The Blog as a High-impact Institutional Communication Tool

19 March 2007

Participation in conferences is a key aspect of professional development for library staff. The benefits of attending a conference include networking opportunities, engagement with the latest ideas, and seeing products provided by vendors. However, the considerable cost of sending staff to a conference is often not matched by the benefits that the library gains as a result. The knowledge acquired by the individuals attending is not always effectively shared by conventional tools such as conference reports or post-event presentations. This is particularly true in larger libraries, and in geographically dispersed organisations. We aimed to maximise the institutional impact of our attendance at Click 06 (the biennial ALIA conference) by providing a blog of the event and encouraging interaction with our colleagues during the conference itself. In this article we will describe the process of establishing, promoting and authoring an ‘institution focussed conference blog’. We also evaluate the success of the project and discuss the implications for future development.