Ten Stories That Shaped 2018

As we limp our way into 2019, let's take a look back at some of the notable library stories from the past year.

10. The Opioid Epidemic Continues

The abuse of narcotics has become so widespread in this country that our average life expectancy has declined as a result. The use of Narcan to treat overdoses occurring in libraries is one way we can contribute to public health.

9. More Fake News

Although political propaganda is nothing new, the growing threat of what has been dubbed "information terrorism," aided by technological advances in the creation of bogus pieces of reporting, make our role as archivists and educators all the more important.

8. Search Engines are Bigots

Keep Copyright Office in Library of Congress


Urgent! Contact Your Senator About S. 1010 If passed, Congress would voluntarily hand over the power to appoint the copyright advisor to the president. The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act (S. 1010), a Senate companion to House bill (H.R. 1695), will be voted on by the Senate Rules and Administration Committee this Tuesday, in spite of previous concerns by committee members. This legislation would make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation.

Oxford’s Library Once Branded Its Sauciest Books With a Greek Letter


FOR MORE THAN A HUNDRED years, deep in a dusty enclave of the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries, there sat a restricted collection—2,100 books deemed too subversive, too toxic, too scandalous for eager minds. These books, principally concerned with sex, made up the “Phi” collection, bearing the Greek “Φ” on their spines like a mark of sin.

Bookstore's Tweet On The Sale Of A Children's Book After 27 Years, Goes Viral : NPR


The store's tweet about the sale has since gone viral and received thousands of replies. Author Sarah Todd Taylor tweeted in response, "The book held its breath. It had hoped so often, only to have that hope crushed. Hands lifted it from the shelf, wrapped it warmly in paper.

The Competitive Book Sorters Who Spread Knowledge Around New York - Atlas Obscura


With minutes to go until game time, the 12 elite sorters have emerged, wearing matching BookOps T-shirts. They march toward the machine as if boarding Apollo 11. The offices upstairs have emptied into the basement, and a wide variety of library personnel fill every available space in the room to cheer the sorters on. “We’re gonna take ‘em down, it’s not gonna be an issue,” says Michael Genao, a 22-year-old sophomore sorter with a linebacker’s build.

Booksellers Protest Amazon Site’s Move to Drop Stores From Certain Countries


More than 250 antiquarian book dealers in 24 countries say they are pulling over a million books off an Amazon-owned site for a week, an impromptu protest after the site abruptly moved to ban sellers from several nations. The flash strike against the site, AbeBooks, which is due to begin Monday, is a rare concerted action by vendors against any part of Amazon, which depends on third-party sellers for much of its merchandise and revenue.

Harvard Converts Millions of Legal Documents into Open Data


A new free website spearheaded by the Library Innovation Lab at the Harvard Law School makes available nearly 6.5 million state and federal cases dating from the 1600s to earlier this year, in an initiative that could alter and inform the future availability of similar areas of public-sector big data. Led by the Lab, which was founded in 2010 as an arena for experimentation and exploration into expanding the role of libraries in the online era, the Caselaw Access Project went live Oct.

In win for open access, two major funders to bar grantees from publishing in hybrid journals


The largest part of the policy change is that as of January 2020, Wellcome and Gates will no longer allow their grantees to publish in so-called hybrid OA journals, which have both subscription and free content. Most scientific journals now follow that hybrid business model, which allows authors to pay a fee if they want to make their articles OA. For the past decade, Wellcome has allowed its grantees to pay these fees, in part because it viewed them as a way to help publishers finance a switch in their business models to full OA.

The Bookseller's Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year Voting Is Open


The prize, founded by Trevor Bounford and the late Bruce Robinson of publishing solutions firm the Diagram Group, is the annual celebration of the book world's strangest and most perplexing titles. The Bookseller and its legendary diarist Horace Bent have been custodians of the prize since 1982.      The six books up for what Bent has called "the most prestigious literary gong Britain—nay the world—has ever known" are: Are Gay Men More Accurate in Detecting Deceits?