Library Journal


Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: Library Journal (LJ)

ISSN: 0363-02771


Purpose, objective, or mission: This journal is produced as a trade publication with the intent to provide library news and related information. Although the emphasis of the journal is on public libraries, the journal contains information pertinent to a wide variety of professionals in the library world. Library Journal also provides reviews of over 8,000 books, ebooks, audiobooks, DVDs/videos, and other media annual to assist library professionals in purchasing for their institution. The mission of the journal is to provide feature articles and news stories which inform library professionals about current issues in a readable style.2

Target audience: The target audience is composed of librarians in public, academic, and special libraries, as well as library administrators, staff, and directors.3

Publisher:  Library Journals, LLC., a division of Media Source, Inc.4

Peer reviewed? No.5

Type: LIS professional news. Library Journal is a non-research-oriented LIS professional news journal that includes advertising, bibliographies, illustrations, and book reviews.6

Medium: Library Journal is a print publication with free online content. Online archives are free. Archived content of the web-based version is more limited than the print edition content.7 You can also subscribe to LJ’s RSS feeds and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, and Tumblr.8 The online version of Library Journal also includes blogs, podcasts and message boards, links to affiliated newsletters, and tools to assist in collection development and other areas of library administration.9

Content: Library Journal content includes news, reviews, LJ bestsellers, commentary, departments, info-tech, special reports, letters to the editor, upcoming events, classified ads, and photos. Library Journal evaluates over 8,000 books annually and also provides reviews of library-related equipment and materials.10

Frequency of publication: 20 times a year, offering issues twice monthly, with only one issue published in January, July, August, and December. Subscription also includes 20 issues of Library Journal digital edition for iPad and 1 year free access to the Journal‘s online database, Book Verdict Library Journal.11

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: The publication’s online version indicates that articles, news, feedback, and reviews may be of most interest to writers. And “LJ is always hungry for opinion pieces and rants about topics and concerns in the library profession for Backtalk.”12 Contributed articles should be broad in scope and/or offer useful information and ideas. The journal also accepts news pieces, announcements, photos of library-related news and events, feedback, and book reviews.13

Submission and review process: Submissions to the Features and Columns sections should be 2 to 3 pages in a magazine, or 1800 to 2700 words. Finalized drafts can be sent as an attachment along with a query describing the coverage and approach of the article as well as the writer’€™s connection to the subject and his or her expertise. The query can be a paragraph or several paragraphs in length. Response to queries may take between 4 to 6 weeks. LJ also accepts opinion pieces and rants about topics and concerns in the library profession for its “BackTalk” . Pieces should be in the range of 900 words.14

Features ideas, Backtalk, News, People Announcements, Photos and Feedback letters should be emailed to Meredith Schwartz at, and completed drafts can be attached.15

Book reviewer guidelines can be found here. Book reviews should be 175- 200 words.16 Part of the application process to be a reviewer includes a contract and a questionnaire. The contract assigns copyright of published reviews to Library Journal, and guards against libel, plagiarism and other copyright infringement.17 Nine of the questions relate to individual experiences and possible bias. There is an effort to match the book contents to the pool of reviews.18

An individual interested in reviewing for LJ must fill out the questionnaire and email it, along with the signed contract, a résumé, and two sample reviews in LJ style, to Annalisa Pesek at

Editorial tone: As this publication is aimed at the general librarian population, the tone of articles should be objective as well as thought-provoking while providing topical and useful information. Articles should be both accessible and readable.20

Style guide used: Library Journal utilizes their own house style.21

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

Proclaiming itself to be the bible of the library world and the “most trusted and respected publication for the library community,”22 Library Journal certainly has the potential for an LIS author to reach a wide audience. Since the journal reaches out to public, academic, and special libraries, there are a multitude of articles that could possibly be written for this publication.

Library Journal is open to ideas for articles and columns, and also encourages “opinion pieces and rants.”23 Library Journal prefers an approach that is widely accessible by its readers. There is therefore great potential for newer writers who are not necessarily comfortable with a more scholarly voice. There is also a market here for librarians to offer insight and advice on practical issues facing contemporary libraries. This is a wonderful opportunity for librarians (including those who may not consider themselves to be professional authors) to share their real-world experience with others.

