Having read Meredith’s and the Annoyed Librarian’s recent posts regarding anonymity/pseudonymity I gave the issue some more thought. (This post started off as a comment on Meredith’s blog, but got a bit long and waffly).

I blog under a pseudonym (no, really!). When I started my blog, it just never occurred to me to use my real name. I spent about three minutes coming up with my pseudonym (Law Librarian was taken, so Lore Librarian it became – possibly helped along by my having recently watched a certain episode of Star Trek: TNG). I started the blog as a bit of an experiment, to try it out, see whether it was something I would find useful, and hadn’t really considered that other people might read it. And as it was signing up to something on the web, I just automatically used a pseudonym, which is normal for me. I don’t like to sign my name onto something without knowing exactly what it will lead to (and in fact have three other pseudonymous personas I have used in my life).

I haven’t discussed writing a blog with my employer. I don’t blog about my workplace (though posts do arise from things that happen in my workplace), and I don’t really feel it is relevant to my employer whether I blog or not. I don’t write my blog posts during work hours – I write them at lunchtimes, and before or after work. I don’t tell my employer about other extra-curricular activities. Using a pseudonym means there is no way (as far as I know) that anyone could connect the blog to the company I work for, so there is no reason for them to know. Also, I don’t necessarily want my blog to have an adverse affect on any future job I may apply for. (And considering the number of people who have been sacked for blogging, I think keeping a barrier between your blogging persona and your work persona is a pretty good idea).

I like being able to blog about whatever I want to. I don’t think I’ve ever blogged anything particularly contentious, but I’d like the freedom to be able to. Just because I blog pseudonymously doesn’t mean I don’t believe in what I am writing, or that I want to distance myself from it.

Pseudonymity is not a new thing – authors have been using pen-names for years, actors and musicians have stage names. So it seems odd that people have such a thing against pseudonymity in blogging. If I ever get my book (yes, yet another librarian writing a book) published, I may well do it under a pen name (though probably not Lore Librarian!).

I am sure that if people really wanted to they could work out who I was. There aren’t that many Law Librarians who are blogging, even fewer doing so under a pseudonym, and lots of people know I have a blog, so it would just be a process of elimination. The people I work with could probably figure it out in about five seconds by looking at my Twitter account. I have recently admitted my identity to a few people, and do have to admit, this has made me feel a bit self-conscious about posting. I am endeavouring to overcome this feeling, and just get on with it.

Five Non-Library Blogs

I was tagged by Cliff Landis (thanks!) in this meme from Rachel, the Liminal Librarian.

I found it quite difficult to narrow it down to only 5!

1. Blaugh – the (un)official comic of the blogosphere
2. The World Almanac
3. Interesting Thing of the Day
4. Jon Aquino’s Mental Garden
5. Web 2.0 Explorer

I also just want to say thanks to Rachel for starting such an interesting meme! It has been great to see what non-library related blogs other people in the Biblioblogosphere are reading, and I have added quite a few to my blogroll. So thanks to Joshua M. Neff for the link to Wil Wheaton’s blog/TNG reviews , Amanda at Blog without a Library for Bokardo, Jessamyn for This is Broken , and The Librarian in Black for Neil Gaiman’s blog.

Risky Business – Blogging

Saw this post on Joho The Blog’s blog this morning (Fired simply for having a blog). Surely this is unfair dismissal! It’s certainly unfair anyway.

There are plenty of other cases of people being sacked for their blogs, but mostly (as far as I know) the person was not anonymous, and/or mentioned their employer in some way (whether or not their dismissal was fair is another question):

Of blogging and unemployment:
I was fired for blogging

Plus, the NY Times wrote an interesting article about it: Job Posting

It has all got me thinking as to my own reasons for being anonymous on my blog, and wondering how many other bloggers remain anonymous, and for what reasons.

Fear/Comfort/The ability to express yourself openly/Self-consciousness?

And if you are ‘fessing up to your identity – why? Was it a conscious decision? Did it even occur to you to be anonymous?

*Update – Sacked blogger wins tribunal case


Welcome to my blog.
Everyone else has one, so I wanted one too!

It will be home to articles on law-librarianism, libraries in general, web-stuff, random thoughts and entirely non-library related interesting things I happen to come across.