Scholar's Week
A Great American Songwriter

Twitchy Librarian Bloggers

Oh lord, they're at it again.  Why are so many librarian bloggers so thin-skinned?  Why go so ballistic when their precious passion is questioned?  You'd think someone was insulting their brand new puppy.

Cronin is foolishly dismissive, unnecessarily insulting, and, at least in his quick dismissal of Wikipedia, flat wrong (although I hasten to add that I'm not convinced that Wikipedia represents a tremendous advance -- I do think it's an intriguing possibility that should be given lots of room to roam).

But when Cronin points out the narcissism and banality of many blogs and says, "...some blogs are highly professional, informative and readable, but most are not," it seems to me he's just stating an obvious fact.   And while I wouldn't have applied the adjective "hapless," I think its a very fair question to wonder why so many people have taken to blogging, and who they think they're speaking to.  I know I wonder about that myself every time I sit down to compose an entry. 

But to the partisans, to those who have pledged their allegiance to the salvation of the world through blogging, any criticism or questioning amounts to heresy.  Time to break out the tar & feathers.  I suppose they don't notice that they're just throwing ammunition to the critics. 

One other thing -- while the fussings of the Cronins and Gormans are scarcely worth bothering with (time will dispense with them), and the rantings of the easily offended bloggers are simply annoying, I am troubled by the sentiments represented by one of the commenters to Steven Cohen's post.   Chris dismisses Cronin's article by saying that his opinion is "still only as valid as an opinion as anyone else's".  This is a dangerous notion.   My opinion on managing academic medical libraries is much more valid than that of a Barnes & Noble clerk.  Keith Richards' views on playing blues guitar matter a lot more than mine.  Karl Rove is (like it or not) the go-to guy for figuring out how to manipulate the current Washington political machine, and Quentin Tarantino has more valid opinions about 21st century cinema than just about anybody.  Blogging injects a very useful and important element of egalitarianism into the public discourse, but let's not get carried away into shoddy and silly thinking.  Sure, everybody has an equal right to express their opinion; that doesn't mean that every opinion is equally worthy of being heard.

Comments

Lynn

...as we have seen from some of the discussions on the internet discussion lists we participate in. When I see a response from a "known malcontent" or someone whom I know well enough to have sized up on other issues, I wonder - do these OTHER people know who this poster is? Do they KNOW that he either doesn't or does know what he's talking about? Or is this poster just another tedious list servant, writing endless messages because he seems to have nothing more important to do.

It don't see this as much different from regularly reading some of my favorite librarian columnists (for instance, Will Manly or Herb White). I may not always agree with what they have to say, and after several years, I can often predict what they will say. But I continue to find their opinions interesting and valuable to read.

The comments to this entry are closed.