Salem Press Library Blog Awards announced

Congratulations to all of the blogs and bloggers – those nominated and those awarded.  Thanks to all for your continued support of No Shelf Required, the Academic Honorable Mention for 2012.

Salem Press once again surveyed the library blog landscape in search of exceptional thinking, writing, and information. Hundreds of blog nominations poured in, thousands of votes were cast, leaving our distinguished guest judges with the difficult task of selecting one winner per category.

Ribbons Drumroll, Please
The public has voted online. All votes have been tallied. The judges have now spoken. Without (much) further ado, we present our list of 2012 Library Blog Award winners, broken down by category and complete with collective musings on what made these eight blogs beat the competition.

Congratulations to all who won and all who came close to winning.

Blog Directory
Salem is also happy to share that its Library Blog Directory has been revised and brought up to date. Immensely. We hope you find it a useful tool as you navigate the ever-expanding universe of librarian expression online. Help us keep it current by providing more information about existing entries, alerting us to anything that seems incorrect or misplaced, and recommending new blogs to add to the list. To do so email Salem at

Thank you
A big thank you to this year’s judges for graciously volunteering their time, expertise, and insight, all of which ensured the most outstanding blogs came out on top.

A special thanks to this year’s Director of Library Blog Awards, Mirela Roncevic.

General Library Blog Winner
In the Library with the Lead Pipe

General Library Blog Honorable Mention
Stephen’s Lighthouse

In the Library with the Lead Pipe was a clear winner of the public vote as well as a favorite among this year’s judges, who appreciated the blog’s cast of diverse writers and wide range of topics and perspectives. In the words of one judge, “almost every post is gold.” Stephen’s Lighthouse didn’t go unnoticed either. The judges thought highly of Stephen’s “top-level, unique, and pervasive awareness of the library world and of issues outside librarianship that nonetheless impact it.”

Academic Library Blog Winner
Musings About Librarianship
Academic Library Blog Honorable Mention
No Shelf Required®

Sue Polanka’s No Shelf Required® received a strong response from the public and accolades from the judges for sharp and objective coverage of ebook news of interest to libraries. (The blog also won first place in Academic category in 2010.) Aaron Tay’s Musings About Librarianship was praised for high-quality original coverage as well as unique perspectives on how to implement emerging technologies in academic libraries. “A stellar example of a dedicated librarian, sharing his work with others with the idea that we can replicate his successes at our own libraries.”

Public Library Blog Winner
Librarian by Day

Public Library Blog Honorable Mention
David Lee King

Two well-cultivated blogs rose to the top in the Public category, both written by librarians with large, dedicated followings. “David Lee King is one of the most trusted names in the library geek world. Even if he is blogging a conference, people are reading,” said one judge. “Bobbi Newman is a spitfire and thank goodness for that,” said another judge. The judges’ votes remained evenly split, but the public vote went in Bobbi’s favor. Her Librarian by Day blog came close to winning in this category in 2011.

School Library Blog Winner
The Adventures of Library Girl

School Library Blog Honorable Mention
Cathy Nelson’s Professional Thoughts

The Adventures of Library Girl was the big winner of the public vote in the School Library category. Most of the judges agreed with the public, calling Jennifer LaGarde’s voice “personable” and “enthusiastic” and her posts “chock-full of good ideas.” “You can tell she’s a go-getter,” said one judge. But many were also very impressed with Cathy Nelson’s strong voice and focus on multimedia. “Other school librarians will definitely get inspired from reading about Cathy’s top-notch work.”

Special Librarian Blog Winner

Special Librarian Blog Honorable Mention

The Special category was the most competitive this year. All four nominees receiving a strong response from the public. In the end, it was that won the most votes from the judges. They found David’s posts thoughtful, forward-thinking, and amusing. In the words of one judge, “His pithy and direct commentary makes me laugh out loud more often than I dare admit.” The honorable mention went to bizologie, which scored points for focused coverage and strong personalities of the bloggers.

Quirky Library Blog Winner
Screwy Decimal

Quirky Library Blog Honorable Mention
This is What a Librarian Looks Like

Both the public and the judges showed enthusiasm for Screwy Decimal for its great name, its good sense of humor, the patron quotes, and relevancy of the topics. “Rita Meade is hilarious. Full stop. Well worth reading just to remind yourself of the lighter side of what we do,” said one judge. And while Screwy Decimal re-affirms what “quirky” is all about through humor and wit, This Is What a Librarian Looks Like added a new dimension to “quirky” that didn’t go unnoticed. Judges praised the blog for its great user-generated look at librarianship. “A kaleidoscope of faces that shows just how diverse our profession really is.”

Academic Institution Library Blog Winner
Scholarly Communications @ Duke

Academic Institution Library Blog Honorable Mention
Facts from the Stacks

The clear winner of the public vote in the academic institution category was Duke University’s Scholarly Communications @ Duke (which has been nominated for an award in the past). The judges acknowledged the blog’s “super knowledgeable” posts, “remarkable” quality of writing, transparency, and the overall effort to build a readership. Bellvue’s Facts from the Stacks received a significant number of votes from the judges as well, who praised the blog’s friendly tone, accessible writing, and reliable information about the library’s holdings.

Public Institution Library Blog Winner
Eleventh Stack

Public Institution Library Blog Winner

The absolute winner of the judges’ vote in the public institution category was Carnegie Library’s Eleventh Stack. According to one judge, “The writers’ witty personalities (and their fascinating interests) shine through and show that this library is run by a group of intriguing (and dare I say ‘fun’) librarians.” According to another judge, “I want to steal all their ideas and replicate them on my own library’s blog.” Another example of what a public library blog for patrons should look like is East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s InfoBlog, which received a lot of support from the public.