April 23, 2018

Work in Progress: LJ Is Evolving; Here’s a Peek at What’s To Come | Editorial

Library Journal is no stranger to change. At 141 years of age and counting, the print publication has been reinvented many times, and the digital platform, while a young adult in comparison, has already been through several overhauls. Later this spring, you’ll see a new logo for LJ that signals many robust changes on the horizon, all enabling us to be more effective at getting you the information you need to do your work in libraries large and small.

The new logo is just a taste of what’s to come. Look for it in June—a full 14 years after LJ’s last logo update, which accompanied a complete redesign of the magazine (see photo). While this won’t come with a wholesale makeover of the print LJ—continuing instead an iterative redesign that began with the Designing the Future issue in September 15, 2016—it accompanies a complete reinvention of our digital platform, currently under construction.

As anyone who has been through a “digital transformation” knows, there is a lot of work in the background. Along the way, we have had to step back, take a fresh look at what we do, and make some hard choices about what to keep and what to eliminate to make space for all the new things we envision.

We have already started to tweak our content mix for print and digital, so you will see updates in the weeks and months ahead. Most important, the new website will better integrate our reviews and readers’ advisory coverage with news and features. As we’ve evaluated review content, the editors have taken a closer look at LJ’s review columns. While we value the unique perspectives that columnists bring, we are alert to the ways that trends around genres, subgenres, and subjects shift over time, especially when it comes to library buying patterns. Where we had one or a handful of columnists “owning” a section such as memoir, mystery, graphic novels, or crafts, we are moving away from that model and will instead assign more individual titles, pulling in a more diverse range of reviewers to ensure a wider variety of perspectives. Among other alterations, we have also said farewell to the Annoyed Librarian blog after a good run of nearly a decade on the LJ site.

Among the things we’re doing more of: deep dives into topics that are multifaceted, emerging, or require a number of viewpoints to explore fully. To enable this we’re investing more print space in big ideas, with additional packages that get at varying angles on a subject and, four times a year, dedicated issues. The first of these is this one, on technology. A quartet of articles curated by LJ’s senior tech editor Matt Enis offer insight into the emerging technologies that patrons are grappling with, aspects of the future of technology that are shaping how our users think about their world, and ways this may inform what they expect and need from our libraries. Plus, a robust related book list to spur your personal learning and spice up your collections.

Such thematic depth will be reflected in the new website as well, when the time comes. We hope these changes will make your job easier—and even more fun—and give you an enriched outlook on all that libraries are and can be.

Rebecca T. Miller About Rebecca T. Miller

Rebecca T. Miller (miller@mediasourceinc.com) is Editorial Director, Library Journal and School Library Journal.

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