Watchin'.................. 0.5................... 06111

PaperCuts................................................................ 0.5................... 66604

Illustrations

Some book and book review blogs use book covers to illustrate almost every post. Some blogs include a fair number of photographs. Some use icons. A few blogs appear to use original miniature landscapes as illustrations. And, of course, some blogs don’t use illustrations at all—70 of the 252 blogs had not a single illustration during the three-month study period. In all, there were 4,691 illustrations attached to the 5,976 posts.

The average number of illustrations is 18.6—but the median is 5.0. The top quintile begins at 24 illustrations over three months—almost five times the median and about one-third more than average.

Blog......................................................... Illustrations........................ Zip

SJCPL Blog............................................................. 814................... 46601

PaperCuts.............................................................. 235................... 66604

The Short List........................................................ 143................... 06426

Ann Arbor District Library -............................. 133................... 48104

ICARUS...  the Santa Fe Public Library Blog
................................................................................... 130................... 87501

Kids Lit................................................................... 113................... 54952

Santa Clara County Library - The Latest SCCoop
..................................................................................... 95................... 95032

Southlake Public Library..................................... 93................... 76092

YA KNOW @ BCL.................................................. 90................... 97005

MADreads................................................................ 89................... 53703

Turning the Page…............................................... 83................... 45202

Connections - Movies & Music.......................... 80................... 06820

Graffiti....................................................................... 79................... 66604

Dover Public Library news................................. 78................... 03820

Fresno County Library Events & Book Clubs
..................................................................................... 64................... 93721

Wellington City Libraries.................................... 60..... NewZealand

Birmingham Public Library's Latest News, Reviews & Info
 .................................................................................... 59................... 35203

The Perrot Memorial Library Blog.................... 58................... 06870

Connections - Books.............................................. 50................... 06820

Connections - Events............................................ 49................... 06820

Hopewell Public Library..................................... 49................... 08525

Albert Lea Public Library.................................... 49................... 56007

Old Bridge Library Weblog................................. 48................... 08857

Madison County Public Library News........... 43................... 40475

SkokieTalk -............................................................. 43................... 60077

Burbank Library Blog........................................... 41................... 91502

What's happening for teens at the library?.... 41.............. K0K 2K0

FPL Teen Blog......................................................... 40................... 01702

The In-Site Bank..................................................... 40................... 06426

Sodus Free Library blog....................................... 40................... 14551

Wilmette Public Library Staff Book Reviews
(Children's Books) ................................................ 39................... 60091

The Atrium.............................................................. 37................... 49503

Sites and Soundbytes............................................ 37................... 54952

Winfield Library's Y.A. Blog............................... 37................... 60190

Sellers Library Teens............................................. 36................... 19082

Cambridge Libraries Blog................................... 36.............. N1S 2K6

Warsaw Public Library Happenings............... 35................... 14569

Free Library Blog.................................................... 35................... 19103

Memphis Reads..................................................... 35................... 38111

Worthingteens........................................................ 33................... 43085

Westport Public Library BOOK blog................ 31................... 06880

MGPL Parents......................................................... 31................... 60053

Mostly NF Blog....................................................... 31................... 98446

Fahrenheit 451:  Banned Books......................... 29............... L0S 1E0

Homer Township Public Library...................... 28................... 60491

eBranch Blog........................................................... 28................... 77054

Lucy Robbins Welles Library News................. 27................... 06111

Westport Public Library MOVIE & MUSIC blog
..................................................................................... 27................... 06880

the New Cybrary.................................................... 25................... 54911

Parma Teens............................................................ 24................... 14468

Illustrations per Post

As with comments, the raw number of illustrations can be misleading—very busy blogs tend to have more illustrations. The average number of illustrations per post may be a more meaningful number. Here, the median and the mean are close together: the average or mean is 0.7 illustrations per post, while the median is 0.5 illustrations per post.

Too many blogs have 1.0 illustrations per post to draw a boundary anywhere near the 20% mark. That makes sense: What’s more natural for some types of blog than to have exactly one illustration per post? (Actually, for a variety of reasons, “one illustration per post” tends to mean anywhere from 0.8 to 1.1 illustrations per post.)

The top group in this case is 44 blogs with at least 1.1 illustrations per post—17% of the blogs.

