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Inside Annoyed Librarian

The AL as Seer?

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday. I’m suffering from egg nog overdose, but otherwise had a lovely time.

Earlier this year, I made 11 predictions for 2011. Most library seers and pundits don’t revisit their predictions, at least publicly, but darn it I’m going to. Was I right or was I wrong? Let’s see.

1) The vast majority of libraries will remain open.

Right! Definitely so. Not only are the vast majority of libraries still open, but the worst of the library closures seems to have passed, in this country at least.

2) The vast majority currently employed librarians will remain employed.

Right! Even the ones who wanted to retire mostly stayed in place, and there haven’t been massive national layoffs. Good call on my part.

3) There will not be a widespread pro-library revolution in the United States, but it will be driven by Twitter.

Right, unless you count Occupy Wall Street as both pro-library and a revolution. The movement had a library, so it was definitely pro-library, but it wasn’t a revolution. However, they did have a Twitter account, so I’m right twice.

4) The print book will not die.

Right again! Somehow, tens of thousands of print books continue to be published, despite the rise of ebooks.

5) The ALA will continue to abuse the word “censorship.” This abuse will be at its peak in September, so be sure to look out for it.

Right. We saw a long list of “censored” books that are widely available for loan or purchase. Ahhh, band books week, you never let me down!

6) The ALA will continue to host annual conferences in seasonally inappropriate places.

Right. NOLA in June was hot, too hot.

7) Twitter will continue to be actively used by only a very small percentage of Americans, but twopointopians will continue to insist on the earth-shattering importance of this niche service.

Right. At the beginning of the year, about 8% of Americans had Twitter accounts. That figure is now up to a whopping 9% or 13%, depending on which numbers you believe. Active users have increased to 7%.  Still a niche service, but this prediction might be wrong if I keep it up for ten more years.

8) Facebook will replace all Internet search and independent news reading, as people finally realize they don’t care about anything their friends don’t already like.

Wrong, sort of, since Google still exists,  though it does seem like every news site I visit tells me what my “friends” have liked recently.

9) Apple will rerelease the 1991 Powerbook covered in aluminum, and ten million people will buy it because Steve Jobs tells them to.

Wrong, and it’s a shame. That would have been very cute computer.

10) Afterwards, Steve Jobs will ascend bodily into heaven to take his place at God’s left hand.

Possibly right. Maybe that’s why Jobs’ end was so shrouded in secrecy.

11) Many librarians will continue to hate the Annoyed Librarian, but will continue to read her so they can find something to be upset about.

Definitely right. This year even some people who aren’t librarians got a little obsessive for a while. It was fun!

Out of eleven predictions, there were eight right, two wrong, and one maybe. Not a bad percentage at all. In the next post, I’ll make my 2012 predictions. I think Mayans might be involved.



  1. Grammer Police says:

    banned not band (#5)

    Love the AL – Happy New Years!

  2. I love the AL. Might have something to do with loving the truth and my favorite, point 5. And as to point 11, I’m now a volunteer librarian, so this volunteer librarian loves the AL.

  3. 4) The print book will not die.

    True, but it may not be healthy enough to support the print book based infrastructure we have built, and we are not faring well in the battle of the e-book. Still it was nice to see that sales were strong this holiday season, and it seems clear that people will purchase new print books for some time to come. However it also seems clear that people will own fewer books, only very important items, or for reasons of nostalgia/book as artifact. The print book is no longer the information resource it once was.

  4. I predict some predictions will come true.

  5. A volunteer librarian? The value of my MLIS has just further decreased.

  6. The predictions AL got right were, well, pretty predictable. “The vast majority of libraries will remain open” – whoa, you really went out on a limb on that one. “The print book will not die” was pretty much wrong if you acknowledge that 2011 is the year eBooks began to kill off the printed book. AL is right in the same way the Rock and Roll will never die. Rock isn’t dead, it’s just become as relevant as big band music.

    Hey Anonymous and Grammar Police: people who correct the spelling and grammar are the most Annoying Librarians. Shame on you for shaming others. That doesn’t contribute much to the conversation.

  7. I think #6 is my favorite. Let’s have Midwinter in Boston and Annual (July) in New Orleans.

  8. Dallas in January and Anaheim in June don’t sound too bad. Much better than Boston and NOLA. And hey, ALA Midwinter 2011 was in San Diego in January. Did anyone have a complaint with that? I would give #6 a 50% at best!

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