I was really struck by the contrast between some of what I read in This Book is Overdue and the idea of the transparent library. In the book Marilyn Johnson interviewed several librarians who chose to remain anonymous fearing backlash from employers if their true name was known. The book also mentions that there are also many librarian bloggers with hidden identities for the same reason. While this does make sense to a certain extent with libraries not wanting to be held responsible if someone disagrees with the bloggers point of view or if a patron doesn’t see the humor in the librarian sharing a funny story about their encounter, it does seem discouraging to see this type of attitude. Throughout the lecture and readings on the transparent library there is a common idea that showing the public who their local librarians are helps foster trust and sense of community. “Letting librarians’ personalities show makes it easier for individuals to relate to—and therefore trust—the library.”(Schmidt, 2013). While there is a difference between what is written by librarians on blogs for libraries and their personal blogs I find it interesting that one has such a favorable response while the other can be shrouded in secrecy. I think it is important for libraries to not only be open about their policies but also to create a friendly face for those policies by giving the librarians writing about library policies, procedures, current events and such a face and a personal touch. When people feel that they are connecting to another person they are more likely to ask questions, voice opinions and become a part of the library community. Blogs and social media create such a great opportunity to connect people and libraries should take advantage of this not only putting important information out there but also connecting people to this information in an engaging way.
Schmidt, A. (2013, November 5). Earning Trust The User Experience. Retrieved February 17, 2015, from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/11/opinion/aaron-schmidt/earning-trust-the-user-experience/#_