Friday, October 3, 2008

Opinions, please

I just got an e-mail this morning from someone I have met in person just once or twice. We had e-mailed back and forth a few weeks ago about her starting a blog. It's now up and running, and it's very good. I don't want to mention who because I don't have her permission and I'm hoping she doesn't take this as criticism.

The thing I want opinions on is this. She has a number of years of experience as an academic librarian. But she has taken a few years off to take care of her two very young children. I respect that. I think parenting is the most important job in the world, even if I am not a parent myself. If the profile says she is an academic librarian, should she state she is taking a few years off and not currently working? This is not an obligation, this is an issue of transparency, something that is highly valued in the Web 2.0 world.

I had advised her before she started the blog to write first for herself and to be a part of the library blog community. It's amazing the stuff you learn when you're looking about things to write about, and how writing about them shapes your beliefs about them. Every library blog I read includes stories that come up while the person is at work, and I'm wondering if potential readers will ever get suspicious about why she never talks about work.

This person definitely has interesting things to write about and to contribute to the library community. Should she be honest about not currently being employed because she has more important things to do at the moment? That seems like it would help readers understand her perspective, which is more often from the other side of the reference desk, and something we don't get to hear about much. Am I making this into a much bigger deal than it is?

1 comment:

Mary said...

Update... I got an e-mail from this person who fortunately took my advice well. Meredith Farkas's pregnancy announcement made an impression on her, so she appreciated my encouragement to be honest. Whew.

When I'm ready for that step, I probably won't announce it on my blog until I'm at least showing... I will be a very superstitious pregnant woman. I pity those who live within a 2-hour drive of me when that happens.

I wish Meredith and her husband all the luck in the world in their next adventure!