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Sunday, March 3

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I should have written this column a long time ago. Libraries and librarians were among the earliest adopters of the weblog format, quickly grasping both its strengths and its potential.

The following list gathers just a few of the libraries and library professionals blogging around Chicagoland. Some of these sites have been around for years, while others were started just a few months ago. Some are updated several times a week, while others languish for months. The weblogs are also written for a wide variety of audiences, from children to other library professionals. And together they represent a diverse cross-section of design styles and publishing platforms, including Blogger, Movable Type, Blog City, Word Press and more.

Visit the following sites to find out what libraries around the area are doing in their communities. Or, just a get chuckle from the popularity of a certain Blogger template.

Chicago Area Library Systems

Metropolitan Library System
The Metropolitan Library System was formed last year from the merger of the Chicago Multitype Library System and the Suburban Library System. In an interesting choice that signals the flexibility of weblog publishing, the newly formed MLS has adopted the weblog format for nearly its entire website.

Suburban Library System
The website of the Suburban Library System includes three highly focused weblogs aimed at library professionals. Metro Desk is one of the oldest and one of my favorites. Written primarily for reference librarians, Metro Desk began in 1999 and was originally titled What's Gnu?. A second weblog, The Wide Window, focuses on resources for school and youth services librarians. Finally, ILL News provides timely information about interlibrary loan services.

Academic Libraries

College of DuPage Library
The weblog from the College of DuPage Library includes a variety of news, announcements and resources of interest to students at the school.

Elmhurst College Library
The librarians at Elmhurst College keep their students updated with this occasionally updated weblog.

Moraine Valley Community College Library
Located in Palos Hills, the website for the Moraine Valley Community College Library supports several excellent, frequently updated weblogs. Library News provides up-to-date announcements about happenings in the library, and Resources & Search Tips includes an endless variety of links to quality web resources.

Public Libraries

Chicago Ridge Public Library
The Reading Lines weblog provides consistently updated lists of new books added to the library collection. A second blog, the Teen Café Blog, focuses on new books for young adult readers. Unfortunately, the teen blog has not been updated since last November.

Grand Prairie Public Library
Grand Prairie serves folks living in Country Club Hills and Hazel Crest. The weblog, Youth Services @ GPPL, provides occasional announcements about literary topics and events for younger readers.

La Grange Park Public Library
Off the Shelves includes timely information about events and news at the library and in the La Grange community.

Lansing Public Library
The Lansing Public Library has at least three weblogs, each aimed at a different user group. They include Adult News (Revenge of the Sith!), Teen News (Revenge of the Sith!!), and Youth News (REVENGE OF THE SITH!!!).

Midlothian Public Library
Although infrequently updated, What's New provides information of interest to patrons of the Midlothian Public Library.

Roselle Public Library
The library's Kid's World Blogger Book Club consists of recommendations and reviews of books aimed at young readers in grades 4-6.

Personal Weblogs

Convival Librarian
The author, Michelle, is an electronic services librarian at a suburban public library, and she writes about a variety of topics related to her profession.

The Laughing Librarian
Arguably one of the most well-known library websites, The Laughing Librarian was created by Brian Smith in early 1999. Smith works at a local suburban library.

Library Diva
Library Diva is the personal weblog of "an Adult Services Librarian at a suburban Chicago library."

The Shifted Librarian
Jenny Levine is one of the most well-known and well-respected librarian bloggers around, and she has been writing online about the web and technology in libraries since 1995. The Shifted Librarian continues to focus on new and emerging technologies.

Young Librarian
Katie is a new librarian working in the Chicago area, and she mostly writes about issues pertaining to libraries and the profession.

Honorable Mention

Chi Lib Rocks!
Finally, in the gone but not forgotten category, I must mention Chi Lib Rocks!, the weblog of the old Chicago Library System. With its goofy but endearing name, Chi Lib Rocks! was one of the first local library blogs I read on a regular basis, when I was still in graduate school. Although it is no longer being updated, I credit it for inspiring my own journey into weblogging.

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About the Author(s)

Alice Maggio is a Chicago librarian. She welcomes questions and topic suggestions for her column at . Due to the volume of email received, she may not reply to every query, but you may be contacted if your question is selected for the column.

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