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


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


Academic Library Blogs

Should your academic 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 library, no matter how large or small.

On the other hand, dozens of academic libraries already use blogs to good effect. I believe most academic libraries could serve their communities well by initiating blogs or adding new blogs—although some of those blogs might not look like blogs.

Special Note

If you’ve already read Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples, much of the wording in the first few chapters here may seem familiar. That’s not surprising. I used the same methodology for academic library blogs as for public library blogs—the same time period, the same rules for inclusion, the same metrics. The only real difference is that I didn’t attempt to determine the size of user communities for academic library blogs.

Since I wrote the public library book first, I’m reusing the first few chapters—but, of course, all the facts are different…

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 adding more to what you already have. Or you’re at one of the 165 academic institutions or libraries included here and want to see how your blogs compare to others.

You could check out every academic library blog listed in the two major sources (the “Weblogs – Academic Libraries” page of LISWiki at liswiki.org/wiki/Weblogs_-_Academic_Libraries and the “Academic libraries” page of Blogging Libraries Wiki at www.blogwithoutalibrary.net/links/index.php?title=Academic_libraries). But that’s more than 525 links (in late December 2007)—a lot of blogs to go through.

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

Most of this book is examples: 231 blogs from 156 institutions (165 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.

[Next section omitted as entirely redundant]

Criteria for Inclusion

My intent was to include a broadly representative sample of successful and active English-language academic 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 academic library blog list and the Blogging Libraries academic library blog list. I added selective blogs from the “Library director” page of Blogging libraries if the blogs showed links to academic 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 an academic library 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.

More than 160 blogs that were in the candidate lists didn’t make it into this study. Fifty-four had ceased by February 2007. Twenty-three were new in 2007. Twenty-three aren’t in English. Twenty-two were still around but inactive by my minimal standards: That is, they only had posts in one of the three months listed. Seventeen were problematic—they had no archives, undated posts, or other technical issues that made it impossible to determine whether they qualified. Finally, 23 were “wrong” for one reason or another: The URL didn’t work, the blog wasn’t from an academic library, what I reached wasn’t a blog at all. If you’re trying to add these figures up to the overall total, the remainder are duplicates: Blogs that appear in both wikis.

Some libraries have more than one blog; some have many. I took up to five blogs for a given library (or group of libraries within the same zip code). In a few cases, I discovered additional blogs for a library while doing metrics—and added those, again with a five-blog limit.

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 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). I also looked at the relationship of the blog to the library website and noted 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.

The final list, represented in the last twelve chapters of this book, is 231 blogs from 165 libraries or groups of libraries within 156 academic institutions or campuses.

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

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 or the nature of the library. I omitted general-purpose and library news blogs.

Antarctic

Antarctic Studies.............................................................. New Zealand

Architecture

Architecture Studies....................................................................... 89154

Art

Arts and Humanities News from Sterne Library.................. 35205

PNCA Library.................................................................................. 97209

National Art School Library................................................. Australia

Astronomy

Institute for Astronomy Library Weblog.................................. 96822

Biology

BANR................................................................................................. 80523

BioBlog............................................................................................... 61801

Bioblog................................................................................ New Zealand

Department of Biological Sciences............................................ 70803

Books

Books and Libraries....................................................................... 30303

Business

Business Blog................................................................................... 45701

Business Blog................................................................................... 80523

Business Library News................................................................. 52242

Business News and Resources at the Sterne Library........... 35205

BU Libraries Business Blog.......................................................... 13902

Kresge Library News..................................................................... 48109

Children’s Literature

Children's Literature at the Education & Social Science Library.            61801

Classical/Antiquities

Blegen Library News.................................................................... Greece

Conference reports

K-State Libraries: Conference Reports...................................... 66506

Design

Design Library News..................................................................... 27695

Digitization and digital resources

Digital Library Services................................................................. 52242

Digitization Projects at UNLV Libraries.................................. 89154

UConn Information Community at the L.M.Stowe Library
* E-Resource News and Problems............................................. 06034

Director’s blog

@ the library...................................................................................... 81001

The Director's Blog......................................................................... 32789

McMaster University Library.................................................. L8S 4L6

Moving forward: think, reflect, play.......................................... 91106

Twilight Librarian--Jim Rettig's ruminations on libraries,
librarianship, the infosphere, and more.................................. 23173

Distance education

Distance Learning Library Services.......................................... 47306

Wired Distant-Pierce Library News & Views......................... 97850

Economics

Economics Library Blog................................................. New Zealand

Education

CIMC "news" Page.......................................................................... 53706

Coutts Canadian-Flavoured Education News.................. T6G 2E1

Education News.............................................................................. 30303

Gargoyles Loose in the Library................................................... 61801

Instructional Resource Center, Ashland University Library
.............................................................................................................. 44805

Engineering

Cog 'n Blog - Engineering Library news................... New Zealand

Engineering Library................................................................. S7N 5A9

Englibrary......................................................................................... 19104

