06 March 2010

Two library blogs of note

Houghton Library Blog
The blog presents selections from the rare books collection held in the Houghton Library. It's a very lovely collection that spans centuries of European literary culture. The blog itself is a straightforward presentation of the collection highlights, but also a useful advocacy tool for the importance of book preservation. The entries are brief, but links to the exhibits of the collection or the bibliographic records of the preserved documents are provided.

The blog itself is simple and pleasing. The background is white and set with simple type and good pictures. It's not complicated or cluttered to scan or navigate. On the right side are the recent blog posts and the post categories. It looks good and makes the library look professional. If I had to make any recommendations, I'd say that the blog could have a more distinct visual presence and post more information on archival library matters.

UC Berkeley Art History News & Notes Blog (http://blogs.lib.berkeley.edu/arthistory.php)
The blog presents announcements for the Art History Library. Some of the announcements involve recent acquisitions for the Art History Library, but most of the announcements are informational in nature. These announcements are usually links to resources for studying art history, i.e. ArtStor, ArtBabble, CAA Reviews. These are helpful links and dovetail with the library mission of being an academic resource. Students can learn about how to use library resources. At the top of the blog are tabs for using the UC Berkeley library system. The blog has integrated itself into the library as a whole rather being separate from it.

The blog itself is rather stark and ugly. As a blog for an art library, it lacks artwork or any visual appeal at all. There is nothing to make this blog distinct from other blogs or even web pages. What it lacks makes it distinct in a bad way. I'd recommend that the blog dress itself up to look more appealing and less skeletal. It has good links to good content, but it's very lacklustre in appearance.

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