April 19, 2018

Year in Review: Top Articles of 2012 (Plus a Free Ebook) | LJ Insider

Everyone does a year-end list, and I don’t like being left out. But I also don’t like lists that are short on context, or worse, short on content. So I channeled my inner Nate Silver and sliced the LJ universe of data in a couple of ways that I hope are more illuminating than just a raw, short list of articles that got a lot of attention in 2012. (For those just interested in the free ebook, see embedded at the bottom an exportable version of the Top 20 Opinion Posts of 2012.)

A couple of notes to get started:

Unless otherwise indicated, these links include only editorial posts penned in 2012 (meaning that things like LJ‘s Best Books of 2011, e.g., published very late in 2011 and maintaining a strong presence throughout the next year, did not qualify, nor did many other lasting pieces from 2011 and previous years).

Likewise, only single articles are being counted. What is not counted: section home pages, landing and event pages (Like materials from our virtual ebook summit), categories, tags, and other non-article things. Just the posts, ma’am.

Now, as I was pulling all these together, I realized that a more useful (and potentially accurate) metric would be to weight the pageviews on a story according to the number of days since the article was published. As noted above, listings like these tend to favor strong posts published in the first half of the year over posts potentially as important, just published toward the end of the year. For now, however, that kind of calculation is beyond the scope of this exercise.

I’ve excluded data on other self-contained subsections as well, including posts reflecting LJ events (Director’s Summit, Design Institute, The Digital Shift Virtual Summit, etc.) as well as the products of LJ‘s in-house research, e.g. Patron Profiles and Academic Patron Profiles.

But enough with what was not covered. Here’s what was big in 2012:

Top LJ Posts of 2012

  1. Movers & Shakers 2012
  2. A Guide to Publishers in the Library Ebook Market
  3. Librarians Feel Sticker Shock as Price for Random House Ebooks Rises as Much as 300 Percent
  4. Penguin Group Terminating Its Contract with OverDrive
  5. NY Library To Adopt Ad-Supported Toilet Paper
  6. Tumblrarian 101: Tumblr for Libraries and Librarians
  7. Automation Marketplace 2012: Agents of Change
  8. America’s Star Libraries, 2012: Top-Rated Libraries
  9. Ebook Strategy and Public Libraries: Slow Just Won’t Work Anymore
  10. Princeton Review Student Survey Ranks College Libraries

Beyond the Top 10, I think it’s also revealing to see where the next few stories go for each of the different sections of the LJ universe (for more on what I mean by “LJ universe,” see the post I wrote just over a year ago about giving some of the subsections more prominence).

Top LJ News & Features Posts

First up is the News & Features section, which unsurprisingly tends toward current events and our annual awards and highlights.

  1. Jack Blount Appointment as OCLC CEO/President Reversed, Jay Jordan Will Stay On
  2. 2012 Gale/LJ Library of the Year: San Diego County Library, Empowering the Public
  3. After Furor, Harvard Library Spokesperson Says ‘Inaccurate’ That All Staff Will Have to Reapply
  4. Best Small Library in America 2012: The Independence Public Library, KS
  5. Random House Says Libraries Own Their Ebooks | LJ Insider

Top Digital Shift Posts

Next up are posts from The Digital Shift which we share with sister publication School Library Journal, publishing technology news and digital trend articles.

  1. What Patrons Teach Us—and Publishers Should Learn
  2. All Hat, No Cattle: A Call for Libraries to Transform Before It’s Too Late
  3. A Primer on Ebooks for Libraries Just Starting With Downloadable Media
  4. Top Libraries in U.S. and Canada Issue Statement Demanding Better Ebook Services
  5. The State of Mobile in Libraries 2012

Top LJ Reviews Posts

On the LJ Reviews side, I’m listing 10, since these aren’t covered above, and because they highlight some of the fascinating subject areas that were big in 2012 (likely to be just as big in 2013 as well):

  1. RA Crossroads: What To Read After Julia Quinn’s A Night Like This
  2. RA Crossroads: What To Watch (and Read) After Downton Abbey
  3. Summertime, and the Reading Is Easy: Genre Fiction Summer Reads
  4. Best Databases 2012
  5. First Novels for Spring/Summer 2012: 80 Best Bets
  6. Q&A: Rachel Maddow, Author of Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power
  7. Genre Spotlight | Christian Fiction: A Born-Again Genre
  8. Best Reference 2011: Eclectic Works To Match a Tumultuous Year
  9. Stories Beyond Black and White: 25 Graphic Novels for African American History Month
  10. Seven Not-To-Miss SF/Fantasy Titles for Fall 2012: Abercrombie, Banks, Gladstone, and More

Top 10 LJ infoDOCKET Posts

The latest addition to the LJ family is infoDOCKET, edited by librarian and newshound Gary Price. I like to think of this as something along the lines of a libraryland “media monitoring service,” or my preferred term, “library media intelligence.” Essentially, Gary pores over thousands of headlines so you don’t have to, and features the essential stories on infodocket.com and @infodocket on Twitter, as well as in our various (free!) enewsletters and syndicated on other LJ sites.