Wendt Library Blog, UW College of Engineering.................. 53706

Environment

School of the Coast and Environment...................................... 70803

ERC

Wired Funny-Life in Pierce Library's ERC.............................. 97850

Gaming

Gaming Research Weblog...................................................... T6G 2C5

Geology

GeoSciences Library Blog.............................................. New Zealand

Google Scholar

UBC Academic Search - Google Scholar Blog................... V6T 1Z4

Government and Government Documents

Blog: Kennedy School of Government Library 02138

California Policy Inbox................................................................. 94720

GovBlog: UC Berkeley.................................................................... 94720

Government and Legal Information......................................... 35205

Government Publications Library -- University of Colorado
.............................................................................................................. 80309

Swem Government Information................................................ 23187

WMU Libraries - Government Information............................ 49008

Indigenous Studies

iPortal News............................................................................... S7N 5A4

Journalism

Journalism @ the BSU Libraries................................................. 47306

Law (Blawgs)

BoleyBlogs!....................................................................................... 97219

Carolina Blawg................................................................................ 27599

Law Dawg Blawg........................................................................... 62901

Law In The News............................................................................ 97219

Law Library Blog....................................................................... V6T 1Z4

University of Baltimore Law Library Weblog`....................... 21201

WisBlawg - From the UW Law Library.................................... 53706

ZiefBrief............................................................................................. 94117

Learning Commons

Learning Commons Blog............................................................. 30303

Linguistics

Linguistics and Language Resources.................................. V6T 1Z4

Management

The WML Spotlight........................................................................ 37203

Maps

Geospatial Resources & Map Collection................................. 47306

Media

Alpha Channel: The Studio @ Hodges Library 37996

Medicine

CWML Blog..................................................................................... 06520l

Hardin News................................................................................. 52242e

Health Sciences Information at UNLV Libraries.................. 89154

IU Medical Library News............................................................ 46202l

Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences News.................. 35205l

Mulford Library Blog.................................................................... 43614l

UMN: Bio-Med Library - Public Health.................................. 55455l

Midwifery

RCM Library midwifery information.................................. England

Okavongo

Flow : information for Okavango Delta planning......... Botswana

Physiotherapy

UBC Physio Info-blog............................................................... V6T 1Z4

Podcasts

Lewis & Clark Law School Podcast.......................................... 97219

Poetry

Poetry at Beinecke Library............................................................ 06520

Population Research

News from the PRI Library and Data Archive....................... 16802

Reference

Alkek Library's  Reference Blog.................................................. 78666

KSL Reference & Instruction........................................................ 44106

Repository

Bond's Research Repository................................................. Australia

Research

Research behind the News.......................................................... 80204

Resources

Connections...................................................................................... 49001

Information Resources.................................................................. 60465

K-State Libraries: E-Resources.................................................... 66506

Levy Library..................................................................................... 10029

Todd Library: Featured Resources............................................. 60554

University of Calgary Library Collections News............ T2N 1N4

Reviews

Bookends........................................................................................... 80903

BookMarks: Beyond the Page...................................................... 28235

Vairo Blog.......................................................................................... 19063

Scholarly Communication

Scholarly Communication........................................................... 61801

Transforming Scholarly Communication............................... 77004

Science

BU Science Library Blog................................................................ 13902

Physical & Engineering Sciences News................................... 27695

Science @ UCD Library............................................................... Ireland

Science News................................................................................... 30303

Science-Health Science Library Blog......................................... 47306

SciTech News @ the UT Libraries.............................................. 37996

Special Collections

Hyde Collection Catablog............................................................ 02138

North Carolina Miscellany.......................................................... 27514

Special Collections   ...................................................................... 52242

Special Collections LSU............................................................... 70803l

Staff

K-State Libraries: Annex............................................................... 66506

K-State Libraries: Staff Bulletin................................................... 66506

Systems and Technology

Ask Sassy Systems......................................................................... 71103

Emerging from the Blog................................................................ 94928

Wayne Graham's Blog.................................................................. 23187

Textiles

Burlington Textiles Library.......................................................... 27695

Thanks

K-State Libraries: Kudos............................................................... 66506

Undergraduate

R.B. House Undergraduate Library........................................... 27514

Undergraduate Library................................................................. 61801

Metrics and Standouts

What makes a library blog a success? That depends on the library. Each of the 231 blogs profiled in the book may qualify as a success for the people who produce it and the patrons who read it…

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 0.1 (that is, one comment 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 0.4, 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)…

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 libraries, since blog visibility within a library 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. Because quite a few blogs were added during the survey, I checked all blogs on December 29-30, 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). Any in the 4.0-4.9 range are labeled as “highly visible.” “A-list blogs” have visibility factors in the 5.0 to 6.9 range, which I call “extremely visible.”

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 6,229 posts among 231 blogs for the three months of March, April and May 2007. That’s a mean of 27 posts—a bit more than two posts a week, not a bad average for blogs. But the median was 14.0 posts: Just over one post a week.

