Skip to main content

MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


Ann Arbor, Michigan library patron looks through compact discs

A patron at the Ann Arbor (Michigan) District Library browses through a new compact disc collection in 1989.1

TODAY: Libraries around the world strive to keep up with changing information needs and formats, such as providing access to eBook collections.
In 1989: The Agency's Non-Print Media Unit fielded many requests for advice about compact disc players and other areas of non-print collection development. By the late 1980s, librarians had largely cut back on purchasing LP recordings in favor of CDs to meet shifting patron preferences.

The Unit's AV technician presented an instructional workshop on CDs at the October 1989 NELA conference, in addition to "a program for Department of Correction librarians on general audiovisual/video topics, two camcorder workshops..., a video production workshop at the MLA Midwinter conference..., [and] workshops for the staffs of individual libraries."2

What else happened in 1989?

  • February 14: Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the death of author Salman Rushdie over the release of his controversial 1988 book The Satanic Verses.3
  • July 17: Book conservator Aaron Lansky of Amherst, Massachusetts was awarded a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant," which he used to open the National Yiddish Book Center. Housing the largest collection of Yiddish literature in the world - comprising Lansky's far-flung findings during the '70s and '80s - the Center remains a very popular Jewish tourist destination to this day.4
  • November 9-17: The fall of the Berlin Wall permitted travel between East and West Germany for the first time in decades.3

1. [link].
2. 100th Annual Report of the Board of Library Commissioners.
3. 1989 - Wikipedia entry [link].
4. [link].