Cindy Orr takes a look back—and forward—in her monthly column:

This is the time of year for looking back on where we’ve been and wondering about what the New Year will hold. My guess is that most of us, if asked to think of significant events in the digital world over the past year, would remember that around this time in 2010, libraries began experiencing a huge spike in eBook lending as the gift of the year—eReaders—were opened and put to use immediately following the holidays.

Here are a few other highlights of the year:

January –  Circulation records were smashed and for the first time ever, eBooks out-circulated audiobooks at libraries.

February – HarperCollins institutes 26 checkout loan cap and eBooks become the top selling category of all formats.

March – OverDrive sees an increase in school library customers

April – OverDrive releases a BlackBerry app for ePub titles

May – WIN (Want It Now) services announced

June – Number of publishers offering MaxAccess increases

July –  Hundreds attend Digipalooza in Cleveland (video)

August – Self-published authors make a good living with eBooks

September – Kindle compatibility! and 3rd Quarter statistics nearly triple all of 2010

October – Figures are in from Training Month: 12,800 people received training

November – Project Gutenberg titles become available in New Zealand and Australia

December – Trade show schedule and upcoming events listed

So what about 2012? What can we expect? Here are a few general predictions from various sources:

Mobile use will grow even more and will outpace carrier capacity.

Use of social media will continue to skyrocket.


Software is eating the world, according to Marc Andreessen, and more and more people in the world now have a smartphone, which means they have a computer in their hands and are available as customers to companies who have the software.

So what does this mean for libraries? We need to be prepared to serve mobile customers even more than we are now. Oh, and we can expect statistics to spike again next week, as forecasts point toward high eReader sales again for this holiday season.






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