Blog........................................ Illustrations per Post........................ Zip

Fresno County Library Events & Book Clubs
.................................................................................. 12.8................... 93721

What's happening for teens at the library?... 5.9.............. K0K 2K0

Highland Park Public Library Teen Blog...... 5.0................... 08904

Wetmore Public Library...................................... 4.5................... 66550

SJCPL Blog.............................................................. 4.0................... 46601

Pioneer Memorial Library Blog........................ 4.0................... 67701

Lafayette Public Library - South Regional Library
.................................................................................... 3.8................... 70501

MGPL Parents........................................................ 3.1................... 60053

The Short List......................................................... 3.0................... 06426

Connections - Movies & Music......................... 3.0................... 06820

Madison County Public Library News.......... 2.9................... 40475

Hopewell Public Library.................................... 2.6................... 08525

eBranch Blog.......................................................... 2.5................... 77054

Connections - Books............................................. 2.4................... 06820

YARRA PLENTY LIBRARY BLOG................. 2.3............. Australia

MGPL Teen Zone Blog........................................ 2.1................... 60053

Parma Teens........................................................... 2.0................... 14468

Galesburg Library Kids....................................... 2.0................... 61401

SAPL Book Clubs.................................................. 2.0.............. T8N 3Z9

Worthingteens....................................................... 1.9................... 43085

Mostly NF Blog...................................................... 1.9................... 98446

Cambridge Libraries Blog.................................. 1.9.............. N1S 2K6

YA KNOW @ BCL................................................. 1.7................... 97005

Connections - Events........................................... 1.5................... 06820

PaperCuts................................................................ 1.5................... 66604

Kid's Blog................................................................ 1.4................... 80903

Parsons Public Library........................................ 1.4................... 67357

Pete's Picks.............................................................. 1.4.............. T8N 3Z9

By the Park: Archdale Public Library............. 1.4................... 27263

Teen Blog@Brooks................................................ 1.3................... 05301

Hennepin County Library: Catalog News.... 1.3................... 55305

Darien Library Directors Blog........................... 1.3................... 06820

Winfield Library's Y.A. Blog.............................. 1.3................... 60190

Music at HBPL....................................................... 1.3................... 92648

Graffiti...................................................................... 1.2................... 66604

ICARUS...  the Santa Fe Public Library Blog
.................................................................................... 1.2................... 87501

Galway Public Libraries Blog........................... 1.2................. Ireland

Southlake Public Library.................................... 1.1................... 76092

Homer Township Public Library..................... 1.1................... 60491

MADreads............................................................... 1.1................... 53703

Johnson County Library..................................... 1.1................... 66212

Waterloo Public Library Reference.................. 1.1................... 50701

McBook.................................................................... 1.1................... 74501

Kids Lit..................................................................... 1.1................... 54952

Total Length of Posts

Here’s a metric that doesn’t appear directly within blog profiles: Total words in all posts for March through May 2007. “Words” includes internal post overhead such as “Permalink” or “x Comments” or “Posted on…” but not sidebar material. In a few cases, overall words are extrapolated from a sample of the first 10 or 20 posts…

The complete set of posts totaled 1,038,237 words—roughly ten full-length novels. The average blog had 4,120 words in all its posts, but the median was less than half that number: 1,968 words. That’s not too surprising: 69 blogs had fewer than 1,000 words each.

In this case, the set of “long blogs” is a little more than 20% of all blogs, using 5,000 words as a cutoff:

Blog........................................................ Total Words........................ Zip

Ann Arbor District Library -....................... 53,520................... 48104

PaperCuts......................................................... 50,006................... 66604

SJCPL Blog....................................................... 44,839................... 46601

Turning the Page…....................................... 42,118................... 45202

From the Reference Desk............................. 27,455................... 03060

52 Books, 52 Weeks....................................... 20,657................... 60106

MADreads........................................................ 20,404................... 53703

Sellers Library Teens..................................... 19,130................... 19082

ICARUS...  the Santa Fe Public Library Blog
............................................................................. 18,882................... 87501

Kids Lit.............................................................. 18,796................... 54952

SkokieTalk -..................................................... 16,600................... 60077

Birmingham Public Library's Latest News, Reviews & Info
 ............................................................................ 16,375................... 35203

Dover Public Library news......................... 15,490................... 03820

Southlake Public Library............................. 14,025................... 76092

Burbank Library Blog................................... 12,577................... 91502

Westport Public Library BOOK blog........ 12,006................... 06880

Graffiti............................................................... 11,798................... 66604

Connections - Events.................................... 11,729................... 06820

Fahrenheit 451:  Banned Books................. 11,300............... L0S 1E0

The Atrium...................................................... 10,670................... 49503

Santa Clara County Library - The Latest SCCoop
............................................................................. 10,654................... 95032