Working up from the least frequent, 15 of the blogs had two or three posts—no more than one a month on average. Another 29 had four to six posts, less than one every two weeks. Thus, just over 19% of the blogs had very infrequent posts. Fifty-four more blogs (another 23%) had seven to 12 posts—more than one every two weeks, less than one a week. Eighteen had 13 or 14 posts, bringing us up to the median.

Getting from median to mean, 53 blogs had 15 to 26 posts—more than one but no more than two per week. Another 18 had 27 to 34 posts—and that brings us up to the 20% of blogs with most frequent postings (shown in descending order):

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

Law In The News................................................ 762................... 97219

Swem Government Information..................... 468................... 23187

Physical & Engineering Sciences News....... 240................... 27695

News from the PRI Library and Data Archive
................................................................................... 114................... 16802

WisBlawg - From the UW Law Library........... 90................... 53706

Economics Library Blog....................................... 89.... New Zealand

View from the library............................................ 83................... 30102

Library News.......................................................... 78.............. T6G 2E1

Government Publications Library -- University of Colorado
..................................................................................... 73................... 80309

iPortal News............................................................ 73.............. S7N 5A4

UW Libraries Blog................................................. 69................... 82071

Mulford Library Blog............................................ 68................... 43614

Ball State University Libraries' News.............. 67................... 47306

Instructional Resource Center, Ashland University Library
..................................................................................... 65................... 44805

Research behind the News................................. 65................... 80204

aRKive....................................................................... 62.............. Scotland

Wendt Library Blog, UW College of Engineering
..................................................................................... 61................... 53706

Homeland Security Digital Library Weblog
 - On the HomeFront............................................. 59................... 93943

Law Dawg Blawg.................................................. 56................... 62901

MIT Libraries News.............................................. 56................... 02139

Flow : information for Okavango Delta planning
 .................................................................................... 55............ Botswana

Coutts Canadian-Flavoured Education News
..................................................................................... 54.............. T6G 2E1

spineless?................................................................. 53.............. Scotland

Education News..................................................... 52................... 30303

The Compass.......................................................... 52................... 23464

Cites & Bytes @ Bailey.......................................... 50................... 16057

K-State Libraries: Staff Bulletin.......................... 49................... 66506

News from the Mudd........................................... 49................... 54912

CSB/SJU Library Blog.......................................... 48................... 56374

UGA Libraries News & Events.......................... 47................... 30602

Cog 'n Blog - Engineering Library news......... 46.... New Zealand

UConn Stamford Library Blog........................... 46................... 06901

Temple University Library News..................... 43................... 19122

..STCC Library 'blog.............................................. 42................... 01102

Gargoyles Loose in the Library.......................... 42................... 61801

Lewis & Clark Law School Podcast................. 42................... 97219

Library News & Events........................................ 41............... L8S 4L6

CIMC "news" Page................................................. 40................... 53706

Carmichael Library's Blog.................................. 39................... 35115

From Clement C. Maxwell Library................... 38................... 02325

SciTech News @ the UT Libraries..................... 38................... 37996

GovBlog: UC Berkeley........................................... 35................... 94720

UBC Physio Info-blog........................................... 35.............. V6T 1Z4

ZiefBrief.................................................................... 35................... 94117

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. In all, there were 575 comments on the posts—an average (mean) of 2.5 per blog—but 145 blogs (almost 63%) had no comments at all, frequently because they weren’t allowed (at least 62 blogs don’t allow comments). Another 21 blogs had one comment each and 18 more had only two.

The median number of comments is zero, since more than half the blogs had no comments. 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 three comments over the three-month period make up 18% of the blogs. Here they are, in order by descending number of comments:

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

UW Libraries Blog................................................. 66................... 82071

Gargoyles Loose in the Library.......................... 61................... 61801

Cites & Bytes @ Bailey.......................................... 37................... 16057

McMaster University Library............................. 31............... L8S 4L6

spineless?................................................................. 20.............. Scotland

Temple University Library News..................... 18................... 19122

Library Log.............................................................. 17................... 19104

CSB/SJU Library Blog.......................................... 15................... 56374

Ask Sassy Systems................................................ 13................... 71103

What's New Weblog............................................. 12................... 59812

Wayne Graham's Blog......................................... 11................... 23187

WisBlawg - From the UW Law Library........... 11................... 53706

K-State Libraries: Staff Bulletin.......................... 10................... 66506

The Director's Blog................................................ 10................... 32789

UBC Academic Search - Google Scholar Blog
..................................................................................... 10.............. V6T 1Z4

UBC Physio Info-blog........................................... 10.............. V6T 1Z4

Twilight Librarian--Jim Rettig's ruminations on libraries,
librarianship, the infosphere, and more........... 9................... 23173

Western Kentucky University Libraries Blog... 9................... 42101

Cog 'n Blog - Engineering Library news............ 8.... New Zealand

reading girl speaks.................................................. 8................... 44074

Welcome to the MSVU Library............................. 8............... B3M 2J6