Library Journal Book Review is a popular selection tool used in public and academic libraries, and an ongoing opportunity exists here to publish reviews in a wide range of disciplines. Reviewers are not required to have previously published reviews. This would be an excellent opportunity for library students with graduate degrees in other areas to review books in their specialty and begin to publish in the LIS field.

Journal Citation Reports for 2009 from ISI Web of Knowledge listed 66 journals in the Information Science & Library Science subject area. Of those 66 journals, Library Journal ranked as follows:

  • Impact factor (average number of times articles were cited in the previous 2 years): 55th
  • Immediacy index (how quickly articles were cited after publication): 23rd
  • Eigenfactor (reflects the prestige and citation influence of journals): 20th
  • Total Cites: 29th

Library Journal is not one of the highest journals for impact factor, reflecting its place as primarily a publication for sharing professional news, not original studies. However, it does rank high for immediacy and Eigenfactor Score. For the beginning writer, this means an opportunity to publish timely subject matter in an influential journal that will be read by many LIS professionals.24


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: Library Journal is subscribed to by 16,971 library directors and librarians, with 54,400 pass alongs. The website registers 2.6 million visits and 9 million page views. The publication is also popular on social media, with over 125,000 Twitter followers and 6,000 likes on Facebook.25

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: LJ is available in the United States, as well as internationally at a higher cost per subscription.26 Based in New York, New York, United States.27 However, its website and web features,28 including newsletters,29 are available worldwide electronically. LJ is printed only in English, but does accept bilingual edition books for review,30 and a 2011 issue featured a Spanish-speaking library assistant as paralibrarian of the year.31

Reader characteristics: Because the audience almost solely consists of librarians and library staff, readers are likely to be both interested in and sympathetic to library issues. They are also likely to share common values and beliefs about the role and importance of librarianship. The readership is large, however, and likely diverse in their particular perspectives on library issues. A variety of forums are offered for expression of controversial viewpoints.32

Knowledge of LIS subject matter:  Library Journal is the oldest publication covering the library field and is highly respected for its knowledge of the subject matter.33 Readers have a high knowledge of LIS issues.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

Readers of Library Journal include library directors, administrators, and staff in all types of libraries. An article written for this publication has the potential to reach over 100,000 readers and could provide a substantial platform for an author to present his or her ideas.

Last updated: May 16, 2016


Show 33 footnotes

  1.  Library Journal, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed March 21, 2018,
  2. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). About Library Journal. Retrieved from
  3. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). About Library Journal. Retrieved from
  4. Media Source, Inc. (2016). Media Source Incorporated Home Page. Retrieved from
  5. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Submit Materials for Review. Retrieved from
  6. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Media Kit & Advertising Contacts. Retrieved from
  7. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Reviews. Retrieved from
  8. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). LJ Social Media. Retrieved from
  9. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Library Journal Home Page. Retrieved from
  10. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). About Library Journal. Retrieved from
  11. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Magazine Subscription Form. Retrieved from
  12. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Submissions. Retrieved from
  13. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Submissions. Retrieved from
  14. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Submissions. Retrieved from
  15. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Submissions. Retrieved from
  16. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Guidelines for Library Journal Reviews. Retrieved from
  17. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Unpaid Reviewer Contract. Retrieved from
  18. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Reviewer Application Form. Retrieved from
  19. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Submissions. Retrieved from
  20. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Submissions. Retrieved from
  21. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Guidelines for Library Journal Reviews. Retrieved from
  22. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). About Library Journal. Retrieved from
  23. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Submissions. Retrieved from
  24. Thomson Reuters. (2016). Journal Citation Reports. Retrieved from
  25. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Media Kit & Advertising Contacts. Retrieved from
  26. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Magazine Subscription Form. Retrieved from
  27. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Contact Us. Retrieved from
  28. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Library Journal Home Page. Retrieved from
  29. Media Source Incorporated. (2016). Library Journal e-Newsletter. Retrieved from
  30. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Submit Materials for Review. Retrieved from
  31. Hadro, Josh. (2011). ALA Annual 2011: A radiant Gilda Ramos accepts Paralibrarian of the Year honor. Retrieved from
  32. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). Opinion. Retrieved from
  33. Library Journals, LLC. (2016). About Library Journal. Retrieved from
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