Ten Stories that Shaped 2007

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Time flies; we're due for yet another look back at the year's top library-related stories.

Honorary Mention: LISNews Update

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10. Get Over Yourself

Those "Librarians are people too" stories continue to get attention. This year saw the release of a navel-gazing documentary about librarians in popular culture and a New York Times style section exposé on librarian socialites.

9. The Boy Who Lived

Pottermania reached full tilt in July with the release of the last Harry Potter book. Despite many precautions, images of the book were posted online before the official release date. And lest you think that's the end of the matter, more Potter stories keep coming.

8. The Chinese Boo-boo

A journalist named Shi Tao is currently a political prisoner in China, thanks in no small part to Yahoo! disclosing -- in compliance with Chinese law -- his identity to the Chinese government. The company has since apologized (and settled out of court), so we may safely resume entrusting our personal data to corporations.

7. No Such Thing as Bad Publicity

Two of this year's more eyebrow-raising marketing ideas were the BET "Read a Book" video and the Wyoming Libraries mudflap icon. Here's to more libraries escaping the "Zone of Mediocrity."

6. That's DVD-Arrr, Matey

A key to crack HD-DVD encryption made the rounds in May, thanks in no small part to efforts at suppressing posting the key gone awry.

In other format news, Google signed on another slew of scanning partners, and a new wave of e-book readers debuted this year, including Amazon's Kindle. RIP paper?

Bonus: Wild about Wireless

In one of the stranger stories this year, a college library director quit her job over fears of health risks from Wireless Internet signals. Tin foil hat, anyone?

5. Get Your Game On (2.0)

Talk of libraries using social software and gaming to reach patrons abounds these days, enough to warrant a realistic look at the ways our products and services are going virtual.

4. We Shall Overcome

Labor disputes in Canada this year led to a librarians' strike at both the Vancouver Public Library and the Greater Victoria Library System. Meanwhile, a strike in Hollywood over Internet royalties showed how it's not just libraries that are slow to evolve a modern business model.

3. Freedom Watch

Some highlights from this year's perennial entry: prisons removing religious texts; the "scrotum" affair; and a curious tactic in grass-roots weeding.

2. That Giant Sucking Sound

OPACs. Twenty-year-old systems designed on what was, at the time, a twenty-year-old standard format itself. Yet library catalogs got a new lease on life this year, with gains by the Open Source ILS movement and increased use of "next-generation" software. Throw in the fledgling federated searching market and questions about the future of bibliographic control and you've got interesting times ahead.

1. Dewey Who?

Though not earth-shattering news in itself, a librarian's reaction to the Dewey-less library story is a pretty good litmus test of whether or not they still belong in the profession.

What was your favorite library story of 2007?