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Icarus: A Great Model for Library Blogs

If you are thinking about establishing a blog for your library, let your fingers fly to Icarus, the Santa Fe Public Library blog, which lives up to its tagline as “a weblog of library news, book chat, events, websites and more.” Lead blogger Miriam Bobkoff established Icarus only a month ago, but already this blog is a keeper and a real feather in the cap of the biblioblogosphere–a blog to show to a director, board member, or community stakeholder asking what your library could do with a blog.

The posts on Icarus are pleasantly informal, not too long, and well-written–no surprise to anyone who knows Miriam from PUBLIB, where she has been posting for years. I hear through the grapevine (the chili-vine, perhaps?) that Miriam will be joined by new authors, who she will no doubt mentor in her inimitable style. That will make Icarus even more exciting; part of the fun of multi-author blogs such as It’s All Good is the sense of a team conversation where distinct voices contribute to a common goal.

But what really sets Icarus apart is that the content is just plain interesting, and I say that as a library user. One post notes that people are checking out fewer Atkins diet books, another notes the cover art for the next Harry Potter is out, another alerts readers what audiobooks the library just ordered—on and on, a tasty and eclectic mix of things users will enjoy reading. A final great touch on this plain but easy-on-the-eyes blog: a catalog search box on the main page. Go, team, go!

As Ranganathan said, blogs are for use, and Icarus flies high in meeting that goal. It feels friendly and engaged, like a good librarian. Icarus puts a human face on Santa Fe’s web presence. Kudos to the folks responsible for making it happen, and may you have many good posts ahead of you.

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