Oliver Obst tallking on blogs

I listened to the talk by Oliver Obst Thursday September 1 10.30-11.30 about “Use of weblogs by libraries and librarians”. He asked the audience how many knew about blogs and maybe half didn’t know anything.

He made an brief, easy explanation of how to start a blog with the blog web service Blogger owned by Google in just three steps. How to choose temple, write blog entry title and content, how you could choose fonts and font-size easily, similar to a word editor. Also showed how a set up of a blog in WordPress blog service just will take 5 minutes. Gave credits to WordPress for all plugins you can use and the category function which means you can subject index your blog entries, just like subject indexing library books. Something librarians should like, said Obst. He thought WordPress was bit better than Blogger because it’s easier to use for example the function with Categories, otherwise Blogger is easier.

He also told us what a blog is: organized chronically by date, updated somewhat regulary with relatively short entries, use unique URL called permalink for all entries, filtering the information universe for readers, self-archives, provides an RSS-link.

So what do blogs do for you according to Obst? For example they repack info and keep you alerted with what’s new.

He further showed a lot of examples on library blogs.

Pro’s with blogs according to Obst were: don’t need to know HTML or editing program, update from everywhere, helps stay current and con’s were of course information overload. He finished also to explain what RSS is and what it’s good for.

After the talk we meet outside on the steps and I got an interview.

German librarian Oliver Obst

Do you have statistics on how much library blogs is used by non-librarians?
-No, but my german Medinfo blog are used heavily by scientists because I write about OA. We don’t have many german blog sources like Medinfo.

But what do your boss say about your blogging during work?
– I can blog if it just don’t eat up my other duties. Medinfo was put up because the german medical libraries association thought we should have one.

So you think library bosses should promote librarians to blog during work to filter information?
-Yes, for library news to inform clients of what’s happening for example. Our library though have no blog. I asked my user if they wanted a blog with RSS and they didn’t know what RSS was and they said: No please, we rather want same email newsletter as before.

So how do you use your blog?
-Often I go back to my blog just finding the information I didn’t remeber. It’s like a backup memory!

Update: A then a little bird whispered in my ear: he is a boss ;-) of medical branch Library at ULB, Münster, since 1996. BTW here you find Olivers talk in PDF.