The infoDOCKET site started under the LJ banner in April, but it existed independently before then at the same URL, and the 10 items below cover the popular stories over the entirety of 2012.

  1. Updated Database: 2011 Salary Data for About 1.3 Million U.S. Federal Workers Now Online
  2. Statistics: Consumer Media Usage Across TV, Online, Mobile and Social
  3. OverDrive To Library Customers: Hachette is Raising E-Book Prices an Average of 220% on Over 3500 Titles
  4. New Statistics: Online Gaming: Number of US Mobile Gamers Jumps 35% to 100 Million
  5. Very Sad News: The Tragic Death of Microsoft’s Lee Dirks
  6. Judge’s Ruling a Win for Fair Use in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust Case
  7. Lists and Rankings: Silicon Valley 150 (Largest Public Companies Based in SV)
  8. Jack Blount Will NOT be Joining OCLC as New Pres/CEO, Jay Jordan Will Postpone Retirement
  9. Statistics: U.S. Tablet Usage Reaches ‘Critical Mass’
  10. Cook County, IL: New online database lets anyone see who has outstanding warrants

Top Academic Posts

Based largely on the readership of our Academic Newswire enewsletter, here are the top posts specifically tagged for our academic library readership (though obviously nearly everything above has a wider professional impact as well that’s relevant to research, college, and community college libraries, among others).

  1. New Landmark Libraries 2012: Academic Library Winners and Honorable Mentions
  2. Users Don’t Know What Libraries Are Talking About, Studies Find
  3. Chemical Society Pricing Has Librarians Up In Arms
  4. Academic Libraries Should Give Up Book-by-Book Collecting, Article Argues
  5. Academic eBooks and the User Experience

Top Evergreen Posts

None of the five articles below were written in 2012. In fact, there’s nothing more recent than 2010 on this list. But in compiling the rest of these lists I ran across a number of articles that remain steadily popular, in some cases growing in popularity years after their original publication date. This is largely the Google Traffic Machine at work, especially in the case of the articles of interest to readers seeking out information about how to enter the profession. Though these articles go way back, I’m including them as a look at what abides long-term relative to seemingly short half-life of prevailing concerns.

  1. How To Become a Librarian
  2. Steampunk: 20 Core Titles
  3. Library 2.0
  4. Finding a Library Job
  5. The Dewey Dilemma

Top Opinion Posts

Saving the longest list for last: There were dozens of thoughtful 2012 opinion pieces illustrating the conversations that buzzed, so I’m going all-out and including the top 20 posts here (inclusive of posts appearing in the lists above). As an added bonus, I’ve added these all to Readlist, which experimentally allows you to export an ebook (.epub, Kindle, etc.) and read them in one sitting. Click “export” in the left-hand sidebar of the Readlist widget below, and choose the format that suits your needs.

Happy reading, and happy 2013!

  1. Ebook Strategy and Public Libraries: Slow Just Won’t Work Anymore
  2. Random House Says Libraries Own Their Ebooks | LJ Insider
  3. What Popular Culture is Telling Us About Libraries and Why We Should Listen | Backtalk
  4. All Hat, No Cattle: A Call for Libraries to Transform Before It’s Too Late
  5. Library as Platform
  6. Assisting Research Versus Research Assistance | Peer to Peer Review
  7. Attention Is the New Currency | From the Bell Tower
  8. Ebooks Choices and the Soul of Librarianship
  9. Here Come the Rules Police | From the Bell Tower
  10. Helicopter Librarian: Expect the Unexpected | Backtalk
  11. Libraries as Indoctrination Mills | Peer to Peer Review
  12. Authentic Librarianship and the Question of Service | Peer to Peer Review
  13. My Farewell Editorial
  14. Turning “Us” vs. “Them” Into Just “Us” | Not Dead Yet
  15. No More Gatekeepers | From the Bell Tower
  16. Digital Content Curation Is Career for Librarians | Backtalk
  17. Are You Being Watched? | From the Bell Tower
  18. The Class of Twentysomething: Degreed and Jobless | Backtalk
  19. Nontraditional Students Are the New Majority | From the Bell Tower
  20. Why Are Some Publishers So Wrong About Fair Use? | Peer to Peer Review

Photo:10-10-10 by woodleywonderworks ; Attribution-NonCommercial License

Josh Hadro About Josh Hadro

Josh Hadro (@hadro on Twitter) is the former Executive Editor of Library Journal.