May 5, 2014
It’s been ages since I last wrote here regularly, and I’m not sure I ever will again. That makes me sad — I’ve gotten a lot from blogging here, on the YALSAblog, and on The Hub over the years — but maybe it’s time to just accept that and move on. Or maybe not? I don’t really know.
When I created Librarified, I’d just started my last semester of library school. I was full of excitement about librarianship and where my career would take me, and after a year and a half of classes and papers and class discussions, I was very much in the habit of dissecting ideas and forming opinions about everything in the library world.
Within five months, I’d written nearly 60 posts and was finding it easy to write two or three times a week on a huge variety of subjects. I finished school, moved to Connecticut, and was looking for a job — all while still blogging a few times a week. But then I got my first job and the frequency with which I wrote started dropping. Nine months after starting Librarified, I was down to single-digit numbers of posts per month, and it’s never grown from there. In 2010, I published 122 posts. In 2011, I published 39. In 2012, I only published one blog post. Things picked up a little in 2013, when I published 14 posts (what I’d have turned out in a single month when I was in school!). So far this year, I’ve only managed to publish two posts.
So what happened? It might seem like once I was working instead of in school, I wrote less, but does that make sense? It’s true that blogging takes time, but I’m not any busier now than I was as a student or (holy cow) when I was working and chairing a selection committee and managing The Hub. Is it that having a job and being involved with YALSA is giving me that sense of professional involvement and communication and connection to the wider world of librarianship that blogging gave me when I was in school? I feel like I’m less a part of the conversation now: I’m not even reading blogs regularly, I’m not writing on my own, and I hardly even use Twitter at this point since my job responsibilities have changed so much.
I also feel a pressure that I didn’t when I was a student. I was just putting everything out there, trying to define my place in the profession. Now I worry about what people will think of my opinions, my writing, whether or not I’ve done enough background reading before writing. Is this because I know more people in the field now and have established something of a profession or identity? Is it that I’m more aware of the nuance in everything so I’m less ready to write about anything? Or is it that blog writing seems formal enough to me now that I think I need to do that background reading and connect my writing to what others have said? Blogging isn’t peer-reviewed publishing, but it certainly adds to the semi-professional corpus in a way that’s visible to my community. If I were to start putting my library thoughts on Tumblr, would I feel less of that pressure since the platform is more casual, more ephemeral? Do I want something more casual?
I’m not really sure how to get over all of this and start writing again. (Even in writing this post, I kept letting myself get distracted by tweets and emails and my dog and basically anything other than writing.) Work is hard to write about now for many reasons (I didn’t mention it here, but I took a new position within NYPL this January, coordinating teen programming across the system), but there are more facets to my professional life than work. I read books. I visit other libraries. I do read articles and blog posts here and there. I’ve been trying to do a better job of following professional research related to teen services in an urban public library. Why am I not writing about any of that? What value would blogging bring me? What value would me blogging contribute to my professional community? I just don’t know anymore.
So I suppose Librarified is on hiatus until I feel inspired again — although I’m still not really sure where that inspiration went or how to recapture it. I’m sad to leave behind something that’s been such a positive experience, but it’s been a long time since this was an active part of my professional life anyway, so I guess this is just putting the official stamp of acknowledgment on something that happened ages ago.
See you again someday, I hope!
Filed under: Uncategorized