In a perfect world all school librarians would be members of their professional organizations, subscribe to every professional journal of interest, and would engage in systematic debate on a wide-range of topics. In case you haven't read the latest American Libraries or the posts of indignation on LM_NET by Doug Johnson and Peter Milbury, I decided to share my open letter to the editor.
Dear Leonard Kniffel and American Libraries,
While I enjoy reading the blogs of several of the ten featured bloggers you highlighted in the March 2007 article "Mattering in the Blogosphere," I am disappointed with your exclusion of any school library bloggers. Your introduction stated "AL asked 16 much-visited librarian bloggers why the medium continues to appeal to them and what keeps them posting." Does this mean you could not find one example of a much-visited school library blog to invite to participate?
AL is the magazine of the entire American Library Association. The school division AASL is the third largest in ALA. Yet, in exploring "librarians eager to make professional connections," you neglected the blogs of practicing school library educators who focus much of their writing on building connections between thoughtful discussion and practical sharing.
One of the most exciting meetings at Midwinter occurred within the YALSA/AASL/ALSC youth reception when numerous bloggers gathered around a table and excitedly shared how each other's writings had impacted them. If we so easily found each other, why couldn't AL do the same?
Perhaps this continues a trend in the library publishing industry. The larger publication – that supposedly represents the entire organization – neglects to actively pursue the smaller division within because it assumes that division will come up with some equivalent article, highlight, or award. There is something flawed about AL and ALA when this journal repeatedly leaves out school librarians. I feel so strongly about this that I am a petition candidate for ALA council.
I will be blogging about this in both my personal and my professional blogs because I want to promote the writings of some of the inspiring school library bloggers. In your AL article Jenny Levine stated "I'd like to see more "on the ground" blogs from school and special librarians, giving their perspectives, practices, and ideas…"
Here you go, Jenny, and AL readers. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I know there are many more excellent blogs out there and I hope everyone will share their sites. School Libraries Matter in the Blogosphere.
Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog
Joyce Valenza's NeverEnding Search Blog
Sara Kelly Johns From the Inside Out
Frances Harris Gargoyles Loose in the Library
Christopher Harris Infomancy
Jacquie Henry's Wanderings
Justin Ashworth's School Library Land
Tim Wilson's TechnoSavvy
Librarians with Class
Judy O'Connell's Hey Jude
Book Moot and the tremendous list of links rolling down the left
Alice Yucht's Alice in Infoland
and Alice's special list of Recommended Blog-Reading for Youth Services (school and public) librarians
Since blogs are interactive, please comment and let us know about other bloggers and their school library blogs.