..STCC Library 'blog................................................. 7................... 01102

Economics Library Blog......................................... 7.... New Zealand

K-State Libraries: Conference Reports................ 7................... 66506

Leddy News............................................................... 7.............. N9B 3P4

The Compass............................................................. 7................... 23464

Geospatial Resources & Map Collection........... 6................... 47306

National Art School Library................................. 6............. Australia

ZiefBrief....................................................................... 6................... 94117

Hardin News............................................................. 5................... 52242

Wendt Library Blog, UW College of Engineering
....................................................................................... 5................... 53706

Wired Funny-Life in Pierce Library's ERC....... 5................... 97850

@ the library............................................................... 4................... 81001

Architecture Studies................................................ 4................... 89154

ASU Libraries News................................................ 4................... 85287

BookWise! The blog of the Merner Pfeiffer Library
....................................................................................... 4................... 37371

Buswell Library News & Research..................... 4................... 60187

DACC Library BlogSpot......................................... 4................... 61832

The WML Spotlight................................................. 4................... 37203

Tutt Library News.................................................... 4................... 80903

University of Baltimore Law Library Weblog.. 4................... 21201

Wired Distant-Pierce Library News & Views.. 4................... 97850

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 tiny 0.1, and only 51 blogs (22%) manage to beat that average. here are the 37 blogs (16%) with at least 0.3 comments per post during the three months:

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

Wayne Graham's Blog........................................ 2.2................... 23187

McMaster University Library............................ 1.6............... L8S 4L6

What's New Weblog............................................ 1.5................... 59812

Gargoyles Loose in the Library......................... 1.5................... 61801

UBC Academic Search - Google Scholar Blog
.................................................................................... 1.3.............. V6T 1Z4

UW Libraries Blog................................................ 1.0................... 82071

Twilight Librarian--Jim Rettig's ruminations on libraries,
librarianship, the infosphere…........................ 0.8................... 23173

Cites & Bytes @ Bailey......................................... 0.7................... 16057

reading girl speaks............................................... 0.7................... 44074

Wired Distant-Pierce Library News & Views
.................................................................................... 0.7................... 97850

The Director's Blog............................................... 0.6................... 32789

Ask Sassy Systems............................................... 0.5................... 71103

Hardin News......................................................... 0.5................... 52242

Library Log............................................................. 0.5................... 19104

National Art School Library.............................. 0.5............. Australia

Rio Hondo College Library Weblog................ 0.5................... 90601

Welcome to the MSVU Library......................... 0.5............... B3M 2J6

Wired Funny-Life in Pierce Library's ERC.... 0.5................... 97850

ASU Libraries News............................................ 0.4................... 85287

Leddy News........................................................... 0.4.............. N9B 3P4

spineless?................................................................ 0.4.............. Scotland

Temple University Library News.................... 0.4................... 19122

Architecture Studies............................................. 0.3................... 89154

Bond's Research Repository.............................. 0.3............. Australia

BookWise! The blog of the Merner Pfeiffer Library
.................................................................................... 0.3................... 37371

Buswell Library News & Research.................. 0.3................... 60187

Children's Literature at the Education & Social Science Library 0.3       61801

CSB/SJU Library Blog......................................... 0.3................... 56374

DACC Library BlogSpot...................................... 0.3................... 61832

Gaming Research Weblog.................................. 0.3.............. T6G 2C5

Geospatial Resources & Map Collection....... 0.3................... 47306

In Blume: News from the Blume Library....... 0.3................... 78228

K-State Libraries: Conference Reports............ 0.3................... 66506

See What We Can Do For You - GTCC Library
.................................................................................... 0.3................... 27282

Tutt Library News................................................ 0.3................... 80903

UBC Physio Info-blog.......................................... 0.3.............. V6T 1Z4

Western Kentucky University Libraries Blog
.................................................................................... 0.3................... 42101

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. And, of course, some blogs don’t use illustrations at all: 96 of the 231 blogs (more than 41%) had not a single illustration during the three-month study period. In all, there were 3,662 illustrations attached to the 6,229 posts—but that’s a misleading figure, since one blog accounts for 1,975 of those 3,662 illustrations.

The average number of illustrations is 15.9; excluding that one heavily-illustrated case, the average is 7.3 illustrations. The median is one. Roughly the top quintile begins at 12 illustrations over three months—about two-thirds more than the adjusted average.

