Ten Stories That Shaped 2013

Once more we look back at the notable library happenings of the past year.

Memorable Stories

10. Timbuktu Library Rescue

In January, Islamic militants torched an archive that had contained many ancient manuscripts. Fortunately, prior to this, people had removed the materials from the city.

9. The Hudson Falls Free Library Reading Contest

Tabloids loved the story of a library director who tried to take the perennial winner of a children's reading contest out of the running. Two librarians lost their jobs over the scandal.

8. Fairfax County Library's Dumpster

Libraries discard and destroy titles from their collections all the time, but when it's done sloppily and in plain sight, outrage ensues.

Hip Trends

7. MOOCs! Video Games! Makerspaces! 3D Printing!

Are these nifty new avenues to reach patrons, or a feature creep beyond a library's mission?

6. Little Free 'Libraries'

Although perhaps better named "community bookshelves," the growth of the Little Free Library movement continued this year. How many are in your neighborhood?

5. The New Librarian Stereotype

Commenting about the latest calendar models in the profession, a LISNews poster noted, "the bun wearing shushing librarian stereotype is long dead. Now the stereotype is hipster tattooed librarians."

Big Issues

4. Open Access versus Publisher Profits

In a case of "If you have haters then you must be doing something right" (similar to the harassment of Jeffrey Beall over his list of predatory publishers), Science published a flawed hit piece on Open Access journals.

3. Metadata Wants To Be Free

As more libraries move to web-scale discovery systems, the issue of interoperable metadata will become important. A vendor dispute highlights how libraries can be caught between competing economic interests.

2. Kindle MatchBook &c.

Amazon unveiled a new e-book pricing model this year. Other e-book headlines include the Apple price fixing lawsuit, and new subscription services launched by Scribd and Oyster.

1. Spying Scandals

If information is power, then privacya fundamental tenet of librarianship, according to many of usis freedom. Several disturbing surveillance practices were revealed this year, making it important that librarians continue their efforts to safeguard people's privacy.

What was your favorite library story this year?

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