Top library links of 2021

2021 was another year of uncertainty and again the library and information community have continued to write, research, blog and tweet in support of libraries and each other. 

Over the past year we’ve sent out 24 issues of Newslet, our fortnightly newsletter and in this post we’re going to take a look back at what proved most popular with our readers in 2021.

In tenth place is Angela Hursch’s no-nonsense Super Library Marketing blog. Angela is particularly good at simplifying and distilling what library workers need to know to get the job done, and this post on wayfaring signage proved popular with our readers in October.

We enjoyed this quiz on the Oxford University Press blog, which matched our personalities to some quirky and exotic libraries from around the world, and we included it in our 14th September issue. It seems like you enjoyed it too as it came in at ninth on our most-clicked list. 

Eighth on the list is this August announcement of an upcoming BIBLIO MOOC, a course especially designed for library workers. 

Beautiful photographs of beautiful libraries – we can’t get enough and neither, it seems, can you as this July article from The Guardian news website comes in seventh in our most-clicked list. Our travel may have been curtailed by the pandemic, but we can still imagine ourselves in these inspirational, architect-designed spaces. 

At number six in our list is this beginner’s guide to learning about MARC for free by Claire Sewell on Medium, also from July, and its popularity seems to defy claims from some quarters that this is an obsolete technology. 

The issue of how to quantify the intangible work that happens in libraries is one that concerns many library staff. So it’s not surprising that this August paper from Syracuse University School of Information Studies on calculating and communicating the value of services provided by library workers to their communities, came in fifth on our list. 

Fourth on our list is an article by the founder of the Internet Archive Brewster Kahle published in October on Kahle considers the future of digital publishing and the threat to the independence of libraries and the Internet Archive by powerful global publishing giants.

In third place, news from the IFLA of a new world-champion library caught the attention of readers in August. This post named the winner of the Public Library of the Year award and told us all about the shiny new Deichman Bjørvika in Oslo. 

In the second spot is Meredith G Farkas’ August article about the Slow Librarianship movement and the personal story of her recovery from workaholism and subsequent burnout. Perhaps it struck a chord with library workers who have been struggling with the extra pandemic workload and were looking to make changes to their working life. 

In our experience, librarians and information workers are constantly striving to provide the best possible access to reliable information so it’s no surprise that this post is at the top of our most-clicked list. EveryLibrary’s post from July looked at how librarians have created inclusive and welcoming spaces and developed initiatives to lower the barriers to access for a diverse group of patrons. 

Just outside the top ten, a feature from The Washington Post about a charity T-shirt asking “What’s more punk than the public library?” and this September article from paulderscheid on Medium considering the implications of the transition towards library service platforms.

A huge thank you to the caring, sharing library and information community who have produced all the valuable resources that have helped us through the ups and downs of 2021. We look forward to seeing what 2022 brings.  

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