Memphis Reads................................................ 9,842................... 38111

What We're Reading....................................... 9,578................... 10924

The Perrot Memorial Library Blog.............. 9,510................... 06870

Free Library Blog.............................................. 9,200................... 19103

Columbus Public Library Genealogy & Local History
 .............................................................................. 8,978................... 31906

Westport Public Library MOVIE & MUSIC blog
............................................................................... 8,565................... 06880

the New Cybrary.............................................. 8,542................... 54911

Sites and Soundbytes...................................... 7,962................... 54952

Seldovia Public Library.................................. 7,818................... 99663

Berkeley Heights Public Library Book Blog
............................................................................... 7,791................... 07922

What's New @ Coloma Public Library...... 7,782................... 54930

What's New @ Eastern Regional Libraries
............................................................................... 7,662............. Australia

YA KNOW @ BCL............................................ 7,582................... 97005

Sutherland Shire Libraries News................ 7,515............. Australia

Mostly NF Blog................................................. 7,309................... 98446

Albert Lea Public Library............................... 7,218................... 56007

The Blog @ ppld.org........................................ 7,014................... 80903

New at Hackley Public Library.................... 6,975................... 49440

Three Rivers Public Library News Blog.... 6,860................... 60410

Austin Public Library Blog............................ 6,820................... 78701

Austin Public Library Blog............................ 6,820................... 78701

FPL Teen Blog.................................................... 6,348................... 01702

HPL Book Hunt................................................ 6,284................... 11743

Darien Community Matters.......................... 5,857................... 06820

Lisa's Blog.......................................................... 5,797................... 33401

C-Scapes.............................................................. 5,717................... 33755

The Short List.................................................... 5,649................... 06426

History & Genealogy at the Culver Union-Twp.
Public Library.................................................... 5,410................... 46511

West Long Branch Public Library............... 5,196................... 07764

Connections - Movies & Music.................... 5,184................... 06820

Old Bridge Library Weblog........................... 5,114................... 08857

Small Talk . . . KFPL......................................... 5,077.............. K7L 1X8

Toronto Public Library LOUD for Kids..... 5,019........... M4W 2G8

Average Post Length

Traditional blog advice—if there is such a thing as tradition for blogs—is that posts should be brief, no more than a paragraph or so. While you can turn almost anything into a single paragraph, typical paragraphs run 75 to 150 words, frequently much fewer. This paragraph, for example, is 53 words.

The “average average” post length—that is, the average of all words-per-post figures for the blogs—was 187.3 words, roughly two typical paragraphs. The median was 153.8 words, roughly one long paragraph.

Uniquely for this metric, it makes sense to point out two outlying groups: The blogs with considerably longer-than-average posts…and the blogs with considerably shorter-than-average posts (“terse blogs”).

Relatively Long Posts

Blog........................................ Average Post Length........................ Zip

What's New @ Coloma Public Library......... 865................... 54930

Highland Park Public Library Teen Blog..... 863................... 08904

Wayne County Public Library......................... 822................... 27530

Fresno County Library Events & Book Clubs
................................................................................... 789................... 93721

Administratively Speaking.............................. 596................... 10924

Seldovia Public Library..................................... 558................... 99663

History & Genealogy at the Culver Union-Twp.
Public Library....................................................... 541................... 46511

Business Lines...................................................... 462................... 46410

Turning the Page…............................................. 458................... 45202

Mostly NF Blog..................................................... 457................... 98446

What We're Reading........................................... 435................... 10924

SAPL Book Clubs................................................. 406.............. T8N 3Z9

Tuesday Technology Talks @ PPL................. 401................... 08542

Guelph Public Library Book Buzz.................. 387.............. N1H 4J6

From the Reference Desk................................... 371................... 03060

Library Musings:  Kankakee Public Library
................................................................................... 367................... 60901

Library Leader...................................................... 366................... 32801

Director's Blog...................................................... 365................... 60491

Ye Old Village Library Blog.............................. 363................... 19543

Connections - Events.......................................... 355................... 06820

S. W. Smith Library............................................. 353................... 16743

Whitewright Public Library............................. 350................... 75491

Sutherland Shire Libraries News................... 327............. Australia

Pete's Picks............................................................ 322.............. T8N 3Z9

Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library Blog
................................................................................... 321.............. L3Z 2A7

Carver Public Library . blog.............................. 321................... 02330

Friends of the Lacey Library............................. 318................... 98503

YARRA PLENTY LIBRARY BLOG................ 315............. Australia

PaperCuts.............................................................. 315................... 66604

