Why An ACRL Blog

ACRLog is a new blog for academic and research librarians. We hope you will turn to ACRLog for ideas, commentary, and reflection on the professional issues of the day. But there are thousands of blogs on a multitude of topics, including several ALA division blogs. So, why would ACRL venture into the blogosphere morass?

ACRLog has its origins in an essay published at the Inside Higher Ed by Scott McLemee. Titled “Silence in the Stacks,” McLemee expressed his curiosity about the lack of a quintessential blog on academic librarianship. Certainly there were (are?) blogs by academic librarians on topics of interest to the academic and research library community, but nowhere in the blogosphere could one find a home for the full spectrum of issues facing academic and research libraries and those who work in them. Nor did any existing blog reflect on the higher education enterprise and how the library fits into that bigger picture.

That’s the void ACRLog will seek to fill. It’s a grand vision, and giving life to and sustaining any blog of this magnitude is work for more than one person. ACRLog is no exception. It will deliver content from a team of bloggers whose members are no strangers to voicing their opinions, tackling controversial issues, and writing about the value academic librarians bring to their academic communities. In short, they are passionate about the profession. The team approach also ensures coverage of the issues from a diversified set of perspectives.

ACRLog advances the ACRL Strategic Plan 2020 which mandates “Increasing ACRL’s communication on major trends and issues in libraries.” And unlike many blogs, this one will give its readership a voice. ACRLog invites contributions from the membership. Guest commentaries, contributed conference reports, perspectives from ACRL chapters, and opinions about “the latest trends and issues can all be shared within this blogspace.”

And like any good academic enterprise, ACRLog has a mission statement:
ACRLog is a blog that aims to discuss the issues of the day in the field of academic and research librarianship. It will strive to get you thinking about what you do, why you do it, and how it fits into this enterprise we call higher education. We are passionate about academic librarianship so we will call it the way we see it. You may not always agree with us. When you do or don’t, let us know. If we get you thinking more deeply about the professional issues that impact on you, your library, your user community, and academic librarianship then we are doing our job.

But what if blogging is fairly new to you and you are in need of advice and support on how to best follow ACRLog? Now is a good time to learn more about RSS and news aggregators for the best way to follow the blog is to subscribe to the feed through a news aggregator. It’s fairly easy to do and there is extensive help on how to get started. An excellent starting point for novices is found at http://staff.philau.edu/bells/rss.htm. It has links to a number of tutorials, and teaches the basic of aggregators. It will be an adventurous endeavor, and we look forward to having you join us for the ride.

1. Mclemee, Scott. Silence in the Stacks. Inside Higher Ed. June 9, 2005.

http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/06/09/mclemee