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O Blograrian, Where Art Thou?

The photos above show me with the two blograrians I had lunch with last Saturday: Zarah Gagatiga (left) and Peachy Limpin (center). Zarah has already written about what we discussed in "The Quest," so allow me to just comment on changes that have occurred since all three of us began blogging about our profession in 2005:

1 The photos were taken not with a camera, but Zarah's MacBook and Photo Booth. It's not easy lugging around a laptop to take pictures, but the fact that there was no need to download the photo from the camera to the laptop or to Photoshop the photos together, tells me that the time when uploading a photo to a blog right after taking the picture (with an iPhone that takes better photos than most phones with cameras, perhaps?) is coming soon.

2 None of us are blogging as much as we used to. Zarah blogged quite consistently from 2005 to 2007 (about twice a week), but was down to about one and a half posts per week in 2008. Peachy averaged about a post a week when she started blogging, but was down to a little over one post a month in 2008. And then there's this blog, which went from a high of almost one post a day in 2006 to last year's one post a week. Other blograrians have even stopped blogging altogether. True, more librarians are blogging now, but it does not seem to be the case that there are more librarians who are blogging consistently about our profession. And no, posting announcements and job openings doesn't really count =)

3 I will not deny that I have lost some enthusiasm for blogging, but I think much of the decline in number of all our posts may be traced to lifestyle changes. Zarah took on more responsibility as an administrator, Peachy immigrated to Australia with her family, and I crossed an ocean to do my PhD in Toronto. The fact that two of us are now based outside the Philippines is significant. It's not just nurses and domestic helpers who are leaving our country in large numbers. Even the relatively small number of librarians in the Philippines is dwindling further. Is it because there's a high demand for Filipino librarians abroad or could there be some other reason for the accelerating exodus of librarians? But that's another story altogether.
So what's wrong? Take a look at what an Indian says about the LIS blogs in his country: Indian Library and Information Science Blog(s) are not able to catch sufficient number of user base. His English can be distracting, but what he says could also be applied to LIS in the Philippines. And not just to blogs, but also to research and publications.

At one point, I thought that blogging could perhaps be the solution to the problem of lack of visibility of our profession. Even the difficulty of disseminating information to Filipino librarians can be—and has been—addressed by blogs. Not all librarians have access to the Internet, of course, but I'm beginning to think that even if all Filipinos were online, our profession would still encounter the same problems.

This post has gotten much longer and more serious than I intended it to be. I'm going to get into trouble with the powers-that-be if I continue what I'm thinking of writing. So I'll just stop here and hope that someone else takes up the cause =)

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