As 2016 Ends, Librarians Look Ahead

Andrew AlbaneseIn the weeks before the curtain falls on 2016, editors and reporters are madly making lists – not of gifts they wish for, but of stories from the last twelve months they can’t forget or stop talking about.

2016 has made an indelible mark, of course – in politics, in war, in sports, and in theatre. The world has watched the rise of Trump and the fall of Aleppo, and we have learned to say that Brexit means Brexit. Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, has compiled his ‘Top Ten’ library stories for the year, as part of his preview of the upcoming ALA Midwinter Meeting, set for January in Atlanta.

“One of the big stories for libraries in 2016 is also one of the big stories for the world – the implications of the incoming Trump administration,” he notes. “While it remains to be seen how a Trump administration will treat libraries, one thing is: librarians are anxious about the future.

“Concerns about a Trump administration actually run much deeper than policy or funding questions,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “After a spate of disturbing incidents around the country following the election—including at the Evanston (Illinois) Public Library, where books on Islam were defaced with swastikas and hateful messages, many librarians are wary of their most fundamental values coming under attack—among them, intellectual freedom, diversity, privacy, and social responsibility.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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