*Editor’s note: All librarian names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Alex* can pinpoint the day she knew she was done with library work. “I was doing a lot of extra emotional support for people who didn’t have anybody else,” says the public librarian, who is disabled and has been working near a large Midwestern city for almost 20 years.
She says the last two years have been particularly difficult. “There was a day when I realized nothing was ever enough,” says Alex, who is in the process of leaving the field. “They always asked for more. I was so worn down by it all.”
The burnout began earlier for Chris. “Even before the pandemic started, I’d been feeling increasingly ambivalent,” says the Midwest-based academic librarian who left her associate director position in fall 2021.
“Then we had the pandemic, which required libraries to make a ton of changes. I wanted to work with my community, and I didn’t have any energy for that.”
Events of the last year have reshaped the library technology industry.
Previous rounds of acquisitions pale in comparison to the acquisition of ProQuest by Clarivate, which has propelled the leading library technology provider into the broader commercial sector of scholarly communications.
This deal signals that the gap in size among vendors is widening, as ProQuest businesses Ex Libris and Innovative Interfaces also join Clarivate.
The emergence of such a large business at the top of the industry has accelerated consolidation among mid-level players that aim to increase scale and efficiency to remain competitive. This was a banner year for consolidation of midsize competitors, with more acquisitions than any prior year.
These deals raise concerns about weakened competition, but they may also enable new industry dynamics that will spark innovation and synergy within the broader research and education landscape. Small companies with visions for innovation often lack the resources to deliver, which larger companies can provide. Increased investor and stockholder involvement, however, translates into pressure to maximize profits and growth. The way these competing dynamics play out has important implications for libraries.
In a year complicated by a global pandemic, the community of vendors providing technologies to libraries made important strides to meet pressing needs and make ongoing progress in their longer-term initiatives.
Though the pandemic disrupted library services—as well as funding—in 2020, concerted efforts were made to fulfill the demands of users to the extent possible.
Almost all vendors made sharp turns to expand access to digital collections and services in order to compensate for diminished access to physical materials.
Welcome to Your Library –The theme for National Library Week (April 4-10, 2021), “Welcome to Your Library,” promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building – and that everyone is welcome to use their services.
During the pandemic libraries have been going above and beyond to adapt to our changing world by expanding their resources and continuing to meet the needs of their users.
Whether people visit in person or virtually, libraries offer opportunities for everyone to explore new worlds and become their best selves through access to technology, multimedia content, and educational programs.
Editor’s Note: See the page for ideas, graphics to use, ideas for promoting your libraries during NLW…
On April 9, the American Library Association (ALA) released The State of America’s Libraries report for 2018, an annual summary of library trends released during National Library Week, April 8–14, that outlines statistics and issues affecting all types of libraries.
Depending on their location, some libraries sustained significant damage from the ensuing flood waters, while others escaped with only a little cleanup required. The flood also affected many librarians and other library workers due to the damage to their homes. Public libraries Houston Public Library reopened 18 of its 42 locations on September 5, according … Continue reading Hurricane Harvey and Libraries →