How to Read a Blog, and Other General Business

This is a three part post:


1. If you read nothing else today…

I wrote a guest post over at Letters to a Young Librarian!  Please click thru and read it, so Jessica is impressed by the traffic this blog gets! 😀

2. How Stuff Works

So you may have seen that post where the survey respondent said, “Do not go to library school. Librarianship is a dying profession.” Some people on the internet got mad when they saw that, and some got sad.  Some people had some interesting comments.  And some people were frustrated because they wanted more clarification from the respondent.

I just wanted to make a few points about the way the surveys are run and the way this blog is written.

Here’s how it works.

I (and whoever is collaborating with me) write a survey.  This is a Google Docs Form.  I/We post the link on various library listservs, asking for participation.  People respond, most anonymously.  They most likely forget about it.  We transcribe the responses from the spreadsheet onto the blog.  You read it.

I have no idea who the respondent is or how sincerely they are answering, etc.

I believe nearly everyone is answering sincerely, but I also believe that people are essentially good inside, so what do I know?

I have no way of following up to clarify responses, because I don’t know who the respondent is.  The surveys are intended to be easy for busy people to participate in, and the anonymity is necessary to allow people to participate honestly and fully without fear of reprisal.

I post all the responses because I think it’s an interesting way to look at a lot of different opinions in a standardized format.

I think that reading multiple responses is the way to get the most out of this blog.  Each individual opinion is not necessarily worth much, but in the aggregate they provide a sort-of hiring zeitgeist.  The statistics are interesting, but they are not an accurate indication of anything much, because the sampling is not representative, and the survey instruments are imprecise and casual.  It’s the aggregate as you experience by reading each post, that will give you the best idea of what’s going on out there.  And I’m not just saying that because I want you to read my blog early and often.


Have you been on a library interview recently?  Or are you prepping for one?

Sounds like you could use The Interview Questions Repository!

If you’ve had a library interview recently, help this resource grow by reporting the questions you were asked:

or by sharing this link widely with your friends and colleagues.

If you are about to go on an interview, use the spreadsheet:

to help you prepare.

Top tip: Switch the spreadsheet to list view, in order to be able to limit by answers – you can choose to only look at the phone interviews at public libraries, for example.

Bottom tip: For respondents, you should be able to edit your answers, if you think of something to add, etc.

You will also always be able to find these links in the sidebar to your right —>

If you’d like to respond to any other surveys, or otherwise participate in this blog,

this page

will give you links and options.

Thanks for reading, readers!  Thanks for contributing, contributors!

If you think a repository of questions  that people have been asked in library interviews is a useful tool, please help keep it dynamic and relevant by sharing this post with at least one person today.  Thanks!

Photo: Hoboken Cove by Flickr User jvdalton via Creative Commons License

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