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

Physical & Engineering Sciences News.... 1,975................... 27695

MIT Libraries News............................................ 138................... 02139

spineless?............................................................... 100.............. Scotland

UW Libraries Blog................................................. 60................... 82071

Cites & Bytes @ Bailey.......................................... 50................... 16057

Law Dawg Blawg.................................................. 50................... 62901

Burlington Textiles Library................................. 49................... 27695

Instructional Resource Center, Ashland University Library
..................................................................................... 49................... 44805

Gargoyles Loose in the Library.......................... 43................... 61801

From Clement C. Maxwell Library................... 41................... 02325

Library News.......................................................... 36................... 52242

UBC Physio Info-blog........................................... 35.............. V6T 1Z4

YOUR Alexandria Campus Library................ 33................... 22203

Library News.......................................................... 32................... 60465

UT Library News................................................... 31................... 37996

Ball State University Libraries' News.............. 30................... 47306

Western Kentucky University Libraries Blog
..................................................................................... 30................... 42101

Flow : information for Okavango Delta planning
..................................................................................... 27............ Botswana

Library Log.............................................................. 27................... 19104

WisBlawg - From the UW Law Library........... 26................... 53706

@thelibrary............................................................... 25................... 83725

Buswell Library News & Research................... 25................... 60187

Science @ UCD Library........................................ 25................. Ireland

Pensacola Junior College Library Blog............ 22................... 32504

Geospatial Resources & Map Collection........ 20................... 47306

Haselwood Library............................................... 20................... 98337

Bookends.................................................................. 19................... 80903

Langsdale Library News..................................... 19................... 21201

NYIT Library Blog................................................. 19................... 11568

Welcome to the MSVU Library.......................... 16............... B3M 2J6

Library Newsletter................................................. 15................... 12866

reading girl speaks................................................ 15................... 44074

The L Files................................................................ 15............. Australia

NCSU Libraries...................................................... 14................... 27695

North Carolina Miscellany................................. 14................... 27514

UGA Libraries News & Events.......................... 14................... 30602

mclnews................................................................... 13................... 27710

Blog: Kennedy School of Government Library
..................................................................................... 12................... 02138

BookWise! The blog of the Merner Pfeiffer Library
..................................................................................... 12................... 37371

Design Library News............................................ 12................... 27695

Library News & Events........................................ 12............... L8S 4L6

SBU Library............................................................. 12................... 14778

Special Collections   ............................................. 12................... 52242

Illustrations per Post

With so many blogs having no illustrations at all, the median illustrations per post is naturally quite low: 0.1. The mean is 0.4 illustrations per post.

The top group in this case is 42 blogs with at least 0.9 illustrations per post—17% of the blogs.

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

Physical & Engineering Sciences News......... 8.2................... 27695

Special Collections   ............................................ 3.0................... 52242

MIT Libraries News............................................. 2.5................... 02139

SBU Library............................................................ 2.4................... 14778

Buswell Library News & Research.................. 1.9................... 60187

spineless?................................................................ 1.9.............. Scotland

Library News......................................................... 1.7................... 60465

BRAIN_blog........................................................... 1.6.............. L8N 3T2

Distance Learning Library Services................ 1.6................... 47306

Langsdale Library News.................................... 1.5................... 21201

Burlington Textiles Library................................ 1.4................... 27695

Digital Library Services....................................... 1.3................... 52242

Learning Resources Library.............................. 1.3................... 27695

More News & Events........................................... 1.3................... 40475

reading girl speaks............................................... 1.3................... 44074

UT Library News.................................................. 1.2................... 37996

Wired Distant-Pierce Library News & Views
.................................................................................... 1.2................... 97850

From Clement C. Maxwell Library.................. 1.1................... 02325

Geospatial Resources & Map Collection....... 1.1................... 47306

Library News......................................................... 1.1................... 52242

YOUR Alexandria Campus Library............... 1.1................... 22203

ASU Libraries News............................................ 1.0................... 85287

Bookends................................................................. 1.0................... 80903

BookMarks: Beyond the Page............................ 1.0................... 28235

Cites & Bytes @ Bailey......................................... 1.0................... 16057

Gargoyles Loose in the Library......................... 1.0................... 61801

Hyde Collection Catablog.................................. 1.0................... 02138

In Blume: News from the Blume Library....... 1.0................... 78228

Northeastern State University Libraries --
What's New at the Library................................. 1.0................... 74464

NYIT Library Blog................................................ 1.0................... 11568

Pensacola Junior College Library Blog........... 1.0................... 32504

Science @ UCD Library....................................... 1.0................. Ireland

UBC Physio Info-blog.......................................... 1.0.............. V6T 1Z4

Welcome to the MSVU Library......................... 1.0............... B3M 2J6

@thelibrary.............................................................. 0.9................... 83725

Law Dawg Blawg................................................. 0.9................... 62901

Library Newsletter................................................ 0.9................... 12866

Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences News
.................................................................................... 0.9................... 35205

UBC Academic Search - Google Scholar Blog
.................................................................................... 0.9.............. V6T 1Z4

UW Libraries Blog................................................ 0.9................... 82071

Western Kentucky University Libraries Blog
.................................................................................... 0.9................... 42101

WVU Libraries News........................................... 0.9................... 26506

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.

The complete set of posts totaled 852,930 words—roughly eight full-length novels. The average blog had 3,692 words in all its posts, while the median was 2,244 words. Fifty-six blogs had fewer than 1,000 words each.

In this case, the set of “long blogs” is just under 20% of all blogs, using 6,000 words as a cutoff:

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

Swem Government Information............... 39,000................... 23187

Ball State University Libraries' News...... 28,351................... 47306

Physical & Engineering Sciences News.. 23,915................... 27695

Government Publications Library -- University of Colorado
............................................................................. 23,643................... 80309

K-State Libraries: Conference Reports
............................................................................. 14,066................... 66506

MIT Libraries News...................................... 12,589................... 02139

WisBlawg - From the UW Law Library... 11,817................... 53706

Temple University Library News............. 11,481................... 19122

K-State Libraries: Staff Bulletin.................. 11,431................... 66506

Wendt Library Blog, UW College of Engineering
............................................................................. 11,170................... 53706

Design Library News.................................... 11,021................... 27695

spineless?......................................................... 10,202.............. Scotland

Cites & Bytes @ Bailey.................................. 10,150................... 16057

Mulford Library Blog...................................... 9,948................... 43614

Law Dawg Blawg............................................. 9,775................... 62901

Research behind the News............................ 9,711................... 80204

DACC Library BlogSpot................................. 9,139................... 61832

News from the PRI Library and Data Archive
............................................................................... 9,006................... 16802

Homeland Security Digital Library Weblog
 - On the HomeFront........................................ 8,956................... 93943

Scholarly Communication............................ 8,775................... 61801

View from the library...................................... 8,745................... 30102

aRKive................................................................. 8,641.............. Scotland

Law In The News............................................. 8,637................... 97219

UW Libraries Blog............................................ 8,178................... 82071

From Clement C. Maxwell Library............. 8,009................... 02325

CIMC "news" Page........................................... 7,919................... 53706

YOUR Alexandria Campus Library........... 7,850................... 22203

Library News..................................................... 7,577................... 52242

Haselwood Library.......................................... 7,481................... 98337

UT Library News.............................................. 7,391................... 37996

SciTech News @ the UT Libraries............... 7,329................... 37996

ZiefBrief............................................................... 7,259................... 94117

Flow : information for Okavango Delta planning
............................................................................... 7,126............ Botswana

Burlington Textiles Library........................... 7,070................... 27695

Coutts Canadian-Flavoured Education News
............................................................................... 6,863.............. T6G 2E1

UGA Libraries News & Events.................... 6,691................... 30602

Moving forward: think, reflect, play........... 6,594................... 91106

Instructional Resource Center, Ashland University Library
............................................................................... 6,519................... 44805

The Compass..................................................... 6,512................... 23464

Gargoyles Loose in the Library.................... 6,508................... 61801

Library News..................................................... 6,407.............. T6G 2E1

California Policy Inbox................................... 6,190................... 94720

Transforming Scholarly Communication
............................................................................... 6,161................... 77004

BRAIN_blog....................................................... 6,102.............. L8N 3T2

Average Post Length

The “average average” post length—that is, the average of all words-per-post figures for the blogs—was 177.7 words, roughly two typical paragraphs. The median was 143.5 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 (“essays,” but many of these aren’t long enough for that term) and the blogs with considerably shorter-than-average posts (“terse blogs,” in some cases just lists of authors, titles and maybe call numbers). I’m using the same criteria for long and terse posts as in Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples—more than 250 words and fewer than 90 words, respectively.

Relatively Long Posts

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

Children's Literature at the Education &
Social Science Library........................................ 897................... 61801

BRAIN_blog.......................................................... 872.............. L8N 3T2

Design Library News......................................... 689................... 27695

DACC Library BlogSpot.................................... 653................... 61832

Science-Health Science Library Blog............. 624................... 47306

Law Library Blog................................................. 621.............. V6T 1Z4

Digital Library Services..................................... 526................... 52242

K-State Libraries: Conference Reports........... 502................... 66506

Arts and Humanities News from Sterne Library
................................................................................... 453................... 35205

WVU Libraries News......................................... 430................... 26506

Wired Funny-Life in Pierce Library's ERC
................................................................................... 424................... 97850

Ball State University Libraries' News............ 423................... 47306

Digitization Projects at UNLV Libraries....... 372................... 89154

Lidcombe College Library................................. 372............. Australia

Learning Resources Library............................. 354................... 27695

Special Collections   ........................................... 345................... 52242

Buswell Library News & Research................ 342................... 60187

Wayne Graham's Blog....................................... 339................... 23187

Twilight Librarian--Jim Rettig's ruminations on libraries,
librarianship, the infosphere…....................... 335................... 23173

Distance Learning Library Services............... 329................... 47306

Scholarly Communication............................... 325................... 61801

Government Publications Library --
University of Colorado....................................... 324................... 80309

Business Library News...................................... 324................... 52242

In the Spotlight..................................................... 323................... 60208

Hardin News........................................................ 320................... 52242

Moving forward: think, reflect, play.............. 314................... 91106

K-State Libraries: E-Resources......................... 285................... 66506

UT Library News................................................. 284................... 37996

Special Collections LSU..................................... 279................... 70803

National Art School Library............................. 274............. Australia

