Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 Year in Review: It was not what I expected

2017 has been quite a year.  I even I blogged more this year than I had since 2013!  Looking back at those posts, and what was happening elsewhere, this is what stands out to me:
  • It seemed as if the Library of Congress Copyright Office would go through an upheaval this year, but that did not happen. The Copyright Office still reports to the LOC and I've not heard any recent public discussions about moving it elsewhere.  Given how politics is infusing everything, the fact that the Copyright Office is staying as is, may be a good thing.  We don't need that office becoming part of a political jousting match.
  • Nothing happened in terms of updating the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17).  Yes, there are sections that need updating and that updating requires deep thought, not just quick action. When the Congress does consider changes to the law, I hope they will do so without a political agenda and without undue influence from their major donors.
  • A phrase we are hearing every day is "fake news." One way of combating fake news is to providing reliable and verified information resources.  Thanks to libraries and other information providers who have placed reliable and verifiable information online for others to use.  Thank you for providing not just one side of story, but providing many sides.  Thank you for digitizing older information, which helps us put into context what is happening today.
  • Funding for many government agencies is in flux. That means that either funding has shifted away from them or there are rumors that they will lose funding.  Among those agencies is the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  It is important that the IMLS survive and thrive. Why?  Quoting the IMLS:
    The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums and related organizations. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.
  • One of the ways IMLS helps all of us is by hosting events, where we can talk to each other about specific issues. One such event was held in October on the National Digital Platform.  We all should be grateful for those institutions who are willing to develop a digital platform which will help all of us.
  • This year Apple released its iPhone X, marking 10 years of increasingly sophisticated smartphones.  Smartphones and other digital devices are all around us. There are a growing number of wifi and bluetooth enabled devices.  An interesting activity is to count the number of wifi devices in your home.  (One friend counted 30!)  If you are surrounded by smart devices, then it may be hard to remember that is not normal for everyone.  Yes, there are people who are still using very basic flip phones.  And there are people who need to borrow wifi hotspots from their local libraries, so they can wifi at home.  There is still a digital divide in 2017 and there is still a need for digital literacy training.
Book cover for Science not Silence
  • I had never marched in a protest before, but in 2017 I marched in four events held in Syracuse: The Women's March, the March for Science, the People's Climate March, and the Procession of Neighbors. The latter was in support of the immigrant and refugee communities in Syracuse. 
  • Out of my blog post about the March for Science came an invitation to be part of the book Science not Silence: Voices from the March for Science Movement, which will be released by MIT Press in March 2018.
  • I wrote a series of blog posts on Upping You Library Intelligence, which were well received. 
  • In collaboration with Copyright Clearance Center's Beyond the Book podcast, I released a blog post on library deserts which was paired with a Beyond the Book interview on the topic.  That blog post was  read over 3200 times making it my most read blog post of 2017.
Lastly, a one negative that is not attached to any one news event:
  • The feeling of not belonging.  That feeling swept over immigrants, people of color, women, and many others.  One good aspect of social media is that we have each been able to find a tribe online were we do belong, and were we can be supported.
I'm sure there is much more that I should be noting and likely your list would be quite different., and that is okay.  What will 2018 have in store for us?  Let's hope that it provides lots of positives!

Person jumping between 2017 and 2018

No comments: