Library Journal
The cover of a 2007 edition of Library Journal
Frequency20 per year
FounderMelvil Dewey
Founded1876; 148 years ago (1876)
CompanyMedia Source Inc.
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City, New York, U.S.

Library Journal is an American trade publication for librarians. It was founded in 1876 by Melvil Dewey. It reports news about the library world, emphasizing public libraries, and offers feature articles about aspects of professional practice. It also reviews library-related materials and equipment. Each year since 2008, the Journal has assessed public libraries and awarded stars in their Star Libraries program.

Its "Library Journal Book Review" does pre-publication reviews of several hundred popular and academic books each month.

With a circulation of approximately 100,000, Library Journal has the highest circulation of any librarianship journal, according to Ulrich's.[1]

Library Journal's original publisher was Frederick Leypoldt, whose company became R. R. Bowker. Reed International later merged into Reed Elsevier and purchased Bowker in 1985; they published Library Journal until 2010, when it was sold to Media Source Inc., owner of the Junior Library Guild and The Horn Book Magazine.[2]

Early history

The first page of Library Journal for Volume 3, No. 2, 1878.
The cover of Volume 3, No. 2 of Library Journal, published in 1878

Founded in 1876 by Melvil Dewey, Library Journal originally declared itself to be the "official organ of the library associations of America and of the United Kingdom", according to the journal's self-description in 1878.[3] Indeed, the journal's original title was American Library Journal, though "American" was removed from the title after the first year.[4] Its early issues focused on the growth and development of libraries, with feature articles by such prominent authors as R. R. Bowker, Charles Cutter, and Melvil Dewey, and focusing on cataloging, indexing, and lending schemes. In its early issues, Bowker discussed cataloging principles; Cutter, creator of the Cutter Expansive Classification system, developed his ideas; and managing editor Dewey made recommendations for early library circulation systems. Initially, Library Journal did not review books unless they related to librarians' professional interests, but then, like now, the journal ran articles on collection development and ads from publishers recommending their forthcoming books for libraries to purchase.

Early issues of Library Journal were a forum for librarians throughout Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States to share news, discussions of their libraries' ideas and practices, and reports of professional activities such as meetings and conferences. In an 1878 prospectus, the journal stressed its importance by noting that small libraries, in particular, could gain the "costly experience and practical advice" of the largest libraries. Regular reading of Library Journal, the prospectus declared, would make "the librarian worth more to the library, and the library worth more to the people."[5] In the Notes and Queries section, librarians shared reports of how their library managed common problems, and they maintained a constant exchange of questions and answers about authorship and reader's advisory. Two prominent sections, the Bibliography (compiled by Cutter) and Pseudonyms and Antonyms (compiled by James L. Whitney), served as reference resources for librarians.

Current features

The print edition of Library Journal contains the following sections:

Annual awards






Star libraries

In 2008 the journal started awarding public libraries with a star system, grouping libraries into categories by expenditure level.[39] In 2018, the journal award five stars in the over-US$30 million expenditures category to five libraries: Cuyahoga County Public Library, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Seattle Public Library, Cleveland Public Library, and King County Library System.[40] A total of 257 libraries nationwide were awarded stars, ranging from 3 stars to 5, in the nine different expenditure level categories.[40]

Website, the Library Journal website, provides both subscribers and non-subscribers full access to all print content as well as recent archives. Visitors can sign up for email newsletters such as "BookSmack", "Library Hotline", "LJ Academic Newswire", "LJ Review Alert", and "LJXpress". Web articles in the site's "Libraries & Librarians" category are listed by topic, with each topic assigned its own RSS feed so that users can receive articles relevant to their interests. Past and present reviews are archived and organized by type (book, DVD, gaming, magazine, video, etc.); they are also available via RSS feeds. Another feature is "InfoDocket" (edited by Gary Price and Shirl Kennedy, originally founded, and still accessible, as an separate website at[41] Additionally, Library Journal maintains an up-to-date list of library jobs in the website's "JobZone" feature.[42]