RCM Library midwifery information............ 269.............. England

California Policy Inbox...................................... 269................... 94720

Haselwood Library............................................. 267................... 98337

Temple University Library News................... 267................... 19122

BookMarks: Beyond the Page........................... 265................... 28235

YOUR Alexandria Campus Library.............. 262................... 22203

NCSU Libraries.................................................... 256................... 27695

What's New Weblog........................................... 256................... 59812

Alkek Library's  Reference Blog....................... 251................... 78666

Relatively Terse Posts (Shortest First)

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

Law In The News................................................... 11................... 97219

Library News.......................................................... 33.... New Zealand

tclibrary Blog........................................................... 35................... 55404

Latest entries from dundalkinstitute.library-blogs.net
..................................................................................... 39................. Ireland

What's New @ UWM Libraries.......................... 40................... 53211

Health Sciences Information at UNLV Libraries
..................................................................................... 48................... 89154

PNCA Library......................................................... 49................... 97209

University of Baltimore Law Library Weblog 49................... 21201

WMU Libraries - Government Information... 51................... 49008

Engineering Library.............................................. 51.............. S7N 5A9

Pensacola Junior College Library Blog............ 57................... 32504

Economics Library Blog....................................... 62.... New Zealand

Antarctic Studies.................................................... 65.... New Zealand

The Orbit................................................................... 67................... 75080

iPortal News............................................................ 67.............. S7N 5A4

BU Library News & Exhibits.............................. 68................... 13902

Undergraduate Library........................................ 71................... 61801

At the Library.......................................................... 74................... 94928

Alpha Channel: The Studio @ Hodges Library
..................................................................................... 74................... 37996

What's New at the Purchase College Library?
..................................................................................... 76................... 10577

Bioblog...................................................................... 79.... New Zealand

News from the PRI Library and Data Archive
..................................................................................... 79................... 16802

GeoSciences Library Blog.................................... 80.... New Zealand

Princeton University Library News................. 81................... 08544

Library News.......................................................... 82.............. T6G 2E1

Swem Government Information....................... 83................... 23187

Rio Hondo College Library Weblog................. 84................... 90601

Ryerson Library News......................................... 85............. M5B 2K3

College Libraries News........................................ 85................... 13676

What's New at the Auburn Libraries............... 85................... 36849

Gaming Research Weblog................................... 86.............. T6G 2C5

Get It At Gutman.................................................... 86................... 19144

K-State Libraries: Annex...................................... 86................... 66506

Blogos........................................................................ 87................... 19422

What's New!............................................................ 87................... 23173

K-State Libraries: Kudos...................................... 88................... 66506

Blegen Library News............................................ 88.................. Greece

KSL Reference & Instruction............................... 89................... 44106

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.

Just under 100 of these blogs began in 2006. Another 34 began in the last half of 2005. That leaves the blogs that had been around for at least two years by the start of the study.

Began in 1998

mclnews........................................................................ ................... 27710

Began in 1999

WVU Libraries News..................................................................... 26506

Library News - Georgia State University Library.................. 30303

GPC Decatur Campus Library.................................................... 30034

Began in 2002

..STCC Library 'blog....................................................................... 01102

Hardin News................................................................................... 52242

In the Spotlight................................................................................ 60208

iPortal News............................................................................... S7N 5A4

Library Newsletter.......................................................................... 12866

MIT Libraries News....................................................................... 02139

Science News................................................................................... 30303

Began in 2003

Bookends........................................................................................... 80903

BRAIN_blog................................................................................ L8N 3T2

CIMC "news" Page.......................................................................... 53706

Connections...................................................................................... 49001

Education News.............................................................................. 30303

Ginn Weblog.................................................................................... 02155

Institute for Astronomy Library Weblog.................................. 96822

IU Medical Library News............................................................. 46202

Learning Resources Library........................................................ 27695

Library News.............................................................................. T6G 2E1

NCSU Libraries............................................................................... 27695

Ohio University Libraries News................................................ 45701

PNCA Library.................................................................................. 97209

RCM Library midwifery information.................................. England

Rio Hondo College Library Weblog.......................................... 90601

UConn Information Community at the L.M.Stowe Library
 * E-Resource News and Problems............................................ 06034

University of Baltimore Law Library Weblog........................ 21201

VT Library News............................................................................. 24062

Began in 2004, January-June

Alpha Channel: The Studio @ Hodges Library 37996

Business Blog................................................................................... 45701

Data Library News Blog.......................................................... S7N 5A4

Homeland Security Digital Library Weblog
 - On the HomeFront...................................................................... 93943

Information Resources.................................................................. 60465

Library News................................................................................... 52242

Library News................................................................................... 60465

Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences News................... 35205

livelibrary.......................................................................................... 67042

McPherson Library News..................................................... V8W 3H5

SciTech News @ the UT Libraries.............................................. 37996

Todd Library: Featured Resources............................................. 60554

