Salem Press Blog Award Winner!

This blog was just named the best Academic Library blog in the 2011 Salem Press Library Blog Awards! I feel really honored to be nominated by some of the great judges, but especially to be included among the winners. In the academic category there were a lot of great blogs nominated, especially one of my favorites: ACRLog. I never miss any of their posts and was even asked to submit a post there.

I really enjoy a lot of the blogs that won and were nominated. I was excited to see the Hack Library School won for best newcomer. It is written by some great folks, and they post on much needed topics for students. Many library schools are severely behind, and this group of folks are helping students be more proactive and working to make sure that a library school education does not get in the way of learning. I really admire what they are doing and was delighted to have the chance to post on their blog about some of my experiences in school.

I also feel honored to be in the company of such smart, enthusiastic and dynamic people like Buffy Hamilton, Sarah Houghton-Jan, and Brian Herzog. I have been subscribed to all of their blogs for a while. In addition, I appreciate what Salem Press is doing in putting on these awards. Not only does it incorporate a little fun into staying current in the profession, it also allows people to discover new blogs that hadn’t been on their radar. I just discovered and subscribed to the Waki Librarian.

Also, most importantly, I don’t want to forget the people who read this blog and voted for it. Thank you so much for reading, commenting and chatting with me on Twitter. I get tons of ideas from people’s comments and conversations with me, and I’m glad you all are getting ideas too. I really appreciate this and I look forward to continuing the conversation here.

Andy Burkhardt


  1. Thanks Aaron! I see you are going to ALA. Hopefully I see you there. I think I am planning on going to some of the same sessions as you.

  2. Andy, we do not agree on the value of the Salem Press Blog Awards. I think we’d all be better off without them. See http://bit.ly/bSfUy4 There are certainly other ways that a publisher could identify and promote blogs worth reading without turning it into another competition and ranking. That said, I am not surprised your blog rose to the top in this category. Well done. I don’t think we need Salem Press to let us know your blog is worth reading – it’s a winner in my book with or without them. That’s why we asked you to guest post at ACRLog – and thanks for the mention.

  3. Thanks for your comment Steven. Actually I think I vaguely remember reading that post before, and I do see some of your points. There are definitely other ways to promote interesting blogs. I don’t think I had seen that LISNews list of top then blogs that you mentioned in your post but I found some good ones on there too. I posted a while back about my favorite non-library blogs too.

    I disagree about competition though. I think it can be a good way to get the word out about cool stuff that is going on. I really liked Lisa Hinchcliffe’s President’s Program Innovation Contest. I liked it enough to submit something that our team had done. We didn’t win, but I didn’t get upset about it. I got to learn about some really interesting stuff that people are doing, like using zombies in orientations!

    And I don’t think these contests hinder any innovation or good work either. I would have been blogging regardless of this award. I didn’t even get nominated last year. Our team of librarians here at Champlain were doing innovative things before the President’s contest was announced. Innovative stuff or useful writing is happening regardless of these contests. The contests though are just one way, among many, to promote the good stuff that is happening.

    What I was thinking (and I was planning on writing a blog post on this) is wouldn’t it be cool to have a librarian contest or competition at a conference. I’ve talked to my friend who’s an architect or have seen at media, gaming, and graphic design conferences different competitions. It could be teams of librarians given 48 hours to design a mobile library app or an innovative new service or something. The best team would then be given a grant to put it into production. It would be a really fun engaging way to spark creative thinking and new ideas. A little competition can be healthy and productive.

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