The Year in Review for the Library, Archives & Museum Communities


Whether we welcome it or not, this time of year forces reflection: What have we accomplished over the past 12 months? What do we wish we had accomplished? Most importantly -- what do we want to get done next year? 

With this in mind, the METRO program managers and I compiled a list of this year’s biggest developments in the library, archives, and museum communities. Not an easy task, as it’s been yet another year marked by breakneck evolution for our community. But this list informs our future as much as it documents our recent past. 

The Ebook Crisis/Opportunity/Mess

While ebook terrain continues to shift, we’re encouraged by efforts to amplify the perspectives and rights of libraries and their constituents with regard to ebooks—including, but not limited to, the recent release of the EBook Media and Communications Toolkit from ALA’s Digital Content Working Group

Sandy Support

While many in our community made it through the storm with minor disruptions, a number of us did not. The outpouring of support within the LAMs community and from our community to the public has been inspiring, to say the least. Disaster planning and response will be a common thread in our programs for 2013.

LODLAM Momentum

This year marked a significant increase in awareness and activity around linked open data for library, archives, and museums (LODLAM). Keep your eyes on the LODLAM Summit and spend some time reading the NISO IS Quarterly issue on LOD over the holiday break.

Creating the Future

After two years of gathering input from libraries and their constituents, the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries released Creating the Future: A 2020 Vision and Plan for Library Service in New York. The plan offers 60 actionable recommendations for various library types and systems in the state and was recently the focus of a NYLA program to articulate implementation priorities.  

Reaffirming Fair Use

The recent Hathi Trust ruling, as Publishers Weekly said, “could well become a landmark in copyright." Add to this the decision from the Georgia State copyright case and the dismissal of the UCLA streaming video case (again), and we have a number of precedents reaffirming fair use in the digital environment—as it should be.

Libraries as Makerspaces

The library has traditionally served as the locus for the engagement of information resources in the pursuit of creating new knowledge and skills, and the library as makerspace movement is building on that tradition. No longer simply dedicated to maintaining print collections, library space, as Lorcan Dempsey states, "is being reconfigured around broader education and research needs...In effect, space is shifting from infrastructure to engagement…”

Information Infrastructure NY

NY3Rs Association hosted a summit in September as the kickoff event for a year-long effort involving all types of libraries, to develop a statewide “information infrastructure”—a framework for the creation, storage, and dissemination of information. A preliminary report from the summit was released last week and a statewide survey on priorities is currently underway..  

Digital Public Library of America

There is much more momentum, funding, infrastructure, and community buy-in for the idea of a DPLA. As the structure, form, and ambition of DPLA become more clear and defined, its potential to facilitate aggregation, use, discovery, and innovation around digital collections becomes more exciting.


Crowdsourcing existed before 2012 of course, but the emergence of projects such as NARA’s Citizen Archivist Dashboard, the Bodleian’s What’s the Score project, University of Iowa’s DIY History, and the continued success of NYPL’s What’s on the Menu evidenced a growing utilization and popularity of crowdsourcing within the LAM community. Better awareness of crowdsourcing’s potential, additional successful projects, and the emergence of a number of tools and platforms all represent that crowdsourcing truly arrived in 2012 and will continue to be popular in 2013.

NY School Libraries Adopt IFC 

This year the School Library Systems Association of New York endorsed the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum as a K-12 framework for instructional aspects of a library program that is aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards. This is a huge step toward further cementing the school library as a cornerstone of K-12 education.

What have we missed? Let us know on our Facebook page.

From all of us here at METRO, we wish you a happy holiday season and look forward to forging a noteworthy 2013 with you all!

Jason Kucsma, Executive Director

Jason Kucsma
Author: Jason Kucsma