UMN: Bio-Med Library - Public Health................................... 55455

University of Calgary Library Collections News............ T2N 1N4

UWinnipeg Library................................................................... R3B 2E9

What's New!..................................................................................... 23173

What's New at the Auburn Libraries........................................ 36849

What's New @ UWM Libraries................................................... 53211

WisBlawg - From the UW Law Library.................................... 53706

Began in 2004, July-December

AIDallas Library............................................................................. 75231

Auraria Hot Topics........................................................................ 80204

Burlington Textiles Library.......................................................... 27695

Cites & Bytes @ Bailey................................................................... 16057

College of DuPage Library Weblog............................................ 60137

CSB/SJU Library Blog................................................................... 56374

Gaming Research Weblog...................................................... T6G 2C5

Gargoyles Loose in the Library................................................... 61801

Hunter Library News.................................................................... 28723

LaGuardia Community College Library
Media Resources Center Blog...................................................... 11101

Latest entries from dundalkinstitute.library-blogs.net
............................................................................................................ Ireland

Law Dawg Blawg........................................................................... 62901

Law Library Blog....................................................................... V6T 1Z4

Library News................................................................................... 43081

Library News & Events............................................................. L8S 4L6

Schurz Library News..................................................................... 46634

Tutt Library News.......................................................................... 80903

UConn Stamford Library Blog.................................................... 06901

UT Library News............................................................................ 37996

Vairo Blog.......................................................................................... 19063

Wayne Graham's Blog.................................................................. 23187

Began in 2005, January-March

BU Library News & Exhibits....................................................... 13902

BU Science Library Blog................................................................ 13902

Carolina Blawg................................................................................ 27599

KSL News Blog................................................................................ 44106

KSL Reference & Instruction........................................................ 44106

Leddy News................................................................................ N9B 3P4

LRC Blog........................................................................................... Wales

Muskingum College Library Update........................................ 43762

NYIT Library Blog.......................................................................... 11568

R.B. House Undergraduate Library........................................... 27514

Temple University Library News.............................................. 19122

UE Library News............................................................................ 47722

UGA Libraries News & Events................................................... 30602

Began in 2005, April-June

College Libraries News................................................................. 13676

CPCC Libraries Blog...................................................................... 28235

DACC Library BlogSpot................................................................ 61832

Design Library News..................................................................... 27695

Hyde Collection Catablog............................................................ 02138

Instructional Resource Center, Ashland University Library
.............................................................................................................. 44805

Library News.................................................................... New Zealand

North Carolina Miscellany.......................................................... 27514

Scholarly Communication........................................................... 61801

Snoopings......................................................................................... 94928

Swem Government Information................................................ 23187

St. Petersburg College Library Blog........................................... 33781

UBC Academic Search - Google Scholar Blog................... V6T 1Z4

View from the library..................................................................... 30102

What's New -- library.austincc.edu........................................... 78701

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 academic library blogs with more general visibility than most:

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

MIT Libraries News............................................. 5.2................... 02139

California Policy Inbox....................................... 3.9................... 94720

News from the PRI Library and Data Archive
.................................................................................... 3.2................... 16802

UBC Academic Search - Google Scholar Blog
.................................................................................... 2.7.............. V6T 1Z4

McMaster University Library............................ 2.5............... L8S 4L6

Law Dawg Blawg................................................. 2.3................... 62901

WisBlawg - From the UW Law Library.......... 2.3................... 53706

UBC Physio Info-blog.......................................... 2.1.............. V6T 1Z4

Scholarly Communication................................. 2.1................... 61801

Miscellany

A few odd notes on this collection of academic library blogs:

Just over half of the blogs—128—have signed comments, although the signature may be “library” or the like.

Fifty-nine blogs are hosted on Blogspot and use Blogger software; another six blogs hosted elsewhere use Blogger.

Thirty-eight blogs use WordPress software; of those, 15 are hosted by WordPress.

Twelve blogs identified Movable Type as the software being used; three are at TypePad.

Comparing Academic and
Public Library Blogs

Since Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples used the same rules for inclusion, the same study period and the same metrics as this book, it’s possible to make some comparisons between the two types of library blogs.

Academic library blogs tend to have slightly more frequent posts than public library blogs.

Academic library blogs have even fewer comments than public library blogs—and on a comments-per-post basis, the difference is striking.

Eliminating the one academic library blogs with a huge number of illustrations, academic library blogs have about half as many illustrations as public library blogs.

While the average (mean) total length of posts is slightly higher for public library blogs, the median length is slightly higher for academic blogs—but only by about 10%.

Individual posts also tend to be slightly longer in public library blogs.

In Closing

Pardon the repetition. It’s inherent in the fact that these chapters come from two related books.

If you’re interested in the individual blog profiles, which include all relevant metrics and more, these books are still available from Amazon (paperback) and Lulu (PDF ebook). For that matter, if you find some blog names ambiguous, the geographically-arranged book makes them easy to identify.

The books will go out of print (taken off sale) after three months with no sales. That means the books will be available at least through June 2009.

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