Blogging and RSS: A Librarian's Guide (2nd ed.)

Sarah McNicol (Researcher)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 4 October 2011




McNicol, S. (2011), "Blogging and RSS: A Librarian's Guide (2nd ed.)", New Library World, Vol. 112 No. 9/10, pp. 470-470.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Much has changed in the world of social networking since the first edition of Blogging and RSS was published in 2006. In this new edition, Michael Sauers updates the information from the earlier book and adds descriptions of new services, in particular Twitter. However, he also responds to criticisms that blogs are now out‐dated and makes the case for blogs as “an amazing platform” for library promotion.

After a brief introduction to blogs, the author describes some noteworthy blogs from the library sector and beyond. For each, there is a short description and an extract to show a typical post. This illustrates how widely blogs vary in content and tone. This is followed by one of the most interesting chapters of the book, a series of interviews with librarians who blog. Each talks about why they started blogging; the strengths and weaknesses of blogs; advice for new bloggers; their favourite blogs; and recent changes in blogging. Building on these insights, the next chapter details how to create a blog, using Blogger. As with all Sauers' descriptions of how to use software and services, this is very detailed, clearly written and easy to follow.

The next section of the book examines RSS and aggregators, specifically Google Reader. Again, the various options are clearly described. After the technical description, the author moves on to a more library‐focused discussion of potentially useful resources including feeds from libraries, publishers, news organisations and other online services such as flickr and eBay. The last chapter of this section describes how to create your own feeds.

The final chapter of the book deals with the newer phenomenon of microblogging. Once again, Sauers give sensible, practical advice about how to use Twitter effectively based on his own experiences. Blogging and RSS is completed with a comprehensive reading list.

In summary, Blogging and RSS is well written and accessible, whatever your level of technical knowledge. The more general sections would be of interest to a very broad readership, but it is the library‐specific examples that make this so valuable for librarians. As Michael Sauers points out, libraries are notoriously bad at promotion and blogs can play an important role in helping libraries to tell their story in a way which is accessible to customers and potential customers.

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