It’s time yet again to take a look back at the memorable library stories from the past year.
Two themes dominated headlines in 2023: attacks on libraries; and the rising implications of generative artificial intelligence.
10. Misplaced Classified Documents
Fallout over politicians from both parties mishandling documents continued to make news early in the year.
9. Attacks on Librarians – Kirk Cameron
8. Generative AI – Audio Books and Music
Improvements in automated text-to-speech software held ramifications to the human narration of audio books.
7. War Impacts Publishing
In June, author Elizabeth Gilbert halted plans for a book set in Russia.
In October, the Frankfurt Book Fair withdrew a planned award for Palestinian author Adania Shibli.
Sponsors also pulled out of the National Book awards in November, due to a political statement made by attendees.
In December, a similar incident occurred with journalist Masha Gessen.
6. Publishers Win Case Against (Electronic) Library Lending
A highly-watched lawsuit brought by publishers against the practice of “Controlled Digital Lending” was decided for publishers in district court this year, although the Internet Archive Library has appealed the case.
5. Generative AI – Book Covers
4. Generative AI – Hallucinations Aplenty
3. Attacks on Librarians – Moms for Liberty
Unless you were living under a rock this year, you heard of the many stories involving this organization devoted to banning books in libraries.
2. Generative AI – Copyright Disputes
Two aspects of generative AI and copyright made for a pair of noteworthy news items this year:
1. Attacks on Librarians – Censorship, Threats, and Violence
In the past two years, amidst the backdrop of the book banning movement, librarians have been subjected to bomb threats, bullet holes in books, shot out windows, graffiti, death threats, and more, all apparently part of a concerted harassment campaign against members of our profession.
Here’s to a safe 2024!