Friday, May 27, 2011

Armchair BEA: getting personal

What a fun week this has been! I've found some great new blogs to follow, met some awesome bloggers, and feel really energized and motivated about my own blog. Armchair BEA is almost over for this year, and today's topic is blogging about blogging.

In yesterday's #armchairBEA twitter chat, Suey of It's All About Books mentioned that she prefers blogs that include a personal touch. I completely agree-- I'm more likely to get invested in a blog that balances information about the blogger's day-to-day life and thoughts along with their book reviews. I want to feel like I know that blogger as a person. Blogs that solely focus on book reviews are useful to me as a librarian to refer to when making purchasing decisions for my library's collection, but the ones I really get hooked on always have a little personal stuff mixed in.

I know this. Yet I have a hard time doing it myself.

So! Let's chat.

Right now, I'm seriously wanting to go to ALA Annual in New Orleans. My baby will be 8 months old next month, and probably not yet able to walk (though she's crawling!) so theoretically, this would be a good time for travel. But then I hear horror stories of babies who get their sleep thrown out of whack by taking a trip and they NEVER GO BACK to their former good sleep habits. And my baby girl, she's a pretty decent sleeper these days. So. Since I don't have an "official" reason for attending ALA New Orleans (other than: "I wannnnna!"), I guess I should count myself out this year.

But even though I may not be able to get to ALA this time, I'm SUPER excited about next year, because ALA coming to me! The Annual conference will be in Anaheim, and I've been appointed chair of YALSA's Local Arrangements Committee. I served on ALSC's Local Arrangements Committee last time ALA Annual was in Anaheim, and I had a blast. ALA is a pretty huge conference, but serving on that committee gave me a way to feel connected and feel a part of things. I met all sorts of cool librarians and got to help out with some amazing events, like the Newbery-Caldecott banquet. It was an incredible experience, and I can't wait to get started on the tasks for YALSA's Local Arrangements Committee. I'll be working with an excellent team of librarians- my husband says I should call it a LIBRARIAN STRIKE FORCE- and I am really looking forward to doing some cool things for YALSA.

That's what's going on with me right now!

So, blogosphere: yay or nay on the addition of personal chitchat on a book blog?


  1. I want to go to ALA too! But I don't have a good reason besides that either; I'm not even a YA librarian (yet!), I'm still in school. But that is so exciting it will be near you next year! I would love to try to attend it if I can afford to. Perhaps I will have a full-time job by then?

    I like when blogs have personal touches, too, but I find it hard to figure out how much to include in my own posts.

  2. I also love blogs with the more personal touch yet have hesitated to do it on my own.

    I can't help you with the sleep thing. Luckily my little one has always been a good sleeper.

  3. I think you know where I stand on this issue. :)

    I have never been to ALA, just PLA and a Midwinter pre-conference day. Someday...

  4. I love reading personal touches on people's blogs because then I feel like I understand them/their opinions better. I always feel a little dumb doing it myself, but I vote yay. :)

  5. Yeah, eight months is kind of a tough age. I don't know if it would throw off sleep patterns, but it's possible. Plus traveling with a baby is hard and it would be difficult to make it about you and not her. Next year sounds perfect!

    I like personal touches too! I think the hard part is figuring out how much of yourself you want out there. Sometimes I'm kind of afraid to share too many pictures and too much information about my daughter and stuff. I do try to add in opinions and personal comments. It's tough!

    Jennifer of Little Shelf

  6. @Tahleen - Ooh, I'll keep my fingers crossed that you land a fabulous job right out of library school! And definitely attend ALA if you can. It's a really great experience. Let me know if you end up going to Annual in Anaheim! :D

    @Teresa - It sounds like this is something a lot of us struggle with, the balance between personal and "business" on a blog. I'm going to strive for a little bit more personal stuff- but not too much! Nobody wants to know what I ate for breakfast, etc. :) Lucky you with a good little sleeper. My first was not the greatest sleeper, but this baby is pretty good, so I'm very much disinclined to do anything to rock the boat! Heheh.

    @booksNyarn - Oh cool, you've been to PLA! I want to go to that someday. So many fun conferences to attend, huh?

    @Kathy - Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! It really does seem to be a delicate balance between personal stuff and the "official" stuff the blog is supposed to be about. It's interesting that so many of us like it when others open up, but have a hard time doing it ourselves! I don't feel so alone about that now. :)

    @Jennifer - I think there's a sleep regression that happens around nine months, so I'm afraid if I throw travel into the mix, the regression would last, like, TWO months! Or longer! Heheh. I think I will definitely just stick to my plans for next year. :) And thanks for weighing in about the personal vs. not personal... I'm with you, I am cautious about sharing too many details about family, especially children.

  7. I agree, a personal touch is what separates bloggers from newspaper reviews and I love it! I hope you get to do whatever ends up being right for you and your family. Whether that ends up being going this year or not, I wish you the best :)

  8. Oh, that's a good point about blogs being a whole different animal from newspaper reviews! So true. I don't feel like I'm "friends" with newspaper reviewers, but I do like to feel as though I'm friends with fellow bloggers.

    I think I'll just have to pine away for ALA from the comfort of my home this year, and live vicariously through tweets. Hee. :)


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