See also


  1. ^ Library Journal.
  2. ^ "Media Source Acquires School Library Journal and Library Journal" (PDF). Media Source Inc. March 1, 2010.
  3. ^ "Title page". Library Journal. 3 (1). 1878.
  4. ^ Wiegand, Wayne A. (January 29, 2016). "Present at the Creation". American Libraries. Chicago: American Library Association. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  5. ^ "Library Journal 3.2 (1878): Title Page".
  6. ^ Berry III, John N (January 1, 2011). "Awards: Nancy Pearl, Librarian of the Year". Library Journal. Archived from the original on January 10, 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2022.
  7. ^ "Awards: Luis Herrera, Librarian of the Year". Library Journal. January 1, 2012.
  8. ^ "Awards: Jo Budler, Librarian of the Year". Library Journal. January 1, 2013.
  9. ^ "Awards: Corinne Hill, Librarian of the Year". Library Journal. January 1, 2014.
  10. ^ "Siobhan A. Reardon: LJ's 2015 Librarian of the Year". Library Journal. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  11. ^ "Brooklyn, Queens Librarian Named Best In The Country". Brooklyn, NY Patch. December 24, 2019. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  12. ^ "Best Small Library in America: Glen Carbon Centennial Library". Library Journal. February 2010.
  13. ^ "Best Small Library in America: Glen Carbon Centennial Library". Library Journal. February 2011.
  14. ^ "Best Small Library in America: The Independence Public Library". Library Journal. February 2012.
  15. ^ "Best Small Library in America: Southern Area Public Library". Library Journal. February 2013.
  16. ^ "Best Small Library in America: Pine River Library". Library Journal. February 2014.
  17. ^ "The Loaves and Fishes Library | Best Small Library in America 2015". Library Journal. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  18. ^ "Paraprofessional of the Year: Allison Sloan, Senior Library Associate at Reading Public Library in Massachusetts". Library Journal. March 2010.
  19. ^ "Paraprofessional of the Year: Gilda Ramos from Patchogue-Medford Library in New York". Library Journal. March 2011.
  20. ^ "Paraprofessional of the Year: Linda Dahlquist from Volusia County Public Library in Florida". Library Journal. March 2012.
  21. ^ "Paraprofessional of the Year: Laura Poe from Athens-Limestone Public Library in Athens, Alabama". Library Journal. March 2013.
  22. ^ "Paraprofessional of the Year: Clancy Pool from St. John Branch of Washington State's Whitman County Rural Library District". Library Journal. March 2014.
  23. ^ "Paralibrarian of the Year 2015: Tamara Faulkner Kraus". Library Journal. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  24. ^ "Past Winners". Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  25. ^ "Library of the Year: Columbus Metropolitan Library in Columbus, Ohio". Library Journal. May 2010.
  26. ^ "Library of the Year: King County Library System in King County, Washington". Library Journal. May 2011.
  27. ^ "San Diego County Library in San Diego, California". Library Journal. June 2012.
  28. ^ "Howard County Library in Howard County, Maryland". Library Journal. June 2013.
  29. ^ "Library of the Year: Edmonton Public Library, the first Canadian Library to win this award". June 2014.
  30. ^ "2015 Gale/LJ Library of the Year: Ferguson Municipal Public Library, MO, Courage in Crisis". Library Journal. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  31. ^ McMurtrie, John (June 6, 2018). "S.F. Public Library wins Library of the Year award". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on June 5, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  32. ^ "LJ Teaching Award winner: Steven L. MacCall of the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa". Library Journal. November 2010.
  33. ^ "LJ Teaching Award winner: Martin B. Wolske from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign". Library Journal. November 2011.
  34. ^ "LJ Teaching Award winner: Lilia Pavlovsky from Rutgers University, New Jersey". Library Journal. November 2012.
  35. ^ "LJ Teaching Award winner: Suzie Allard from University of Tennessee, Knoxville". Library Journal. November 2013.
  36. ^ "Paul T. Jaeger". University of Maryland.
  37. ^ "LJ Teaching Award winner: Paul T. Jaeger from University of Maryland". Library Journal. November 2014.
  38. ^ "Patricia K. Galloway | LJ/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award Winner 2015". Library Journal. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  39. ^ Lance, Keith Curry. "The 2018 Stars | LJ Index 2018". Library Journal. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  40. ^ a b Lance, Keith Curry. "2018 Star Libraries By the Numbers | LJ Index 2018". Library Journal. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  41. ^ "About". InfoDocket. Library Journal. Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  42. ^ "JobZone". Library Journal.