Biblioblogosphere survey

I’m late to the party on this one, but Meredith’s survey results have been posted–that link takes you to the last of several posts, which links to the others.

It would appear that 165 bloggers took the survey, a good showing and a pretty fair chunk of the biblioblogosphere.

Just a couple of comments.

Here’s the response to one question and Meredith’s comment (in italics):

2. What is your age?

24 to 30…. 54 (32.7%)
31 to 40…. 62 (37.6%)
41 to 50…. 27 (16.4%)
51 to 60…. 14 (8.5%)
Over 60…. 5 (3%)
Under 24…. 3 (1.8%)

Not a huge surprise that the majority of library bloggers are under 40, but I was thrilled to see that so many were over 40! 25.9% is certainly more than I’d expected and is a nice stereotype-busting figure.

Looking only at 51 and above, I’m not at all surprised: As I’ve said elsewhere, I was quite confident that at least five or six of the sixty blogs described in my study are done by people over 50, and the number could be higher.

I wonder where the “bloggers are youngsters” stereotype comes from. From the relatively young people going around the country advocating blogging? From those of us who are older and (unlike me) don’t mention it?

13% of those responding don’t have an ML[I]S or apparently plan to get one. Good to know I’m not the only blogging “library person” who isn’t a professional librarian…

Roughly 45% of respondents work in academic libraries. Meredith had this to say about that: Who says there are no voices of academic librarianship?

Well…there’s a difference between being an academic librarian and blogging, and being a voice of academic librarianship. I suspect that academic librarians are sensitive to this distinction, and that relatively few of them view themselves as voices in that manner. (But what do I know? I’m not one of them…I’m sure as heck not a “voice of RLG”!)

My overall comment on the study and Meredith’s interpretation: Nicely done.

And, of course, my overall suggestion: Go read the results.

3 Responses to “Biblioblogosphere survey”

  1. Meredith’s comment about “voices of academic librarianship” responded to this, er, individual over at Inside Higher Ed, I believe. In brief, he lamented the lack of blogging on issues of academic librarianship.

    When I pointed out on-blog that yes, we were talking about this stuff, just not as our entire focus in blog-life, he got snippy with me in email. (I didn’t republish the exchange, though I was sorely tempted, because I thought he meant well by the article and didn’t care to embarrass him.)

    So, yes. Apparently one or two people think academic librarianship has no voice.

  2. walt says:


    I knew about the article (and the extent to which Steven Bell got hammered for his quoted remarks). What I’m implying–no, saying–above is that Meredith’s comment isn’t supported by the survey.

    Yes, there are a fair number of academic librarians who blog. I don’t think there was ever much question about that.

    But relatively few academic librarians focus their blogs on issues of academic librarianship. Your own posts offer some of the reasons why, as do the comments on the IHE article. (And, as noted in those comments, science librarianship is somewhat of an exception.)

    As you note, CavLec would never be mistaken for a voice of academic librarianship–but, with your new job, you’re actively discussing aspects of one ongoing issue (workable digital repositories), albeit generally at a level of “making it work” detail.

    I’m not sure there’s an “answer” here–I think it’s probably appropriate for most academic librarians to use traditional channels when discussing the major issues of academic librarianship–but I also don’t think that saying “See? X number of academic librarians have blogs” is at all a response to the assertion that very few blogs run by academic librarians discuss issues of academic librarianship.

    In a way, my parenthetical note may be apropos: Walt at Random is run by an analyst at RLG, but it’s not at all about design and implementation issues for an organization like RLG. If there were a dozen other “utility”-based blogs like W.a.R., and if someone complained that nobody was blogging about “utility”-related issues, pointing to those bloggers would not be a response. That’s not at all the case, to be sure: all of the OCLC-based blogs and are, at least partially, about the issues facing organizations like RLG and OCLC.

  3. Once I get my head above water on the technical stuff (I can see the surface from here, I really can!), I expect CavLec will turn back to wider issues. I really have to write a detailed response to RLG’s repository audit checklist, for one thing, and better I should whine and complain about it on CavLec than directly to RLG. 🙂

    I think, actually, that the original author waffled on whether he wanted blogging by academic librarians or blogging on academic librarianship. I stand by my sense that there’s plenty of both, if you look… but for whatever reason, neither group typically cares to make academic librarianship the sole focus of their blogs, and Original Author wasn’t willing to count blogs with other interests as potentially relevant.

    His loss.

    I also wonder about relevant topic-focused blogs (digitization librarian, Catalogablog, the FRBR Blog, etc). Such blogs should be the foundation of almost any academic librarian’s blogroll, IMO — but are they blogs about academic librarianship? I dunno.