maggieSince I created this collaborative blog during the librarian conference in Pretoria earlier this year, I have not had much success in getting our local librarians to blog collaboratively. So the blog is basically updated using automated bookmarks from our Infolinkers newsletter, links from my librarian friends on twitter, as well as bits and pieces that I pick up from local librarians when I go and visit schools. I really would like to see more local librarians “getting a voice” but at the same time, I do not always have time to run face 2 face blogging workshops to give librarians the benifit of learning the nessasary blogging skills. My efforts of trying mentor librarians on an online basis has not paid off as well as we have no base to work from. I also strongly beleive that we will only use technology if..

  • It is easy and effortless to use
  • Do not take up unnessary time
  • Is not too technical

Fortunately, most of us do have e-mail (and if you do not, see my e-mail how-to tutorial here: and I will then forward you the secret e-mail address, so that you can become a regular contributor.

So what can you blog about here??

In South Africa librarians do not have much of a voice and in most cases we do not even have poperly equipped libraries. So we can use this as a way to get our voices heard and to do advocacy and lobby government and the general public for more resources, professional development and support. And all you have to do is send an e-mail!

Book reviews
Some of us have got the odd budget to get some new books into the library so it is always great to learn about new books via reviews. Andrew always shares his jewels (book jewels that is) about boy teen reading, so this is the kind of things that would be helpful to other librarians. You can even let the learners write the book reviews, compile it into one e-mail and send it on! It would auto create a post. Cool and easy!

My library galleries
You can also take a photo(s) of your library/learners/exhibition and send it as an attachment- it will also create a post- all using your ordinary e-mail!!! If you attach more than one photo, it will create a slideshow in the post. Please just make sure that your pictures are optimized. Normally, if you are using Outlook/Outlook express it asks you if you want to optimize- choose the smallest size.

So how do you do it (step by step)

  • Create an e-mail in outlook/ outlook express/ Gmail / Hotmail / wherever…
  • In the TO line you will put the e-mail address I will give you (please ask me for it at maggie) or you can send it straight to me ( and I will pass it on.
  • In the Subject line, put the topic of your blog post eg My library at St Ursalas
  • In the body of the e-mail, type your post, blah blah blah….
    eg Our library is small but the learners use it enthusiatically. Blah blah blah…
    Remember to add your name and school to the bottom of your e-mail post
  • If you want to attach a photo just click on the paper clip or attach file and scroll to where the photos are located and pick a few. It will ask you if you want to optimize- choose the smallest size!
  • Hit the send button…..

So, please if you are a South African librarian and want to contribute to this blog, please let me know so that I can get your started.

Maggie Verster