Happy New Year!
So another year over, another year done. 2008 is now so last year. It's been an interesting if somewhat unsettling one.
Looming large over everything was the credit crunch/recession/global financial meltdown or whatever it's now officially called. So far, there doesn't seem to have been a dramatic impact on the library and information world. Organisations and firms are still recruiting at the same rate as they were this time last year, although there have been some redundancies and many libraries and information units are facing increased budget pressures.
The role of public libraries caught the national imagination from October, following Andy Burnham's speech at the public libraries conference. Debate raged over whether public libraries should be spaces for quiet contemplation, study and reading or whether they should be more inclusive and be joyful, welcoming and even noisy places. How much importance should be placed on books? Even people who don't use libraries very often are passionate about them, they seem to hold a special significance for many, which is good to see.
Information management and data security came to the fore following the series of high-profile data losses by government agencies such as the Revenue & Customs and the ministries of Justice and Defence in the past year. In the light of this, today's news that the private sector will be
asked to manage and run a communications database keeping track
of everyone's calls, emails, texts and internet usage seems distinctly alarming.
What will 2009 hold? We can but wait and see…Happy New Year!