Happy New Year – 2013 in review

2013 was a busy and expansive year for Library Juice Academy and Library Juice Press. We thought you’d be interested in some highlights.

This was our first full year of offering online classes for librarians’ professional development, having started the first classes in October of 2012. In 2013, we passed the 1000 mark in the number of people served, and they registered from a total of 20 countries. There are currently over 80 classes on the books. Our instructors are getting a raise in 2014, to show our appreciation for their work. We have a lot of repeat customers, and as our testimonials show, people have been happy with their educational experiences:

2013 saw the first round of two successful certificate programs: the Certificate in User Experience (UX) and the Certificate in XML and RDF-Based Systems. In 2014 they will be running again, and we will also be introducing two new programs: a Certificate in Library Management, with Deborah Schmidle as the course designer and instructor, and a Certificate in Library Cataloging, with Scott Piepenburg at the helm. We are excited about these programs and encourage you to read about them on the website.

As a spin-off of the certificate program in UX, the instructors for those courses had a small unconference at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, where they all gave presentations on the topics that they each cover. Their presentations were recorded and are publicly available. This conference was useful in making adjustments to the certificate program for next year.

In early 2013 we experimented with webinars as an alternative to our usual asynchronous mode of course delivery, and decided not to continue offering webinars. Webinars are inconvenient in their requirement that everybody attend at the same time, and unappealing to many people. It was a useful experiment in that it gave us confidence in continuing to focus on Moodle as our platform for course delivery.

2013 also saw the beginning of successful partnerships with the Metropolitan Library Council of NYC (METRO), the Solo Division of SLA, and the MOBIUS consortium of Missouri.

On the publishing side, with Library Juice Press and Litwin Books, 2013 was also a busy year. We attended ALA in Chicago in the summer, and ASIS&T in Montreal in November, and enjoyed talking to many people about our publications. We will be at ALA in Philadelphia in January and in Las Vegas this summer, and look forward to seeing you there.

2013 saw our first book award victory. Our book Greening Libraries, edited by Monika Antonelli and Mark McCullough, won top honors in the Business category of the Green Book Awards.

Library Juice Press and Litwin Books debuted our own awards in 2013 as well. This past summer saw the first annual Litwin Books Award for Ongoing Doctoral Dissertation Research in the Philosophy of Information, which went to Steve McKinlay, of Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia. In the Fall, we gave the first award in the annual Library Juice Paper Contest, which went to Ryan Shaw, for “Information Organization and the Philosophy of History,” published in JASIST in June 2013.

It was a fairly busy year for book publishing as well, in terms of the number of titles published. Library Juice Press released four new titles, and Litwin Books released three. They are as follows:

From Library Juice Press:

Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis, edited by Shana Higgins and Lua Gregory

Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction, by Maria Accardi

Jesse Shera, Librarianship, and Information Science, by H. Curtis Wright

Lenny and Nina are Buried in Books, by Linda Cooper

From Litwin Books:

Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader, edited by Patrick Keilty and Rebecca Dean

Voltaire’s Fanaticism, or Mahomet the Prophet: A New Translation, translated by Hanna Burton

Import of the Archive: U.S. Colonial Rule of the Philippines and the Making of American Archival History, by Cheryl Beredo

We also tried something unprecedented in 2013, which was to make it possible to “join Library Juice” as a member. Membership in Library Juice comes with benefits such as a discount on online classes, DRM-free downloads of titles in our backlist, and participation in an online community.

Finally I want to mention a pet project that is not technically a Library Juice project, but something that I have been working on on the side with an old friend. It is an experiment in community information that allows people to post messages on an electronic sign inside a local business, using their smart phones or computers. The project is described at http://this-sign.net/. Our first digital sign is set up at a local gourmet donut shop called Doughbot, in Sacramento. You can actually access the sign to post your friendly hellos and donut-related messages at http://doughbot.this-sign.net/. We are excited about this experiment and open to ideas about how to develop it for library spaces, among other things. Feel free to contact me if this idea interests you.

Thank you for being with us for 2013, and we look forward to working with you in 2014.

Best regards,

Rory Litwin