Top library links of 2020

Over this past, unprecedented year, more than ever the library and information community has stepped up to support patrons and each other, to ensure services are maintained for some of the most vulnerable in society. Amid the chaos and uncertainty they have been at the forefront of the fight against misinformation - and they’ve also made time to write about it all. So thank you to all who have blogged, tweeted, researched, and created resources that have enabled us to curate in our bi-monthly newsletter.

In our first blog post of 2020 we’re taking a look back at what have been the most popular articles of the 25 issues of Newslet that we’ve produced in 2020.

Christian Lauersen’s Library Lab occupies the top two slots, the first a pre-pandemic look forward to the next 10 years of libraries, and the second a practical guide looking at how libraries were beginning to resume services after the sudden closures in March. Also popular was careers advice and industry news.

1. 5 things that will affect The Public Library towards 2030

Our most clicked article of 2020 was Christian Lauersen’s Library Lab post from February. Detailing an exchange of ideas and perspectives between librarians in Denmark and the USA, it was an optimistic look at what the future might hold for library services over the next ten years. It has some poignant remarks about the significance of ‘social infrastructure’ - the physical places where communities can meet and be social.

2. "There is a crack in everything – that is how the light gets in". Experiences with reopening libraries in the age of corona

The number 2 slot, published in May and also from Christian Lauersen, was looking forward to a very different future. Here Christian provides an overview of the measures taken by libraries in the Roskilde Municipality in Denmark to get physical library services up and running safely after two months of lockdown.

3. Why Goodreads is bad for books

This one obviously hit a nerve. Goodreads should be great, but it really isn’t. A justified rant about the clunky platform from Sarah Manavis at the New Statesman.

4. Big Transitions: Changing Jobs within and between Libraries

Advice about career development is often popular with library and information staff and this post from January about transitioning between different types of libraries and different positions by guest ACRLog writer Karen Sobel, a Teaching & Learning Librarian from Auraria Library in Denver Colorado came in fourth in our most clicked list.

5. Libraries Working From Home #LibrariesWFH

This article from Librarian by Day, written in the midst of the lockdown, announced the revival of The Library Day in the Life Project, sharing information about the work of library staff under the #LibrariesWFH tag and to build a sense of community while working from home.

6. 4 Design Principles for better digital signage (link unavailable)

Unfortunately this gem about better signposting in libraries is no longer online. The Manchester University Library Marketing and Communications Blog seems to have disappeared from the internet (and the Wayback Machine wasn't able to help) but hopefully it will be back.

7. The Secret to Forge Library Loyalty: Stop Holding Programs and Start Creating Experiences

Angela Hursh’s helpful blog tackles all things related to the promotion of libraries and library services. In this post Angela explains the concept of experiential marketing.

8. OverDrive's New Owners: What It Means

News of the sale of e-book provider Overdrive to investment company KKR at the tail-end of 2019 left us all wondering what this meant for digital lending. Did they know something we didn’t about wha was to come in the months ahead?

9. Casting a wide net: Alternative and non-traditional jobs for LIS pros

Another career-orientated article, this time from Hack Library School in May, pointing to some of the transferable skills of LIS professionals and how those skills might fit into other positions.

10. Outreach Programming: Serving Hidden Patrons

A post by Angie Bates, assistant Director of Perry Memorial Library, about designing outreach programs to target harder to reach groups who may not be able to visit the library or may not be aware of what the library can offer them.


11th on the list, but worth including as it made us smile is this First Dog on the Moon cartoon in the Guardian. It summed up all that was amazing about librarians, brought to the fore by the way they stepped up to support their communities during a global emergency.

This is just a small snapshot of the wide range of information and resources produced by the indomitable community that is the library and information sector. Although we’ve all had to get used to a lot of uncertainty, we look forward to seeing what the future holds for the sector in 2021.

If you’d like to keep up with new and interesting things from across the sector, you can sign up for the newsletter here.

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