Can you believe we’re closing in on 2017? It’s time once again to look back at the notable library-related stories from the past year.
Dishonorable Mention: Librarian Arrested in “First Amendment” Issue
In May, an altercation with security personnel at a Kansas City Public Library event led to violent arrests against several people, including the programming director.
10. Google Books Case Finally Ends
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the last appeal of the Authors Guild in the nearly decade-old Google Books copyright case.
9. Open Data Initiatives
This year saw continued growth of efforts to make research data freely available.
8. Libraries Catch Pokémon Go Fever
Many libraries got on board with the latest augmented reality app based on collecting and fighting with other Pokémon creatures.
7. Intellectual Property Disputes Aplenty
Legal cases involving everyone from Anne Frank to the NFL made headlines this year.
6. Libraries Fund Open Access
More libraries now offer to pay author fees for open access publications.
5. Welcome, Robot Overlords
This year AI agents won a game against a grandmaster of Go, made medical diagnoses, and drove a truck across the highway. Time will tell how these advances impact libraries.
Piracy of academic research became a big league success via the website Sci-Hub, raising many questions and discussions about the need for such a clandestine distribution of knowledge.
3. “Illegal Aliens”
After the U.S. Library of Congress announced the Subject Heading “Illegal Aliens” would be replaced with the terms “Noncitizens” and “Unauthorized immigration,” Congress legislated a halt to the renaming process.
2. Carla Hayden becomes the new Librarian of Congress
In September, Dr. Hayden was sworn in as the successor to James Billington, giving many hope about the future of the nation’s library.
1. Our “Post-truth” Era
The circumstances resulting in the naming of OED’s word of the year, namely the rise of fake news and our current political climate, make librarians and other educators as important as ever.
What was your favorite story this year?