I've been at my current job in the law firm library for just on six months now. During this time period, I've also increased my blogging activity. I've decided it's probably a good time to articulate how I view my blogging boundaries in this law firm environment.
There are two absolutely no go areas.
- Specific things I've been asked to find in my research work
- Any other information that is a trade secret or protected by confidentiality agreements or attorney-client privilege.
Then there’s the usual stuff which most bloggers who are employed need to be very cautious of: Not making my employer look bad, not trash talking management and co-workers, etc.
When I've worked in academic libraries, I've sometimes blogged about annoyances I've experienced with some of the vendors which the library uses. I don't recant those posts, but I won't be doing so much of that for the time being. Law firms are quite different environments from universities and my position is slightly different as well. If I need to work closely with somebody from a vendor to make an improvement or fix a problem, I wouldn't want them to be wondering if anything they say might end up on my blog. Of course, it’s different if I’m looking at things which aren’t closely related to my work.
That said, I don’t believe that it’s necessary to maintain an absolute separation between what I’m doing at work and what goes into the blog. If I discover a useful resource or technique in the course of my research, I don’t see any harm in sharing it here. The same goes with issues relevant to law libraries, if they can be discussed in a manner which doesn’t go against what I’ve said above.
Of course, I could go into more detail about all of these things, but I don't think that's going to be helpful. Underlying it all is keeping to a certain ethic. And all this is just about the work-related boundaries. I could have another post about respecting personal boundaries in this blog.