WebJunction in 2012: changing, growing

Betha Gutsche /

There is always a feeling of lightness at the advent of the New Year. It is in part due to the increasing length of daylight (the Northwest days are now 1 minute longer than on the Solstice), but it is more due to our human tendency to plant a marker between what is past and done and what is hoped for the future. With projects and efforts unfolding ceaselessly at WebJunction, it’s good to pause for a moment and reflect on what we’ve built over the past 12 months.

(Don't miss the WebJunction Kids at the end of this article.)

Big events

In April 2012, WebJunction migrated to a re-imagined and redesigned new website home. While retaining favorite offerings—free webinars and a rich repository of library-related resources—we added some new features, such as our frequently refreshed homepage news posts and the Share Your Story section. For a quick overview, watch this short video tour.

In November 2012, WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina wrapped up three years of Project Compass, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The initiative to provide resources for libraries to meet the workforce recovery needs of their communities ultimately provided in-person and online training for 2,500 library staff across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Read more about the Impact of Project Compass.

WebJunction gained two new state library partners. WJ-Montana launched its new site in March 2012, although their partnership technically became official in 2011. Newest partner WJ-Mississippi launched its site in August 2012.

WebJunction received a major boost in the form of a $4.1 million grant to OCLC from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the next five years of ongoing operations. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue and augment our work in the coming years.

The story in the numbers

WebJunction thrives on connecting with the library community, growing our relationships both nationally and internationally. Whichever way you interact with WebJunction—registered member, member of a partner state, a webinar attendee, a social networked follower or a visitor to the site—you contribute to the value for all.

  • Visitors came to our website 455,177 times to view 1,478,064 pages.
  • Visits to our social media locations expanded the interactions:
    • There are now 2,980 followers of WebJunction’s Twitter feed, where we posted 504 tweets of news and information about libraries.
    • 1,471 Facebook users are hanging out with us at Facebook.com/WebJunctionNews.
    • On LinkedIn, we have two active groups where members engage each other on a variety of current topics—LinkedIn WebJunction has 3,642 members; Social Media has 620 members.
    • WebJunction joined Pinterest late in the year, has pinned 90 items and has 61 followers.
    • WebJunction has uploaded 2,914 photos to Flickr, which have been viewed 31,031 times (check out Jennifer Peterson’s recent photos from her trip to Romania!)
  • 32,150 people are now WebJunction members with access to online resources; members in partner states have access to a catalog of 400+ self-paced courses.
  • Our Crossroads e-newsletter has 24,635 subscribers.

Through our free webinar series, news posts and articles, we strive to offer quality information on current trends and timely topics in the library world. Of course, we couldn’t do it without the expert contributions from presenters and authors who participate in the spirit of community growth through knowledge-sharing.

Partners and families

WebJunction places high value on partnerships and collaboration. Over the past year, we are proud and appreciative of the opportunities to work with the following programming partners: 

  • ALA TechSource
  • AmericaSpeaks
  • ARSL
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Darden College of Education at Old Dominion University
  • IMLS
  • Learning Round Table
  • Library Journal
  • UNT PEARL project

Last year, we introduced the expanding family of WebJunction kids. With the recent hiring of Ahniwa Ferrari (Web Content Manager) and Angela Siefer (Program Manager for the Building Digital Communities Pilot), we have new bright faces to showcase. All are growing and prospering and providing much joy.

From youngest to oldest:

  • Camille (Van Noord) Peterson: almost 1
  • Shepard Russell (Gesinger) Turnbull and Coco Marie Maddison: 19+ months (2 weeks apart)
  • Veronica Rose Hill Briggs, Zephyr Ferrari, and Josie (Siefer) Merrill: terrific 2-year-olds
  • Loren and Clara Peterson, and Tess and Jonah (Siefer) Stuber: tweens and teens

Camille (Van Noord) Peterson Coco Marie Maddison
Shepard Russell (Gesinger) Turnbull
Zephyr Ferrari Veronica Rose Hill Briggs
Loren and Clara Peterson Tess and Jonah (Siefer) Stuber and Josie (Siefer) Merrill

Happy New Year to all!