52 Books, 52 Weeks............................................. 313................... 60106

Book Comments................................................... 304................... 20912

WPLINFOSTUFF................................................. 298.............. N2L 5E2

Project Read of the San Francisco Public Library
................................................................................... 295................... 94102

Lane Memorial Library Blog............................ 288................... 03842

the New Cybrary.................................................. 276................... 54911

Iosco-Arenac District Library Technology Blog
................................................................................... 274................... 48730

Birmingham Public Library's Latest News, Reviews & Info
 .................................................................................. 273................... 35203

Highland County District Library Weblog.. 273................... 45133

International Falls Public Library Happenings
................................................................................... 271................... 56649

CFPLDirector........................................................ 269................... 50613

Invisible Ink........................................................... 268............. Australia

New Materials at the Poy Sippi Public Library
................................................................................... 268................... 54967

Memphis Reads................................................... 266................... 38111

She Said/He Said:Kankakee Public Library Blog
................................................................................... 262................... 60901

Director's Blog...................................................... 261................... 03060

Lost in the Stacks................................................. 260................... 50701

Galway Public Libraries Blog.......................... 257................. Ireland

MADreads............................................................. 255................... 53703

Clymer Book Blog................................................ 255................... 18350

Westport Public Library MOVIE & MUSIC blog
................................................................................... 252................... 06880

Fahrenheit 451:  Banned Books....................... 251............... L0S 1E0

Relatively Terse Posts (Shortest First)

Blog........................................ Average Post Length........................ Zip

What's New at Carter Memorial Library........ 11................... 54963

Inside the Pages...................................................... 19................... 53010

Teens @ Waterloo Public Library...................... 39................... 50701

Wetmore Public Library....................................... 45................... 66550

HCL News............................................................... 45................... 49242

Galesburg Library Kids........................................ 49................... 61401

Off the Shelves........................................................ 49................... 60526

Newton's Quick Job Search Blog....................... 50................... 02459

Bartlesville Public Library News...................... 53................... 74003

Orland Park Public Library Teen Blog............ 53................... 60462

Wellington City Libraries.................................... 53..... NewZealand

Whitley County Public Library.......................... 55................... 40769

Brookfield Public Library - Recent News........ 60................... 60513

Warsaw Public Library Happenings............... 61................... 14569

MGPL Parents......................................................... 61................... 60053

Goshen Teens.......................................................... 63................... 10924

West Islip Public Library..................................... 63................... 11795

Readers' Advisory Knapsack............................. 67................... 02459

LibLog....................................................................... 68................... 94063

tuftsstuff teens......................................................... 68................... 02188

Hot Topics................................................................ 70................... 54901

River Rouge Public Library................................. 71................... 48218

MGPL 5th and 6th Graders................................ 71................... 60053

Check out the Lyons Public Library!................ 72................... 14489

Wabasha Public Library...................................... 74................... 55981

Osage City Public Library................................... 76................... 66523

Norwalk Public Library's Laid Back Book Club
..................................................................................... 76................... 06850

The In-Site Bank..................................................... 77................... 06426

Fargo ......................................................................... 77................... 58102

FCL Teen Talk......................................................... 77................... 29506

Latest entries from lakevillelibrary.blog-city.com
..................................................................................... 80................... 02347

Fiske Free Library................................................... 85................... 03743

Sodus Free Library blog....................................... 86................... 14551

Monroe Township Public Library - Staff Picks
..................................................................................... 86................... 08831

Lafayette Public Library - South Regional Library
..................................................................................... 86................... 70501

h20boro lib blog...................................................... 86................... 04030

Birmingham Public Library's digital collections
..................................................................................... 86................... 35203

Yarra Plenty Geneaology..................................... 87............. Australia

Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County
..................................................................................... 88................... 46703

Neptune Public Library....................................... 88................... 07753

Palatine Public Library District......................... 89................... 60067

Longevity

All of these blogs have been around since at least December 2006—that’s one of the rules for inclusion. Some have been around a while longer.

Most of these blogs began in 2006—155 of the 252. Another 38 began in the last half of 2005. That leaves the blogs that had been around for at least two years by the end of the study.

There’s a special case at the start of this list: Waterboro’s h20boro lib blog. You can’t date the blog by internal evidence—but I know this blog has been around since the start of the millennium, since I wrote about it then. Within a year, blogs are arranged by the month in which they began.

