From Print to Digital and Back Again: 30+ Years of Lessons Learned from our Library Newsletter

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UGA Law Library’s longstanding newsletter Amicus Briefs first saw circulation in 1984. At that time it was solely in print and included no more than a couple of items about new additions to the library collection and upcoming library instruction. More than 30 years later, the newsletter has evolved significantly during that period.

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After a time of existing only in print(1984 – 1994), and a period of time being distributed both in print and online (1995-2001), it went through another phase of being distributed only electronically (2003-2014).

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In the past few years the print version has come back again (Spring 2015), experiencing a resurgence in popularity, especially with students. During its lifetime, the newsletter has not only changed formats and styles, but has also changed editors several times. Each new editor seems to at least partially influence the types of content included and technologies used for publication. Today the newsletter is issued both electronically and physically four times a semester and has even ventured into the realm of podcasting in 2017.

Next week on October 5 I will be presenting a session at Georgia Library Association’s annual conference that will trace the history of the Amicus Briefs newsletter, dating back to its earliest print issues, and every step in between.

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So many lessons have been learned over the years that can be gleaned from the newsletter’s rich history including popular content choices, marketing and dissemination, and measuring readership. Past and current tools utilized for the newsletter will be discussed including HTML, Drupal, WordPress, MailChimp, Google Analytics, Facebook and Piktochart. To help illustrate these lessons and the technology used, specific examples will be shown from both past and present. The next issue of Amicus Briefs will be published the second week of October.

For more info about the history of Amicus Breifs, visit my Prezi’s interactive timeline of the newsletter.

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