Memes of Yesterday: Five blog heroes

One of the things about being really late to this here “blogging” thing is that you miss out on a bunch of good memes. There have been several that I’ve wanted to join in on, but didn’t have a platform from which to join. Now I have that platform, but the memes are long gone. So I’m instituting a new series, called “Memes of Yesterday,” in which I revisit biblioblogosphere memes that passed me by. Here’s the first entry, on the “Five Blog Heroes” meme. (And these are in no particular order, by the way. It was hard enough just picking five, much less ranking them by heronessosity.)

  1. Dorothea Salo, Caveat Lector. I was so pleased when she got named a Mover and Shaker this year, I cannot tell you. Dorothea tells it like it is, no matter what, even when what she has to say demonstrably threatens her own position. I love her writing style (close readers of this blog will note pale echoes of some of her stylistic tropes): who else could write, “there is no correlation whatever between this phenomenon and one’s y-axis position in an organization chart“? Now I’ll admit that most of what she writes about DSpace, Fedora, Manakin, and other IR tech stuff goes right over my head, but I keep reading because even if I don’t understand it, it’s still funny. And sometimes heartbreaking.
  2. Karen G. Schneider, Free-Range Librarian. Like Dorothea, Karen tells it like it is, often hilariously. But what really lands her on this list is this: last May, she wrote a blog post about reading, and I, in a sleep-deprived, new-parent moment of weakness, forgot the first rule of online etiquette (“write the comment, sleep on it, then decide whether to post it”) wrote a cranky comment in response. Karen replied with warmth, kindness, and graciousness (and I apologized). That, right there? Is class, plain and simple. I still hope to apologize to her in person at Computers in Libraries, if I can work up the courage. (Bonus points: Karen’s Twitter-feed can also be hilariously funny.)
  3. Jeffrey Zeldman, I’ve been reading Zeldman’s blog/webpage since sometime in 2000 or 2001. I discovered it while I was teaching myself HTML while working a job that didn’t have enough responsibilities to keep me busy; his passionate writing on web standards and proper markup is what influenced me to learn HTML right (i.e., XHTML and CSS)1 and still influences the way I think about web markup. At this point, 90% of what he writes about actual web standards and design goes right over my head, but I keep reading for his marvelously evocative descriptions of life in New York with his 4-year-old daughter.
  4. Jessamyn West, One of the only people in the biblioblogosphere who can be, and often is, referred to by her first name only without any confusion. What I admire about Jessamyn is her commitment to standing up for both sides of the digital divide: uncompromising in her criticism of bad technology, but also questioning what use technology has for the people she works with on a regular basis. Also, she can be riotously funny in a dry sort of way.
  5. Iris Jastram, Pegasus Librarian. Iris is one of the few actual instruction librarians out there who are blogging about actual instruction, which makes her blog particularly valuable for me – all those great ideas! In fact, it was the lack of blogs like Iris’s that gave me the confidence to start this blog, since blogging about instruction is, in theory at least, the main point of this blog. I’ve gotten tons of great ideas from Iris, including her marvelous subversive handout, and I do hope that some day I can use her ideas about citation as a lens into the different disciplines.

So those are my five. Also, I’d like to give a little shout-out to my two favorite librarian-bloggers-who-are-also-parents, Jason Griffey and Michelle Boule, and their adorable offspring, Eliza and Gideon. Maybe someday we can have a little proto-librarian playgroup or something.

  1. And incidentally, learning about CSS is what finally made “styles” in Microsoft Word make sense to me – or at least, it would make sense to me if it actually, you know, worked.