The year 2008 was an active year for my efforts at promoting library history. The Library History Buff website continues to be my major effort in this regard. The most dramatic statistic related to the website is that if you do a Google search for “library history” it is the website that comes up number one out of 595,000 hits. In 2008 there were 218,015 successful requests for pages on the site, an average of 17,918 per month. This was an increase of 41% over 2007. In 2008 there were 49,679 distinct hosts served, an increase of 38% over 2007. The number one page, other than the home page, that was requested was the Card Catalog Cabinets page with 13,654 requests. It was great to have a number posts on the website to get featured in AL Direct, ALA’s electronic newsletter. For more Library History Buff website statistics click here.
Another big library history promotional effort in 2008 was my role in establishing the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center. There is a previous post on this blog about this effort.
Of course the establishment of the Library History Buff Blog itself was also a significant activity in promoting library history in 2008.
A fun 2008 activity for me and my wife Kathy was the setting up of the Wisconsin Library Memorabilia exhibit in three Wisconsin public libraries (Lake Geneva, Ripon, and Pewaukee) and at the Wisconsin Library association Conference.
In 2008 I made a major revision of my postal librarian philatelic exhibit which is now entitled “The Evolution of the American Public Library”. The exhibit was displayed at national level stamp shows in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Chicago. It received several awards including two gold awards. I also showed several different philatelic exhibits including “America’s Libraries – The Stamp”; “A Tale of Two Library Stamps”; and “America’s Presidential Libraries”.
The most disappointing effort in 2008 was my failed attempt to take over responsibility for the Library History Round Table website. I gave it my best shot but my limited web skills weren’t up to the major revision of the ALA website which occurred during my short tenure.
But all and all it was a good year, and I’m looking forward to 2009.