The Voice of Darien

I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the folks at the Darien Public Library in Connecticut. I believe we’ll be hearing a lot more from and about them over the next couple years as their master plan begins to unfold and inflate. Like a number of other libraries, they’ve begun their transformation by embracing the 2.0 world. Their first step? Putting together a wonderful collection of blogs, staffed by a group of committed and excited people.

While a number of more high-profile libraries have garnered national attention for their blogs, Darien has been quietly assembling their all-star blogging team. What makes their effort truly different is that it has been a top-down initiative that involves staff members representing different parts of the organization. Last week, Jenny Levine took notice of Louise Berry’s blog. Louise is Darien’s director and she has a prolific and candid blogging style that I find inspiring. She’s not the only library director who is blogging right now, but she’s clearly the one who enjoys it the most.

I thought I was going to have to pester Alan Gray, Darien’s head of technology (and tech services), again to get him blogging as well–no need! Alan has started his blog, “Last Clear Chance.” Named after an intriguing legal doctrine, Alan’s blog will more-than-likely reflect his tell-it-like-it-is personality. You’re not going to find the party-line here.

Another major component of Darien Library’s master plan is the construction of a new 45,000 square foot $22 $26 million dollar library to replace the facility they are currently in. In the spirit of keeping the community informed of what’s going on with the new building, Darien has started a dedicated blog for the project; they’ve labeled it, “A Chronicle of Progress Towards a New Darien Library.” The blog seems to be staffed mostly by Alan, but I wouldn’t be surprised if other voices chimed in as well. For anyone interested in the process behind building a new library, this is the perfect blog for you.

In addition to these three blogs, Darien offers a suite of other blogs, all RSS-capable, all very interesting. From books to technology, they are creating a voice all their own.

You can also catch some Darien Flickr action: Louise Berry, Alan Gray, and the Darien Library itself.

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