Top ten for 2010 and 2011

Top 10 things good and bad for 2010 of some librarianship importance

  1. The closure of public libraries around the world due to funding cuts (especially in the UK)
  2. The building or renovation of hundreds of school libraries under the federal government’s Economic Stimulus Package
  3. The inexorable rise of the e-book
  4. The inexorable rise of Trove
  5. WikiLeaks
  6. The Internet filtering debate
  7. The Australian declaration of open government
  8. The appointment of the Australian Information Commissioner
  9. The retirement of Jan Fullerton
  10. Justin Bieber

What would be nice in 2011

  1. A change in worldwide government policies to protect library funding
  2. The person to be appointed DG of the National Library to be a librarian
  3. A proper role for libraries in the NBN implementation
  4. E-book readers for sale below $100
  5. RDA to be adopted
  6. A federal coordinating body created to oversee libraries and library funding
  7. Public lending of e-readers to become widespread
  8. Er…
  9. That’s it

future of journalism

A new report:
Life in the clickstream : the future of journalism has just been published by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

The report confirms that newspaper websites continue to be the main online source for news, which shows that newspapers are not dead, it’s just that the print medium is no longer where the readers are.

It is also interesting to note that online sources are now more trusted than print media.

With the continued decline of readers of print newspapers and the continued growth of online news readership, newspaper websites will become of ever more importance. For reference or deposit libraries that are required to retain newspapers, it thus becomes ever more important to collect not only the paper newspaper but also the online version. Since June 2009 the National Library has been doing just that with the Sydney Morning Herald see:

The report has many points of discussion on new, digital and social media that any organisation interested in aggregating or delivering information (such as libraries) should take note of.

One other interesting statistic, especially for Rupert Murdoch, is that 91% of those surveyed said they would not pay for online content, 6% were undecided and only 3% said they would pay. Whether 3% is enough of a demographic to make financial sense we shall see.

Librarianship is not a building, or a collection

What will kill this profession is not ebooks, amazon, or Google. It will be a lack of imagination. An inability to see not what is, but what could be. To see only how we are viewed now, but not how that is only a platform for greatness. Librarianship is not a building, or a collection. It is a conversation you are having. A conversation that has lasted over nearly three millennia. A conversation handed down from generation to generation, culture to culture, great society to great society, epoch to epoch. Librarianship only ends if we stop this conversation – set in stone, transfer practice to golden idols. It only survives if we, librarians and the communities we serve, take it up, renew, refresh it, and constantly engage in what is next. It is in that conversation that we find what a triumphant librarian is. Someone who wakes to see a better day for their community, and works to make the next even better, and the next day after that.

– R. David Lankes