I remember when I got my job at Norwich, but before I started, I wondered what the new job would mean for my blog. How would my writing reflect on my organization? Would people ask me to censor myself? Fortunately, it has not changed what I write in the least. My blog is separate from my job and my colleagues seem to support that notion. On the other hand, I would never write about certain things that go on at work or certain things that are said in meetings. I know that there is a line that can’t be crossed, but that’s more about common sense. I also do not blog personal conversations that I know people wouldn’t want to be public. However, when I write my blog, the opinions expressed on it are mine and do not represent my employer.
I wish that all employers could be so enlightened and fortunately in our field, many are. I was pleased that Jenny Levine’s writing didn’t change when she got her job at ALA. I had wondered if it would change, but the things I’ve enjoyed most from her blog lately are her reports on the things that are going on internally at ALA. It gives me a fascinating glimpse into that world.
So I can understand why Jenny would be so frustrated by what Dorothea Salo wrote in the comments on a post on this blog that associated what Jenny was writing to ALA. Dorothea thinks that what Jenny wrote reflects on her employer, which happens to be the ALA. And Jenny pointed out to me that by my not saying anything against that view, I was actually condoning it. While I agree with Dorothea most of the time, and definitely appreciated her sticking up for me, this is an opinion I strongly disagree with and one that I only didn’t disagree with in the comments because it seemed off-topic. Jenny shouldn’t let up on me because she works for ALA. She shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells because of that. I never saw this as an employee of ALA versus a member of ALA. I saw it as Jenny and Meredith having a disagreement. Just as my comments should not reflect on my employer, hers should not either. It would be one thing if she wrote this on her blog and if her blog was an official ALA blog and listed as such on the site. Looking at ALA’s list of blogs, I see that The Shifted Librarian is not on there. I think when we are writing on a blog that is listed on our company’s Website, we do have to be careful, because then anything we say could be seen as being condoned by our employer. That does include Hectic Pace and Green Kangaroo (two excellent blogs that do ALA proud), but it should not include The Shifted Librarian. Not that Jenny’s blog wouldn’t reflect well on the ALA, but it shouldn’t reflect on the ALA.
I do not agree with Jenny that any comment someone writes on my blog that I leave on the site sends the message that I condone it, but I do agree that this one did deserve further comment. I do not delete comments, even if sometimes I want to forget about a particular exchange (like, umm… all of last week). It just seems somehow wrong to me; like revising history. Dorothea wrote what she did and I would neither ask her to retract it, nor would I delete it. Where would I stop with that? I disagreed with Jenny last week, but I never deleted any of her comments. Dorothea stated her opinion, not fact, and she is entitled to it. Her name is on the comment; not mine.