Friday, June 29, 2007

Can Blogs Be Trusted?

ALABloggingWell, anything you read on my blog CAN! Um, and if something is found to be untrue, well, I’m sure y'all will call me on it. Right? I have no alterative motive other than encourage reading. Any critical analysis (which may accidently get in) is open to interpretation.

Last Saturday, I attended the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) program, Can Blogs Be Trusted?. Our speaker, Jason Zengerle, Senior Editor for The New Republic, was gracious enough to speak two hours since his co-speaker remained MIA.

As librarians, I think most of us attended the meeting to find some authoritative blogs. A little something-something to advise pre-law students asking quote questions or for those wary instructors faced with citations from questionable sites. To make a long blog short, Zengerle stated he is, "skeptic about information from many blogs."

Well, surprise. So are we.

Note: As a book blogger, I would like to see this title-post question asked of my peers. Do you give galleys a more favorable review because they are free? Most of us would say "NO WAY!" to that kind of question, but...


Bookfool said...

Ummm, "no way" is right. LOL I am unflinchingly honest in my book reviews because that was the whole point of starting a book blog . . . so I could write what I thought. It's a purge to write a book review, really.

maggie moran said...

I'm with ya, bookfool. Maggiereads started as a way to center my notes and thoughts for book related articles. Boy, has that concept changed. It's just more fun blogging when you have people willing to read and comment on what you write. I hardly ever get feedback from my newspaper articles.

As a librarian, it is important to read and write. We need to be able to tell readers something other than "wonderful" or "really good, I promise."

PS Not all librarians read. Isn't that odd.

Erica said...

i love your blog, maggie! and it was great to see you at ALA. i've started a blog too, now--it's
catch you later! ~Erica

Isabel said...

I turned down an offer for a free book because I am backed up right now.

Eva said...

Hi Maggie! What an interesting post-I've never received a free book to review, but I can't imagine it influencing my decision. All librarians don't read? Really? That just seems silly!

I thought I'd let you know that my review of The Secret Life of Bees is up, and can be found at

I really loved it! So far, I've enjoyed both of my Southern picks. Next up is Eudora Welty, which should be fun. :)

maggie moran said...

It was good to see you too, Erica. Glad to hear you are doing great things in Bama! I'll be dropping by often to see what the book diva has to say. ;)

Man, WW100, I turn down freebies 'cos I don't like my reading to be assigned and that's exactly how it feels when I get a stack in the mail. Right now I can think of 7 havtas which haunt me. :(

Eva, it's a little known fact, not all librarians read. I'm not saying they cain't, I'm saying they wont! My Mark Twain quote is supposed to smack them in the face when they visit this site. The whole purpose of the profession is leading people to books, and how does one do that if they don't partake of the product. *stepping down from soap box*

So, glad to hear you are enjoying your southern picks and I look forward to reading your thoughts on SLoB! :D

Kelly said...

Maggie, I appreciate your and bookfool's thoughts on blogging. I started writing a comment and realized that it took up way too much space, so I posted it on my blog today instead. This is a great discussion--and isn't discussion the point of our blogs, anyway?!

Anonymous said...

Good post Maggie. I accept some books and always because something about them interested me. I don't want to accept every book because then when do I read my books!
I always try to give a balanced review and even if it was a freebie I will say if I liked it or not. I figure we won't always agree and there's a book out there for everyone anyway :)

maggie moran said...

Thanks Iliana and Kelly! Discussion is the point of blogs and books. I'm always curious why one person likes/dislikes a book I think the opposite about. After I write copy, I like to hunt around to see how others feel/felt about the same book(s). It rarely changes my mind, but it does make me think.

As for galleys, oh, how I wish they would just fall from the sky instead of arrive in the mail. My guilt would be less and I would want to read them first. "Oh, look at this galley on the floor. Oh, Peter Mayle. I like Peter Mayle. I think I'll read this." :D

Bookfool said...


About that "P.S." . . . it's weird, but I knew that. I used to sell books to teachers. It was a hard sell; librarians are often frustrated teachers who've been shoved into a library against their will. So, they pop video tapes into a machine instead of encouraging the kids to read. I think it's horrifying, but we dealt with a snarky, angry librarian who hated books for several years at elementary level. She made my kid sit still in front of the VCR when he wanted to go peruse the shelves. There's something wrong, there, if you ask me.

maggie moran said...

That's just sad, Bookfool. They can have just as much influence as teachers, just 'cos they are enthusiastic and memorable, given the right person is doing the job.

It's funny, but my mom/dad (retired teacher/teacher) seems to think librarians are Gods. They must of worked with some good ones. Too bad we can't swap baddies w/ goodies. The world would be way better off.

I personally think there is more freedom being a librarian. I prefer all ages, though. ;D