Current Cites

December 2019

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Peter Hirtle, Leo Robert Klein, Roy Tennant

Editor's Note: It's the last day of the year, as well as the decade, and it's traditional to look back and also to look forward. Looking back, we're closing in on 30 years of publishing Current Cites, without fail every month. This is even more amazing considering none of the people who worked on this publication over the years ever received a dime for it. Our publishing history on the Internet is only slightly shorter than that of TidBits, which holds the title of the longest continuously published Internet publication.

Looking forward, the end of our 30th year of publication in July seems like a fitting time for me to step down as Editor and Publisher. I retired over a year ago, and I find my focus on libraries flagging. I don't read the publications I used to read, and I'm more focused on other pursuits, of which I have plenty. So in the early part of 2020 I will be sending out notes to key electronic discussions to see if anyone wants to take it over. If no one steps forward, we will close out our last year with our July issue. I'm OK with whatever happens. See you in the New Year!

Breeding, Marshall. "Overdrive's New Owners: What it MeansAmerican Libraries  (31 December 2019)( - Leading library technology consultant and speaker Marshall Breeding assesses the potential impact of one library content provider (KKR, which owns RBmedia, one of the major suppliers of audiobooks to libraries) buying another (OverDrive, the largest digital content provider to libraries). Announced just a week ago, there is not much that is known except that Steve Potash, the current CEO of OverDrive, will continue in that role. Breeding notes some potential downsides (such as consolidation, as fewer competitors can lead to higher prices), but also some potential upsides (such as new opportunities for development and innovation that are more difficult at smaller scales). In the end, it's perhaps this sentence that best sums it all up: "For libraries, much is at stake." Indeed. This will bear watching in the coming year. - RT

Dora, Mallikarjun, and H. Anil  Kumar. "National and International Trends in Library and Information Science Research : A Comparative Review of the Literature IFLA Journal  (December 2019)( - What better way to conclude the year than with a study on 'trends in LIS research'? Earlier studies were collected using search terms like 'research trends' and 'subject trends' in library science. The authors then go over the results focusing on a dozen or more countries, everywhere from India to Iran and the U.S. - LRK

Howard, Jennifer. "The Complicated Role of the Modern Public Library: Something for EveryoneHumanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities  (7 October 2019)( - In anticipation of the forthcoming documentary Free for All: Inside the Public Library, Jennifer Howard takes a look at the current nature of public libraries. There is little here that will be of news to people in the field, but it is a readable reminder of the wide range of activities that are occurring in libraries and their important role in society. As Skye Patrick, director of the Los Angeles County Library system, notes, “Libraries are not about books, they’re about people.” - PH