Saturday, January 07, 2006

A mild librarian rant

I subscribe to several library-related listservs that have proved to be an invaluable resource for me. It's great to know that when you need assistance, you can simply post a message and be inudated with helpful suggestions from your colleagues. Likewise, you can express your thoughts about a particular issue facing the profession and receive thoughtful advice and insight.

There is one listserv I subscribe to though that is flooded each day with posts from one individual. For the most part, the messages are links to articles and Web sites he/she feels would be of interest to others. I appreciate that to a point, but find myself getting mildly annoyed when I open my in box and see all the messages from this person. He/she is also on another listserv I subscribe to, so many times I receive multiple copies of the same message.

I certainly want to remain informed about items of interest and things relevant to our changing profession, but I also think people need to realize when enough is enough. I have a feeling I can't be the only person who feels this way.

The listserv in question is one I'd like to remain on, because I feel it will help me in my efforts to create a niche for myself, but at this point I will probably unsubscribe to avoid all these unwanted messages.

I'd be interested in hearing other thoughts on this topic. Do people appreciate receiving these informative messages and want them to continue? Does a librarian who complains about the situation look unprofessional? I'll be interested to receive your feedback.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Amanda said...

You know my feelings on this. Seriously: use your blog. That's what its for.

4:39 PM  
Blogger nichole said...

You could filter said person's messages right into the trash, perhaps.

I agree with Amanda. Once I even made that suggestion to a prolific emailer. I had somehow gotten on her private (totally non-library-related) "list" of about 30 people she forwards news and commentary to. When I said she'd be a great blogger (which, while true, was a transparent attempt to stem the deluge) she replied, "Oh, I just can't imagine that anyone at all would be interested in what I have to say."

Sigh.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Pete Weiss said...

As others have said, it should be simple to establish your own email filter rule.

Additionally, some mailing list management software like LISTSERV allows the list-owner to establish daily limits for each poster; similarly "TOPICS" (tags) can be defined by the list-owner so that the software can filter topical messages for you (not as useful because it takes much more "cooperation").

Finally, if your software supports it, subscribe in a daily mime digest, and just pick and choose those items of interest.

Does the list-owner have any thoughts?

/Pete

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

send them an email suggesting they compile their "news" posts into one big daily "news" post that is much easier to ignore (if you are so inclined).

J

9:01 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

There's one person I have in mind who might be your person, too. He posts to 5 different lists that I'm on... I tried to sort him into his own folder but it doesn't always work. I don't want to hurt his feelings because I know he means well... it's just really rude to cross post 5 messages at a time to 5 lists (yes, I get about 20-25 messages some days from this guy)

10:02 AM  
Blogger Stacy said...

With e-mail servers allowing us to receive such large amounts of e-mail now, I don't think there's necessarily a reason to exclaim "too much".
Ignore him, route his emails to the delete bin, just don't ask him to be quiet. IMHO, that seems a bit rude and counters some of what librarians claim to believe.
But, then again, I must not belong to his lists. If I did, perhaps I would be sayiing the same thing

2:45 PM  

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