What do Hospital Librarians Have Against Blogs?

Melissa Rethlefsen sees some interesting trends in her analysis of the results of the MLA’s social networking survey.

It appears that hospital librarians are not especially fond of blogs.

And so many MedLib bloggers are hospital librarians! Mark Rabnett, Dean Giustini and Michelle Kraft are just a few favorites who come to mind right away.

What would help explain the differences in attitudes towards these tools between hospital and academic medical librarians?

10 thoughts on “What do Hospital Librarians Have Against Blogs?

  1. i have worked both sides of the fence – seven years in academics and going on two in hospital and i have observed that people in academic libraries have way more freedom to surf than those of us at hospitals. the internet use policies here are pretty strict and they filter heavily. we are not even allowed to check our personal email from a hospital machine.

    we have also been discouraged from doing our own blogging for fear we might say something about work or the institution that could be used against it.

    i don’t think it’s a disdain for blogs as much as i think it’s an effect of a much more “locked down” culture.

  2. It leads me to wonder if there is a difference in blog use between academic librarians with and without faculty status. Librarians with faculty status may be more influenced by the concept of academic freedom and the ability to speak freely about the institution they work for.

  3. In addition to Stacy’s comment I suspect that hospital librarians are not so much “against” blogs as they are strapped for time. Often times hospital librarian’s are solo librarians or in libraries with small staffs and often time don’t have enough time to get their “job description” work done let alone read or post to blogs. I know my work life has gotten extremely busy over the past few months and I don’t have enough time to post to my blog regularly let alone read other blogs on a consistent basis. Academic libraries tend to be bigger, with more staff and perhaps more time to explore new technologies.

  4. I think Stacy is partially on the money. I think hospital computers are so locked down by IT that it takes a small persistant army to do anything technology wise. This effects the usage of blogs and other technology, but it also effects the person’s willingness to even look at or experiment with technology.

    If you are constantly told no about everything regarding new technology, eventually you are going to be resistant to learning something you can’t use anyway.

  5. Stacy and Michelle definitely have points, I think-

    But I do very little of this stuff from work. 99% of it I do at home.

  6. I can agree with the “locked-down” culture comment, having worked both sides of the fence myself. When the effort required in a hospital library is so large, it’s a lot easier for the equation to equal “not worth the effort” than “interesting and worth persuing” There are a lot of 2.0 tools that I use in my personal life, that I would LOVE to use at work, but have been essentially forbidden from even thinking about it.

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