Reading Kathryn Greenhill’s blog this past month has been a joy. So much so that she has inspired me to attempt this: 30 blog posts in 30 days. Blog posts that actually contain some content, not just a video (though I’m sure I’ll keep posting those.) So, in anticipation I’ve been saving up some topics for the month. Here’s #1:
I often discuss with other bloggers and librarians how they, and if they, separate their personal online presence from their work online presence. I’ve generally decided and have stated in the past the with the job I’m in, this is practically impossible. Regular readers of this blog know that I post stuff that has nothing to do with librarianship or my position at the Nebraska Library Commission, and then other times I post on library issues and technology issues with a library bent. Other topics like Creative Commons and copyright are both a personal political interest of mine as an author and something that I believe directly relates to libraries.
But I’ve come to realize that it’s not that simple. Yes, in the past I’ve blogged about some issues at specific libraries that would “fall under my purview” whether here in Nebraska or back when I was at BCR. In some cases I’ve gotten calls from library directors complaining about what I wrote. But there are other stories that I’ve had opinions on recently about libraries in Nebraska that I have specifically not blogged about. The “why” for that is something that I’ve not thought about before. Here’s what I’ve determined:
When I have written blog posts about specific libraries they have all be situations in which I could have discovered that information outside of my position. Yes, I may have been “on the clock” when I visited that library and discovered that horrid and insulting to patrons sign and took a picture of it, but then again, I could have stopped in as a patron and done the same thing. Maybe the story was published in that town’s newspaper. Anyone could read that. In those instances, I believe I have a right to my opinion.
When I don’t write about something it is because I only received the information specifically because I work where I do. Maybe a library has called me asking for an opinion about something their board has asked them to do. In a case like that if I’d not been working for the NLC, there’s most likely no way I could have found out about that policy. In those cases, short of asking that library for permission (which I have been known to do now and then) I don’t believe I have the right to air that library’s dirty laundry, no matter what my opinion may be.
So there you go, a little bit about my ethics when it comes to this blog. Here’s to hoping that I have 29 more of these in me.