The Shifted Librarian -

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* Thursday, September 28, 2006

Article Bricks

I love Library Journal, and I have praised them in the past for opening up their articles for free on the web. If I was blogging more, I'd be linking to them more because they have some great content. You can tell they like publishing controversial editorials, too, with the current issue being an especially good example. Take a look at the following columns:

These days, I feel like a laptop without an internet connection (especially a high-speed one) is just a brick. An article without a way to engage in conversation about it is a similar brick.

It's too bad I couldn't share my thoughts about these articles on the pages themselves. Unfortunately, you have to know that if you want to comment on Sophie Brookover's thoughts, you need to go to her blog post about it at I guess there's just no way to share thoughts on John Berry's or Thomas Washington's columns unless you send a letter to the editor (print or electronic).

The problem is that this just doesn't work for me anymore. I actually had time this morning to write a quick comment of my initial response to each article. Instead of just typing in boxes on the LJ site, though, I've spent time writing this blog post, and LJ has lost my contribution to the discussions they were trying to promote by publishing these columns. I don't want to send a letter to one person so that it can be published later. I want to engage in a conversation with others right now who have strong reactions to these articles. I have no reason to come back to these pages to check on the discussions, because there aren't any. I wish there were.

This is one reason I encourage libraries to offer at least one blog (start with "what's new" at your library) and turn on the comments. You have patrons that feel this way about your website. Luckily, you can fix this pretty easily and for free.

Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment!

Update: LJ had this functionality in the works, and they've already added it to the three articles listed above. Thanks, Francine!

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