Ten Stories That Shaped 2015

It’s that time of year again! Here’s our thirteenth annual rundown of notable library stories from the last twelve months.

10. Go Set a Watchman Raises Eyebrows

Strange circumstances surrounded Harper Lee’s first publication since To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960. Mixed reviews and strong sales followed.

9. Open Source Textbooks Gain Momentum

This year saw an increased push for more affordable course readings, as well as the growth of the Open Textbook Library.

8. Scandals from Coast to Coast

In June, the head of the Boston Public Library resigned over missing rare prints that were later found. In May, the New Orleans Public Library was investigated for diverting funds to the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. In January, an archivist at the University of Oregon was fired over an unlawful records release.

7. Yet Another Google Books Judgment

Although the case can still be appealed, a decade-old lawsuit against the Google Book project by the Authors Guild reached another milestone when the Court of Appeals ruled that the project did not violate copyright law.

6. Elsevier Journal Board Quits

Last month, the entire editorial board of a linguistics journal published by Elsevier resigned to form a new title. Contentions were over pricing, access, and control.

5. Vendor Merges Aplenty

There’s a dwindling number of publishers, aggregators, and service providers in the library business, thanks to several recent acquisitions and mergers.

4. RIP Another Metaphor

OCLC printed its last catalog card on October first.

3. 3D Printing Inches Towards Mainstream

3D printers in libraries continue to make headlines, and given the mature marketplace, if your library doesn’t yet offer this service, it is behind the times.

2. Billington Resigns

This year saw the end of Reagan-appointed James Billington’s tenure as the head of the Library of Congress. The retirement of the non-librarian who did not use e-mail brought many discussions about what is needed in his replacement at the nation’s library.

1. Je suis Charlie

Although not directly a library story, the murder of twelve people at the French magazine’s Paris office by Muslim terrorists had a measurable impact on our profession.

What was your favorite story of 2015?