Ten Stories That Shaped 2008

It's that time again! Read on for some highlights from this year's library news.

10. OCLC Claims Ownership of Data In OPACs

As if charging libraries to provide it cataloging records wasn't enough... what's next? Suing a library-themed hotel?

9. Annoyed Librarian Joins Library Journal

Though some love to hate her, everyone's favorite snarky semi-anonymous blogger continues to garner attention.

8. Censorship Roundup

Penguins continue to make intellectual freedom headlines, as does violence, homosexuality, and sex. Even Sarah Palin made some of the papers she reads with a story about her dealings with the city librarian while mayor of Wasilla.

7. Wikipedia Marches Ever On

Truthiness issues aside, Wikipedia and other user-generated sites continue to grow. If you haven't already familiarized yourself with such sites as Wikipedia, Digg, and Facebook, turn in your library degree now.

6. Book Technology

Kindle, e-paper, and related gizmos made further inroads and advances this year, but mainstream adoption is perennially a few years away.

5. Lawsuits Aplenty

Notable publishing lawsuits this year involved Jerry Seinfeld, Harry Potter, and Electronic Reserve.

4. California Librarian Fired for Reporting Man Viewing Child Porn

Yes, sadly, you read it right. There's more to the story than that, but it remains a reminder that some libraries are short of a full deck.

3. Google Books Settlement

This fall, a payment system was worked out between Google, authors, and publishers, including a subscription model that left some libraries feeling shorted.

2. Gaming Takes Off

Video games in libraries are nothing new, but this year saw incredible growth in the use of video games by libraries to meet patron demands.

1. Can You Spare A Dime?

Those "Recession Boosts Library Use" stories were common this year, but the real news is how hard hit libraries have been in this terribad economy, as typified by the Philadelphia Free Library closings.

What was your favorite story of the year?


Has this guy and the people who agree with him considered the libraries that own thousands of books and have to store many in non-public areas? Without the Dewey system to find them they are totally lost and might as well not be owned. These include books integral to
large libraries.

Some libraries such as the Queens Borough Public Library in NYC already merchandise as much as they can but it is often hard for customers to look over all the sections to find the right one for the book they need. Then there are sometimes copies in more than one area so no one even knows is all copies are checked out. The last time I checked their catalog they did not have notes of the name of the merchandised display where a book would be located.

Dewey has it's shortcomings as any system that could be devised but has served us well for over a hundred years. Another problem would be the logistics and money of changing over to a non-Dewey system.
Has this senator seen what's happening to library budgets all over the country?

What's the source of his beef?

I agree, dewey has worked for over a hundred years. Libraries need to find other ways of managing their resources. Now is certainly not the time with budgets suffering and so many people out of work.

Please explain ...

How did the Annoyed Librarian's decision to sell her special brand of ignorance to LJ reshape the library world?

How does a library aide's attempt (NOT a librarian, as your headline misrepresents) to exploit the culture wars and the media in order to make more of her failure to make it through her probationary period reshape the library world? (As you say, there is much, much more to this story. It was clear even in the beginning that her story had holes, and that there was as much support for the library's claim that she failed to meet standards and was insubordinate as for her own claims about her firing. Notably, the police have dropped all charges in regards to the alleged viewing of child porn at the library - no evidence on the library's computer of any "child porn" - and the library's policies remain intact and the library director still has his job.)

These aren't stories about events and cultural changes that shaped or reshaped libraries or librarianship - they're simply tabloid tales about self-aggrandizing individuals whose exploits garnered the attention of the media and the blogosphere. Our own little Paris Hiltons, if you please.

Meanwhile, there's nothing about the state of library science education, or the digital divide, or a dozen other topics that possess more importance for the library community....

If you don't like Mr. Hubbard's list, why not create your own then submit a story suggestion so that the authors can take a look? The only thing stopping you in that regard is yourself, whoever you are.
Stephen Michael Kellat, Host, LISTen
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