Top Library Links of 2023

It’s already that time again (where has the year gone?) where we reflect on the past 12 months and the valuable lessons learned along the way. One of the ways we do this is by bringing together the most popular links from our newsletter, an ongoing source of inspiration for our team and hopefully for our subscribers too. 

The past year has been busy, witnessing many changes in the library world and the channels we use for sharing information, connecting and collaborating. 

It was also the year of AI hype—significant AI hype. Despite ChatGPT being publicly launched in November 2022 (if you can believe it), its profound impact on library discourse continued throughout 2023.  

Over the past 12 months we have published 21 issues with over 315 posts, resources and publications shared. 

While we cherish all the featured articles, we’ve collated here the most popular links published since the beginning of the year. 

10. The Internet in 2023: Key Issues for Libraries – IFLA

In January, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) took a closer look at the different policy areas impacting the sector, including the way libraries work with the internet and digital tools. In this article, they outlined key concerns for libraries, addressing prominent issues such as AI and Fourth Generation Rights, Digital Inclusion and the ongoing struggle between privacy and fighting harmful content. 

9. How Q&A systems based on large language models (eg GPT4) will change things if they become the dominant search paradigm – 9 implications for libraries – Aaron Tay

Musings about Librarianship is a consistent source of in-depth analysis of the impact of different search and information resources for libraries, including new and emerging AI-based tools such as GPT and its various incarnations. In this post, Aaron Tay takes a close look at the  implications of large language models (LLMs) for information retrieval and Question and answer tasks specifically. 

8. Are Libraries Getting the Business Basics Wrong? – Jane Cowell

It’s always important to question our assumptions, and in this article, Jane Cowell tackles some of the biggest assumptions made about library membership. Jane uses a “test, try and learn approach” to challenge assumptions about what is required for attaining membership and explores how some of these barriers could be removed. 

7. 5 UX Insights for Library Web-design – Ned Potter

One of the most important aims of our newsletter is to spotlight the valuable advice shared by library professionals. In this article, Ned shares his experience of redesigning his organisation’s website and documents the insights gained during this process that other libraries can learn from. Here he particularly focuses on the organisation of the site and provides five essential UX insights to create user-friendly and engaging digital space. 

6. Social media: is it gone yet? – Laura Solomon

Social media has been in a state of flux in 2023, with the renaming and slow decline of Twitter, the emergence of some new players such as BlueSky and Threads and the not-unrelated revival of some longrunning platforms such as LinkedIn. Here, Laura Solomon shares our feelings of exhaustion and suspects that this is the start of the end for social media as we knew it. 

5. Inclusive subject headings: Reducing harm in library discovery – Hanging Together

WorldCat Discovery is a widely used tool and this article looked at the impactful work that is being done to challenge and replace subject authorities that have become outdated and harmful. This work is part of a WorldCat Discovery Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiative in collaboration with librarians. 

4. Researching Low Morale in Libraries – Webjunction with Kaetrena Davis Kendrick

While we can only ponder why this article on low morale in libraries resonated with so many readers, one thing is sure- it certainly did. Here, Kaetrena Davis Kendrick shares her research findings and offers advice on how libraries can do more to create healthy and supportive workplaces and improve the well-being of library staff.

3. Putting ChatGPT to The Test: Will It Help Your Library With Promotions? Plus A Free Spreadsheet of Prompts To Get You Started! – Angela Hursh

AI-related tools and resources played a significant role in shaping library discussions in 2023. In this popular post, Super Library Marketing  focuses on the library promotion and how the library marketers can use Chat GPT to save time. The free spreadsheet of prompts included also proved popular. 

2. In praise of “slow librarianship” – Nick Poole

After an intense few years, is it any surprise that the idea of ‘slow librarianship’ is taking hold? Here, Nick Poole (the outgoing CEO of CILIP) expands on Meredith Farkas’ post introducing the concept and laments the increasingly franticness of today’s libraries and pressures to ‘do more with less’. What is needed instead is the kind of ‘slowness’ that allows for better connections to form. 

1. In celebration of small & thoughtful innovation – Artefacto

We’re incredibly flattered but also a bit sheepish about including our own post. But the numbers don’t lie and this post wasn’t really about us at all. We’re actually pretty stoked that this article resonated with so many people as we’re always keen to recognise the many different ways libraries are innovating (even in tough times where the financial support for innovative work can be hard to come by). 

Sharing ideas and drawing insights from the experiences of others is vital for the continuous innovation, evolution, and adaptation of the sector.  As always, we are hugely grateful to all the library bloggers and contributors who continue to publish and share their ideas and valuable insights, supporting fellow library and information professionals in their work. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and a great start to 2024. 

And if you want to start receiving the newsletter when it returns in 2024, you can subscribe at: