Blogging Libraries

Blogs are one way libraries can keep their patrons up to date on what’s going on at the library–they’re easy to follow, usually have relatively short entries (a few paragraphs, maybe a page or so) and are an easy way to share videos, links, photos, and other information with the community. A number of many great library blogs can be found here on “the blogging libraries wiki.”

A great one to look at is The Pauling Blog from Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections. Linus Pauling was a 1923 OSU graduate, and winner of a Nobel Peace Price in both Chemistry (1954) and Peace (1962). He and his wife donated their manuscripts, correspondence, awards, research notebooks, personal library, photo collections, and much more to the library, and theirs makes up the largest of the 16 archival collections housed in OSU’s Valley Library.

From the OSU libraries homepage a link to the left under “Unique @ OSU” takes one to the Special Collections, where another link takes you to “Linus Pauling Online” where the blog is listed as one of many opportunities to discover the collection. Admittedly it’s a little circuitous, and not as well advertised as it could be, but its worth looking for.

The blog has three tabs at the top directing you to more information about the catalogue and special collections. On either side of the list of posts is more information such as upcoming events at OSU and in the Portland area, a list of related “Today in Linus Pauling History” entries, a tag cloud, archives, recently viewed posts, links to subscribe to the blog, a few of the collection’s photos on flickr and a link back to more information about Pauling at the “Linus Pauling Online” site–really full of information.

The blog postings are themselves full of information as well. In fact, that might be my one criticism: the recent postings are a little long. Yet still very interesting! The posts are extremely informative, and are basically mini-articles about what is contained in the archives. Photos of events and people are posted, correspondence is cited, and the end of each post is a group of links stating what category the post is filed under and how it is tagged (these categories and tags are also listed to the left of the posts on the home page). The blog certainly interests one in the library and special collections have done a great job of advertising the collection in this space, hopefully encouraging more students to come in and view it and the 15 other archival collections for themselves.

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