Saturday, October 28, 2006

Odds and sods & Off-Topics

Thanks, Michael. I'm really getting into the forum book club: where, incidentally, they spend quite a lot of time talking about how good or bad their libraries are. Wigan is middling : I needed to buy Princess of Mars and Ringworld.

Some odds and sods of off topic stuff:

I just got Wigan's copy of "the Silver Spoon" : It looks great, but you didn't say I would need a wheelbarrow to get it home!
I, too, have Madhur's Curry Bible which is a great inspiration when I can be bothered to cook (especially as the daughters won't eat spicy food!)

I have finished and greatly enjoyed "Red Son" & "Shaun" :
delayed by JS&MN and my adventures on the SFX forum : sorry.

How & when can I return them to you?

Congratulations to Blackburn's Graphic Novel group, who are pictured in the Graphic Novel & Manga supplement in the latest bookseller.

Apart from Michael, the Bibliothecary & me, the blog's gone a bit quiet : Is there anybody else still out there?


Anonymous said...

I'm in no rush to get those books back. I'll see you sooner or later, so it'll work out.

On the quietness of the blog, I've obviously got some work to do... Bibliothecary points out that there's a new staff structure in Bolton, which means there are extra people for me to indoctrinate.

I've had one volunteer out of that afternoon I did at Ashton Library, but I managed to not get his email address... I'll email someone at Wigan so I can sort that out.

The big thing, though, is the purpose for the blog: what should it do, and why should it do it? There are a few strands that leap into mind:

* Reviews (books, DVDs, any other library resources)

* Announcements (new online subscriptions, handy websites we've found, linked back to Signpost; stuff that's going on in libraries; any awards anybody happens to win ;), and other things you might file under "misc")

* Reading groups (i.e. the GN group at Bolton, although they've been staying away from here lately. The proposed joint genre fiction group needs kick-starting: I'll be in touch soon!)

* General chit-chat, professional development, plotting and cooperation (cf the proposed joint genre fiction group - this is a useful and viable forum for professional discussion)

So the blog currently does many things, not all of which sit happily alongside each other. Something needs to be done, but I'm not yet sure what that something is.

Any thoughts on this? Would a few spin-off blogs be useful? Should I move this comment up to a post of its own? I'm planning to assemble a crack squad to help me shape Signpost (and Son of Signpost), but the same group will need to look at the blog as well.

swlrir said...

Hi, Michael :

Yes, I think this should be a new topic, marked important.

A few thoughts:

As you say we are trying do separate and perhaps incompatible things.

There is a "public" or "customer" element : mainly reviews but also things like reading group announcements,

and a "professional" element where we tell each other stuff we can use.

And then a place for stuff that is niether!

Perhaps it should be more forum-style with separate threads?

To get more content, could we encourage (coerce?) three or four people from each authority to post reviews (especially) on a regular basis? We could call them "blog champions" and give them a mug, or t shirt, or something.

The main thing is, we need more content from more providers before it will become worthwhile for readers to log on and read (and hopefully contribute) regularly.

What does everyone else think?

Bibliothecary said...

Excellent comments all round. The issues of the blog's form and function have been a topic of discussion between Michael and myself for a while.

I like the accessibility and flexibility of the blog format, but the information geek within loves the knowledge management capabilities of fora (see, there I go again!). To be able to taxonomize content (via threads, tagging etc) would allow us a single point of access for a wide range of functions.

My very limited knowledge of blog-tweaking would suggest that it is possible to do this with a blog but as with tagging in the old Blogger account, you need 3rd party middleware to do the job.

Are we looking at the possibility that 'Son of Signpost' might actually be a forum? (And would that make it a daughter...?)

The arguments for the different functions this blog currently performs have their bases in different strands of service development, all of which are equally valid and valuable.

Our blog was initially hung on the peg of outreach and reader development but we've all seen the potential benefits for a wide range of service delivery elements, (not to mention staff development).

The key to all of this though, as Swlrir says, is increasing content from more providers. The technology is suprisingly cheap and the benefits fairly obvious: we just need to convince people that service delivery this way is a useful string to the library bow.