Began in 2000

h20boro lib blog............................................................................... 04030

Began in 2002

LibLog................................................................................................ 94063

TCPL News....................................................................................... 14850

Began in 2003

Sites and Soundbytes..................................................................... 54952

FPL Teen Blog.................................................................................. 01702

Kids Lit............................................................................................... 54952

PaperCuts.......................................................................................... 66604

Marin County Free Library Blog................................................. 94903

Children's Department Paperless Notebook.......................... 15102

Off the Shelves................................................................................. 60526

eBranch Blog.................................................................................... 77054

Began in 2004, January-June

the Cybrary Reviews...................................................................... 54911

Wilmette Public Library Staff Book Reviews
(Children's Books).......................................................................... 60091

Old Bridge Library Weblog.......................................................... 08857

SJCPL Blog........................................................................................ 46601

BLog.................................................................................................... 11576

Parma Teens..................................................................................... 14468

Parma Kids....................................................................................... 14468

Book Comments.............................................................................. 20912

Library Staff Weblog...................................................................... 20912

Friends of the Lacey Library........................................................ 98503

What's New @ Roselle Public Library...................................... 60172

What's New/Hot Topics.............................................................. 01301

in the teen zone................................................................................ 02860

Sellers Library Teens...................................................................... 19082

The Children's Room..................................................................... 20912

Began in 2004, July-December

Lafayette Public Library - South Regional Library............... 70501

CMRLS News................................................................................... 39043

Homer Township Public Library............................................... 60491

Santa Clara County Library - The Latest SCCoop................. 95032

What's happening for teens at the library?........................ K0K 2K0

New Materials at the Poy Sippi Public Library 54967

Madison Library news and links............................................... 03849

Delta Township District Library................................................ 48917

Whitewright Public Library......................................................... 75491

JMCPL Teen Scene...................................................................... S6V 1B7

Began in 2005, January-March

Hot Topics......................................................................................... 54901

What's New @ Coloma Public Library..................................... 54930

Buena Park Library District News............................................. 90620

Lansing Library Adult News & Reviews Blog....................... 60438

Lansing Library Youth News & Reviews Blog...................... 60438

Lansing Public Library Teen News & Reviews 60438

Lansing Public Library Technology Blog................................ 60438

The Loft online................................................................................. 60477

ICARUS...  the Santa Fe Public Library Blog........................... 87501

Library Ledger Online................................................................... 53040

What's New at Carter Memorial Library................................. 54963

Fahrenheit 451:  Banned Books.............................................. L0S 1E0

Began in 2005, April-June

Musings from Vermont................................................................. 05301

In the stacks...................................................................................... 27203

New at Hackley Public Library.................................................. 49440

Johnson County Library............................................................... 66212

Pioneer Memorial Library Blog.................................................. 67701

Bartlesville Public Library News............................................... 74003

book bits............................................................................................. 02090

Berkeley Heights Public Library Book Blog............................ 07922

JMRL Young Adult Services........................................................ 22922

Ann Arbor District Library -........................................................ 48104

Visibility

This crude measure of blog visibility is, as noted earlier, even less useful for public library blogs than for liblogs and others. That said, there are a handful of public library blogs with more general visibility than most, possibly because they’ve been around a while, they’ve been used as examples in various articles, books and sessions, or they have unusually compelling content:

Blog.............................................................. Visibility........................ Zip

Ann Arbor District Library -.............................. 3.4................... 48104

SJCPL Blog.............................................................. 3.1................... 46601

h20boro lib blog..................................................... 2.5................... 04030

PaperCuts................................................................ 2.4................... 66604

MADreads............................................................... 2.3................... 53703

Marin County Free Library Blog....................... 2.3................... 94903

Fahrenheit 451:  Banned Books........................ 2.3............... L0S 1E0

Kids Lit..................................................................... 2.2................... 54952

Library Leader....................................................... 2.1................... 32801

Worthingteens....................................................... 2.0................... 43085

Darien Library Directors Blog........................... 2.0................... 06820

Bartlesville Public Library News..................... 2.0................... 74003

Sites and Soundbytes........................................... 2.0................... 54952

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, Volume 9, Number 6, Whole Issue 116, ISSN 1534-0937, a journal of libraries, policy, technology and media, is written and produced by Walt Crawford, Editorial Director of the Library Leadership Network.

Cites & Insights is sponsored by YBP Library Services, http://www.ybp.com.

Opinions herein may not represent those of Lyrasis or YBP Library Services.

Comments should be sent to waltcrawford@gmail.com. Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large is copyright © 2009 by Walt Crawford: Some rights reserved.

All original material in this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/1.0 or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

URL: citesandinsights.info/civ9i6.pdf